Real: Direction

153 notes

neurosciencestuff:

Study Links Autistic Behaviors to Enzyme
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder that causes obsessive-compulsive and repetitive behaviors, and other behaviors on the autistic spectrum, as well as cognitive deficits. It is the most common inherited cause of mental impairment and the most common cause of autism.
Now biomedical scientists at the University of California, Riverside have published a study that sheds light on the cause of autistic behaviors in FXS. Appearing online today (July 23) in the Journal of Neuroscience, and highlighted also on the cover in this week’s print issue of the journal, the study describes how MMP-9, an enzyme, plays a critical role in the development of autistic behaviors and synapse irregularities, with potential implications for other autistic spectrum disorders.
MMP-9 is produced by brain cells. Inactive, it is secreted into the spaces between cells of the brain, where it awaits activation. Normal brains have quite a bit of inactive MMP-9, and the activation of small amounts has significant effects on the connections between neurons, called synapses. Too much MMP-9 activity causes synapses in the brain to become unstable, leading to functional deficits.
“Our study targets MMP-9 as a potential therapeutic target in Fragile X and shows that genetic deletion of MMP-9 favorably impacts key aspects of FXS-associated anatomical alterations and behaviors in a mouse model of Fragile X,” said Iryna Ethell, a professor of biomedical sciences in the UC Riverside School of Medicine, who co-led the study. “We found that too much MMP-9 activity causes synapses to become unstable, which leads to functional deficits that depend on where in the brain that occurs.”
Ethell explained that mutations in FMR1, a gene, have been known for more than a decade to cause FXS, but until now it has been unclear how these mutations cause unstable synapses and characteristic physical features of this disorder. The new findings expand on earlier work by the research group that showed that an MMP-9 inhibitor, minocycline, can reduce behavioral aspects of FXS, which then led to its use to treat FXS.
To further establish a causative role for MMP-9 in the development of FXS-associated features, including autistic behaviors, the authors generated mice that were missing both FMR1 and MMP-9. They found that while mice with a single FMR1 mutation showed autistic behaviors and macroorchidism (abnormally large testes), mice that also lacked MMP-9 showed no autistic behaviors.
“Our work points directly to MMP-9 over-activation as a cause for synaptic irregularities in FXS, with potential implications for other autistic spectrum disorders and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease,” said Doug Ethell, the head of Molecular Neurobiology at the Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, Calif., and a coauthor on the study.
The research paper represents many years of bench work and effort by a dedicated team led by the Ethells. The work was primarily done in mice, but human tissue samples were also analyzed, with findings found to be consistent. Specifically, the work involved assessing behaviors, biochemistry, activity and anatomy of synaptic connections in the brain of a mouse model of FXS, as well as the creation of a new mouse line that lacked both the FXS gene and MMP-9.
FXS affects both males and females, with females often having milder symptoms than males. It is estimated that about 1 in 5,000 males are born with the disorder.
The Ethells were joined in the study by UCR’s Harpreet Sidhu (first author of the research paper), Lorraine E. Dansie, and Peter Hickmott. Sidhu and Dansie are neuroscience graduate students; Hickmott is an associate professor of psychology.
Next, the researchers plan to understand how MMP-9 regulates synapse stability inside the neurons. They also plan to find drugs that specifically target MMP-9 without side effects such as new tetracycline derivatives that are potent inhibitors of MMP-9 but lack antibiotic properties.
“Although minocycline was successfully used in clinical trial in FXS, it has some side effects associated with its antibiotic properties, such gastrointestinal irritation,” Iryna Ethell said. “We, therefore, plan to test new non-antibiotic minocycline derivatives. These compounds lack antibiotic activity but still act as non-competitive inhibitors of MMP-9 similar to minocycline.”

neurosciencestuff:

Study Links Autistic Behaviors to Enzyme

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a genetic disorder that causes obsessive-compulsive and repetitive behaviors, and other behaviors on the autistic spectrum, as well as cognitive deficits. It is the most common inherited cause of mental impairment and the most common cause of autism.

Now biomedical scientists at the University of California, Riverside have published a study that sheds light on the cause of autistic behaviors in FXS. Appearing online today (July 23) in the Journal of Neuroscience, and highlighted also on the cover in this week’s print issue of the journal, the study describes how MMP-9, an enzyme, plays a critical role in the development of autistic behaviors and synapse irregularities, with potential implications for other autistic spectrum disorders.

MMP-9 is produced by brain cells. Inactive, it is secreted into the spaces between cells of the brain, where it awaits activation. Normal brains have quite a bit of inactive MMP-9, and the activation of small amounts has significant effects on the connections between neurons, called synapses. Too much MMP-9 activity causes synapses in the brain to become unstable, leading to functional deficits.

“Our study targets MMP-9 as a potential therapeutic target in Fragile X and shows that genetic deletion of MMP-9 favorably impacts key aspects of FXS-associated anatomical alterations and behaviors in a mouse model of Fragile X,” said Iryna Ethell, a professor of biomedical sciences in the UC Riverside School of Medicine, who co-led the study. “We found that too much MMP-9 activity causes synapses to become unstable, which leads to functional deficits that depend on where in the brain that occurs.”

Ethell explained that mutations in FMR1, a gene, have been known for more than a decade to cause FXS, but until now it has been unclear how these mutations cause unstable synapses and characteristic physical features of this disorder. The new findings expand on earlier work by the research group that showed that an MMP-9 inhibitor, minocycline, can reduce behavioral aspects of FXS, which then led to its use to treat FXS.

To further establish a causative role for MMP-9 in the development of FXS-associated features, including autistic behaviors, the authors generated mice that were missing both FMR1 and MMP-9. They found that while mice with a single FMR1 mutation showed autistic behaviors and macroorchidism (abnormally large testes), mice that also lacked MMP-9 showed no autistic behaviors.

“Our work points directly to MMP-9 over-activation as a cause for synaptic irregularities in FXS, with potential implications for other autistic spectrum disorders and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease,” said Doug Ethell, the head of Molecular Neurobiology at the Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, Calif., and a coauthor on the study.

The research paper represents many years of bench work and effort by a dedicated team led by the Ethells. The work was primarily done in mice, but human tissue samples were also analyzed, with findings found to be consistent. Specifically, the work involved assessing behaviors, biochemistry, activity and anatomy of synaptic connections in the brain of a mouse model of FXS, as well as the creation of a new mouse line that lacked both the FXS gene and MMP-9.

FXS affects both males and females, with females often having milder symptoms than males. It is estimated that about 1 in 5,000 males are born with the disorder.

The Ethells were joined in the study by UCR’s Harpreet Sidhu (first author of the research paper), Lorraine E. Dansie, and Peter Hickmott. Sidhu and Dansie are neuroscience graduate students; Hickmott is an associate professor of psychology.

Next, the researchers plan to understand how MMP-9 regulates synapse stability inside the neurons. They also plan to find drugs that specifically target MMP-9 without side effects such as new tetracycline derivatives that are potent inhibitors of MMP-9 but lack antibiotic properties.

“Although minocycline was successfully used in clinical trial in FXS, it has some side effects associated with its antibiotic properties, such gastrointestinal irritation,” Iryna Ethell said. “We, therefore, plan to test new non-antibiotic minocycline derivatives. These compounds lack antibiotic activity but still act as non-competitive inhibitors of MMP-9 similar to minocycline.”

Filed under autism enzyme science

341 notes

whatevercactus:

How to save hardened paint brushes!

This has been one of the most
useful tips I have learned while in
college so I thought I would share
how I save paint brushes that I was
too lazy to clean out good enough
the first time.
  1. Step One: go buy murphy oil soap, or check your cabinets and look for it. I was surprised when I saw it sitting in my cabinet at home because I had no idea we actually used to clean our house. It’s pretty common to find in stores. You can buy it at dollar general for just a few bucks.
  2. Step Two: take your brushes that you have let become really hard because you either used glue in them, or acrylic paint. Soak them for as much time as possible! The more you let them soak, the easier it will be to work apart the bristles. I have let mine soak anywhere from 24 hours to 96 hours.
  3. Step Three: once you have let your brushes soak, rinse the brush under slow moving water, use your hands to move the bristles around.. all you are trying to see how much the murphy oil soap did on its own, and if it is still a little stiff you will want to let it soak some more.
  4. Step Four: I have a pinch pot I made in a ceramics class to be able to wash my brushes. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to be textured! I drew patterns on the side so I could rub my brushes to make bristles start working in different directions. 
  5. Step Five: after you loosened the bristles by rubbing it on something textured, dip them back in the murphy oil soap and rub it a few more times on the textured surface. this allows the soap to get in all of the new openings in your paint brush.
  6. Step Six: rise it out with the bristles facing down so that anything hard comes out of your brush instead of staying up in the top. You should really use your hands a lot in this step to make sure any glue or paint chips are out.
  7. Step Seven: put a little bit more soap on the brush with a little bit of water, only dampening the bristles. leave it like that until the next time you want to use the brush, and it should be like new.
Bonus to this reference post:
one of my professors used murphy's to
get paint stains out of clothes. 

(via ibelievepracticemakesperfect)

Filed under art painting reference

3 notes

Okay, depression, here’s the deal.

I enjoy my life. I enjoy what I do.

All of it.

You are annoying.

And I am going to enjoy my life despite your kicking and screaming and dementor-like energy suckingness.

k thanks bye

Filed under depression

214,867 notes

joose420:

darklordflareon:

liongirl5:

dennys:

Flaphack #7: *Magically transform an old concert lanyard into a soothing pancake scented car freshener! 
*not actually magic

DENNY’S WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU EVEN DOING

denny’s has the best social media marketing team ever look at this look at itthey knew their restaurant was the equivalent of 3am nightblogging and they just went with it

The best part is that it totally works.

joose420:

darklordflareon:

liongirl5:

dennys:

Flaphack #7: *Magically transform an old concert lanyard into a soothing pancake scented car freshener! 

*not actually magic

DENNY’S WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU EVEN DOING

denny’s has the best social media marketing team ever look at this look at it

they knew their restaurant was the equivalent of 3am nightblogging and they just went with it

The best part is that it totally works.

(via therealraewest)

Filed under dennys lolz

34 notes

brazilian-orca:

PUMPLER IS ALIVE!

This, afternoon, Plumper was seen and heard on the hydrophones!!!He is alive and well and back again beside his brother.The three As are still a terrific trio.”  

THATS AMAZING NEWS! 

Yay! He’s been seen! And heard! :D

(via theorcas)

Filed under killer whales orca plumper

364,041 notes

leadfeathers:

geekerypokery:

jeremymcbitchin:

Imagine having braces during the apocalypse. no one can take your braces off. And you just have to accept that you’ll have braces forever.

i want a novel focused around a character with braces during the apocalypse and the entire plot of the story revolves around their search for an orthodontist who is still alive and they sort of accidentally save the world in the process

Titled: Brace for It.

(via sorelatable)

Filed under want

690 notes

criminy:

This is just a personal thing for myself and an important thing for me to understand, that there are so many people who have the same aspirations, but doesn’t mean that there’s no room for me to succeed. It gets frustrating as an artist when it feels like you’re going nowhere, and that’s why I believe that taking direction and taking a more positive approach is really beneficial to healthy esteem?? This can be applied to many other things, too.

Some people have to work MUCH harder than others to get to the same place but that doesn’t make anyone more or less important.

(via adeptis)

Filed under this is relevant important