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- Oxytocin increases social altruism
Nowadays, much emphasis is placed on sustainability. The degree to which people are willing to donate their own money for this depends on their level of oxytocin. Scientists have discovered that the willingness to donate increases with the quantity of this bonding hormone. However, oxytocin only has an effect with regard to social sustainability projects. The hormone does not increase the ability to participate in the case of purely environmentally oriented projects.
- New technology promises fast, accurate stroke diagnosis
A new approach to identifying biomarkers in blood has proven successful in helping diagnose stroke, and the technology could be expanded to diagnose such conditions as concussion, some forms of dementia, and some types of cancer and heart disease.
- Peering into cell structures where neurodiseases emerge
Atom by atom, researchers reveal the structure of CAP-Gly, a protein that binds to the latticework of microtubules in our cells. When mutations occur in CAP-Gly, neurological diseases and disorders occur, including Perry syndrome and distal spinal bulbar muscular dystrophy.
- Halteres, essential for flight in all flies, are needed by some to climb walls
Sensory organs called halteres may play multiple roles in how flies behave, providing clues to how brains absorb and use multiple streams of information, new research indicates.
- Willingness to adopt children with special needs the focus of recent study
A new study has focused on the attitudes and preferences of prospective adoptive parents in Canada. The study examined the preferences and attitudes of 5,830 AdoptOntario online registrants between May 2009 and February 2012.
- Contact with nature may mean more social cohesion, less crime
In a first-of-its-kind study, an international team tested social correlates of both objective and subjective contact with nature in a systematic way, revealing complex linkages between nature, social cohesion, and a variety of other factors.
- At the edge of vision: Struggling to make sense of our cluttered world
Even with 20/20 vision in broad daylight on a clear day, our peripheral vision can be surprisingly poor, particularly when the scene in front of us is cluttered. Now, scientists believe they are a step closer to understanding why this is.
- How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing
Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers report they have figured out the molecular chain of events that enables the cells to make 'sounds' on their own, essentially 'practicing' their ability to process sounds in the world around them.
- How cocaine changes the brain
The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users, finds a study. Through experiments conducted in rats exposed to cocaine, the researchers mapped out the network of circuits that cause wild firing of neurons that produce dopamine. The findings also help explain how cocaine use eventually leads to desensitization.
- New 'party pill' test could help authorities keep up with trends in drug (ab)use
A new test for club drugs like ketamine can detect low levels of drugs in urine and plasma, making it faster, easier and cheaper to identify them. The authors of the study say it could give authorities the boost they need to keep up with trends drug (ab)use. A new class of drugs known as “new psychoactive substances” has recently hit the clubs. Sold online or in smart shops as “legal highs,” these drugs pose a problem for authorities because they’re difficult to analyze and it’s tricky to keep up with the speed at which trafficking shifts to new products. There is currently no standard screening test for these drugs. One widely used club drug is ketamine – traditionally an animal tranquilizer – which causes users to hallucinate.
- Enhanced detection of Parkinson's
New research by biologists could lead to improved methods of detection for early-onset Parkinson’s Disease. By mapping the visual responses of fruit flies with different Parkinson's genes, the scientists built a substantial data bank of results. Using this they were able to classify unknown flies as having a Parkinson's related mutation with 85 per cent accuracy.
- Why bartenders have to ignore some signals
A robotic bartender has to do something unusual for a machine: It has to learn to ignore some data and focus on social signals. Researchers recently investigated how a robotic bartender can understand human communication and serve drinks socially appropriately.
- Cooperation at the expense of society
Cooperation is generally regarded as positive and is often in the best interests of society. However, collusion and corruption are also types of cooperation -- a secret or illegal cooperation, the purpose of which is to gain additional profit at other's expense. Women were shown to be more likely to conspire than men, even when this was not in the best interests of society, concludes a new study.
- Ultrasound examinations can identify patients at risk of stroke
Ultrasound, a non-invasive technique commonly used to study the presence of atherosclerosis disease in blood vessels, can be used to identify patients at increased risk of future stroke who could benefit from surgery. Since surgical treatment to prevent stroke is only considered beneficial to some, ultrasound can prove useful in preventing unnecessary surgical intervention, new research shows.
- Combination therapy can prevent cytostatic resistance
Researchers have found a new way of preventing resistance to cytostatics used in the treatment of cancers such as medulloblastoma, the most common form of malignant brain tumor in children. The promising results of this experimental study are based on a combination of the drug temozolomid and other extant drugs that inhibit an enzyme instrumental in DNA repair in cancer cells.
- New diet provides hope for treating patients with drug resistant epilepsy
A specific diet can be used to help treat patients with uncontrolled epilepsy, a new study indicates. The findings reveal how the ketogenic diet acts to block seizures in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.
- Want honesty? Make it the easiest choice, suggests research
We're more likely to do the right thing in situations of moral conflict when it requires little to no effort, new research confirms. If income information is automatically entered into our tax return, we may be less likely to alter it to something that is incorrect once it's there. However, the passive response can promote cheating, too.
- People who rely on their intuition are, at times, less likely to cheat
In psychological studies, intuition, or 'gut instinct,' is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. Now, a new study has determined that individuals who are prone to trust their instincts may at times be less likely to commit immoral acts. Findings indicate that people who tend to rely on their intuition are less likely to cheat after reflecting on past experiences during which they behaved immorally.
- Immune-disorder treatment in mice holds potential for multiple sclerosis patients
A simple, rapid way to treat an immune-related disorder in mice has been identified by researchers, an approach that could eventually help multiple sclerosis patients after further research.
- 'Sport shoppers' bargain hunt simply for the thrill of it, new research finds
A new type of shopper -- the 'sport shopper' -- has been identified by researchers, for whom shopping is akin to athletic competition. They describe the sport shopper as someone who can afford to purchase items at full price, but instead bargain hunts for the thrill of out-smarting the retail system -- versus bargain shoppers who look for deals out of necessity.
- Sharing economy can help financial struggles
The power of the sharing economy in shaking up traditional industries can be harnessed to help financially struggling consumers, according to new research.
- 'Connector hubs' are the champions of brain coordination
Swinging a bat at a 90-mph fastball requires keen visual, cognitive and motor skills. But how do diverse brain networks coordinate well enough to hit the ball? A new study suggests the human brain's aptitude and versatility can be credited in large part to 'connector hubs,' which filter and route information.
- Complex humor is no laughing matter
Since the earliest times, laughter and humor have performed important functions in human interaction. Jokes give us control over laughter and are therefore a way to elicit these positive effects intentionally. In order to comprehend why some jokes are perceived as funny and others are not, researchers investigated the cognitive mechanism underlying laughter and humor.
- Republicans prefer politicians with deep voices
Masculine features are important assets for conservative politicians, while it is more important for their liberal counterparts to have gentle features, according to two recent scientific articles. This suggests that physical features have a larger impact on voter preferences than previously thought and that different physical features appeal to different voter segments.
- Mental health risk for new dads
Anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women, researchers have found. A mental health researcher reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around 1 in 10 men, around half the rate for women.
- Lactate for brain energy
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate, scientists confirm. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.
- 3D amplifies emotions evoked by facial expressions
New research findings have implications for emotion research, entertainment industry and 3D displays, say investigators. They found that 2D photographs of facial expressions fail to evoke emotions as strongly as live faces, possibly due to the low fidelity of the pictorial presentation.
- Final year individual bonuses are counter-productive
Rewarding teamwork or group efforts enhances business performance, say researchers. The work has found that it makes better business sense to reward team performance rather than provide individual bonuses -- and that group rewards generate the top-performing individuals.
- Past performance plays minor role in CEO selection
An individual's past performance plays a minor role in headhunters' decisions concerning which candidates to put forward for CEO positions in major non-financial firms, according to new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
- Food odors activate impulse area of the brain in obese children
The area of the brain associated with impulsivity and the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder is activated in obese children when introduced to food smells, according to new research.
- Teaching problem-solving, leadership to young African-American girls lowers relational aggression
A new study suggests that educators, particularly in urban schools, should teach elementary school-aged girls problem-solving skills and provide them leadership opportunities as a way to reduce their relational aggression. Relational aggression, which is the most common form of aggression among girls, includes using gossip and social exclusion to harm others.
- Bioart: An introduction
Bioart ranges from bacterial manipulation to glowing rabbits, cellular sculptures, and -- in the case of artist Nina Sellars -- documentation of an ear prosthetic that was implanted onto fellow artist Stelarc's arm. In the pursuit of creating art, practitioners have generated tools and techniques that have aided researchers, while sometimes crossing into controversy, such as by releasing invasive species into the environment, blurring the lines between art and biology, and challenging scientific thinking.
- Blood from small children 'remembers' prenatal smoking exposure
Blood taken from children up to the age of five contains molecular evidence about whether their mothers smoked during pregnancy, shows new research.
- Children who take ADHD medicines have trouble sleeping, new study shows
Children given ADHD stimulant medications take significantly longer to fall asleep, have poorer quality sleep and sleep for shorter periods, shows new research.
- Adults aged 50-59 now largest age group in opioid treatment programs
Researchers found a pronounced age trend in those utilizing opioid treatment programs from 1996 to 2012, with adults aged 50 and older becoming the majority treatment population in New York City, which has one of the largest methadone treatment systems in the US and consistently provides access to treatment in the public system.
- Want to remember new names? Sleep on it
Here's another reason to get a good night's sleep: in a closely controlled study of fourteen participants, researchers found that they were significantly better at remembering faces and names if they were given an opportunity to sleep for up to eight hours after seeing those faces and names for the first time.
- Young women who survive cardiovascular event have long-term risks
Young women who survive a heart attack or stroke still face long-term risks of death and illness, according to an article. The study included 226 women who had a heart attack (average age 42), 160 women who had ischemic stroke (average age 40) and 782 women (average age 48) in the comparison group with no history of arterial thrombosis (blood clot in an artery). The women were followed up for a median of nearly 19 years.
- Sensor sees nerve action as it happens
A new technique has been created to watch the brain's neurons in action with a time resolution of about 0.2 milliseconds -- a speed that is just fast enough to capture the action potentials in mammalian brains. It's built with two proteins: a voltage sensor from algae, and a fluorescent protein that acts as a signal amplifier.
- Anti-fat attitudes shaped early in life
Older toddlers -- those aged around 32 months old -- are picking up on the anti-fat attitudes of their mothers, new research suggests. The study, involving researchers from New Zealand, Australia, and the US, comes on the back of studies showing that obesity prejudice and discrimination are on the rise.
- Infertile worms resist infection-induced neurodegeneration
Mounting evidence points to a link between infections, the immune response, and neurodegenerative diseases. New findings show that infection with pathogenic bacteria causes neurodegeneration in the worm C. elegans, creating neural changes that are hallmarks of illnesses like Alzheimer's disease in humans. The study also yielded a big surprise: sterile animals appeared to be protected from neurodegeneration.
- Words can deceive, but tone of voice cannot
An analysis of the tone of voice used by couples during therapy allowed a computer algorithm to predict whether a relationship would improve. In fact, the algorithm did a better job of predicting marital success of couples with serious marital issues than descriptions of the therapy sessions provided by relationship experts.
- First-of-kind dopamine measurements in human brain reveal insights into how we learn
During brain surgery, researchers collected data as the conscious patients played an investment game, demonstrating rapid dopamine release encodes crucial information. The findings have implications for Parkinson's disease and disorders such as depression and addiction.
- Association between stress levels, skin problems in college students
College is a stressful time in the lives of students, and a new study has found that heightened levels of psychological stress are associated with skin complaints.The study aimed to assess the relationship between perceived psychological stress and the prevalence of various skin symptoms in a large, randomly selected sample of undergraduate students.
- New approach explored to prevent newborn epilepsies
Specific forms of epilepsy may manifest as early as in the first weeks of life. A new laboratory study shows that a preventive therapeutic strategy can be successful if it is applied within a time window critical to brain development.
- Neuroscientists gain insight into cause of Alzheimer's symptoms
Scientists have uncovered a mechanism in the brain that could account for some of the neural degeneration and memory loss in people with Alzheimer's disease.
- Adults born with heart defects have a substantially higher risk of stroke
Adults with congenital heart defects have considerably higher rates of stroke compared to the general population. Heart failure, diabetes and recent heart attacks were the strongest predictors of stroke caused by a blocked artery.
- Loneliness triggers cellular changes that can cause illness, study shows
The serious dangers of loneliness have long been known, but the cellular mechanisms by which loneliness causes adverse health outcomes have not been well understood. Now, a team of researchers has released a study shedding new light on how loneliness triggers physiological responses that can ultimately make us sick.
- Good or bad innovation ideas?
The traditional way of running a project with a beginning and an end will soon be history. The scientists say that they have a smarter solution.
- Show me how you write on social media and I'll tell you your age and sex
A new tool can detect the sex and age range of the authors behind posts and other comments on social networks. Potential applications include its use in delinquent profiling and detection of pedophile cases. It is also a valuable tool for companies, offering a window onto their customer base and informing more focused marketing actions.
- Impact of social-emotional learning on academic achievement
Teaching social and emotional skills to inner-city students can contribute to their academic achievement, new evidence shows. The project involved all students enrolled in regular or bilingual education in an inner-city school system where 2 out of 3 students qualify for a free or reduced price lunch and 9 out of 10 students are African American or Hispanic/Latino American.
- Out of school and into debt? Calls for teens to better understad on money matters
A new study has found school leavers and first-year university students don't know how to manage a car loan, repay credit cards or figure out mobile phone deals.
- Clinical trial substantiates apnea prevention technology
Scientists, engineers and clinicians have shown in a clinical trial in the neonatal intensive care unit that a new prevention technology reduces apneic events and improves critical clinical parameters in preterm infants.
- Urgent attention needed to improve education for Syrian refugee children, report finds
There is an urgent need to improve both short-term and long-term approaches to education for the large number of Syrian refugee children in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, a new report concludes. Nearly 700,000 Syrian children -- about half of the young refugees -- are not receiving any education, creating a crisis with far-reaching consequences.
- Hiding tobacco products at convenience stores reduces teens' risk of future tobacco use
A one-of-a-kind laboratory replica of a convenience store is the first to use a realistic setting to examine whether limiting displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products in retail outlets can reduce the intention of young people to begin smoking. Researchers found an 11 percent reduction in cigarette smoking susceptibility when the tobacco 'power wall' was hidden compared to when the display of tobacco products was visible behind the cashier.
- Inflammation linked to weakened reward circuits in depression
Persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure. The findings bolster the case that the high-inflammation form of depression is distinct, and are guiding researchers' plans to test treatments tailored for it.
- Marked decline in retailer compliance after enactment of NYC's Tobacco 21 law
In a study examining compliance with NYC's law increasing legal age for purchasing cigarettes from 18 to 21, researchers found retailer compliance with ID checks significantly decreased since the law became effective. Prior to this change, 29 percent of retailers sampled were noncompliant; afterward, 38 percent of retailers sampled failed to ask for ID when selling cigarettes to young people. Researchers also examined new minimum price laws for cigarettes and discovered a similar pattern.
- Decreasing mental health services increases mental health emergencies
Countywide reductions in psychiatric services -- both inpatient and outpatient -- led to more than triple the number of emergency psychiatric consults and 55 percent increases in lengths of stay for psychiatric patients in the emergency department, concludes a new study.
- High frequency stimulation in pain medicine
Due to disease-related changes in their brain, pain patients often suffer from an impaired tactile ability in their hands. In a new study, high frequency repetitive stimulation was investigated as a therapeutic approach for these patients. The results of this study show that passive stimulation of this kind is a promising new therapy option.
- The search for happiness: Using MRI to find where happiness happens
Researchers have mapped out using MRI where happiness emerges in the brain. The study paves the way for measuring happiness objectively -- and also provides insights on a neurologically based way of being happy.
- ADHD meds may be a prescription for bullying
Kids and teens who take medications like Ritalin to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are twice as likely to be physically or emotionally bullied by peers than those who don't have ADHD.