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- Benefits for babies exposed to two languages found in Singaporean birth cohort study
There are advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy, as team of investigators and clinician-scientists in Singapore and internationally have found. The findings reveal a generalized cognitive advantage that emerges early in bilingual infants, and is not specific to a particular language.
- Could poor stomach absorption of drugs reduce autism medications' effectiveness?
Many children and adults with autism experience gastrointestinal symptoms, research shows, and such symptoms can impact the absorption and availability of medications. "There are a number of variables that can influence medication response but given how common gastrointestinal issues are for those with autism, it seems the relationship should be examined more closely," said the senior author.
- Rediscovering mundane moments brings us unexpected pleasure
We like to document the exciting and momentous occasions in our lives, but new research suggests there is value in capturing our more mundane, everyday experiences, which can bring us unexpected joy in the future.
- 'Deadly force' lab finds racial disparities in shootings
Participants in an innovative study of deadly force were more likely to feel threatened in scenarios involving black people. But when it came time to shoot, participants were biased in favor of black suspects, taking longer to pull the trigger against them than against armed white or Hispanic suspects.
- Cannabis withdrawal symptoms common among adolescents treated for substance use disorder
Although cannabis -- commonly known as marijuana -- is broadly believed to be nonaddictive, a study has found that 40 percent of cannabis-using adolescents receiving outpatient treatment for substance use disorder reported experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, which are considered a hallmark of drug dependence.
- Surprising new role for calcium in sensing pain
When you accidentally touch a hot oven, you rapidly pull your hand away. Researchers have made a surprising discovery in worms about the role of calcium in such pain signaling. They have built a structural model of the molecule that allows calcium ions to pass into a neuron, triggering a signal of pain. These discoveries may help direct new strategies to treat pain in people.
- Risk of diabetes in children, adolescents exposed to antipsychotics: Danish 12-year case-control study
Children and adolescents pegged with a psychiatric diagnosis had an increased risk of developing diabetes if they were exposed to antipsychotics. Using data from the nationwide Danish registers, a group of researchers studied 48,299 children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders to document the frequency and possible predictors of type II diabetes, defined by treatment with an oral antidiabetic drug.
- Mechanical ventilation a key indicator for Pre-Term Children's maths problems
Both the length of time spent in hospital after birth and the use of mechanical ventilation are key indicators of reduced mathematical ability in preterm children, researchers report. Impairments in mathematic abilities are common in very preterm children. Earlier studies of children who are born very preterm (before 32 weeks of gestational age) have shown that they have a 39.4% chance of having general mathematic impairment, compared to 14.9% of those born at term (39 to 41 weeks).
- Childhood trauma could lead to adult obesity
Being subjected to abuse during childhood entails a markedly increased risk of developing obesity as an adult. This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis carried out on previous studies, which included a total of 112,000 participants.
- Family dinners good for teens' mental health, could protect from cyberbullying
Cyberbullying was associated with mental health and substance use problems in adolescents, a new study shows, but family dinners may help protect teens from the consequences of cyberbullying and also be beneficial for their mental health.
- Childhood adoption experiences: Effect later in adulthood
Adoptions have been running at record levels in the UK, with recent figures showing an annual rate of almost 4,000 – up by 15 per cent – while Government reforms have attempted to boost the process. Now a researcher is investigating the long-term impact that adoption makes on individuals.
- Training your brain to prefer healthy foods
It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research.
- How neurons in bats' brains ensure a safe flight
Bats emit ultrasound pulses and measure the echoes reflected from their surroundings. They have an extremely flexible internal navigation system that enables them to do this. A study shows that when a bat flies close to an object, the number of active neurons in the part of a bat's brain responsible for processing acoustic information about spatial positioning increases. This information helps bats to react quickly and avoid obstacles.
- Nucleotide change could initiate Fragile X Syndrome
Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide—the basic building block of DNA—could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability.
- Why plants in the office make us more productive
'Green' offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than 'lean' designs stripped of greenery, new research shows. The team examined the impact of 'lean' and 'green' offices on staff's perceptions of air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction, and monitored productivity levels over subsequent months in two large commercial offices in the UK and The Netherlands.
- Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations
Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform. A characteristic of neurons that extend into the skin and record touch, is that they branch in the skin so that each neuron reports touch from many highly-sensitive zones on the skin. According to researchers, this branching allows first-order tactile neurons not only to send signals to the brain that something has touched the skin, but also process geometric data about the object touching the skin.
- Consequences of teen alcohol, marijuana use studied
Alcohol use was more commonly reported to compromise relationships with friends and significant others (e.g., boyfriends), researchers studying its consequences report. It was also reported to lead to more regret, particularly among females. Marijuana use on the other hand was more commonly reported to compromise relationships with teachers or supervisors, result in less energy or interest, and result in lower school or job performance.
- Memory and Alzheimer's: Towards a better comprehension of the dynamic mechanisms
A new study opens the door towards better understanding of the neural circuitry and dynamic mechanisms controlling memory as well of the role of an essential element of the hippocampus -- a sub-region named the subiculum.
- Memory in silent neurons: How do unconnected neurons communicate?
According to a generally-accepted model of synaptic plasticity, a neuron that communicates with others of the same kind emits an electrical impulse as well as activating its synapses transiently. This electrical pulse, combined with the signal received from other neurons, acts to stimulate the synapses. How is it that some neurons are caught up in the communication interplay even when they are barely connected? This is the chicken-or-egg puzzle of synaptic plasticity that a team is aiming to solve.
- Report advocates improved police training
A new report identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive. "The most important part of the report and what comes after is making sure people living with mental illness are involved in the delivery of training," says one expert.
- Antidepressants show potential for postoperative pain
Anesthesiologists examine studies where antidepressants were prescribed for pain after surgery. Clinical trials are often used to answer questions about the efficacy of the off-label uses of drugs. In the case of antidepressants, their effects on postsurgical pain continue to be an area of research interest.
- Evidence mounting that older adults who volunteer are happier, healthier
Older adults who stay active by volunteering are getting more out of it than just an altruistic feeling -- they are receiving a health boost too, researchers report. Volunteering is associated with reductions in symptoms of depression, better overall health, fewer functional limitations, and greater longevity.
- Intervention needed for survivors of childhood burns
Adults who have been hospitalized for a burn as a child experience higher than usual rates of depression and suicidal thoughts, according to new research. A 30-year follow up of childhood burns victims has found that 42% of people surveyed had suffered some form of mental illness and 30% suffered depression at some stage in their lives.
- Meaningful relationships can help you thrive
Deep and meaningful relationships play a vital role in overall well-being. A new paper provides an important perspective on thriving through relationships, emphasizes two types of support that relationships provide, and illuminates aspects where further study is necessary.
- Real tremors, or drug-seeking patient? New app can tell
A new smartphone uses data from built-in accelerometer to measure the frequency of alcohol withdrawal tremors. Withdrawal is a potentially fatal condition that is easily treated with benzodiazepine drugs, a class of sedatives used to treat alcohol withdrawal, anxiety, seizures, insomnia and more. But physicians are often reluctant to prescribe them because they're frequently abused and can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol and opiates.
- How nerve cells communicate with each other over long distances: Travelling by resonance
How nerve cells within the brain communicate with each other over long distances has puzzled scientists for decades. The way networks of neurons connect and how individual cells react to incoming pulses in principle makes communication over large distances impossible. Scientists provide now a possible answer how the brain can function nonetheless: by exploiting the powers of resonance.
- How Alzheimer's peptides shut down cellular powerhouses
New mechanisms of the brain disease have been discovered by biochemists who have identified a failing in the work of nerve cells. They report how Alzheimer's disease damages mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, and suspect this to be the cause of premature death of nerve cells that occurs in the course of the disease.
- The universal 'anger face': Each element makes you look physically stronger and more formidable
The next time you get really mad, take a look in the mirror. See the lowered brow, the thinned lips and the flared nostrils? That's what social scientists call the "anger face," and it appears to be part of our basic biology as humans. Now, researchers have identified the functional advantages that caused the specific appearance of the anger face to evolve.
- High dietary salt may worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms
High dietary salt intake may worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms and boost the risk of further neurological deterioration, indicates a small observational study. Previous research has indicated that salt may alter the autoimmune response, which is implicated in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), but it is not clear if it has any direct effect on the course of the disease itself.
- Plain cigarette packs don't hurt small retailers or boost trade in illicit tobacco
Plain packs for tobacco products don't hurt small retailers, flood the market with very cheap cigarettes, or boost the trade in illicit tobacco, finds research on the early experience of the policy in Australia.
- Mouse model provides window into working brain
A protein marker that mice carry and reacts to different calcium levels allows many different cell types to be studied in a new way. This mouse model is a genetically engineered line of mice that is expected to open the door to new research on epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.
- Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers
Weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular cigarette smoking, a study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse has found. The authors note that the idea that smoking helps with weight reduction or appetite suppression is widely held, but is not true. "People who smoke crave fatty foods more," they say.
- Youth who have used e-cigarettes report greater intent to try regular cigarettes
Youth who have never even touched a regular tobacco cigarette -- but have ever used e-cigarettes -- are more likely to report that they may try conventional cigarettes. Researchers also report that exposure to pro-tobacco advertising was associated with the intention to smoke among U.S. middle and high school students who reported never smoking.
- Cellphone addiction harming academic performance is 'an increasingly realistic possibility'
Women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones, with men college students spending nearly eight hours, according to a study on cellphone activity. "As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility," researchers noted.
- After Great Recession, Americans are unhappy, worried, pessimistic, study finds
The protracted and uneven recovery from the Great Recession has led most Americans to conclude that the US economy has undergone a permanent change for the worse, according to a new national study. Seven in 10 now say the recession's impact is permanent, up from half in 2009 when the recession officially ended.
- Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts
Children with autism spectrum disorders showed improved or maintained performance in learning imitative behavior by interacting with humanoid robots that provided graded cueing, an occupational therapy technique that shapes behavior by providing increasingly specific cues to help a person learn new skills.
- Are cigarette substitutes safe alternative? Depends on user habits
A recent literature review study suggests that small dosages of nicotine found in cigarette substitutes could be harmful to human musculoskeletal system, due to overuse. The researchers investigated and summarized the last five years of studies, on the effect of nicotine on wound and skeletal healing processes in humans.
- Genetic change in autism-related gene identified
A genetic change in a recently identified autism-associated gene has been identified by researchers, which may provide further insight into the causes of autism. The study presents findings that likely represent a definitive clinical marker for some patients' developmental disabilities.
- Electric current to brain boosts memory: May help treat memory disorders from stroke, Alzheimer's, brain injury
Stimulating a region in the brain via non-invasive delivery of electrical current using magnetic pulses, called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, improves memory. The discovery opens a new field of possibilities for treating memory impairments caused by conditions such as stroke, early-stage Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, cardiac arrest and the memory problems that occur in healthy aging.
- From bite site to brain: How rabies virus hijacks and speeds up transport in nerve cells
Rabies is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal into muscle tissue of the new host. From there, the virus travels all the way to the brain where it multiplies and causes the usually fatal disease. A new article sheds light on how the virus hijacks the transport system in nerve cells to reach the brain with maximal speed and efficiency.
- Breastfeeding study shows need for effective peer counseling programs
The support of peer groups and clinicians is critical to the development of effective breastfeeding programs, according to recent research. A qualitative study of 21 mothers determined that role models for successful breastfeeding help positively shape the outcomes of mothers of infants.
- Respiratory infection controls being used for Ebola patients are unnecessary, may contribute to public panic
Respiratory infection control measures -- which have been adopted by most health agencies to deal with the Ebola epidemic in west Africa -- are unnecessary, and may heighten panic and fear among the public, according to the authors of a new paper.
- How studying damage to prefrontal lobe has helped unlock the brain's mysteries
Until the last few decades, the frontal lobes of the brain were shrouded in mystery and erroneously thought of as nonessential for normal function. Now a review highlights groundbreaking studies of patients with brain damage that reveal how distinct areas of the frontal lobes are critical for a person's ability to learn, multitask, control emotions, socialize, and make decisions. The findings have helped experts rehabilitate patients experiencing damage to this brain region.
- Computer games give a boost to English
If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically demonstrated that someone who is good at computer games has a larger English vocabulary.
- Study reveals drivers of Western consumers' readiness to eat insects
The most likely early adopters of insets as a meat substitute in Western societies are young men with weak attitudes toward meat, who are open to trying novel foods and interested in the environmental impact of their food choice. With a low level of food neophobia, the likelihood that this type of person is willing to eat insects as a meat substitute is estimated more than 75%, according to a new study.
- Learning to read: Tricking the brain
While reading, children and adults alike must avoid confusing mirror-image letters (like b/d or p/q). Why is it difficult to differentiate these letters? When learning to read, our brain must be able to inhibit the mirror-generalization process, a mechanism that facilitates the recognition of identical objects regardless of their orientation, but also prevents the brain from differentiating letters that are different but symmetrical.
- Neuroscientists watch imagination happening in the brain
By showing people their own photos during MRI sessions, neuroscientists distinguished between brain activity that is specific to memory and activity that is specific to imagination.
- This is your brain's blood vessels on drugs
A laser-based method has been used to produce the first-ever set of images clearly and directly detailing how cocaine shuts down blood flow in the brain. This could help doctors and researchers better understand how drug abuse affects the brain, which may aid in improving brain-cancer surgery and tissue engineering, and lead to better treatment for recovering drug addicts.
- How does it feel to be old in different societies?
People aged 70 and over who identify themselves as 'old' feel worse about their own health in societies where they perceive they have lower value than younger age groups.
- Warm thanks: Gratitude can win you new friends
Parents have long told their children to mind their Ps and Qs, and remember to say thank you. Now the evidence is in on why it matters. A study has shown for the first time that thanking a new acquaintance for their help makes them more likely to seek an ongoing social relationship with you. Saying thank you provides a valuable signal that you are someone with whom a high-quality relationship could be formed.
- Avatars make the Internet sign to deaf people
It is challenging for deaf people to learn a sound-based language, since they are physically not able to hear those sounds. Hence, most of them struggle with written language as well as with text reading and comprehension. Therefore, most website content remains inaccessible for them. Computer scientists want to change the situation by means of a method they developed: animated online characters display content in sign language. In the long term, deaf people would be able to use the technique to communicate on online platforms via sign language.
- Readers with dyslexia have disrupted network connections in the brain, map the circuitry of dyslexia shows
Dyslexia, the most commonly diagnosed learning disability in the United States, is a neurological reading disability that occurs when the regions of the brain that process written language don't function normally. The use of non-invasive functional neuroimaging tools has helped characterize how brain activity is disrupted in dyslexia. However, most prior work has focused on only a small number of brain regions, leaving a gap in our understanding of how multiple brain regions communicate with one another through networks, called functional connectivity, in persons with dyslexia. Scientists have now conducted a whole-brain functional connectivity analysis of dyslexia using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
- Bedsharing with baby may impair sleep quality
Nocturnal awakenings are frequent among 6-month-old children, but sharing a bed might make things worse, researchers report. Even though the researchers found an overall reduction in both sleep duration and nocturnal awakenings from 6 to 18 months of age, the chronic problem of sleep problems was high -- and impacted by prior sleep behavior and sleeping arrangements. The longer the child shared bed with their parents, the greater the chance was of short sleep duration and frequent awakenings at 18 months of age.
- Healthy working environment is a salvation
Contract workers in Norway often face the worst and most unpredictable working conditions. But good management and support from colleagues makes these workers more robust. Outsourcing and contracted personnel have been on the increase in Norway for a number of years. As part of a three-year project, researchers collected data from the cleaning, construction, shipbuilding and healthcare industries, in order to examine how outsourcing affected working conditions and sickness leave.
- Protein glue shows potential for use with biomaterials
Scientists have shown that a synthetic protein called AGMA1 has the potential to promote the adhesion of brain cells in a laboratory setting. It is also cheaper and easier to produce on a large scale. This could help overcome a major challenge in nerve tissue engineering.
- No cookie-cutter divorces, so what info should online co-parenting classes offer?
Online classes for divorcing couples who have children are good at teaching parents how to deal with children's needs and responses to their family's new situation, researchers say. But would co-parenting couples benefit from content that helps adults cope with their own emotions and from unique tracks for families with special circumstances such as intimate partner violence or alcoholism as well?
- Three-quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive treatment for depression; new approach could transform care
Three papers reveal that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression are not currently receiving treatment for depression, and that a new integrated treatment program is strikingly more effective at reducing depression and improving quality of life than current care.
- Inside the teenage brain: New studies explain risky behavior
It’s common knowledge that teenage boys seem predisposed to risky behaviors. Now, a series of new studies is shedding light on specific brain mechanisms that help to explain what might be going on inside juvenile male brains.
- Social class makes a difference in how children tackle classroom problems
Social class can account for differences in how parents coach their children to manage classroom challenges, a study shows. Such differences can affect a child's education by reproducing inequalities in the classroom. With the widening gaps in educational outcomes between social classes, the researcher suggested that this study could help schools become more aware of these differences and make moves to reduce the inequalities.
- New treatment for multiple sclerosis being investigated
A new treatment under investigation for multiple sclerosis (MS) is safe and tolerable in phase 1 clinical trials, according to a study. Studies with animals showed that the drug may be able to reverse the demyelination of the nerves. Current treatments for MS work to reduce new damage to the brain, but do not repair new or past damage.