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- Ads effective even in the midst of multitasking, studies find
Those video ads playing in the corner of your computer screen, in the midst of multitasking, may have more impact than you realize. They may be as effective as ads you're really watching, says one expert. It depends on how you perceive and process media content -- whether your processing 'style' is to focus more on one thing or to take it all in. It also may depend on your mood.
- Chronic insomniacs may face increased risk of hypertension
Insomniacs who take longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep face a greater risk of hypertension, according to new research. This study is the first to test whether insomnia with physiological hyperarousal, defined as a longer time to fall asleep, is linked to hypertension.
- Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers
Nature has many examples of self-assembly, and bioengineers are interested in copying these systems to create useful new materials or devices. Amyloid proteins, for example, can self-assemble into the tangled plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease -- but can also form very useful materials, such as spider silk, or biofilms around living cells. Researchers have now come up with methods to manipulate natural proteins so that they self-assemble into amyloid fibrils.
- Phase 1 clinical trial of CUDC-101 'throws kitchen sink' at head and neck cancer
At 18 months median follow up of a phase 1 clinical trial, one patient's cancer had worsened, two had died, and nine remained free of disease. Testing of blood and tumor samples showed that CUDC-101 had indeed inhibited the action of EGFR, HDAC and Her2.
- Students master math through movement using Kinect for Windows
Significant gains in the understanding of angles and angle measurements by elementary school students are seen in those who performed body-based tasks while interacting with a Kinect for Windows mathematics program.
- Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally
Considerable attention has been paid to how boys' educational achievements in science and math compare to girls' accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls in these areas. Now, using international data, researchers have determined that girls outperform boys in educational achievement in 70 percent of the countries they studied -- regardless of the level of gender, political, economic or social equality.
- Good bedtime habits equal better sleep for kids
Children obtain better and more age-appropriate sleep in the presence of household rules and regular sleep-wake routines, according to sleep researchers.
- Higher dementia risk linked to more use of common drugs
A large study links a significantly increased risk for developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, to taking commonly used medications with anticholinergic effects at higher doses or for a longer time. Many older people take these medications, which include nonprescription diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
- Possible therapeutic target for common, but mysterious brain blood vessel disorder
Tens of millions of people worldwide have abnormal, leak-prone sproutings of blood vessels in the brain called cerebral cavernous malformations. These abnormal growths can lead to seizures, strokes, and hemorrhages, yet their precise molecular cause has never been determined. Now, cardiovascular scientists have studied this pathway in heart development to discover an important set of molecular signals, triggered by CCM-linked gene defects, that potentially could be targeted to treat the disorder.
- Largest-ever autism genome study finds most siblings have different autism-risk genes
The largest-ever autism genome study reveals that the disorder's genetic underpinnings are more complex than previously thought: Most siblings who have autism have different autism-linked genes. The study's data is part of the historic first upload of approximately 1,000 autism genomes to the Autism Speaks MSSNG portal in Google Cloud Platform. The data will be openly available for global research in order to speed understanding of autism and the development of individualized treatments.
- Is head CT overused in emergency departments?
Most patients presenting to the emergency department with syncope or dizziness may not benefit from head CT unless they are older, have a focal neurologic deficit, or have a history of recent head trauma.
- Brain study sheds light on how children with autism process social play
Brain scans confirm significant differences in play behavior, brain activation patterns and stress levels in children with autism spectrum disorder as compared with typically developing children, new research demonstrates.
- Majority of homeless adults with mental illness have high rates of cognitive deficits
Nearly three-quarters of homeless adults with mental illness in Canada show evidence of cognitive deficits, such as difficulties with problem solving, learning and memory, new research has found. The study-believed to be the largest of its kind -assessed neurocognitive functioning indicators such as mental processing speed, verbal learning and memory in 1,500 homeless adults in five Canadian cities.
- Cochlear implant users can hear, feel the beat in music
People who use cochlear implants for profound hearing loss do respond to certain aspects of music, contrary to common beliefs and limited scientific research, says a research team. The scientists say exposure to the beat in music, such as drums, can improve the emotional and social quality-of-life of cochlear implant users and may even help improve their understanding and use of spoken language.
- Would you tell your manager you had a mental health problem?
Although nearly four in 10 workers wouldn't tell their manager if they had a mental health problem, half said that if they knew about a coworker's illness, they would desire to help, a new survey shows. The survey reveals that workers have both negative and supportive attitudes about mental health in the workplace.
- In infants, pain from vaccinations shows up in brain activity
Infants show distinct, consistent patterns of brain activity in response to painful vaccinations, new research shows.
- New mechanism to aid cells under stress identified
New details in a cellular mechanism that serves as a defense against stress have been identified by a team of biologists. The findings potentially offer insights into tumor progression and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's -- the cell's inability to respond to stress is a major cause of these diseases.
- Brain circuit that regulates thirst identified
Scientists have identified a circuit in the brains of mice that regulates thirst. When a subset of cells in the circuit is switched on, mice immediately begin drinking water, even if they are fully hydrated. A second set of cells suppresses the urge to drink.
- Mindfulness-based program in schools making a positive impact, study shows
A social and emotional learning program started by Academy Award winning actress Goldie Hawn to help school children improve their learning abilities, be more caring, and less stressed is now backed by new scientific evidence.
- Towards a scientific process freed from systemic bias
Research on how science works -- the science of science -- can benefit from studying the digital traces generated during the research process, such as peer-reviewed publications. This type of research is crucial for the future of science and that of scientists, according to experts.
- Mother's stress hormone levels may affect fetal growth and long term health of child
Increased levels of stress hormones can lead pregnant mice to overeat, but affect growth of the fetus and, potentially, the long term health of the offspring, according to a new study.
- Poor psychosocial work environments may contribute to heart problems
A psychosocially poor work environment means that employees experience highly demanding requirements but have little ability to control their work or not feel sufficiently appreciated for the contributions they make. Research shows that these kinds of environments at work may negatively contribute to a person's heart health.
- Stress during pregnancy related to infant gut microbiota
Women who experience stress during pregnancy are likely to have babies with a poor mix of intestinal microbiota and with a higher incidence of intestinal problems and allergic reactions. This could be related to psychological and physical problems as the child develops.
- Testosterone helps bind antidepressants in brain
Female sex hormones have a strong effect on the psyche. This has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies and by phenomena such as the "baby blues", a bout of low mood following childbirth, or recurrent mood swings that occur prior to menstruation. However the male sex hormone testosterone also affects our mood and emotions, as well as our libido - and in a positive way.
- Daily drinking increases risk of alcoholic cirrhosis
Although alcohol is the most important risk factor of alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, less is known about the significance of different patterns of drinking. Currently scientists believe that cirrhosis is a function of the volume of alcohol consumed irrespective of patterns of drinking. Investigators have now established that alcohol drinking pattern has a significant influence on the risk of cirrhosis and that daily drinking increases that risk compared with drinking less frequently.
- Reducing work-family conflicts in the workplace helps people to sleep better
Workers who participated in an intervention aimed at reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities slept an hour more each week and reported greater sleep sufficiency than those who did not participate in the intervention, a study shows.
- 'Fifth taste,' umami, could be beneficial for health
The umami taste could have an important and beneficial role in health, according to research. 'Kokumi' substances, which modify flavor, could improve the taste of low-fat foods, the scientists say.
- Friends know how long you'll live, study finds
Young lovers walking down the aisle may dream of long and healthy lives together, but close friends in the wedding party may have a better sense of whether those wishes will come true, suggests new research on personality and longevity.
- Relationship between religion and educational attainment
Researchers have long studied and documented the influence religion has on social groups; however, few have examined the role it plays in education. A new research article examines the relationship between religion and educational attainment in the United States.
- Use it or lose it: Active learning improves cognitive learning in active adults
Older adults who learn a new, mentally demanding skill can improve their cognitive function, according to research. "When we see all these media reports that tell people that they should get involved socially, or do crossword puzzles or Sudoku, they are just not as beneficial as learning something new where you really have to put that effort in,” says one investigator. “You have to want to change and work hard to see real benefits.”
- 'July Effect' doesn’t apply to length of surgery
The "July Effect" -- when newly trained physicians begin their residency at teaching hospitals, potentially increasing the risk of medical errors -- doesn't appear to lengthen surgeries during that month, according to an American study.
- Lead negatively impacts cognitive functions of boys more than girls
The female hormones estrogen and estradiol may help ward off the effects of lead exposure for young girls, explaining why boys, are shown to suffer more often from the cognitive disabilities linked to lead.
- Lucid dreams and metacognition: Awareness of thinking; awareness of dreaming
To control one's dreams and to live 'out there' what is impossible in real life -- a truly tempting idea. Some persons -- so-called lucid dreamers -- can do this. Researchers have discovered that the brain area which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers. Thus, lucid dreamers are possibly also more self-reflecting when being awake.
- Why all-nighters don't work: How sleep, memory go hand-in-hand
Scientists have long known that sleep, memory and learning are deeply connected but how has remained a mystery. The question is, does the mechanism that promotes sleep also consolidate memory, or do two distinct processes work together? In other words, is memory consolidated during sleep because the brain is quiet or are memory neurons actually putting us to sleep? In a recent paper, researchers make a case for the latter.
- Early English exposure prepares Spanish-speaking children for academic success
Family members, teachers and peers can play different roles in shaping Spanish-speaking children's school readiness and English skills that are vital to children's academic success, research confirms.
- Stalking versus cyberstalking: Effects on victims, their responses compared
The devastating effects of stalking and cyberstalking – harassing or threatening communication via the Internet – are explored in a new study. Key among the findings is that victims of cyberstalking engage in more 'self-protective' behaviours -- such as changing their normal routines or getting a new email address -- than victims of stalking.
- Climate affects development of human speech
A correlation between climate and the evolution of language has been uncovered by researchers. To find a relationship between the climate and the evolution of language, one needs to discover an association between the environment and vocal sounds that is consistent throughout the world and present in different languages. And that is precisely what a group of researchers has done.
- Live broadcast from inside the nerve cell
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are caused by defect and aggregated proteins accumulating in brain nerve cells that are thereby paralyzed or even killed. In healthy cells this process is prevented by the proteasome, which removes the defective proteins. Recently, for the first time, researchers observed and structurally characterized proteasomes at work inside healthy brain cells.
- Lucky charms: When are superstitions used most?
People are more likely to turn to superstitions to achieve a performance goal versus a learning goal, researchers have found.
- Mothers don't speak so clearly to their babies
People have a distinctive way of talking to babies and small children: We speak more slowly, using a sing-song voice, and tend to use cutesy words like "tummy". While we might be inclined to think that we talk this way because it is easier for children to understand, new research suggests that, surprisingly, mothers may actually speak less clearly to their infants than they do to adults.
- New brain pathway offers hope for treating hypogylcemia
A novel pathway buried deep within a region of the brain produces a brain hormone that acts as a crucial sensor of blood glucose levels. Learning how the hormone helps orchestrate responses around the body when levels drop too low offers hope for treating hypoglycemia.
- The brain's electrical alphabet: Timing, rate underlie neural information, study shows
The brain’s alphabet is a mix of rate and precise timing of electrical pulses, researchers have revealed. The study shows that the nervous system features a “multichannel” language that makes up the neural code, or the alphabet that processes information in the brain.
- Scientists map brains of the blind to solve mysteries of human brain specialization
Studying the brain activity of blind people, scientists are challenging the standard view of how the human brain specializes to perform different kinds of tasks, and shedding new light on how our brains can adapt to the rapid cultural and technological changes of the 21st Century.
- New 'systems genetics' study identifies possible target for epilepsy treatment
A single gene that coordinates a network of about 400 genes involved in epilepsy could be a target for new treatments, according to research. Epilepsy is a common and serious disease that affects around 50 million people worldwide. The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population. It is known that epilepsy has a strong genetic component, but the risk is related to multiple factors that are 'spread' over hundreds of genes.
- Parents' belief that a child will attend college plays big role in early academic success
The factors influencing children's readiness for kindergarten include not only whether they attend preschool, but also their families' behaviors, attitudes and values, research indicates. In addition, parents' expectations go a long way toward predicting children's success throughout their schooling, the researchers found.
- Genome-wide search reveals new genes involved in long-term memory
Genes involved in long-term memory in the worm have been discovered as part of research aimed at finding ways to retain cognitive abilities during aging. The study identified more than 750 genes involved in long-term memory, including many that had not been found previously and that could serve as targets for future research, said the study's senior author.
- Pro-marijuana 'tweets' are sky-high on Twitter
Analyzing every marijuana-related Twitter message sent during a one-month period in early 2014, researchers have found that the 'Twitterverse' is a pot-friendly place. In that time, more than 7 million tweets referenced marijuana, with 15 times as many pro-pot tweets sent as anti-pot tweets.
- Anti-inflammatory protein may trigger plaque in Alzheimer's disease
Inflammation has long been studied in Alzheimer's, but in a counter-intuitive finding reported by researchers has uncovered the mechanism by which anti-inflammatory processes may trigger the disease.
- Tablet computers good medium for educational materials
It's increasingly important for educators to understand how mobile technology such as touch-screen tablets can enhance learning instead of being classroom distractions, says a professor of business administration, and co-author of new research in business and e-learning.
- Treatment restores sociability in autism mouse model
Researchers have treated mice that mimic human autism with a neuropeptide called oxytocin, and have found that it restores normal social behavior. In addition, the findings suggest that giving oxytocin as early as possible in the animal's life leads to more lasting effects in adults and adolescents.
- Low-income boys fare worse in wealth's shadow
Low-income boys fare worse, not better, when they grow up alongside more affluent neighbors, according to new research. The greater the economic distance between boys and their neighbors, the worse the effects. In mixed-income neighborhoods, poor boys showed more antisocial behavior, such as lying, cheating, swearing and fighting. The findings reflect a dozen years of research on mixed-income neighborhoods in the UK.
- Prescription painkillers, widely used by childbearing age women, double birth defects risk
Many women are unaware that prescription opioid-based medications such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or morphine, used to treat severe pain, may increase the risk for serious birth defects of the baby's brain, spine, and heart, as well as preterm birth when taken during pregnancy. Use of these medications also can cause babies to suffer withdrawal symptoms when born, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS, a growing problem in US birthing hospitals.
- Infants can learn to communicate from videos, study shows
Children under two years old can learn certain communication skills from a video, such as how to use signs in sign language, and perform similarly in tests when compared to babies taught by their parents, according to a new paper. The study is the first to isolate the effects of purportedly educational commercial videos on infant learning.
- Family voices, stories speed coma recovery
'Can he hear me?' Family members are desperate to know when a loved one with a traumatic brain injury is in a coma. A new study shows the recorded voices of loved ones telling the patient familiar stories stored in his long-term memory help awaken the unconscious brain and speed recovery from the coma.
- Secrets of a clump-dissolving protein uncovered
Workhorse molecules called heat-shock proteins contribute to refolding proteins that were once misfolded and clumped, causing such disorders as Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are developing ways to 'reprogram' one such protein -- a yeast protein called Hsp104 -- to improve its therapeutic properties.
- Estrogen-producing neurons influence aggression in both sexes
A miniscule cluster of estrogen-producing nerve cells in the mouse brain exerts highly specific effects on aggressive behavior in both males and females, according to new research.
- Brain secrets unlocked by international imaging effort
Significant genetic factors that influence the size of structures within the brain have been discovered by an international team of researchers. It is hoped these new insights may help scientists better understand disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.
- Rare neurological disease shines light on health of essential nerve cells
Pelizaeus Merzbacher disease, or PMD, is a devastating neurological condition that, in its most severe form, kills infants weeks after birth. Thirty years ago, a neuroscientist noticed a genetic mutation in dogs that was practically identical to the disease in humans. Now, that has laid out the results of his marathon pursuit of PMD.
- Parents' reliance on welfare leads to more welfare use by their children, study finds
Family welfare cultures have been explored through a new study in the context of Norway's Disability Insurance System. From 14,722 parent-child observations, researchers have found strong empirical evidence that reliance on welfare in one generation is likely to cause greater welfare use in the next generation.
- Blame it on your brain: Salt and hypertension
Excessive salt intake "reprograms" the brain, interfering with a natural safety mechanism that normally prevents the body's arterial blood pressure from rising, researchers have discovered.