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Halloween Special: The Drosophila Halloween Genes
In the movies, spooks and phantoms are often undead humans with unfinished business. But would you be afraid of a ghostly fruit fly? In 1995, fruit fly researchers Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus were awarded a Nobel Prize for their research on development. They were interested in understanding how a fertilized egg develops into a complex […]

Gilbert L.I. (2008). Drosophila is an inclusive model for human diseases, growth and development, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 293 (1-2) 25-31. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2008.02.009

Gilbert L.I. (2004). Halloween genes encode P450 enzymes that mediate steroid hormone biosynthesis in Drosophila melanogaster, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 215 (1-2) 1-10. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2003.11.003

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NS1: It’s all about location, location, location
  Viruses are minimalists when it comes to genomic data. This light packing of genetic information requires that every protein the virus codes for needs to be as versatile as possible. The flavivirus genus is no exception to this; its genome encodes for three structural proteins (capsid, membrane, and envelope) and seven nonstructural proteins (NS1, […]

Muller D.A. (2013). The flavivirus NS1 protein: Molecular and structural biology, immunology, role in pathogenesis and application as a diagnostic biomarker, Antiviral Research, 98 (2) 192-208. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.03.008

Crook K.R., Clayton R. Morrison & Frank Scholle (2014). Modulation of innate immune signaling by the secreted form of the West Nile virus NS1 glycoprotein, Virology, 458-459 172-182. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2014.04.036

Akey D.L., S. Dutta, J. Konwerski, J. Jose, T. J. Jurkiw, J. DelProposto, C. M. Ogata, G. Skiniotis, R. J. Kuhn & J. L. Smith & (2014). Flavivirus NS1 Structures Reveal Surfaces for Associations with Membranes and the Immune System, Science, 343 (6173) 881-885. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1247749

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Zombies: Science Fiction vs. Fact
Well in the spirit of Halloween I thought I would make a nice little zombie post. Zombies, those brain loving little guys, [and girls] are everywhere. From shows like The Walking […]

Lafferty KD (2006). Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?, Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 273 (1602) 2749-55. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17015323

Vyas A, Kim SK, Giacomini N, Boothroyd JC & Sapolsky RM (2007). Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104 (15) 6442-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17404235

Passamonti L, Crockett MJ, Apergis-Schoute AM, Clark L, Rowe JB, Calder AJ & Robbins TW (2012). Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on prefrontal-amygdala connectivity while viewing facial signals of aggression., Biological psychiatry, 71 (1) 36-43. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21920502

Thomas, F., Schmidt-Rhaesa, A., Martin, G., Manu, C., Durand, P. & Renaud, F. (2002). Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15 (3) 356-361. DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00410.x

W. Wesołowska T. Wesołowski (2014). Do Leucochloridium sporocysts manipulate the behaviour of their snail hosts?, Journal of Zoology , 292 (3) 151-155. Other:

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Resourceful Crustaceans Turn Invasive Seaweed into Homes
When a new developer comes to town and starts aggressively building up the empty property around your home, you can get mad—or you can move in. That’s what tiny crustaceans in the Georgia mudflats have done. Facing an invasive Japanese seaweed, they’ve discovered that it makes excellent shelter, protecting them from all kinds of threats. […]The post Resourceful Crustaceans Turn Invasive Seaweed into Homes appeared first on Inkfish.

Wright, J., Byers, J., DeVore, J. & Sotka, E. (2014). Engineering or food? mechanisms of facilitation by a habitat-forming invasive seaweed, Ecology, 95 (10) 2699-2706. DOI: 10.1890/14-0127.1

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Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror
In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. The role requires her to dance the part of the innocent White Swan (for which she is well-suited), as well as her evil twin the Black Swan — which is […]

Barnier AJ, Cox RE, Connors M, Langdon R & Coltheart M (2011). A stranger in the looking glass: developing and challenging a hypnotic mirrored-self misidentification delusion., The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 59 (1) 1-26. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21104482

Chandra SR & Issac TG (2014). Mirror image agnosia., Indian journal of psychological medicine, 36 (4) 400-3. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25336773

Connors MH & Coltheart M (2011). On the behaviour of senile dementia patients vis-à-vis the mirror: Ajuriaguerra, Strejilevitch and Tissot (1963)., Neuropsychologia, 49 (7) 1679-92. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21356221

Mendez MF, Martin RJ, Smyth KA & Whitehouse PJ (1992). Disturbances of person identification in Alzheimer's disease. A retrospective study., The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 180 (2) 94-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1737981

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Pain and adolescent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
"We found a higher prevalence of severe pain among adolescents with CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and lowered pain thresholds compared with HCs [healthy controls]".That was the headline generated by the study from Anette Winger and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking to describe several parameters tied into experience of pain in the context of CFS. Further: "The total sum of bodily symptoms represented a heavy burden with great functional consequences".Your hokey pokey […]

Winger, A., Kvarstein, G., Wyller, V., Sulheim, D., Fagermoen, E., Smastuen, M. & Helseth, S. (2014). Pain and pressure pain thresholds in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy controls: a cross-sectional study, BMJ Open, 4 (10) DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005920

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Electron Paramagnetic Resonance of hair!
I wanted to switch gears a bit and do a paper on Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), also know as Electron Spin Resonance (ESR).  The paper for this weeks isElectron spin resonance (ESR/EPR) of free radicals observed in human red hair: a new, simple empirical method of determination of pheomelanin/eumelanin ratio in hair.byChikvaidze EN, Partskhaladze TM and Gogoladze […]

Chikvaidze, E., Partskhaladze, T. & Gogoladze, T. (2014). Electron spin resonance (ESR/EPR) of free radicals observed in human red hair: a new, simple empirical method of determination of pheomelanin/eumelanin ratio in hair, Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, 52 (7) 377-382. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.4075

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More Genetic Links Behind Autism
Vaccines do NOT cause autism. One more time, vaccines DO NOT cause autism. So what does cause autism, that problem has been plaguing scientists for awhile now. Thankfully two major […]

Iossifov, I., O’Roak, B., Sanders, S., Ronemus, M., Krumm, N., Levy, D., Stessman, H., Witherspoon, K., Vives, L., Patterson, K. & Smith, J. (2014). The contribution of de novo coding mutations to autism spectrum disorder, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13908

De Rubeis, S., He, X., Goldberg, A., Poultney, C., Samocha, K., Ercument Cicek, A., Kou, Y., Liu, L., Fromer, M., Walker, S. & Singh, T. (2014). Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13772

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This Month in Blastocystis Research (OCT 2014) - Trick or Treat Edition
Over the past 30 days I've hardly had any time to focus on Blastocystis. I've been busy preparing for and attending UEGWeek 2014, preparing abstracts for next year's ECCMID conference in Copenhagen, and I've also put a lot of effort into preparing proposals for this round of grant calls from the Danish Council for Independent Research.  Among other things, we are applying for money to develop DNA-probe based diagnostics, including a unique software, for use in the clinical microbiology lab […]

Fletcher S, Caprarelli G, Merif J, Andresen D, Hal SV, Stark D & Ellis J (2014). Epidemiology and geographical distribution of enteric protozoan infections in sydney, australia., Journal of public health research, 3 (2) 298. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25343139

Nagel R, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H & Traub R (2014). Clinical pilot study: efficacy of triple antibiotic therapy in Blastocystis positive irritable bowel syndrome patients., Gut pathogens, 6 34. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25349629

Nowack EC & Melkonian M (2010). Endosymbiotic associations within protists., Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 365 (1541) 699-712. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20124339

Prodeus TV, Zelia OP, Khlebnikova TA & Pikul' DA (2014). [Extraenteric infection caused by Blastocystis spp. in a female patient with liver abscess]., Meditsinskaia parazitologiia i parazitarnye bolezni, (2) 6-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25296418

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Video Tip of the Week: PaleoBioDB, for your paleobiology searches
Yeah, I know, it’s not genomics–but it’s the history of life on this planet–right?  The Paleobiology Database has been keeping records of this ancient biology for a while now, and they have some really nice tools to explore the fossil records and resources that have become available. It’s also interesting to me to see the […]

Varela S., González-Hernández J., Sgarbi L., Marshall C., Uhen M., Peters S. & McClennen M. (2014). paleobioDB: an R package for downloading, visualizing and processing data from the Paleobiology Database, Ecography, DOI: 10.1111/ecog.01154

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