Posts

March 04, 2015

+
2:40 PM | Lies, damned lies, and gluten sensitivity – a story of statistics
The recent study by Di Sabatino and colleagues DOES NOT demonstrate the existence of gluten sensitivity. Although the authors report that "the severity of overall symptoms increased significantly during 1 week of intake of small amounts of gluten, compared with placebo," it simply turns out that 3 of 59 participants reacted strongly enough during their gluten challenges to skew the group results in favor of gluten sensitivity. Taken on their own, however, we cannot diagnose these individuals […]

Di Sabatino A., Chiara Salvatore, Paolo Biancheri, Giacomo Caio, Roberto De Giorgio, Michele Di Stefano & Gino R. Corazza (2015). Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects with Suspected Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2015.01.029

Citation
Editor's Pick
+
1:30 PM | Taking Care of your Pet Rabbit
Rabbits are the third most popular pet, but how should you look after them?A study by Nicola Rooney (University of Bristol) et al asked 1254 rabbit owners about how they housed, fed, played with and otherwise cared for their rabbit. The good news is that “many pet rabbits were found to be in good health, had compatible companions and were provided with enriched living areas.” But there were also many areas where things could be improved. The most common type of rabbit was a […]

Rooney NJ, Blackwell EJ, Mullan SM, Saunders R, Baker PE, Hill JM, Sealey CE, Turner MJ & Held SD (2014). The current state of welfare, housing and husbandry of the English pet rabbit population., BMC research notes, 7 942. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25532711

Citation
+
1:00 PM | Looking Sideways In The Mirror
Biology Concepts – platyhelminthes, asymmetry, bilateral symmetry, evolution, cephalization, natural selection, fish, lepidophagyWhat is the largest living structure on Earth? No, it’s not the 2200 acre Armillaria ostoyae fungus in Oregon that we talked about previously. That is the largest single organism, but there is something bigger. The Great Barrier Reef houses more species of coral than any other place on earth, more than 600 species call the reef home. You see how […]

Takeuchi, Y., Hori, M. & Oda, Y. (2012). Lateralized Kinematics of Predation Behavior in a Lake Tanganyika Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish, PLoS ONE, 7 (1) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029272

Lee, H., Kusche, H. & Meyer, A. (2012). Handed Foraging Behavior in Scale-Eating Cichlid Fish: Its Potential Role in Shaping Morphological Asymmetry, PLoS ONE, 7 (9) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044670

Kusche, H., Lee, H. & Meyer, A. (2012). Mouth asymmetry in the textbook example of scale-eating cichlid fish is not a discrete dimorphism after all, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279 (1748) 4715-4723. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2082

Takahashi, T. & Hori, M. (2008). Evidence of disassortative mating in a Tanganyikan cichlid fish and its role in the maintenance of intrapopulation dimorphism, Biology Letters, 4 (5) 497-499. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0244

Hori, M., Ochi, H. & Kohda, M. (2007). Inheritance Pattern of Lateral Dimorphism in Two Cichlids (a Scale Eater, Perissodus microlepis, and an Herbivore, Neolamprologus moorii) in Lake Tanganyika, Zoological Science, 24 (5) 486-492. DOI: 10.2108/zsj.24.486

Citation
+
9:41 AM | Asthma and autism: a spanner in the works?
As happens so many times in autism research, spanners are thrown in works. Take the paper from Ousseny Zerbo and colleagues [1] who concluded that: "children with autism have elevated prevalence of specific immune-related comorbidities". Nothing surprising about that finding based on the volumes of other research which seemed to have reached similar conclusions (see here).Then the spanner: "asthma was diagnosed significantly less often" in autism cases compared with asymptomatic controls. […]

Zerbo O, Leong A, Barcellos L, Bernal P, Fireman B & Croen LA (2015). Immune Mediated Conditions in Autism Spectrum Disorders., Brain, behavior, and immunity, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25681541

Citation

March 03, 2015

+
7:41 PM | Early life stress may result in a serotonin deficit later
If you have experienced — or are experiencing — mood disorders like anxiety or depression, you know about SSRI’s and chances are they didn’t do much for you. In fact studies indicate that the majority of people with mood and anxiety disorders who receive Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are not helped by these medications. Sadly, they […]

Coplan, J., Fulton, S., Reiner, W., Jackowski, A., Panthangi, V., Perera, T., Gorman, J., Huang, Y., Tang, C., Hof, P. & Kaffman, A. (2014). Elevated cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in macaques following early life stress and inverse association with hippocampal volume: preliminary implications for serotonin-related function in mood and anxiety disorders, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00440

Coplan, J., Gopinath, S., Abdallah, C. & Berry, B. (2014). A Neurobiological Hypothesis of Treatment-Resistant Depression -- Mechanisms for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Non-Efficacy, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00189

Citation
+
9:50 AM | Visual illusions foster open-mindedness
From sworn witness accounts of alien visitations, to deep-rooted trust in quack medical treatments, the human trait that psychologists call "naive realism" has a lot to answer for. This is people's instinctive feeling that they perceive the world how it is, encapsulated by the saying "seeing is believing." The truth, of course, is that our every perception is our brain's best guess, built not merely with the raw material of what's out in the world, but just as much with the bricks of […]

Hart, W., Tullett, A., Shreves, W. & Fetterman, Z. (2015). Fueling doubt and openness: Experiencing the unconscious, constructed nature of perception induces uncertainty and openness to change, Cognition, 137 1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2014.12.003

Citation
+
8:36 AM | Genetically-modified mice resistant to frostbite
The chilling spectre of winter has fallen upon those of us in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, and we humans are fortunate enough to have a number of ways of coping with the cold. But for creatures that don’t have electric heaters, hot chocolate and fleece onesies, there are many ways to survive…

Heisig, M., Mattessich, S., Rembisz, A., Acar, A., Shapiro, M., Booth, C., Neelakanta, G. & Fikrig, E. (2015). Frostbite Protection in Mice Expressing an Antifreeze Glycoprotein, PLOS ONE, 10 (2) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0116562

Citation
+
4:55 AM | Short history of iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments
Nineteen Eighty — if I had to pick the year that computational modeling invaded evolutionary game theory then that would be it. In March, 1980 — exactly thirty-five years ago — was when Robert Axelrod, a professor of political science at University of Michigan, published the results of his first tournament for iterated prisoner’s dilemma […]

Axelrod, R. (1980). More effective choice in the prisoner's dilemma., Journal of Conflict Resolution, 24 (3) 379-403. DOI: 10.1177/002200278002400301

Citation

March 02, 2015

+
9:43 PM | Drug already on the market could help treat MS and other neurological diseases
Multiple sclerosis, unless you suffer from nerve damage it is a pain you (thankfully) will never have to feel. In most cases, treating the brutal pain caused by this (and other neurological diseases) is the only help that can be offered to people. The pain is caused by damage to myelin, the fatty insulator that […]

Abiraman, K., Pol, S., O'Bara, M., Chen, G., Khaku, Z., Wang, J., Thorn, D., Vedia, B., Ekwegbalu, E., Li, J. & Salvi, R. (2015). Anti-Muscarinic Adjunct Therapy Accelerates Functional Human Oligodendrocyte Repair, Journal of Neuroscience, 35 (8) 3676-3688. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3510-14.2015

Citation
+
2:52 PM | Extinction Edge: a new thriller on how epigenetic changes induced by viruses could kill us all
Today my friend Nicholas Sansbury Smith releases Extinction Edge, the sequel to Extinction Horizon, a sci-fi thriller where humanity is driven to extinction by a lethal virus. I posted an interview with Nick for the release of his first book, but today I wanted to talk about the science behind his premise: can a virus induce epigenetic changes?In a way, Nick's premise is similar to the premise I used in Chimeras: a large part of our DNA is made of pseudogenes, which are ancient genes that are […]

Birdwell CE, Queen KJ, Kilgore PC, Rollyson P, Trutschl M, Cvek U & Scott RS (2014). Genome-wide DNA methylation as an epigenetic consequence of Epstein-Barr virus infection of immortalized keratinocytes., Journal of virology, 88 (19) 11442-58. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25056883

Tian Y, Yang W, Song J, Wu Y & Ni B (2013). Hepatitis B virus X protein-induced aberrant epigenetic modifications contributing to human hepatocellular carcinoma pathogenesis., Molecular and cellular biology, 33 (15) 2810-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23716588

Rongrui L, Na H, Zongfang L, Fanpu J & Shiwen J (2014). Epigenetic mechanism involved in the HBV/HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma tumorigenesis., Current pharmaceutical design, 20 (11) 1715-25. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23888939

Mbonye U & Karn J (2011). Control of HIV latency by epigenetic and non-epigenetic mechanisms., Current HIV research, 9 (8) 554-67. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22211660

Citation
+
9:49 AM | Systemic low grade inflammation and bowel issues in autism?
The paper from Katarina Babinská and colleagues [1] (open-access here) presents an interesting, if preliminary take on two potentially important issues linked to at least some cases of autism: gastrointestinal (GI) issues and inflammation (see here and see here respectively).Detailing the examination of plasma levels of a compound called high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), a protein which has the apparent ability to 'bend DNA' and has some pretty potent immune effects [2] […]

Babinská K, Bucová M, Ďurmanová V, Lakatošová S, Jánošíková D, Bakoš J, Hlavatá A & Ostatníková D (2015). Increased plasma levels of the high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) are associated with a higher score of gastrointestinal dysfunction in individuals with autism., Physiological research / Academia Scientiarum Bohemoslovaca, 63 Suppl 4 8. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25669692

Citation
+
9:06 AM | Single-Unit Recordings Reveal Limitations of fMRI MVPA?
Multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) is an increasingly popular approach for analyzing the results of fMRI scanning experiments that measure brain activity. MVPA searches for patterns of activation that correlate with a particular mental state. This is called 'decoding' neural activity. Now a new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience from Caltech neuroscientists Julien Dubois et al. reports that MVPA is unable to decode certain kinds of information, even though single-unit recordings confirm th

Dubois J, de Berker AO & Tsao DY (2015). Single-Unit Recordings in the Macaque Face Patch System Reveal Limitations of fMRI MVPA., The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 35 (6) 2791-802. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25673866

Citation

March 01, 2015

+
11:23 PM | Chancelloriids Revised
Many Cambrian fossils are simply spines and sclerites unassociated with any body. Few of the exceptionally-preserved Cambrian freaks come with spines attached, and some of the most prominent of these are the chancelloriids. Originally described as sponges by Charles Doolittle Walcott back in 1920 (Walcott, 1920), modern researchers have found that the spines are very similar to those […] The post Chancelloriids Revised appeared first on Teaching Biology.

Stefan Bengtson & Desmond Collins (2015). Chancelloriids of the Cambrian Burgess Shale., Palaeontologia Electronica, Other:

Citation
+
8:20 PM | Science shows intermittent fasting diet could extend life
Think of it as interval training for the dinner table. Proponents of fasting style diets will be first to tell you there are health benefits, heck we’ve even covered some of the science here at the labs. Well new research shows that putting people on a intermittent fasting (or IF) diet may mimic some of the benefits of […]

Wegman, M., Guo, M., Bennion, D., Shankar, M., Chrzanowski, S., Goldberg, L., Xu, J., Williams, T., Lu, X., Hsu, S. & Anton, S. (2014). Practicality of Intermittent Fasting in Humans and its Effect on Oxidative Stress and Genes Related to Aging and Metabolism, Rejuvenation Research, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1089/rej.2014.1624

Citation
+
2:49 PM | Link between image and sound
Babies link the sound of a word with the image of an object in their early learning of language and this is an important ability. How do they come to have this mechanism? Are there predispositions to making links between sounds and images? Research by Asano and others (citation below) shows one type of link. […]

Asano, M., Imai, M., Kita, S., Kitajo, K., Okada, H. & Thierry, G. (2015). Sound symbolism scaffolds language development in preverbal infants, Cortex, 63 196-205. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.08.025

Citation
+
8:52 AM | Vitamin D status affecting autoimmune disease risk?
I want to bring the paper from Tea Skaaby and colleagues [1] to your attention for today's brief blog post and their observation that there may be: "a possible protective role of a higher vitamin D status on autoimmune disease". Autoimmune disease by the way, reflects a breakdown in communication and tolerance of 'self' whereby the body attacks healthy tissue.Their findings, based on an analysis of "a total of 12,555 individuals from three population-based studies with measurements of […]

Skaaby T, Husemoen LL, Thuesen BH & Linneberg A (2015). Prospective population-based study of the association between vitamin D status and incidence of autoimmune disease., Endocrine, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25666936

Citation

February 28, 2015

+
8:15 PM | Reeducar a los Hombres que Ejercen Violencia: ¿Realmente funciona?
La violencia hacia la mujer es una problemática social que afecta a mujeres alrededor de todo el mundo. Especialmente, la violencia hacia la pareja, suele ser una de sus manifestaciones con mayor frecuencia; sólo en México, en 2011, el 47% de las mujeres de 15 años y más sufrieron algún episodio de violencia por parte de su pareja (INEGI, 2013). Este problema está considerado como el principal obstáculo para lograr la igualdad de […]

Ramírez, M., Giménez-Salinas Framís, A. & de Juan Espinosa, M. (2013). Evaluación de la eficacia del programa de tratamiento con agresores de pareja (PRIA) en la comunidad, Psychosocial Intervention, 22 (2) 105-114. DOI: 10.5093/in2013a13

Citation
+
7:46 PM | Life, NOT as we know it
Life as we know it, when we peer deep into the vastness of space we look for someone — or something — that resembles ourselves. Carbon based, needs water lifeforms, but what if we’re being narrow-minded? A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has […]

James Stevenson,, Jonathan Lunine, & Paulette Clancy (2015). Membrane alternatives in worlds without oxygen: Creation of an azotosome, Science Advances, Other:

Citation
+
2:15 PM | Five motivations for theoretical computer science
There are some situations, perhaps lucky ones, where it is felt that an activity needs no external motivation or justification.  For the rest, it can be helpful to think of what the task at hand can be useful for. This of course doesn’t answer the larger question of what is worth doing, since it just distributes […]

Barton, N.H., Novak, S. & Paixão, T. (2014). Diverse forms of selection in evolution and computer science., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (29) 10398-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25009183

Citation
12345
139 Results