Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Andrew Martin


In acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) the risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) is high. Early detection of patients at risk for AKI is important. We tested urinary [TIMP-2] × [IGFBP7], a new US Food and Drug Administration-cleared test to assess AKI risk, in a cohort of hospitalized ADHF patients.

Concepts: Kidney, Hospital, Heart failure, Acute kidney injury, Cardiovascular diseases, Andrew Martin, Acute decompensated heart failure


Background.The currently used patch test concentration for formaldehyde is 1.0% (wt/vol) in water. However, clinical experience and previous studies suggest that 1.0% might be insufficient for detecting an optimized number of clinically relevant cases of contact allergy to formaldehyde. Objectives.To validate earlier patch test results for comparison of 1% (wt/vol) and 2% (wt/vol) formaldehyde in water, and to investigate co-reactivity with quaternium-15. Materials and methods.In 12 dermatology clinics, 3591 patients were routinely patch tested simultaneously with 2.0% (wt/vol) (0.60 mg/cm(2) ) and 1.0% (wt/vol) (0.30 mg/cm(2) ) formaldehyde. Micropipettes were used for delivering the exact dosage of the allergen. Results.Significantly more patients reacted to 2.0% formaldehyde than to 1.0% (3.4% versus 1.8%, p < 0.001). Overall, there were no sex differences between those reacting positively to 2.0% and 1.0%. Of 25 quaternium-15-positive patients, 4 (0.1%) reacted positively without reacting to formaldehyde. Conclusion.On the basis of the results of this multicentre study, as well as of previous studies, it can be suggested that 2.0% (wt/vol) in water formaldehyde should be used in routine patch testing in the baseline series.

Concepts: Sex, Eczema, Suggestion, Skin allergy test, Contact dermatitis, Andrew Martin, Patch test, Quaternium-15


Ciguatera fish poisoning is a seafood intoxication commonly afflicting island communities in the Pacific. These populations, which are strongly dependent on fish resources, have developed over centuries various strategies to decrease the risk of intoxication, including the use of folk tests to detect ciguateric fish. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of two folk tests commonly used in Raivavae Island (Australes, French Polynesia): the rigor mortis test (RMT) and the bleeding test (BT). A total of 107 fish were collected in Raivavae Lagoon, among which 80 were tested by five testers using the RMT versus 107 tested by four testers using BT. First, the performance between testers was compared. Second, the efficiency of these tests was compared with toxicity data obtained via the receptor binding assay (RBA) by assessing various parameter’s values such as sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV). Comparisons of outcomes between folk tests and RBA analyses were considered: tests used separately or in a parallel versus the series approach by each tester. The overall efficiency of the RMT and BT tests was also evaluated when the judgments of all testers were “pooled”. The results demonstrate that efficiencies varied between testers with one showing the best scores in detecting toxic fish: 55% with RMT and 69.2% with BT. BT gave the best results in detecting toxic fish as compared with RMT, giving also better agreement between testers. If high NPV and Se values were to be privileged, the data also suggest that the best way to limit cases of intoxication would be to use RMT and BT tests in a parallel approach. The use of traditional knowledge and a good knowledge of risky versus healthy fishing areas may help reduce the risk of intoxication among communities where ciguatera fish poisoning is highly prevalent.

Concepts: Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Sensitivity and specificity, Pacific Ocean, Seafood, Andrew Martin, Rigor mortis, Ciguatera


The glucose view of self-control posited glucose as the physiological substrate of self-control “resource”, which results in three direct corollaries: 1) engaging in a specific self-control activity would result in reduced glucose level; 2) the remaining glucose level after initial exertion of self-control would be positively correlated with following self-control performance; 3) restoring glucose by ingestion would help to improve the impaired self-control performance. The current research conducted a meta-analysis to test how well each of the three corollaries of the glucose view would be empirically supported. We also tested the restoring effect of glucose rinsing on subsequent self-control performance after initial exertion. The results provided clear and consistent evidence against the glucose view of self-control such that none of the three corollaries was supported. In contrast, the effect of glucose rinsing turned out to be significant, but with alarming signs of publication bias. The implications and future directions are discussed.

Concepts: Enzyme, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Publication bias, Andrew Martin, Selection bias


As test and treat rolls out, effective interventions are needed to address the determinants of outcomes across the HIV treatment continuum and ensure that people infected with HIV are promptly tested, initiate treatment early, adhere to treatment, and are virally suppressed. Communication approaches offer viable options for promoting relevant behaviors across the continuum.

Concepts: HIV, Andrew Martin, The Continuum


This study aims to understand the impact of descriptive social norms on message believability and transmission and its underlying mechanism on Twitter. Using two types of information (i.e., news and rumor) presented as a tweet message, the influence of the number of retweets as a normative cue was tested. A result of an online experiment with 639 Twitter users suggests that regardless of the label of the information, message believability and intention to share were stronger for a tweet with a high number of retweets. The mediation test showed that the presumption that a message is believable to others mediates the relationship between a high number of retweets and message believability.

Concepts: Sociology, Mediation, Andrew Martin, Twitter


Most electronic health record systems provide laboratory test results to patients in table format. We tested whether presenting such results in visual displays (number lines) could improve understanding.

Concepts: Electronic health record, Electronic medical record, Health informatics, Andrew Martin, Medical informatics, Personal health record


We tested the sensory impact of repeated synchronization of fast-spiking interneurons (FS), an activity pattern thought to underlie neocortical gamma oscillations. We optogenetically drove ‘FS-gamma’ while mice detected naturalistic vibrissal stimuli and found enhanced detection of less salient stimuli and impaired detection of more salient ones. Prior studies have predicted that the benefit of FS-gamma is generated when sensory neocortical excitation arrives in a specific temporal window 20-25 ms after FS synchronization. To systematically test this prediction, we aligned periodic tactile and optogenetic stimulation. We found that the detection of less salient stimuli was improved only when peripheral drive led to the arrival of excitation 20-25 ms after synchronization and that other temporal alignments either had no effects or impaired detection. These results provide causal evidence that FS-gamma can enhance processing of less salient stimuli, those that benefit from the allocation of attention.

Concepts: Prediction, Futurology, Sensory system, Sense, Somatosensory system, Disability, Andrew Martin, Benefit of clergy


Hardcore smokers are smokers who have smoked for many years and who do not intend to quit smoking. The “hardening hypothesis” states that light smokers are more likely to quit smoking than heavy smokers (such as hardcore smokers). Therefore, the prevalence of hardcore smoking among smokers would increase over time. If this is true, the smoking population would become harder to reach with tobacco control measures. In this study we tested the hardening hypothesis.

Concepts: Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Nicotine, Netherlands, Andrew Martin, Prostitution in the Netherlands, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Grunge


Spirulina may increase people’s ability to resist mental and physical fatigue. This study tested that hypothesis in a randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled study in men. After 1 week, a 3 g/day dose of spirulina produced a small, but statistically significant increase in exercise output (Kcals consumed in 30 min exercise on a cross trainer machine). A mathematical based mental fatigue test showed improved performance 4 h after the first time of supplementation as well as 8 weeks later. Similarly, a subjective survey for a sense of physical and mental fatigue showed improvement within 4 h of the first supplementation as well as 8 weeks later. These results show that spirulina intake can affect fatigue in men.

Concepts: Statistics, Improve, Chaos theory, Statistical significance, P-value, Blindness, Andrew Martin, Elliptical trainer