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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

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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

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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

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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:

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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:

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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

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