The function of the dorsal ACC is to monitor pain in survival contexts

This 2015 California human study was of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC): “No neural region has been associated with more conflicting accounts of its function than the dACC. The best psychological description of dACC function was related to pain processing—not executive, conflict, or salience processing. We conclude by considering that physical pain may be … Continue reading The function of the dorsal ACC is to monitor pain in survival contexts

Humans individually evolve by..?

This 2020 UK evolutionary biology article was part of a “Fifty years of the Price equation” issue: “Genetic and non-genetic inheritance usually produce a phenotype [the composite of an organism’s characteristics, including its developmental, biophysical, and behavioral traits] through a highly complex developmental process that also relies on many features of the world over which … Continue reading Humans individually evolve by..?

An evolutionary view of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

This 2020 Swiss/German review mainly cited weed, worm, and yeast studies: “RNA interference-related mechanisms can mediate the deposition and transgenerational inheritance of specific chromatin modifications in a truly epigenetic fashion. Epigenetics was initially defined as any heritable change in gene expression patterns without changes in the DNA sequence. Now, epigenetic phenomena are often characterized as … Continue reading An evolutionary view of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

Masters of manipulating their host

This 2020 French review subject was parasitical influences on host epigenetic processes: “Parasites have become masters of manipulating their host cells, exploiting signaling, and metabolic pathways to hijack host gene expression to their own advantage. These intracellular parasites have developed a wide range of strategies that affect transcriptional machineries and epigenetic events in the host … Continue reading Masters of manipulating their host

Trained immunity responses to bacterial infections

This 2019 Swiss rodent study investigated immune responses to five types of bacterial infections: “The innate immune system recalls a challenge to adapt to a secondary challenge, a phenomenon called trained immunity. Trained immunity protected mice from a large panel of clinically relevant bacterial pathogens inoculated systematically and locally to induce peritonitis, enteritis and pneumonia. … Continue reading Trained immunity responses to bacterial infections

Organismal aging and cellular senescence

I’ll curate this 2019 German review through its figures: “With the discovery of beneficial aspects of cellular senescence and evidence of senescence being not limited to replicative cellular states, a redefinition of our comprehension of aging and senescence appears scientifically overdue. Figure 1. Current determinants and relevant open questions, marking the processes of aging and … Continue reading Organismal aging and cellular senescence

Preliminary findings from a senolytics clinical trial

This 2019 US human clinical trial reported preliminary results: “Senescent cells, which can release factors that cause inflammation and dysfunction, the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), accumulate with ageing and at etiological sites in multiple chronic diseases. Senolytics, including the combination of Dasatinib and Quercetin (D + Q), selectively eliminate senescent cells by transiently disabling pro-survival networks that … Continue reading Preliminary findings from a senolytics clinical trial

Caloric restriction’s epigenetic effects

This 2019 US review subject was caloric restriction (CR) without malnutrition: “Cellular adaptation that occurs in response to dietary patterns can be explained by alterations in epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNA. Epigenetic reprogramming of the underlying chronic low-grade inflammation by CR can lead to immuno-metabolic adaptations that enhance quality of … Continue reading Caloric restriction’s epigenetic effects

Do delusions have therapeutic value?

This 2019 UK review discussed delusions, aka false beliefs about reality: “Delusions are characterized by their behavioral manifestations and defined as irrational beliefs that compromise good functioning. In this overview paper, we ask whether delusions can be adaptive notwithstanding their negative features. We consider different types of delusions and different ways in which they can … Continue reading Do delusions have therapeutic value?

The arrogance of a paradigm exceeding its evidence

This 2018 commentary from the American College of Emergency Physicians by 7 physicians discussed the harm that will result from imposing a mandatory paradigm of sepsis treatment. I’ll quote sections that mention evidence: “These metrics [for pneumonia treatment] had little evidentiary basis but led to an institutional-fostered culture of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Have we learned … Continue reading The arrogance of a paradigm exceeding its evidence