LabBook June 13, 2014

Photo of a salivary gland in the developing fruit fly, by Richard Fehon, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at UChicago. The photo is part of "Life: Magnified," an exhibit of scientific images showing cells and other scenes of life magnified by as much as 50,000 times. The exhibit is on display at Washington Dulles International Airport's Gateway Gallery from June through November 2014.

Photo of a salivary gland in the developing fruit fly, by Richard Fehon, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at UChicago. The photo is part of “Life: Magnified,” an exhibit of scientific images showing cells and other scenes of life magnified by as much as 50,000 times. The exhibit is on display at Washington Dulles International Airport’s Gateway Gallery from June through November 2014.

This week’s rundown of recent research publications of note from University of Chicago scientists and physicians:

Association of a Low-Frequency Variant in HNF1A With Type 2 Diabetes in a Latino Population: The SIGMA Type 2 Diabetes Consortium, including Graeme Bell, PhD — The Journal of the American Medical Association

From the abstract: “Latino populations have one of the highest prevalences of type 2 diabetes worldwide. To investigate the association between rare protein-coding genetic variants and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in a large Latino population and to explore potential molecular and physiological mechanisms for the observed relationships … Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified a single low-frequency variant in the MODY3-causing gene HNF1A that is associated with type 2 diabetes in Latino populations and may affect protein function. This finding may have implications for screening and therapeutic modification in this population, but additional studies are required.”

Sex Differences in Wild Chimpanzee Behavior Emerge during Infancy: Matthew Heintz, PhD — PLoS One

From the abstract: “The role of biological and social influences on sex differences in human child development is a persistent topic of discussion and debate. Given their many similarities to humans, chimpanzees are an important study species for understanding the biological and evolutionary roots of sex differences in human development. In this study, we present the most detailed analyses of wild chimpanzee infant development to date, encompassing data from 40 infants from the long-term study of chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania … These results demonstrate early sex differentiation that may reflect adult reproductive strategies. Our findings also resemble those found in humans, which suggests that biologically-based sex differences may have been present in the common ancestor and operated independently from the influences of modern sex-biased parental behavior and gender socialization.”

The frequency of euploid miscarriage is increased in obese women with recurrent early pregnancy loss: Christina Boots, MD, Lia Bernardi, MD, Mary Stephenson, MD — Fertility and Sterility

From the abstract: “To determine whether the frequency of euploid miscarriage is increased in obese women with recurrent early pregnancy loss (REPL) … Body mass index (BMI) was measured at the initial consultation and at each subsequent pregnancy … There were 578 miscarriages with chromosome results. Of the subjects, 18% were obese at the time of miscarriage. The mean maternal age at miscarriage was similar between the obese and nonobese groups. Due to the high rate of maternal cell contamination in the prior miscarriages, only subsequent miscarriages with chromosome results were included in the primary analysis. Of the 117 subsequent miscarriages, the frequency of an euploid miscarriage among obese women was 58% compared with 37% of non obese women.”

Family functioning in two treatments for adolescent anorexia nervosa: Anna Ciao PhD, Erin Accurso, PhD, Ellen Fitzsimmons-Craft MA, Daniel Le Grange, PhD — International Journal of Eating Disorders

From the abstract: “Family functioning impairment is widely reported in the eating disorders literature, yet few studies have examined the role of family functioning in treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN). This study examined family functioning in two treatments for adolescent AN from multiple family members’ perspectives … In general, families dealing with AN reported some baseline impairment in family functioning, but average ratings were only slightly elevated compared to published impaired functioning cutoffs. Adolescents’ perspectives on family functioning were the most impaired and were generally associated with poorer psychosocial functioning and greater clinical severity. Regardless of initial level of family functioning, improvements in several family functioning domains were uniquely related to full remission at the end of treatment in both family-based treatment (FBT) and adolescent-focused therapy (AFT). However, FBT had a more positive impact on several specific aspects of family functioning compared to AFT.”

About Matt Wood (468 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer for the University of Chicago Medicine and editor of the Science Life blog.
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