Posts

August 29, 2014

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3:48 AM | A Map to Build Roads to a Better Future
When I learned that the pesticide DDT–widely toxic and now widely banned–has snaked its way into polar bears and beluga whales, I questioned if any environment remains pristine on terrestrial Earth. Perhaps, the thick, hostile and unyielding rainforests of Borneo might prove a bastion? Then in 2013, satellite images showed roads penetrating deep into Borneo. […]

Laurance, W., Clements, G., Sloan, S., O’Connell, C., Mueller, N., Goosem, M., Venter, O., Edwards, D., Phalan, B., Balmford, A. & Van Der Ree, R. (2014). A global strategy for road building, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13717

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August 28, 2014

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8:53 PM | This is your Brain. This is your Brain on Drugs
Drugs are bad for the brain. That is (excuse the horrible pun) a no-brainer, but while scientists have seen the after effect drugs have on the brain, we have never […]

You, J., Du, C., Volkow, N. & Pan, Y. (2014). Optical coherence Doppler tomography for quantitative cerebral blood flow imaging, Biomedical Optics Express, 5 (9) 3217. DOI: 10.1364/BOE.5.003217

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4:52 PM | The Things Living on your Toothbrush…
Did you remember to brush? I hope you did, but you may be throwing away your toothbrush soon. Get ready for your daily amount of gross, because have I got […]

Morris DW, Goldschmidt M, Keene H & Cron SG (2014). Microbial contamination of power toothbrushes: a comparison of solid-head versus hollow-head designs., Journal of dental hygiene : JDH / American Dental Hygienists' Association, 88 (4) 237-42. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25134956

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8:29 AM | Minocycline for schizophrenia?
"Minocycline may improve the psychopathology of schizophrenia, especially the negative symptoms, and seems to be well tolerated".A Bachelors Drawer (apparently) @ Wikipedia That was the finding from the systematic review and meta-analysis undertaken by Oya and colleagues [1] looking at the collected literature on the use of "minocycline augmentation therapy in patients with schizophrenia receiving antipsychotic agents". Augmentation therapy by the way, refers to the addition of minocycline […]

Oya K, Kishi T & Iwata N (2014). Efficacy and tolerability of minocycline augmentation therapy in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials., Human psychopharmacology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25087702

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August 27, 2014

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11:35 PM | (False?) Positive Psychology Meets Genomics
Academic bunfight ahoy! A new paper from Nick Brown – famed debunker of the “Positivity Ratio” – and his colleagues, takes aim at another piece of research on feel-good emotions. The target is a 2013 paper published in PNAS from positive psychology leader Barbara Fredrickson and colleagues: A functional genomic perspective on human well-being. The […]The post (False?) Positive Psychology Meets Genomics appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Brown, N., MacDonald, D., Samanta, M., Friedman, H. & Coyne, J. (2014). A critical reanalysis of the relationship between genomics and well-being, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1407057111

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9:39 PM | Climate change research roundup: hiding heat in the Atlantic and the Arctic carbon cycle
The most recent issue of Science has two new reports on the so-called global warming hiatus and the carbon cycle in the Arctic, both of which are central to discussions of climate change and where temperature increases are being seen around … Continue reading →

Cory, R., Ward, C., Crump, B. & Kling, G. (2014). Sunlight controls water column processing of carbon in arctic fresh waters, Science, 345 (6199) 925-928. DOI: 10.1126/science.1253119

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7:23 PM | The Learning Brain Unravelled
As an engineer you would think math would come easy to me, it didn’t. Funny thing though, science in general and biology in particular came very easy to me. The […]

Patrick T. Sadtler,, Kristin M. Quick,, Matthew D. Golub,, Steven M. Chase,, Stephen I. Ryu,, Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara,, Byron M. Yu, & Aaron P. Batista (2014). Neural constraints on learning, Nature, Other:

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2:58 PM | Diagnostic Profile in Pathological Gamblers
Behavioral disorders like pathological gambling (PG) rarely occur alone as a single uncomplicated disorder.In a previous post, I noted the overlap of PG with personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse.A recent study from Germany adds to our knowledge of the general diagnostic profile in the PG population.Erbas and Buchner reviewed German national data sources and other German studies to come up with a series of findings:Twelve month prevalence rates […]

Erbas B & Buchner UG (2012). Pathological gambling: prevalence, diagnosis, comorbidity, and intervention in Germany., Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 109 (10) 173-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22470406

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1:38 PM | Video Tip of the Week: Phenoscape, captures phenotype data across taxa
Development of the skeleton is a good example of a process that is highly regulated, requires a lot of precision, is conserved and important relationships across species, and is fairly easy to detect when it’s gone awry. I mean–it’s hard to know at a glance if all the neurons in an organism got to the […]

Mabee B.P., Balhoff J.P., Dahdul W.M., Lapp H., Midford P.E., Vision T.J. & Westerfield M. (2012). 500,000 fish phenotypes: The new informatics landscape for evolutionary and developmental biology of the vertebrate skeleton., Zeitschrift fur angewandte Ichthyologie = Journal of applied ichthyology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22736877

Balhoff J.P., Cartik R. Kothari, Hilmar Lapp, John G. Lundberg, Paula Mabee, Peter E. Midford, Monte Westerfield & Todd J. Vision (2010). Phenex: Ontological Annotation of Phenotypic Diversity, PLoS ONE, 5 (5) e10500. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010500

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1:32 PM | When human activity can ‘trigger’ earthquakes
Many centuries ago, human activity was believed to result in earthquakes – If we did not sufficiently appease the gods, mighty Tepeyollotl, heart of the mountains, would vent his calamitous rage with a terrifying, tumultuous upheaval of the earth itself. Nowadays most of us know better (although that still doesn’t stop some religious nuts from…

Mulargia, F. & Bizzarri, A. (2014). Anthropogenic Triggering of Large Earthquakes, Scientific Reports, 4 6100. DOI: 10.1038/srep06100

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1:18 PM | Co-Chaperone Keeps Close Watch on Mice Sperm Production
Chaperones aren't just for high-school homecoming dances. Cells have chaperones as well, chaperone proteins that ensure newly made proteins are properly folded. If protein folding goes awry, diseases associated with misfolded proteins such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's can arise. But if one set of chaperones can throw a wet blanket on a school dance, imagine a second set of co-chaperones just to keep the chaperones in check. That's the growing picture in cellular chaperoning as folding […]

Rogon, C., Ulbricht, A., Hesse, M., Alberti, S., Vijayaraj, P., Best, D., Adams, I., Magin, T., Fleischmann, B. & Hohfeld, J. & (2014). HSP70-binding protein HSPBP1 regulates chaperone expression at a posttranslational level and is essential for spermatogenesis, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 25 (15) 2260-2271. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E14-02-0742

Alberti S, Böhse K, Arndt V, Schmitz A, Höhfeld J. (2004). The Cochaperone HspBP1 Inhibits the CHIP Ubiquitin Ligase and Stimulates the Maturation of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 15 (9) 4003-4010. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E04-04-0293

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12:25 PM | Let’s Chew The Fat
Biology concepts – lipid, saturation, fruit, vegetable, drupe, berry, mesocarp, cotyledon, tuber, fatty acid, triglyceride To try and get blood from a stone dates back to the 1600’s, meaning to try and do the impossible. It was first used in a book by Giovanni Toriano called The Second Alphabet. As far as the turnip goes, it may relate to a story in the Bible of Cain and Abel making sacrifices – one a vegetable and one an animal. The vegetable sacrifice was not as appropriate […]

Carvajal-Zarrabal O, Nolasco-Hipolito C, Aguilar-Uscanga MG, Melo Santiesteban G, Hayward-Jones PM & Barradas-Dermitz DM (2014). Effect of dietary intake of avocado oil and olive oil on biochemical markers of liver function in sucrose-fed rats., BioMed research international, 2014 595479. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860825

Musa SH, Basri M, Masoumi HR, Karjiban RA, Malek EA, Basri H & Shamsuddin AF (2013). Formulation optimization of palm kernel oil esters nanoemulsion-loaded with chloramphenicol suitable for meningitis treatment., Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces, 112 113-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23974000

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Editor's Pick
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7:56 AM | Prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits
A quote to start today's post: "Our results suggest an association between prenatal SSRI exposure and autistic traits in children". That was a primary finding reported by Hanan El Marroun and colleagues [1] who looked at whether maternal depressive symptoms or a class of quite commonly used pharmaceutics - the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - used to manage depressive symptoms, during pregnancy might impact on offspring development."Everything the light touches is our […]

Marroun, H., White, T., van der Knaap, N., Homberg, J., Fernandez, G., Schoemaker, N., Jaddoe, V., Hofman, A., Verhulst, F., Hudziak, J. & Stricker, B. (2014). Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and social responsiveness symptoms of autism: population-based study of young children, The British Journal of Psychiatry, 205 (2) 95-102. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.127746

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August 26, 2014

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5:27 PM | The Holographic Universe [we might Live in!]
Are you feeling a little… flat? Well that might be because you are only in 2 dimensions. I know what you’re thinking, insane! Well first check the name of the […]

Cowen, R. (2013). Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature.2013.14328

Li W & Takayanagi T (2011). Holography and entanglement in flat spacetime., Physical review letters, 106 (14) 141301. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21561179

Piao, Y. (2007). Primordial perturbation spectra in a holographic phase of the Universe, Physical Review D, 76 (4) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.76.043509

George F. Smoot (2010). Go with the Flow, Average Holographic Universe, Int.J.Mod.Phys.D19:2247-2258,2010, arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1003.5952v1

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4:09 PM | For These Bats, the Best Falsetto Wins Over the Ladies
A bat’s voice is its livelihood. Chirping and squeaking at just the right frequencies lets it echolocate food and stay alive. Sounding pretty isn’t the point—except when it is. For the first time, scientists think they’ve found a bat species in which females choose mates based on their voices. Even if a lower-frequency squeak might […]The post For These Bats, the Best Falsetto Wins Over the Ladies appeared first on Inkfish.

Puechmaille, S., Borissov, I., Zsebok, S., Allegrini, B., Hizem, M., Kuenzel, S., Schuchmann, M., Teeling, E. & Siemers, B. (2014). Female Mate Choice Can Drive the Evolution of High Frequency Echolocation in Bats: A Case Study with Rhinolophus mehelyi, PLoS ONE, 9 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103452

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Editor's Pick
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7:55 AM | 76% of youths with autism meet ADHD diagnostic criteria?
Autism is not normally a stand-alone diagnosis. I've mentioned that point a few times on this blog, stressing how a clinical diagnosis of autism appears to increase the risk of various other behavioural, psychiatric and somatic diagnoses also [variably] being present over a lifetime. Part of that comorbidity has been talked about in discussions about ESSENCE (see here) and the excellent document produced by Treating Autism on medical comorbidities occurring alongside autism (see here) for […]

Joshi G, Faraone SV, Wozniak J, Tarko L, Fried R, Galdo M, Furtak SL & Biederman J (2014). Symptom Profile of ADHD in Youth With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Comparative Study in Psychiatrically Referred Populations., Journal of attention disorders, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085653

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August 25, 2014

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11:13 PM | Zombie Ant Fungi knows it’s prey
So awhile back I was bored and to kill some time wisely I wrote this little bit on real life (sometime potential) zombies. It featured a special section on a […]

de Bekker C, Quevillon LE, Smith PB, Fleming KR, Ghosh D, Patterson AD & Hughes DP (2014). Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite., BMC evolutionary biology, 14 (1) 166. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25085339

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7:38 PM | Unpacking Recovery Part 3: Can Patients Imagine Recovery?
Today I have the distinct pleasure of writing about one of my favourite articles about eating disorder recovery by Malson et al. (2011) exploring how inpatients talk about eating disorder recovery. I have personally found this article to be very helpful in understanding some of the difficulties of understanding and achieving recovery in our social context. As Malson and colleagues explain (and as we’ve established), eating disorder recovery is elusive. Often, poor prognosis is described […]

Malson H, Bailey L, Clarke S, Treasure J, Anderson G & Kohn M (2011). Un/imaginable future selves: a discourse analysis of in-patients' talk about recovery from an 'eating disorder'., European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association, 19 (1) 25-36. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21182163

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4:00 PM | ALS: An Infographic and the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Knowing Neurons team accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! We nominate EyeWire, Kerri Smith of Neurpod, Dan Ariely, and Oliver Sacks!   ~ Infographic by Jooyeun Lee, Anita Ramanthan, Kate Fehlhaber, and Jillian Shaw. ~ References: Renton A.E. & Bryan J Traynor (2013). State of play in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genetics, Nature Neuroscience, 17 … Continue reading →

Renton A.E. & Bryan J Traynor (2013). State of play in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genetics, Nature Neuroscience, 17 (1) 17-23. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.3584

Vucic S., Rothstein J.D. & Kiernan M.C. (2014). Advances in treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: insights from pathophysiological studies., Trends in neurosciences, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24927875

Ferraiuolo L., Andrew J. Grierson, Michael Sendtner & Pamela J. Shaw (2011). Molecular pathways of motor neuron injury in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Nature Reviews Neurology, 7 (11) 616-630. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2011.152

Andersen P.M. (2011). Clinical genetics of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: what do we really know?, Nature Reviews Neurology, 7 (11) 603-615. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2011.150

Dion P.A. & Guy A. Rouleau (2009). Genetics of motor neuron disorders: new insights into pathogenic mechanisms, Nature Reviews Genetics, 10 (11) 769-782. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrg2680

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11:00 AM | The Curious Case of a Protein and a Pilus
by Monika Buczek | If you’re like me, every morning you reluctantly roll out of bed and automatically reach for your toothbrush. One of the earliest learned practices of personal hygiene, brushing surely serves more than just preventing daybreak halitosis- but have you ever pondered about the plaque you try to dislodge from your…

Reardon-Robinson ME, Wu C, Mishra A, Chang C, Bier N, Das A & Ton-That H (2014). Pilus hijacking by a bacterial coaggregation factor critical for oral biofilm development., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (10) 3835-40. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24567409

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6:04 AM | Autobiographical Memory for a Life-Threatening Airline Disaster
“My attention shifts to the fact that the comforting engine hum is eerily gone. Where has the comforting hum of the engines gone. Something has gone very, very wrong, the plane continued to shake.” -Daniel Goncalves, recalling the terror of Air Transat Flight 236I'm sitting here in an airport, reading a harrowing first person account of Air Transat Flight 236, which fell out of the sky when it lost all power on Aug. 24, 2001.The plane was bound from Toronto, Ontario to Lisbon, […]

McKinnon, M., Palombo, D., Nazarov, A., Kumar, N., Khuu, W. & Levine, B. (2014). Threat of Death and Autobiographical Memory: A Study of Passengers From Flight AT236, Clinical Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1177/2167702614542280

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2:33 AM | Is It Fair to Regulate E-Cigarettes?
Just by reading the title, it may seem to you that this article is biased -- and written to encourage the use of e-cigarettes. Well, it is not! I've written this article to discuss why this smokeless... [[To read the full story, visit my website.]]

Schober, W., Szendrei, K., Matzen, W., Osiander-Fuchs, H., Heitmann, D., Schettgen, T., Jörres, R. & Fromme, H. (2014). Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 217 (6) 628-637. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.11.003

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August 24, 2014

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10:26 PM | Mosquitoes on the move: climate change and its effect on vector-born diseases
If you live in Florida, like I do, you come to truly fear and loathe these guys: the Aedes albopictus, better known as the tiger mosquito.  Or any other mosquito, for that matter.  In the US, we actually have it … Continue reading →

Bouzid, M., Colón-González, F., Lung, T., Lake, I. & Hunter, P. (2014). Climate change and the emergence of vector-borne diseases in Europe: case study of dengue fever, BMC Public Health, 14 (1) 781. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-781

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5:30 PM | Autism, mTOR, and the Cause of Autism
Autism is a hot topic, lets face it the increase in prevalence has started to cause a panic in some people. That fear is what the anti-vaccination movement is hoping […]

Tang, G., Gudsnuk, K., Kuo, S., Cotrina, M., Rosoklija, G., Sosunov, A., Sonders, M., Kanter, E., Castagna, C., Yamamoto, A. & Yue, Z. (2014). Loss of mTOR-Dependent Macroautophagy Causes Autistic-like Synaptic Pruning Deficits, Neuron, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.07.040

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1:31 PM | This Month in Blastocystis Research (AUG 2014)
Some August highlights in Blastocystis research:1) The PRE-IOPCA Molecular Parasitology Workshop took place from the 7-10 August at CINVESTAV, Mexico City. Top-motivated students from some 10-15 countries worked hard from 7 am to 7 pm in dry+wet lab sessions, and we all had a really great time, thanks to both participants and fantastic organisers. There was a 4 h session on Blastocystis molecular epidemiology, and I was pleased to learn that some of the participants currently work with (or plan […]

Fayer R, Elsasser T, Gould R, Solano G, Urban J Jr & Santin M (2014). Blastocystis tropism in the pig intestine., Parasitology research, 113 (4) 1465-72. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24535732

Klimeš V, Gentekaki E, Roger AJ & Eliáš M (2014). A large number of nuclear genes in the human parasite blastocystis require mRNA polyadenylation to create functional termination codons., Genome biology and evolution, 6 (8) 1956-61. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25015079

Hanage, W. (2014). Microbiology: Microbiome science needs a healthy dose of scepticism, Nature, 512 (7514) 247-248. DOI: 10.1038/512247a

Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, Rajilić-Stojanović M, Heilig HG, De Vos WM, O'Toole PW & Cotter PD (2014). The microbial eukaryote Blastocystis is a prevalent and diverse member of the healthy human gut microbiota., FEMS microbiology ecology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25077936

Venton, D. (2014). Highlight: Not Like a Textbook--Nuclear Genes in Blastocystis Use mRNA Polyadenylation for Stop Codons, Genome Biology and Evolution, 6 (8) 1962-1963. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evu167

Wang W, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Traub RJ, Cuttell L & Owen H (2014). Location and pathogenic potential of blastocystis in the porcine intestine., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093578

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11:59 AM | Could Lizards Teach Us The Secret of Regeneration?
A recent paper published in PLoS ONE imaginatively titled “Transcriptomic Analysis of Tail Regeneration in the Lizard Anolis carolinensis Reveals Activation of Conserved Vertebrate Developmental and Repair Mechanisms” has genuinely […]

Hutchins ED, Markov GJ, Eckalbar WL, George RM, King JM, Tokuyama MA, Geiger LA, Emmert N, Ammar MJ, Allen AN & Siniard AL (2014). Transcriptomic Analysis of Tail Regeneration in the Lizard Anolis carolinensis Reveals Activation of Conserved Vertebrate Developmental and Repair Mechanisms., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25140675

Zhu, S., Rezvani, M., Harbell, J., Mattis, A., Wolfe, A., Benet, L., Willenbring, H. & Ding, S. (2014). Mouse liver repopulation with hepatocytes generated from human fibroblasts, Nature, 508 (7494) 93-97. DOI: 10.1038/nature13020

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August 23, 2014

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5:47 PM | You heard me right... autism prevalence and meat consumption
"The paper presents some exploratory analyses demonstrating the correlation between particular aspects of meat consumption and autism prevalence". The paper by Wojciech & Ewa Pisula [1] (open-access) does indeed suggest that there may "a correlation between increasing meat consumption and autism prevalence"."Goonies never say die!"Readers are invited to draw their own conclusions on such a correlation. Personally, I'm not yet convinced that meat consumption is the primary driving force […]

Wojciech Pisula & Ewa Pisula (2014). Autism prevalence and meat consumption - a hypothesis that needs to be tested, Medical Hypotheses, Other:

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5:30 PM | An end to Finger Pricking for Diabetics
About 10% of the US is diabetic, that doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize how many people there are in the US (roughly 311 million and counting). Think about […]

Liakat S, Bors KA, Xu L, Woods CM, Doyle J & Gmachl CF (2014). Noninvasive in vivo glucose sensing on human subjects using mid-infrared light., Biomedical optics express, 5 (7) 2397-404. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25071973

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9:39 AM | True facts about anglerfish
SUMMARY: To the female anglerfish, the human male is a very loud, annoying and unnecessarily complicated pair of gonads. Antennarius commerson (Latreille), 111 mm SL, UW 20983. Photograph: D. B. Grobecker [doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-58] Caturday has arrived once again, so it is time to watch some animals doing stuff! Today's caturday animal is the anglerfish, an ancient taxonomic order of bony fishes that arose sometime between 100 and 130 million years ago. (In contrast, humans are mere […]

Miya M., James W Orr, Rachel J Arnold, Takashi P Satoh, Andrew M Shedlock, Hsuan-Ching Ho, Mitsuomi Shimazaki, Mamoru Yabe & Mutsumi Nishida (2010). Evolutionary history of anglerfishes (Teleostei: Lophiiformes): a mitogenomic perspective, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10 (1) 58. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-58

Widder E.A. (2010). Bioluminescence in the Ocean: Origins of Biological, Chemical, and Ecological Diversity, Science, 328 (5979) 704-708. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1174269

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