Posts

September 19, 2014

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3:45 AM | Experimental and comparative oncology: zebrafish, dogs, elephants
One of the exciting things about mathematical oncology is that thinking about cancer often forces me to leave my comfortable arm-chair and look at some actually data. No matter how much I advocate for the merits of heuristic modeling, when it comes to cancer, data-agnostic models take second stage to data-rich modeling. This close relationship […]

Gallaher, J. & Anderson, A.R. (2013). Evolution of intratumoral phenotypic heterogeneity: the role of trait inheritance., Interface Focus, 3 (4) 20130016. arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.0524v1

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September 18, 2014

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10:01 PM | Common Treatment for Vampirism Could Help Ebola Patients
One of the typical tropes of the vampire movie is the "blood cleansing" scene, where vampires are cured by running their blood through a purification device. Now this grisly gothic idea has become a reality — and could ease the suffering of Ebola victims.Read more...
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6:32 PM | Screening Urinalysis in Practice
Guidelines based on evidence or expert opinion, even when available, seem to be followed only occasionally. What do pediatricians do in practice with screening UAs? Pediatricians’ screening urinalysis practices. J Pediatr 147:362-5, 2005  doi:  10.1016/j.peds.2005.05.009 This survey study examined the self-reported practices of general pediatricians in the US at a time when UA was recommended […]
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5:00 PM | Mike Adams and “natural biopreparedness” against Ebola and pandemics
This one will be much shorter than usual, mainly because I was out late last night for a dinner function at which I was on a panel of breast cancer experts. I must admit, even after having been an attending surgeon for 15 years, it never ceases to make me feel a bit weird to…
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4:58 PM | Is Stress Eating Away at You? No, Literally…
Ever wonder why, when people are too stressed, they are often grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted or forgetful? It may not be something you’ve done, in fact it turns out stress […]

van der Kooij, M., Fantin, M., Rejmak, E., Grosse, J., Zanoletti, O., Fournier, C., Ganguly, K., Kalita, K., Kaczmarek, L. & Sandi, C. & (2014). Role for MMP-9 in stress-induced downregulation of nectin-3 in hippocampal CA1 and associated behavioural alterations, Nature Communications, 5 4995. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5995

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4:58 PM | Is Stress Eating Away at You? No, Literally…
Ever wonder why, when people are too stressed, they are often grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted or forgetful? It may not be something you’ve done, in fact it turns out stress […]

van der Kooij, M., Fantin, M., Rejmak, E., Grosse, J., Zanoletti, O., Fournier, C., Ganguly, K., Kalita, K., Kaczmarek, L. & Sandi, C. & (2014). Role for MMP-9 in stress-induced downregulation of nectin-3 in hippocampal CA1 and associated behavioural alterations, Nature Communications, 5 4995. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5995

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4:20 PM | A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds children are being prescribed anti
A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds children are being prescribed antibiotics almost twice as often as needed. According to the study authors, that adds up to an estimated 11.4 million potentially unnecessary antimicrobial prescriptions a year.Read more...
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1:37 PM | When I Grow Up: A Day With Our Next-Generation Monks
Lost in the adventures of the mountainous terrain in Laos, we are guided by an unexpected group of new friends with a unique, traditional upbringing.
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8:50 AM | Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity linked to gut issues in autism
"The name's Lonnegan! Doyle Lonnegan!"Consider this micropost an extension of some previous discussions on this blog about how gastrointestinal (GI) issues present in cases of autism might show some connection to the presence of anxiety and sensory issues (see here). Today I'm discussing further research by Micah Mazurek and colleagues [1] which follows a previous publication by this author [2] on this topic.In the latest paper, Dr Mazurek and colleagues describe the course of abdominal pain in […]

Mazurek, M., Keefer, A., Shui, A. & Vasa, R. (2014). One-year course and predictors of abdominal pain in children with autism spectrum disorders: The role of anxiety and sensory over-responsivity, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8 (11) 1508-1515. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.018

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4:00 AM | Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood
By Oliver Sacks Synopsis: From his earliest days, Oliver Sacks, the distinguished neurologist who is also one of the most remarkable storytellers of our time, was irresistibly drawn to understanding the natural world. Born into a […]

September 17, 2014

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6:53 PM | What Are the Real Odds That Your Birth Control Will Fail?
Contraceptives fail a lot more often than you may have realized. Those failure rate statistics that you see are actually a bit misleading — they are for failure rates in a given year. Over time, the risk of failure is compounded.Read more...
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5:24 PM | Biofilms: Using Bacteria for new Designer Nanomaterials
For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of “bad” biofilms around – they are even the same […]

Peter Q. Nguyen,, Zsofia Botyanszki,, Pei Kun R. Tay, & Neel S. Joshi (2014). Programmable biofilm-based materials from engineered curli nanofibres, Nature Communications, Other:

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5:24 PM | Biofilms: Using Bacteria for new Designer Nanomaterials
For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of “bad” biofilms around – they are even the same […]

Peter Q. Nguyen,, Zsofia Botyanszki,, Pei Kun R. Tay, & Neel S. Joshi (2014). Programmable biofilm-based materials from engineered curli nanofibres, Nature Communications, Other:

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3:28 PM | Antidepressants Modulate Memory in the Healthy Brain
The mechanism of antidepressant drug response is not well understood.One theory posits antidepressant effects are only seen in those with clinical depression leaving the healthy brain unchanged.In a previous post, I outlined a study demonstrating effects of antidepressants on brain connectivity measures in the healthy brain.A recent fMRI study extends our understanding of the potential mechanisms for antidepressant drugs.CT Cerqueira and colleagues from Brazil studied the effects of the […]

Cerqueira CT, Sato JR, de Almeida JR, Amaro E Jr, Leite CC, Gorenstein C, Gentil V & Busatto GF (2014). Healthy individuals treated with clomipramine: an fMRI study of brain activity during autobiographical recall of emotions., Translational psychiatry, 4 PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24984192

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1:28 PM | Builders and Blocks – Engineering Blood Vessels with Stem Cells
Back in 2001, when we first began studying how regenerative cells (stem cells or more mature progenitor cells) enhance blood vessel growth, our group as well as many of our colleagues focused on one specific type of blood vessel: arteries. Arteries are responsible for supplying oxygen to all organs and tissues of the body and arteries are more likely to develop gradual plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) than veins or networks of smaller blood vessels (capillaries). Once the amount of plaque […]

Paul JD, Coulombe KL, Toth PT, Zhang Y, Marsboom G, Bindokas VP, Smith DW, Murry CE & Rehman J (2013). SLIT3-ROBO4 activation promotes vascular network formation in human engineered tissue and angiogenesis in vivo., Journal of molecular and cellular cardiology, 64 124-31. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24090675

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12:00 PM | It’s not just oil pulling, it’s ozone-infused oil pulling!
As I so love to remind my readers, I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time now. In early December, it will have been a full decade since that strange, cold, dreary winter afternoon (well, technically late fall) when, inspired by an article in TIME Magazine about blogging, sat down in front of my…
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12:00 PM | Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Biology concepts – bacteria, motility, flagella, quorum sensing, bacterial swarming, biofilms, pathogenesisNomads are wanderers. They come in different flavors. Hunter-gatherers follow the animals as they graze in different places. Pastoral nomads have animal herds and move them around to where the grazing is best. But the interesting ones are the peripatetic nomads. These are people that move around within cities and other populated areas, often to sell services or trades. Romanis, or […]

Gloag ES, Turnbull L, Huang A, Vallotton P, Wang H, Nolan LM, Mililli L, Hunt C, Lu J, Osvath SR & Monahan LG (2013). Self-organization of bacterial biofilms is facilitated by extracellular DNA., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (28) 11541-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23798445

Deng P, de Vargas Roditi L, van Ditmarsch D & Xavier JB (2014). The ecological basis of morphogenesis: branching patterns in swarming colonies of bacteria., New journal of physics, 16 15006-15006. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24587694

McCall J, Hidalgo G, Asadishad B & Tufenkji N (2013). Cranberry impairs selected behaviors essential for virulence in Proteus mirabilis HI4320., Canadian journal of microbiology, 59 (6) 430-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23750959

Alteri CJ, Himpsl SD, Pickens SR, Lindner JR, Zora JS, Miller JE, Arno PD, Straight SW & Mobley HL (2013). Multicellular bacteria deploy the type VI secretion system to preemptively strike neighboring cells., PLoS pathogens, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24039579

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2:15 AM | Colon cancer, mathematical time travel, and questioning the sequential mutation model.
On Saturday, I arrived in Columbus, Ohio for the the MBI Workshop on the Ecology and Evolution of Cancer. Today, our second day started. The meeting is an exciting combination of biology-minded mathematicians and computer scientists, and math-friendly biologist and clinicians. As is typical of workshops, the speakers of the first day had an agenda […]

Baker AM, Cereser B, Melton S, Fletcher AG, Rodriguez-Justo M, Tadrous PJ, Humphries A, Elia G, McDonald SA, Wright NA & Simons BD (2014). Quantification of crypt and stem cell evolution in the normal and neoplastic human colon., Cell reports, 8 (4) 940-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25127143

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2:15 AM | Colon cancer, mathematical time travel, and questioning the sequential mutation model.
On Saturday, I arrived in Columbus, Ohio for the the MBI Workshop on the Ecology and Evolution of Cancer. Today, our second day started. The meeting is an exciting combination of biology-minded mathematicians and computer scientists, and math-friendly biologist and clinicians. As is typical of workshops, the speakers of the first day had an agenda […]

Baker AM, Cereser B, Melton S, Fletcher AG, Rodriguez-Justo M, Tadrous PJ, Humphries A, Elia G, McDonald SA, Wright NA & Simons BD (2014). Quantification of crypt and stem cell evolution in the normal and neoplastic human colon., Cell reports, 8 (4) 940-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25127143

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September 16, 2014

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5:14 PM | New Cocktail Turns Adult Cells into Stem Cells
For those of us who were following stem cell news, recently the field had a huge setback when a paper, that offered a cheap and novel way to create stem […]

Buganim Y, Markoulaki S, van Wietmarschen N, Hoke H, Wu T, Ganz K, Akhtar-Zaidi B, He Y, Abraham BJ, Porubsky D & Kulenkampff E (2014). The Developmental Potential of iPSCs Is Greatly Influenced by Reprogramming Factor Selection., Cell stem cell, 15 (3) 295-309. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192464

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5:14 PM | New Cocktail Turns Adult Cells into Stem Cells
For those of us who were following stem cell news, recently the field had a huge setback when a paper, that offered a cheap and novel way to create stem […]

Buganim Y, Markoulaki S, van Wietmarschen N, Hoke H, Wu T, Ganz K, Akhtar-Zaidi B, He Y, Abraham BJ, Porubsky D & Kulenkampff E (2014). The Developmental Potential of iPSCs Is Greatly Influenced by Reprogramming Factor Selection., Cell stem cell, 15 (3) 295-309. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192464

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5:14 PM | New Cocktail Turns Adult Cells into Stem Cells
For those of us who were following stem cell news, recently the field had a huge setback when a paper, that offered a cheap and novel way to create stem […]

Buganim Y, Markoulaki S, van Wietmarschen N, Hoke H, Wu T, Ganz K, Akhtar-Zaidi B, He Y, Abraham BJ, Porubsky D & Kulenkampff E (2014). The Developmental Potential of iPSCs Is Greatly Influenced by Reprogramming Factor Selection., Cell stem cell, 15 (3) 295-309. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192464

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1:44 PM | The U.S. Is Committing 3,000 Troops and Half A Billion Dollars to Stop the Spread of Ebola
Later today, President Barack Obama will announce the United States’ new plan for stemming the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. As of September 7, there were 4,366 confirmed, suspected or probable cases, as well as 2,218 deaths. The real numbers are probably much higher though, since many suffering from the disease in rural parts of Africa are actively avoiding detection. The President will announce his plans during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]
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1:00 PM | Deepak Chopra tries his hand at a clinical trial. Woo ensues.
Of all the quacks and cranks and purveyors of woo whom I’ve encountered over the years, Deepak Chopra is, without a doubt, one of the most arrogantly obstinate, if not the most arrogantly obstinate. Sure, a quack like Mike Adams wins on sheer obnoxiousness and for the sheer breadth of crankery to which he ascribes,…
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6:50 AM | The schizophrenias (plural)
A micropost if you will, to draw your attention to the paper by Javier Arnedo and colleagues [1] mentioning the concept of 'the schizophrenias' (plural). Some media coverage of this paper can be found here and here. The crux of the paper is that although currently unified by a diagnostic label, schizophrenia seems to be comprised of various conditions: "caused by a moderate number of separate genotypic networks associated with several distinct clinical syndromes"."... dogs and cats living […]

Javier Arnedo, Dragan M. Svrakic, Coral del Val, Rocío Romero-Zaliz, Helena Hernández-Cuervo, Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Consortium, Ayman H. Fanous, Michele T. Pato, Carlos N. Pato, Gabriel A. de Erausquin & C. Robert Cloninger (2014). Uncovering the Hidden Risk Architecture of the Schizophrenias: Confirmation in Three Independent Genome-Wide Association Studies, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Other:

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6:02 AM | Nanoparticles in Prosthetics & Bionics
During my time in the Marine Corps I met several people that lost limbs in the war. I made the decision to leave the service to get my degree. Inspired by my fellow soldiers, my ultimate goal is to start a company making prosthetics and bionic limbs, hopefully making their lives a little bit easier. […]

September 15, 2014

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10:10 PM | This App Uses Your Phone To Help With Cancer and Alzheimer’s Research While You Sleep (Video)
A University of Vienna invention is turning our smartphones into a network of processing power. The Samsung Power Sleep App was developed by Samsung in Austria, as a collaboration with the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna. Samsung Power Sleep lets you donate the processing power of your smartphone or tablet to assist researchers with the decryption of protein sequences. This decryption is an essential part of cancer and Alzheimer’s research (as well […]
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8:01 PM | Humanized FoxP2 and the timing of habits
Last week, Elizabeth Pennisi asked me to comment on the recent paper from Schreiweis et al. entitled “Humanized FoxP2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance”. Since I don’t know how much, if anything, of my answers […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...

Schreiweis, C., Bornschein, U., Burguiere, E., Kerimoglu, C., Schreiter, S., Dannemann, M., Goyal, S., Rea, E., French, C., Puliyadi, R. & Groszer, M. (2014). Humanized Foxp2 accelerates learning by enhancing transitions from declarative to procedural performance, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1414542111

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5:00 PM | A request for Skepticon 7 from Orac
I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned this before, but I will be speaking at Skepticon in November. (Holy crap, that’s just over two months away. I’d better get my talk ready.) In any case, now’s crunch time, the time of year when Skepticon’s fundraising needs to go into high gear, given that the bills are…
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4:58 PM | The Genetic Roots of Schizophrenia
I have a friend who lost an eye — not in a war zone like you might suspect given my background — but to his brother. Yes, you read that […]

avier Arnedo, M.S.; Dragan M. Svrakic, M.D., Ph.D.; Coral del Val, Ph.D.; Rocío Romero-Zaliz, Ph.D.; Helena Hernández-Cuervo, M.D.; Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Consortium; Ayman H. Fanous, M.D.; Michele T. Pato, M.D.; Carlos N. Pato, M.D., Ph.D. (2014). Uncovering the Hidden Risk Architecture of the Schizophrenias: Confirmation in Three Independent Genome-Wide Association Studies, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Other:

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