LabBook October 31, 2014

No fingers were harmed in the carving of these pumpkins

No fingers were harmed in the carving of these pumpkins

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

Synaptic, transcriptional and chromatin genes disrupted in autism: including Xin He — Nature

From the abstract: “The genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder involves the interplay of common and rare variants and their impact on hundreds of genes. Using exome sequencing, here we show that analysis of rare coding variation in 3,871 autism cases and 9,937 ancestry-matched or parental controls implicates 22 autosomal genes at a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05, plus a set of 107 autosomal genes strongly enriched for those likely to affect risk (FDR < 0.30).”

PURLs: Probiotics for colic? A PURL update: Debra Stulberg and Kate Rowland — The Journal of Family Practice

From the abstract: “We summarized a 2010 double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) that found the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 reduced daily crying time in colicky, exclusively breastfed infants. A recently published RCT of the same probiotic by Sung et al adds to the body of evidence and suggests that the jury may still be out as to the value of probiotics for colicky babies.”

A Conserved Rule for Pancreatic Islet Organization: including Michael Millis, Piotr Witkowski and Manami Hara — PLOS One

From the abstract: “Morphogenesis, spontaneous formation of organism structure, is essential for life. In the pancreas, endocrine cells are clustered to form islets of Langerhans, the critical micro-organ for glucose homeostasis. The spatial organization of endocrine cells in islets looks different between species. Based on the three-dimensional positions of individual cells in islets, we computationally inferred the relative attractions between cell types … Our result suggests that although the cellular composition and attractions of pancreatic endocrine cells are quantitatively different between species, the physical mechanism of islet morphogenesis may be evolutionarily conserved.”

Staphylococcus aureus infection induces protein A–mediated immune evasion in humans: including Noel Pauli, Olaf Schneewind and Patrick Wilson — The Journal of Experimental Medicine

From the abstract: “Staphylococcus aureus bacterial infection commonly results in chronic or recurrent disease, suggesting that humoral memory responses are hampered. Understanding how S. aureus subverts the immune response is critical for the rescue of host natural humoral immunity and vaccine development … These data suggest that the superantigenic activity of SpA leads to immunodominance, limiting host responses to other S. aureus virulence factors that would be necessary for protection and memory formation.”

About Matt Wood (478 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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