Proximal Control and the Risk for Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome... Read more »
Ruth Verrelst, Dirk De Clercq, Jos Vanrenterghem, Tine Willems, Tanneke Palmans, Erik Witvrouw. (2013) The role of proximal dynamic joint stability in the development of exertional medial tibial pain: a prospective study. Br J Sports Med . DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-092126
Case reports of seizures in Germany from 2008 to 2011.
I wish I could stop writing blog posts about Spice, as the family of synthetic cannabinoids has become known. I wish young people would stop taking these drugs, and stick to genuine marijuana, which is far safer. I wish that politicians and proponents of the Drug War would lean in a bit and help, by knocking off the testing for marijuana in most circumstances, so the difficulty of detecting Spice products isn’t a significant factor in their favor. I wish synthetic cannabinoids weren’t research chemicals, untested for safety in humans, so that I could avoid having to sound like an alarmist geek on the topic. I wish I didn’t have to discuss the clinical toxicity of more powerful synthetic cannabinoids like JWH-122 and JWH-210. I wish talented chemists didn’t have to spend precious time and lab resources laboriously characterizing the various metabolic pathways of these drugs, in an effort to understand their clinical consequences. I wish Spice drugs didn’t make regular cannabis look so good by comparison, and serve as an argument in favor of more widespread legalization of organic marijuana.
A German study, published last year in Addiction, seems to demonstrate that “from 2008 to 2011 a shift to the extremely potent synthetic cannabinoids JWH-122 and JWH-210 occurred…. Symptoms were mostly similar to adverse effects after high-dose cannabis. However, agitation, seizures, hypertension, emesis, and hypokalemia [low blood potassium] also occurred—symptoms which are usually not seen even after high doses of cannabis.”
The German patients in the study were located through the Poison Information Center, and toxicological analysis was performed in the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University Medical Center Freiburg. Only two study subjects had appreciable levels of actual THC in their blood. Alcohol and other confounders were factored out. First-time consumers were at elevated risk for unintended overdose consequences, since tolerance to Spice drug side effects does develop, as it does with marijuana.
Clinically, the common symptom was tachycardia, with hearts rates as high as 170 beats per minute. Blurred vision, hallucinations and agitation were also reported, but this cluster of symptoms is also seen in high-dose THC cases that turn up in emergency rooms. The same with nausea, the most common gastrointestinal complaint logged by the researchers.
But in 29 patients in whom the presence of synthetic cannabinoids was verified, some of the symptoms seem unique to the Spice drugs. The synthetic cannabinoids caused, in at least one case, an epileptic seizure. Hypertension and low potassium were also seen more often with the synthetics. After the introduction of the more potent forms, JWH-122 and JWH-210, the symptom set expanded to include “generalized seizures, myocloni [muscle spasms] and muscle pain, elevation of creatine kinase and hypokalemia.” The researchers note that seizures induced by marijuana are almost unheard of. In fact, studies have shown that marijuana has anticonvulsive properties, one of the reason it is popular with cancer patients being treated with radiation therapy.
And there are literally hundreds of other synthetic cannabinoid chemicals waiting in the wings. What is going on? Two things. First, synthetic cannabinoids, unlike THC itself, are full agonists at CB1 receptors. THC is only a partial agonist. What this means is that, because of the greater affinity for cannabinoid receptors, synthetic cannabinoids are, in general, stronger than marijuana—strong enough, in fact, to be toxic, possibly even lethal. Secondly, CB1 receptors are everywhere in the brain and body. The human cannabinoid type-1 receptor is one of the most abundant receptors in the central nervous system and are found in particularly high density in brain areas involving cognition and memor.
The Addiction paper by Maren Hermanns-Clausen and colleagues at the Freiburg University Medical Center in Germany is titled “Acute toxicity due to the confirmed consumption of synthetic cannabinoids,” and is worth quoting at some length:
The central nervous excitation with the symptoms agitation, panic attack, aggressiveness and seizure in our case series is remarkable, and may be typical for these novel synthetic cannabinoids. It is somewhat unlikely that co-consumption of amphetamine-like drugs was responsible for the excitation, because such co-consumption occurred in only two of our cases. The appearance of myocloni and generalized tonic-clonic seizures is worrying. These effects are also unexpected because phytocannabinoids [marijuana] show anticonvulsive actions in humans and in animal models of epilepsy.
The reason for all this may be related to the fact that low potassium was observed “in about one-third of the patients of our case series.” Low potassium levels in the blood can cause muscle spasms, abnormal heart rhythms, and other unpleasant side effects.
One happier possibility that arises from the research is that the fierce affinity of synthetic cannabinoids for CB1 receptors could be used against them. “A selective CB1 receptor antagonist,” Hermanns-Clausen and colleagues write, “for example rimonabant, would immediately reverse the acute toxic effects of the synthetic cannabinoids.”
The total number of cases in the study was low, and we can’t assume that everyone who smokes a Spice joint will suffer from epileptic seizures. But we can say that synthetic cannabinoids in the recreational drug market are becoming stronger, are appearing in ever more baffling combinations, and have made the matter of not taking too much a central issue, unlike marijuana, where taking too much leads to nausea, overeating, and sleep.
(See my post “Spiceophrenia” for a discussion of the less-compelling evidence for synthetic cannabinoids and psychosis).
Hermanns-Clausen M., Kneisel S., Hutter M., Szabo B. & Auwärter V. (2013). Acute intoxication by synthetic cannabinoids - Four case reports, Drug Testing and Analysis, n/a-n/a. DOI: 10.1002/dta.1483
Graphics Credit: http://www.aacc.org/
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Hermanns-Clausen Maren, Kneisel Stefan, Hutter Melanie, Szabo Bela, & Auwärter Volker. (2013) Acute intoxication by synthetic cannabinoids - Four case reports. Drug Testing and Analysis. DOI: 10.1002/dta.1483
We have often discussed here on this blog how and why killing snakes whenever and wherever you see one is a questionable land ethic. But, in the past I conceded that I understand why people would kill venomous snakes when they are found in their backyards because of the perceived threat to their families. Prompted by some comments left on a recent blog post, I’ve reflected on this a bit ... Read more »
N. Morandi, & J. Williams. (1997) Snakebite injuries: contributing factors and intentionality of exposure. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 152-155. DOI: 10.1580/1080-6032(1997)008[0152:SICFAI]2.3.CO;2
O'Neil ME, Mack KA, Gilchrist J, & Wozniak EJ. (2007) Snakebite injuries treated in United States emergency departments, 2001-2004. Wilderness , 18(4), 281-7. PMID: 18076294
H. M. Parrish. (1966) Incidence of Treated Snakebites in the United States. Public Health Rep, 81(3), 269-276. DOI: 10.2307/4592691
Pregnancy issues and adverse birth factors 'associated' with the development of autism in offspring is a topic which has cropped up more than once on this blog, as autism research strives to identify as many possible 'risk' factors potentially linked to symptom onset. Lots of different birth-related variables have been analysed and put forward as potential candidates related to risk (see this post) ranging from birth weight (see here) to birth order (see here) and even season of conception/birth (see here).Let me out... @ Wikipedia That's not to say however that anything concrete in terms of generalised offspring risk of autism has emerged from these various lines of research inquiry. Indeed, as per the study by Schieve and colleagues* (which I've already blogged about) hinted, many of these factors may be contributory but not necessarily 'causative' of autism when looked at on a population scale. This bearing in mind that I've not introduced the various 'exposure' events during pregnancy which have also been linked to offspring autism risk (e.g. the emerging valproate story) and the idea that population risk does not necessarily always translate into personal circumstances and risk.Another factor which has seen some research action is the idea that having children in close temporal succession to one and another - a short interpregnancy interval - might also elevate the risk of the second child presenting with autism. The paper by Cheslack-Postava and colleagues** (full-text) hinted at this effect as per their conclusion: "children born after shorter intervals between pregnancies are at increased risk of developing autism". I note that Dr Emily Deans over at Evolutionary Psychiatry carried some discussion on this paper too (see here).The more recent paper by Nina Gunnes and colleagues*** adds to the literature on this topic; indeed coming to pretty much the same conclusion: "interpregnancy intervals shorter than 1 year were associated with increased risk of autistic disorder in the second-born child". Based on yet more analysis out of Norway (although I am unsure whether this was a MoBa study or not), researchers looked at the records of several thousand sibling pairs in order to identify the length of the interpregnancy interval (IPI) and whether autism was mentioned in the records of second-born children. Their conclusion about short IPI and an elevated risk of autism in second-born children seemed to be particularly pertinent to those children born 9 months after their sibling compared with those born 3 years or later after their sibling.A few points are worthy of mention. The very discerning readers out there might have already spotted a couple of familiar names attached to the Gunnes paper authorship in the form of Mady Hornig and Ian Lipkin (see this quite recent post).I note also the authors suggest that a "depletion of micronutrients" might have something to do with the explanation for the short IPI-autism association, which carries hints of the late David Barker's hypothesis (see here) and is pretty much in line with what Dr Deans previously mentioned. Indeed, to reiterate her discussion about baby 'sucking out' whatever nutrients it needs from its host (i.e. mum) I can remember similar words being told when my/our brood were due for an appearance. With all the current fascination on things like folic acid and autism (see here and here), one might very easily say that there is a possible link to be had there, bearing in mind Gunnes and colleagues did not assay for or report on maternal or offspring folic acid levels at any point during their study.If also I had to play devil's advocate on such 'association' research I might point out that looking at the IPI alone and knowing relatively little about the family or offspring in terms of their lives is still methodologically problematic. We don't for example know about any medical or psychiatric familial history which might also be an important modifier of offspring risk. I assume the authors already controlled for whether sibling number one had a formal diagnosis of autism (as per the autism recurrence data previously discussed), but did they for example, ask about the potential presence of sub-clinical signs and symptoms associated with something like the broader autism phenotype for example? Were they also able to comment on any additional siblings after child number two and the elevated risk or not for them presenting on the autism spectrum either alone or as a function of IPI?Then there's the volume of research suggesting that a short IPI might also increase the risk of reduced birth weight**** or the risk of preterm birth***** which I assume have been controlled for, but still one wonders about their impact on the presentation of offspring autism and any wider links (see here). I might also draw readers' attention to an interesting correspondence from Downs & Jonas****** (full-text) with regards to research suggesting a link between short IPI and risk of offspring schizophrenia. In short(!), one has to be careful of making too much of such association data at the current time.That being said, I don't want to take anything away from the Gunnes study and results. It was a well-powered study and they got what they got. Their data also add to the various other information suggesting that when it comes to having children, mums (and dads) are advised to give themselves a bit of breather between kids. Some music to finish. How about Robbie & Kylie?----------* Schieve LA. et al. Have secular changes in perinatal risk factors contributed to the recent autism prevalence increase? Development and application of a mathematical assessment model. Ann Epidemiol. 2011 Dec;21(12):930-45.** Cheslack-Postava K. et al. Closely spaced pregnancies are associated with increased odds of autism in California sibling births. Pediatrics. 2011 Feb;127(2):246-53.*** Gunnes N. et al. Interpregnancy Interval and Risk of Autistic Disorder. Epidemiology. 2013 Sep 16.**** Smits LJ. et al. The association between interpregnancy interval and birth weight: what is the role of maternal polyunsaturated fatty acid status? BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2013 Jan 25;13:23.***** De Franco EA. et al. A short interpregnancy interval is a risk factor for preterm birth and its recurrence. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Sep;197(3):264.e1-6.****** Downs JM. & Jonas S. Short inter-pregnancy interval and schizophrenia: overestimating the risk. Br J Psychiatry. 2012; 200: 160.----------... Read more »
Gunnes N, Surén P, Bresnahan M, Hornig M, Lie KK, Lipkin WI, Magnus P, Nilsen RM, Reichborn-Kjennerud T, Schjølberg S.... (2013) Interpregnancy Interval and Risk of Autistic Disorder. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.). PMID: 24045716
Stem cells and real estate have three important things in common: location, location, and location.Stem cells are extensively studied because of their ability to generate a wide variety of tissue types, including heart, liver and even brain cells. Now, a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers shows that the fate of stem cells depends upon their immediate surroundings.Read More... Read more »
Panteleimon Rompolas, Kailin R. Mesa . (2013) Spatial organization within a niche as a determinant of stem-cell fate. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature12602
Researchers at the University of South Florida reported today a new view of how stem cells may help repair the brain following trauma. In a series of preclinical experiments, they show that transplanted cells appear to build a "biobridge" that links an uninjured brain site where new neural stem cells are born with the damaged region of the brain."The transplanted stem cells serve as migratory cues for the brain's own neurogenic cells, guiding the exodus of these newly formed host cells from their neurogenic niche towards the injured brain tissue," said principal investigator Cesar Borlongan, PhD, professor and director of the USF Center for Aging and Brain Repair.Read More... Read more »
Naoki Tajiri, Yuji Kaneko, Kazutaka Shinozuka, Hiroto Ishikawa, Ernest Yankee, Michael McGrogan, Casey Case, Cesar V. Borlongan. (2013) Stem Cell Recruitment of Newly Formed Host Cells via a Successful Seduction? Filling the Gap between Neurogenic Niche and Injured Brain Site. PLoS ONE. info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0074857
The number of knockouts, among boxers and mixed martial arts fighters predicted structural damage in the brain. This finding suggests that the number of knockouts a fighter endures in their career can predict how much microstructural damage the brain suffered.
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Shin W, Mahmoud SY, Sakaie K, Banks SJ, Lowe MJ, Phillips M, Modic MT, & Bernick C. (2013) Diffusion Measures Indicate Fight Exposure-Related Damage to Cerebral White Matter in Boxers and Mixed Martial Arts Fighters. AJNR. American Journal of neuroradiology. PMID: 23928146
The journal World Neurosurgery has just published a remarkable case report: the rather uplifting story of Pat Martino: Jazz, Guitar and Neurosurgery Martino (born in 1944 in Philadelphia) was playing jazz guitar by the age of 12. By 20 he had a record deal and a series of successful albums followed. But in 1976, he [...]The post Jazz Guitar After Brain Damage appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »
Galarza M, Isaac C, Porcar OP, Mayes A, Broks P, Montaldi D, Denby C, & Simeone F. (2013) Jazz, Guitar and Neurosurgery: the Pat Martino Case Report. World neurosurgery. PMID: 24076057
by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders
Arts-based therapies are often used to supplement more “traditional” eating disorder treatment protocols in various different settings, ranging from individual therapy to inpatient units. However, as Frisch, Franko & Herzog (2006) note, no published research provides empirical support for the use of arts-based therapies for eating disorder treatment.
You might be wondering: if there is no empirical support, why are clinicians still using these therapeutic practices? You might also be wondering why I’ve chosen to dissect an article from 2006.
I’ll address the first question in this post (teaser: it’s really hard to say!). As for my delving back into the depths of academia, there is surprisingly little literature that touches on arts-based therapy, despite its continued use. This article provides an overview of why this might be, and where we can go from here.
WHAT IS ARTS-BASED THERAPY?
Arts therapy is an umbrella term used to refer to the “medicinal use of creative arts,” including dance and movement, drama, music, and visual arts. The premise of arts-based therapy is that engaging with the arts will facilitate clients’ …
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Frisch MJ, Franko DL, & Herzog DB. (2006) Arts-based therapies in the treatment of eating disorders. Eating Disorders, 14(2), 131-42. PMID: 16777810
Most kiddies receive the very effective Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine against tuberculosis during childhood, but as they grow up, the protection afforded by this vaccine wanes. Since cases of adult TB are on the rise, receiving an immune upgrade would … Continue reading →... Read more »
Smaill F, Jeyanathan M, Smiejal M, Medinal MF, Thanthrige-Don N, Zganiacz A, Yin C, Heriazon A, Damjanovic D, Puril L.... (2013) A Human Type 5 Adenovirus–Based Tuberculosis Vaccine Induces Robust T Cell Responses in Humans Despite Preexisting Anti-Adenovirus Immunity. Science Translational Medicine, 5(205). DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006843
A research team at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers, and collaborators at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital announced today that they have found a way to use mesenchymal stem cells as drug delivery vehicles.The scientists inserted modified strands of messenger RNA into connective tissue mesenchymal stem cells which stimulated the cells to produce adhesive surface proteins and secrete interleukin-10, an anti-inflammatory molecule. When injected into the bloodstream of a mouse, these modified human stem cells were able to target and stick to sites of inflammation and release biological agents that successfully reduced the swelling.Read More... Read more »
Levy O, Zhao W, Mortensen LJ, Leblanc S, Tsang K, Fu M, Phillips JA, Sagar V, Anandakumaran P, Ngai J.... (2013) mRNA-engineered mesenchymal stem cells for targeted delivery of interleukin-10 to sites of inflammation. Blood, 122(14). PMID: 23980067
As summer inevitably turns to Autumn and the prospect of those colder, darker winter days and nights further encroaches, I find myself again talking about the growing body of research and speculation suggestive of a link between autism (or at least some of the autisms) and the sunshine vitamin - vitamin D - and its related biochemistry.Autumn @ Wikipedia I was brought to this post by an interesting patent application by The Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York regarding an invention by two very well known and renowned scientists: Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig titled: "Autism-associated biomarkers and uses thereof" (see here*).Filed earlier this year (2013) the application discusses quite a few things with a focus on vitamin D and autism and in particular: "detecting whether or not there is an alteration in the express of a Gc globulin protein in the subject as compared to a non-autistic subject".OK, some background just in case you need it. Vitamin D is something of a rock star in health research circles of late. Traditionally thought to be just the stuff needed to help the absorption of calcium, a more varied role has been reported for the sunshine vitamin in recent years covering lots and lots of ailments and conditions. With autism in mind, vitamin D has been the source of quite a bit of speculation** and research (see my previous posts here and here and here). Although requiring further investigation, it would be a brave/foolish (delete as appropriate) person to say that it shows absolutely no link to autism or at least certain facets or cases of autism on the basis of the existing evidence.Researchers, Ian Lipkin and Mady Hornig, are also highly respected on this blog. Regular readers might remember their names in relation to quite a few topics I've talked about including the old XMRV-CFS/ME de-discovery story (see here) and the fascinating work on autism and Sutterella (see here). Prof Lipkin was also credited in bringing 'science to Hollywood' in his role as an adviser for the film Contagion (see here) and they both share credit for the 'three strikes hypothesis'. Indeed, this is not the first time that their autism work has entered the patent arena (see here).The recent patent application, I have to admit, was hard going for me in terms of all the details it contained. My trawl for some background information on Gc globulin protein - also I think called vitamin D binding protein (DBP) - revealed that this protein is principally involved in getting vitamin D and its relations around the body among other things***. Specifically the patent is built on: "the finding that increased levels in the Gc globulin GcFl (which is a vitamin D binding protein) can serve as a biomarker for human Autism Spectrum Disorders". This I interpret to mean that too much Gc globulin being present means that too much vitamin D gets bound up with the stuff and levels of free, available vitamin D (and metabolites) might therefore be lower than that required. The patent goes on: "elevated levels of Gc globulin in the umbilical cord plasma of ASD patients were observed relative to control cases". These are potentially big words. At the time of writing (September 2013) I was unable to find anything in the peer-reviewed research literature looking at Gc globulin in relation to autism, let alone anything suggesting that increased levels of the protein might be the stuff of biomarkers. That's not to say that there may not be something waiting in the pre-publication arena about this, as per the patent talking about proteomic analysis of "umbilical cord blood plasma samples from children diagnosed with autism (n=l 1 cases) and children without evidence of developmental disorder (n=12 controls)". Proteomics you say?Further down the patent I noted other points. So: "administering to the subject a therapeutic amount of GcMAF, thereby treating or preventing autism or an ASD". Without getting into any debates about treatment and prevention (which seems to be a common theme as per the MAR autism letter recently), Gc-MAF is another interesting part of this application. Regular readers might have seen my post on Gc-MAF and nagalase in relation to autism (see here) and the early-day connections being made there (see here also).A quick non-expert look at the connection between Gc globulin and Gc-MAF reveals that Gc globulin is the precursor to Gc-MAF****. I think (and it is just that) the patent is suggesting that because greater than usual quantities of vitamin D might be bound up with Gc globulin, there are knock-on immune effects resulting from this vitamin D deficiency, ergo: "administering to the subject a therapeutic amount of GcMAF, thereby treating or preventing the vitamin D deficiency-related immune deficit." Onwards, the assumption is that this might have an effect on the presentation of autism too. Again, with my non-expert hat on, administration of Gc-MAF does seem to affect Gc globulin activity (at least in the lab and using cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus*****). Don't quote me on that by the way.There is quite a bit more information included in this patent which I can't cover here in one post. As if you needed more evidence that vitamin D deficiency might be quite prevalent in autism (and across different geographies) I would also refer you to the recent papers by Duan and colleagues****** & Gong and colleagues******* based in China. That being said, if the Lipkin/Hornig patent turns out to be correct at least for some on the autism spectrum, simply adding more vitamin D into the diet or supplementing or increasing sunshine exposure when a deficiency is present alongside high levels of Gc globulin, might not necessarily be the most desirable course of action.Finally, I should point out that this is a patent application and not peer-reviewed science so whilst being as enthused as I am about the potential for this line of inquiry, one has to take a step back. As with all patent applications, the aim is protection; protection for the your work, the intellectual property of your work and indeed, the commercialisation of your work from being copied by others presumably for profit. Autism has seen its fair share of patents down the years, over 9... Read more »
In most professional settings, and especially in the sciences, it is important to know a bit of statistics. I say that this is particularly true for scientists because our jobs are centered around discovering...... Read more »
Olsen CH. (2003) Review of the use of statistics in infection and immunity. Infection and immunity, 71(12), 6689-92. PMID: 14638751
Athletes with increased glenoid retroversion may be at risk for posterior shoulder instability. Increased internal and external rotation strength was also associated with instability but it is unclear whether these differences were causative or compensatory to the differences in glenoid anatomy.
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Owens BD, Campbell SE, & Cameron KL. (2013) Risk Factors for Posterior Shoulder Instability in Young Athletes. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. PMID: 23982394
The first boom in treatment for male erectile dysfunction came in the 1920s and 1930 when the Russian-origin French surgeon Serge Abramovitch Voronoff started to prescribe surgical implantation of monkey testicles in the human scrotum to augment sexual prowess. This gained quite a bit of fan following for a couple of decades and brough Voronoff […]... Read more »
Klotz L. (2005) How (not) to communicate new scientific information: a memoir of the famous Brindley lecture. BJU international, 96(7), 956-7. PMID: 16225508
We feel the crisis everwhere. But what happens when it affects our health? What about hospitals not being able to get us the best treatment available? A study performed by Ades et al. has determined that government’s health expenditures are crucial for cancer mortality. ... Read more »
Ades F, Senterre C, de Azambuja E, Sullivan R, Popescu R, Parent F, & Piccart M. (2013) Discrepancies in cancer incidence and mortality and its relationship to health expenditure in the 27 European Union member states. Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO. PMID: 24078620
Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to write anything for Inspiring Science this week, so instead I decided to link to …Continue reading »... Read more »
Lam TT, Wang J, Shen Y, Zhou B, Duan L, Cheung CL, Ma C, Lycett SJ, Leung CY, Chen X.... (2013) The genesis and source of the H7N9 influenza viruses causing human infections in China. Nature. PMID: 23965623
Pena-Miller R, Laehnemann D, Jansen G, Fuentes-Hernandez A, Rosenstiel P, Schulenburg H, & Beardmore R. (2013) When the most potent combination of antibiotics selects for the greatest bacterial load: the smile-frown transition. PLoS biology, 11(4). PMID: 23630452
Shulha HP, Crisci JL, Reshetov D, Tushir JS, Cheung I, Bharadwaj R, Chou HJ, Houston IB, Peter CJ, Mitchell AC.... (2012) Human-specific histone methylation signatures at transcription start sites in prefrontal neurons. PLoS biology, 10(11). PMID: 23185133
Hernando-Herraez I, Prado-Martinez J, Garg P, Fernandez-Callejo M, Heyn H, Hvilsom C, Navarro A, Esteller M, Sharp AJ, & Marques-Bonet T. (2013) Dynamics of DNA methylation in recent human and great ape evolution. PLoS genetics, 9(9). PMID: 24039605
The search for the structure of DNA in the 1950’s solved the structure of the B-form of the nucleic acid, but there is so much more to the structure of DNA. Z-DNA can be induced by sequence and salt specifications, and this is being use to create light generating logic gates for nanocomputing.
There are at least three forms of double helices. Beyond this, DNA can come as a single strand, a double helix, a triplex, or even a tetraplex. New research is showing that these different forms are important for regulation of gene expression and chromosome replication. These structures may become important for control of cancer growth and induction of apoptosis.
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Biffi G, Tannahill D, McCafferty J, & Balasubramanian S. (2013) Quantitative visualization of DNA G-quadruplex structures in human cells. Nature chemistry, 5(3), 182-6. PMID: 23422559
Feng L, Zhao A, Ren J, Qu X. (2013) Lighting up left-handed Z-DNA: photoluminescent carbon dots induce DNA B to Z transition and perform DNA logic operations. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkt575
Salivary glands: #1 is Parotid gland, #2 is Submandibular gland, #3 is Sublingual glandResearchers announced yesterday that they have created saliva glands and tear glands using stem cells from mice, taking a further step in organ regeneration.Their research shows potential in the treatment of malfunctioning glands that cause "dry eye" or "dry mouth" syndromes, which affect tens of millions of people around the world, they said.The research team, led by Takashi Tsuji of the Tokyo University of Science, grew the glands in the lab dish from epithelial stem cells, and transplanted the primitive organs into mice.The researchers reported that both transplanted glands knitted well with the adjacent tissue, connecting up to ducts and nerve fibres.Read More... Read more »
Miho Ogawa, Masamitsu Oshima, Aya Imamura, Yurie Sekine, Kentaro Ishida, Kentaro Yamashita, Kei Nakajima, Masatoshi Hirayama, Tetsuhiko Tachikawa . (2013) Functional salivary gland regeneration by transplantation of a bioengineered organ germ. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3498
An ACL hamstring autograft can be harvested from either the same or opposite leg without compromising quality of life, clinical signs and symptoms, or strength for at least 24 months after surgery.
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McRae S, Leiter J, McCormack R, Old J, & Macdonald P. (2013) Ipsilateral Versus Contralateral Hamstring Grafts in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Prospective Randomized Trial. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. PMID: 24001575
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