Is drug resistance in humans coming from chickens?

A hen chicken (Gallus gallus)Image via Wikipedia
Antibiotics are more commonly used in agriculture than in man : Antibiotic overuse creates resistant bacterial strains (straightforward natural selection ) that then cause a problem in the human population and in the clinic.Similarly, beware of killing 99% of all known germs. The 1% that remain are resistant.
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GEN | News Highlights:GABA Therapy Prevents Type 1 Diabetes and Reverses Established Disease in Mouse Models


Getting enough 'sunshine vitamin' may not just be about catching rays, new blood test reveals

Vitamin DImage via Wikipedia
There are several forms of Vitamin D, some generated by the sun's action on the skin, and some derived from diet. Deficiencies could arise from either, and a test that discriminates the various forms could help in deciding whether to modify diets.
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Cell - Intercellular Nanotubes Mediate Bacterial Communication

Microbe vs. microbe: Meta-analysis reveals patterns of bacteria-virus infection networks

Goodbye cold sores

Well not yet, but this is an in vitro system that should allow bulk screening of thousands of potential antivirals.

Postencephalitic parkinsonism and basal ganglia necrosis due to Epstein-Barr virus infection.

Parkinson's disease genes risk factors and pathways

How cavity-causing microbes invade heart

Master switch for adult epilepsy discovered

Many key neuronal genes are altered by a major cellular repressor , RE1-silencing transcription factor, which increases after events that give rise to epilepsy.

Alzheimer's prevention in your pantry

Alzheimer's genes risk factors and pathways

Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows

The Adventist health study has come up with some interesting findings, rather like the nun study in relation to the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
  • Lung cancer 21% lower
  • Colorectal cancer 62% lower
  • Breast cancer 85% lower
  • Coronary heart disease 66% lower for Adventist men, 98% lower for Adventist women
Healthy living promotes health.

The Advenist health study homepage

It's not an apple a day after all -- it's strawberries: Flavonoids could represent two-fisted assault on diabetes and nervous system disorders

a Plate full of Strawberries.Image via Wikipedia
This study showed that fisetin, a flovonol found in high concentrations in strawberries,  prevents both kidney and brain complications in a type 1 diabetes mouse model,
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Waistlines in people, glucose levels in mice hint at sweeteners' effects: Related studies point to the illusion of the artificial

"Diet" soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans, and aspartame raised fasting glucose (blood sugar) in diabetes-prone mice.

The toxic effects of aspartame have been known for decades following John Olney's pioneering work with excitotoxins in 1969:
In 1981, this paper , by Takasaki et al showed that feeding aspartame to thirsty young  mice produced ledions in the arcuate nucleus, the hypothalamic region that controls appetite.

Other work has also linked aspartame to weight gain Yang 2010 and others

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Statins and the risk of developing diabetes - Health News - NHS Choices

Research finds type 2 diabetes 'cured' by low-calorie diet - Health News - NHS Choices

This was a very small study, but reported in a number of news articles.

Depression genes and risk factors

Low body fat may not lower risk for heart disease and diabetes, genetic study shows

A gene that lowers body fat also increased the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease: The gene involved   (Insulin receptor substrate 1 IRS1 ) only lowers subcutaneous and not visceral fat: It also unfavourably modifies glucose and cholesterol levels. One gene - many functions of the protein. Nature is complicated, and genes do not have simple single effects.
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Murine leukemia virus - like retroviruses in vertebrate genomes, and in patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Prostate cancer

A long and unpartisan review of the MLV and XMRV saga based on bioinformatics analyis of viral and vertebrate geneomes.

Genetic testing in epilepsy -- it takes more than 1 gene

Voltage sensitive and ligand gated ion channels control neuronal excitability and play a key role in the abnormal discharges in epilepsy . Certain channel mutations can cause epilepsy, but individuals with the same mutations can also be epilepsy free. When looking at sequence differences in many channels at once, some functional differences can act together or cancel each other out. This is an important pointer and relevant to many other complex diseases.

Klassen et al, Cell Paper
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IDND :: Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale

This scale is available from the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia

Long term use of anticholinergics linked to cognitive decline and mortality in the old

This study, of 13,000 elderly subjects showed that chronic use of anticholinergics (a property of many commonly used medicines) was associated with increased cognitive decline and mortalility. The increased  mortality could of course be partly related to the fact that the patients are taking medications because they are ill in any case,  but the effects on mortality and cognitive impairment (known to be related to cholinergic function) are important and need to be recognised by physicians.

Anticholinergic cognitive Burden scale

Staying Slim More Complex than Previously Thought : Discovery News

Potato chipsImage via Wikipedia
It' not all about calories, excercise and fats, but also about the types of foods we eat: Potato crisps, potatoes , sugar-sweetened drinks , unprocessed red meats , and processed meats add to weight problems, while vegetables, whole grains , fruits , nuts , and yogurt can help to lose weight. Switching the type of diet, rather than simply eating less and exercising more , is likely to be more effective.
BMJ article
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Temporal analysis of the honey bee microbiome reveals four novel viruses and seasonal prevalence of known viruses, nosema, and crithidia.

Description: Bumblebees (also spelled bumble b...Image via Wikipedia
This may seem  irrelevant to the theme of this blog, but it has some startling figures and illustrates the use of metagenomics and the microbiome in detective work. Honey bee colonies have recently been wiped out by an unknown disease (Colony colapse disorder). This study of healthy bees, using bulk sequencing, PCR  and an Arthropod Pathogen Microarray, discovered four previously unknown viruses . Some viruses are expressed in extraordinary numbers (up to 7×1011  individual viruses per bee for one of several hundred viral species). If one extrapolates to man, there are likely to be trillions of viral genomes (and proteins)  in the human body and in blood samples.  
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Three postulates to help identify the cause of Alzheimer's disease

Urinary incontinence doubles risk of postpartum depression

Urinary incontinence, young age at motherhood and non-initiation of breastfeeding were all associated with postnatal depression in this study.

High prevalence and severity of childhood food allergy in the US

Ketamine’s Antidepressant Effect Explained - Science News

It upregulates BDNF expression : This could be a fast acting antidepressant (most take months to work) , but NMDA antagonists are not without their own problems - including an ability to promote pyschosis, and some of these channel blockers also cause vacuolisation in cortical areas - reason enough to halt their development as neuroprotective compounds for stroke a few years ago.
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Human Vaccine Used to Cure Prostate Cancer in Mice - FierceBiotech

Abstract | Identification of serum biomarkers for aging and anabolic response

First ever drug to treat ‘Celtic Gene’ in cystic fibrosis sufferers

More details about VX-770 from Vertex pharmaceuticals and the Cystic fibrosis foundation

Cystic fibrosis CFTR interactome
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The New Science of Metagenomics - NCBI Bookshelf

Logo of the United States National Center for ...Image via Wikipedia
A free full textbook on the microbiome and its implications from the NCBI bookshelf
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Anti-Epstein-Barr virus antibodies as serological markers of multiple sclerosis: a prospective study among United States military personnel.

Other viruses, genes and risk factors in multiple sclerosis

Study looks at diet and early Alzheimer's symptoms - Health News - NHS Choices

Other autoantibodies have been reported in Alzheimer's disease, include those to beta-amyloid, or to cholinergic neurones(which immunolyse cholinergic synaptosomes), to neurofilaments and several other relevant proteins which are referenced here .

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More evidence vitamin D boosts immune response (in relation to gum disease)

Cell structure of a bacterium, one of the two ...Image via Wikipedia
Laboratory-grown gingival cells (gum cells) treated with vitamin D increased their production of an endogenous antibiotic, and killed more bacteria than untreated cells. Gum disease caused by such bacteria is a risk factor in both atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.
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Elevated levels of sodium blunt response to stress, study shows

Salt-treated rats secreted fewer stress hormones and also show a reduced cardiovascular response (increased blood pressure and heart rate) to stress. Salt treatment reduced the release of angiotensin 2, but increased that of the cuddle hormone, oxytocin . These effects may be relevant to developmental disorders such as ADHD , autism, childhood obesity and others where salty foods may be harmful.
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Cholesterol boosts antibiotic resistance in H. pylori

Resistance to H.Pylori which causes gastritis, peptic ulcers and possible gastric cancer, and which is also linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease , is a growing problem. Antibiotic resistance was found to be greater in H.Pylori cultures grown in high cholesterol conditions.

Helicobacter pylori  host/pathogen interactions
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Gatekeepers: How microbes make it past tight spaces between cells

diagram showing a tight junction. Tight juncti...Tight junction Image via Wikipedia
This is done by Toll receptor mediated downregulation of claudins that  keep the spaces between epithelial cells tight. Toll receptors are activated by pathogens and they cause a loosening of epithelial junctions allowing pathogens to slip through.

The microbiome: Viruses, bacteria and pathogens implicated in human diseases
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Evaluation of viral antibodies in Iranian multiple sclerosis patients.

This study showed an association between multiple sclerosis and antibodies to herpes virus HHV-6, as well as to mumps and  measles viruses. Many viruses and pathogens have been implicated in multiple sclerosis, notably the Epstein-Barr virus, and viral involvement is likely to be multifactorial.

Genes, Kegg pathways and risk factors in multiple sclerosis
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Eat More Dessert, Lose Weight | Medical News and Health Information

Fat Cells & Obesity | Medical News and Health Information

A knockout resource for mouse genetics: Mouse gene knockout resource will empower mammalian gene studies for a generation

9,000 knockouts are now available, for mouse embryonic stem cells, and the international team aims for the total mouse genome in the next few years. An invaluable source for research into the function of particular genes.

Large sample sizes are not the be-all and end-all of clinical research Q&A: Why small is beautiful | The Scientist

A Shot in the Arm |Vaccine research and human diseases| The Scientist

Decades of vaccine research have expanded our understanding of the immune system and are yielding novel disease-fighting tactics.

A nice series of reviews on the developing benefits of vaccines from The Scientist

Blocking Th17 cells to halt autoimmunity in diseases like multiple sclerosis

T-helper cells that produce interleukin-17 (TH17 cells) play a role in autoimmunity: Their development is controlled by retinoic-acid-receptor-related orphan receptors alpha and gamma-T and antagonists of these receptors, Digoxin or SR1001, blocks their development , and reduce cytokine secretion andthe clinical severity of autoimmune disease in mice (experimental encephalomyelitis)
See Nature Papers

 Multiple sclerosis genes, risk factors and KEGG pathways 
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Bacteria, food, and cancer - F1000 Biology Reports - F1000

Prenatal immune challenge compromises development of upper-layer but not deeper-layer neurons of the mouse cerebral cortex.

Risk factorsBipolar disorderSchizophrenia 

Using olive oil in your diet may prevent a stroke

This INSERM study found that those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet .

Diet plays a critical role in the cause and prevention of many diseases, and very simple modifications can have dramatic effects on risk, often exceeding those of many pills.
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Advancing Drug Discovery for Schizophrenia | The New York Academy of Sciences

This is an ebriefing from The New York Academy of Sciences from a recent conference, with full text of the key lectures.
Risk factorsSchizophrenia  
Kegg pathways  Schizophrenia 

PLoS Biology: Why Are Autism Spectrum Conditions More Prevalent in Males?

PLoS Biology: Why Are Autism Spectrum Conditions More Prevalent in Males? Risk factors: Alzheimer's : Autism : Bipolar disorder : Childhood obesity: Chronic fatigue: Multiple sclerosis Parkinson's disease Schizophrenia Kegg pathways Alzheimer's Parkinson's Schizophrenia Herpes simplex infection Cystic fibrosis CFTR interactome

Links between the brain and the gut: irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, obesity, inflammatory diseases of the liver and intestine and chronic cardiovascular disorders.

From UCLA Mind-brain-body interactions in several stress-sensitive conditions. Among those are persistent pain disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, obesity, inflammatory diseases of the liver and intestine and chronic cardiovascular disorders.

Ancestry plays vital role in nutrition and disease, study shows

African americans have a higher frequency of the gene variants associated with the conversion of dietary, medium chain omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found  in margarine, vegetable oils, animal fats and processed foods) to long chain omega-6 PUFAs that then have the potential to increase inflammation.

So genes affect diet, and diet affects risk in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are also more common in African americans : A nice example of gene/environment interactions.
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Why hair turns gray: Communication between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells key to mystery

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Yellow Fever Vaccination and Increased Relapse Rate in Travelers With Multiple Sclerosis.

Yellow fever vaccination was associated with an almost 12 fold increase  in relapse rate in multiple sclerosis patients.

Multiple sclerosis risk factors


Parkinson's disease or Parkinson symptoms following influenza

Risk factors: Parkinson's disease Kegg pathways Parkinson's

MMicroarray Profiling Analysis Uncovers Common Molecular Mechanisms of Rubella Virus, Human Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection

Herpes simplex life cycle infection 

Broccoli cancer-targeting confirmed -

Studies show that broccoli may help in the pre...Image via Wikipedia
Just as the food we eat, and the toxins we ingest may contribute to many diseases, many ingredients can be beneficial.The link between broccoli and cancer protection has been known for some time and it now turns out the one of its ingredients , sulforaphane, is a histone deacetylase inhibitor. Drug companies are tyring to develop such compounds - eat broccoli , or cauliflowers instead ! Broccoli also inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a parasite implicated in gastritis, gastric cancer, and more recently, Parkinson's disease.

Randomized Study Combining L-Methylfolate With Antidepressant Shows Significant Boost In Patient Response

Genetic factor controls health-harming inflammation in obese: Trigger holds promise for treating diabetes, other chronic illnesses

Body fat attracts inflammatory macrophages expressing Kruppel like factor KLF4: KLF4 deficient mice grow more obsese on high fat diets. If one could increase KLF4, to persuade macrophages to remain anti-inflammatory "Would you be able to lose weight, would diabetes go away, would inflammation go away?
Risk factors: Childhood obesity:
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Routine Autism Screening Not Necessary, Say Canadian Researchers

It is possible  that a proportion of the dramatic increase in autism seen in the last few decades is due to an overwillingness on the part of both clinicians and parents to overdiagnose children, slightly differing from the norm, as autistic or suffering from ADHD, and to then condemn them to treatment with amphetamines, which are themselves not without effect on brain development, perhaps leading to subsequent problems in later life.A recent study has recommended early screening in pre-schoolers for autism but :-

According to Professor Gorter:-
There is no solid evidence on which to base the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

None of the autism screening tests for the general population that we have today have proven accuracy. That is, they aren't good enough to accurately detect children who have autism or to accurately detect those who don't."

Full text of paper 
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Dietary Changes Appear To Affect Levels Of Biomarkers Associated With Alzheimer's Disease

Switching diets had a marked effects on the biomarkers associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease and on memory tests. A low saturated fat /low carbohydrate diet was best. This approach may be effective in prevention, but alas not once dementia has already developed.

Alzheimer's disease risk and preventive factors
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Study suggests DASH diet may prevent teen obesity -

The DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) involves high consumption of low-fat dairy products, fish, chicken, and lean cuts of beef, as well as nuts, fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and legumes - basically eating a normal diet rather than junk food.It works in adults as an aid to hypertension, and now as an aid to preventing obesity in teens. High fat diets (saturated fats) also cause hypothalamic lesions in the appetite centre (arcuate nucleus) Ref . Simple really.

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Immunolocalization of influenza a virus and markers of inflammation in the human Parkinson's disease brain.

This study showed evidence for influenza virus localisation within neuromelanin granules in the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease patients, along with T cell activation.

Parkinson's disease risk factors and KEGG pathways 
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Genes that determine immunology and inflammation modify the basic defect of impaired ion conductance in cystic fibrosis epithelia.

Polymorphisms in IL1B, TLR9, TNF alpha , CD95, STAT3 and TNFR determine the manifestation of the basic defect in  cystic fibrosis despite the fact that this is a monogenic condition caused by CFTR mutations.

Cystic fibrosis CFTR interactome
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Microbiota regulates immune defense against respiratory tract influenza A virus infection.

The bacterial microbiome influences the viral microbiome. Here, neomycin sensitive bacteria regulate the immune response to the influenza virus. By inference, antibiotics must affect viral pathways.  Wheels within wheels.
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New animal study shows promise for development of Parkinson's disease drug

Frontespiece of James Parkinson's Essay on Sha...Image via Wikipedia
Platelet-derived growth factor-BBwas able to restore function in rodent models of Parkinson's disease and clinical trials are expected.
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Arthritis Epidemic Looming In UK, High Heels Partly To Blame

On a less serious note, high heels have also been blamed for schizophrenia
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