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- Gene hunters find rare inherited mutations linked to bipolar disorder
Using so-called next-generation genome sequencing, researchers have identified 84 potential inherited gene mutations that may contribute to the most severe forms of bipolar disorder. About 5.6 million Americans are estimated to have bipolar disorder, say the authors of a new report.
- Anti-anxiety medication limits empathetic behavior in rats
Rats given midazolam, an anti-anxiety medication, were less likely to free trapped companions because the drug lessened their empathy, according to a new study.
- Sign languages provide insight into universal linguistic short-cuts
Humans have a natural drive to reduce physical effort in nearly every activity, including using language. The ways that effort-reduction affect human language have been the subject of extensive research in the field of linguistics, though the overwhelming focus has been on spoken languages. By studying this effect in sign languages, two linguists have discovered a new way in which language is shaped by our innate drive to make physical activity easier.
- Want to learn a new language? Get a partner and play this video game
Using a language-learning game called 'Crystallize,' created by computer science faculty and students, researchers found that when players are required to work together they learn more words -- and enjoy the game more.
- Researchers devise tool to improve imaging of neuronal activity in the brain
In a partnership melding neuroscience and electrical engineering, researchers have developed a new technology that will allow neuroscientists to capture images of the brain almost 10 times larger than previously possible -- helping them better understand the behavior of neurons in the brain.
- Drug that helps addicts may help treat cancer too, say experts
The drug naltrexone (LDN), which is used to treat addicts, can have a beneficial impact on cancer patients if it is given in low doses, new research suggests.
- Unproven claims run rampant in e-cigarette business
Electronic cigarette makers and sellers are making all kinds of health claims, many of which likely won't stand up to scrutiny under recently announced FDA regulation, a new study has found.
- Link between gut bacteria, MS discovered
Researchers are now saying bad gut bacteria -- or an insufficient amount of good bacteria -- may have a direct link to multiple sclerosis.
- Disrupted immunity in fetal brain is linked to neurodevelopmental disorders
New research findings in mice may help explain how viral infection during pregnancy raises the risk of autism and schizophrenia in their offspring. The study may explain, among other things, how the mother's infection with the cytomegalovirus (CMV) during pregnancy, which affects her own and her fetus's immune system, increases the risk that her offspring will develop autism or schizophrenia, sometimes years later.
- Stress contagion possible amongst students, teachers
Teacher burnout and student stress may be linked, according to a new study. The work is the first of its kind to examine the connection between teacher burnout and students' cortisol levels, which are a biological indicator of stress.
- Flipping a protein switch to illuminate brain functions
Researchers have engineered an artificial switch that could let scientists turn individual neurotransmitter receptors on and off. Shedding light on these receptors' role in memory formation could contribute to the development of new drugs for neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and ALS.
- Lower levels of coenzyme Q10 in blood associated with multiple system atrophy
The neurodegenerative disease known as multiple system atrophy (MSA) affects both movement and involuntary bodily functions. Questions have been raised about the potential role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) insufficiency in the development of MSA. Little is known about blood levels of CoQ10 in patients carrying either COQ2 mutations or no mutations.
- Global analysis finds unnecessary end-of-life treatment in hospitals is widespread
The largest systematic review of the care of elderly patients hospitalized at the end of their life has found more than one-third received invasive and potentially harmful medical treatments.
- Researchers look into the brains of music fans
As soon as social considerations also play a part in economic decisions, our brain seems to switch to a different processing mode, indicate the results of a current study. Participants were able to purchase pieces of music but could themselves set the price to be paid. During the process, the researchers recorded the brain activity of the participants.
- How is food represented in our brain?
Despite the central role of food in our lives, research has done little to discover how food concepts are organized in our brain. A new review sorts out the knowledge gained so far, relating it to the current theories of semantic categorization. This in-depth analysis provides a useful conceptual framework for future research and for putting the different theories to the test.
- Text Messaging with Smartphones Triggers a New Type of Brain Rhythm
Sending text messages on a smartphone can change the rhythm of brain waves, according to a new study. People communicate increasingly via text messaging, though little is known on the neurological effects of smartphone use.
- Narcissistic superior can be a good leader
Narcissistic leaders seem to get good assessments from their subordinates, new research shows. However, it was noticed that the more narcissistic features the leader had the less time he/she had been in the position. The results also show that the narcissistic leaders don’t seem to suffer from burnout symptoms.
- Researchers open new path of discovery in Parkinson's disease
Two genes associated with Parkinson's disease are key regulators of the immune system, providing direct evidence linking Parkinson's to autoimmune disease, a new study indicates.
- In first-ever survey, 36 percent of water polo players report concussions
A first-of-its-kind survey has confirmed what some water polo players -- especially goalies -- have long suspected: concussions seem to be prevalent in the sport.
- Electronic medical practice environment can lead to physician burnout
The growth and evolution of the electronic environment in health care is taking a toll on US physicians. That's according to a national study of physicians that shows the use of electronic health records and computerized physician order entry leads to lower physician satisfaction and higher rates of professional burnout.
- Substance user’s social connections: Family, friends, and the foresaken
It’s no secret that social environments can play a role in the development as well as recovery from substance-abuse problems. A new study, designed to uncover how individual relationships respond to substance use and social influences, has found that the links between substance use and social connections are bidirectional and strong.
- Understanding Risk Factors Involved in Initiation of Adolescent Alcohol Use
Underage drinking is a major public health and social problem in the U.S. The ability to identify at-risk children before they initiate heavy alcohol use has immense clinical and public health implications. A new study has found that demographic factors, cognitive functioning, and brain features during the early-adolescence ages of 12 to 14 years can predict which youth eventually initiate alcohol use during later adolescence around the age of 18.
- Adolescent Girls Choose to Drink at Lower Blood Alcohol Concentrations
Gender and a family history of alcoholism (FH) are two genetically determined factors known to affect someone’s risk for developing alcohol-use disorders (AUDs). Adolescence is also a critical period for the development of AUDs; drinking habits can be unstable and environmental factors such as peer pressure may be substantial. This study looked at how gender and FH might affect alcohol use in a sample of 18- to 19-year-olds from the Dresden Longitudinal Study on Alcohol use in Young Adults (D-LAYA).
- Minimum legal drinking age of 21 can protect against later risk of death
The minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) in the U.S. regulates the age at which individuals can legally purchase and possess alcohol in public. An MLDA of 21 has been linked to a number of benefits, including a lower risk for alcoholism in adulthood. However, no studies have examined linkages between exposure to MLDAs during young adulthood and mortality later in life. This study examined if young adults – college and non-college students – exposed to a permissive MLDA (younger than 21) had a higher risk of death from alcohol-related chronic diseases compared to those exposed to an MLDA of 21.
- How Make-Up Makes Men Admire but Other Women Jealous
Men think women with make-up on are more 'prestigious', while women think women who wear make-up are more 'dominant,' a psychology study has found.
- New devices causing 'paradigm shift' in stroke care
New devices called stent retrievers, which effectively reverse strokes, are revolutionizing the treatment of certain stroke patients, report investigators.
- What makes individuals nasty or nice? Mathematical model explains
A scientist has helped develop an innovative mathematical model for exploring why some individuals evolve to be genetically programmed to be nice, while others stay nasty.
- New doubts on Zika as cause of microcephaly
Brazil's microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery -- if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in other countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases?
- 'Ergo Kid' chairs, tables developed for comfort of students
A researcher has developed an adjustable tables where the front portion can be tilted for easy reading and writing in order to minimize the ergonomic health risks among school children.
- Relationship quality tied to good health for young adults
For young people entering adulthood, high-quality relationships are associated with better physical and mental health, according to the results of a new study.
- Researchers offer new theory on how climate affects violence
Researchers have long struggled to explain why some violent crime rates are higher near the equator than other parts of the world. Now, a team of researchers has developed a model that could help explain why.
- Eyewitnesses who collaborate make fewer mistakes in police interview
Witnesses correct each other's errors. Two recently published research studies show that witnesses make fewer errors when they are interviewed together than when they are interviewed separately. This stands in sharp contrast with current police guidelines to always interview witnesses separately.
- Should first-year college students assessed as needing remedial math take college-level quantitative courses instead?
Policies placing first-year college students assessed as needing remedial math directly into college-level quantitative courses, with additional support, can increase student success, according to a first-of-its-kind study.
- Analysis of genetic repeats suggests role for DNA instability in schizophrenia
An international research team has revealed extensive genetic variation in patients with schizophrenia. Significantly more copy number variations (CNVs) of genomic DNA were detected in patients than in controls. Patients also showed different disease severity, which appears associated with the CNVs' number and variable expressivity. These findings enabled the researchers to propose a genetic model of schizophrenia in which genomic instability underlies disease development.
- Use of non-fit messaging may improve patient choices
When it comes to helping patients make the best choices for themselves, sometimes you have to challenge their usual way of dealing with the world, according to new research.
- Experts off guidance on medical marijuana for pain
Marijuana often is used to self treat chronic pain and, with 24 states legalizing medical use of the herb, experts have published guidance for physicians caring for patients who use cannabis. The paper also identified opportunities for future research required to better understand the health effects of cannabinoids.
- Part-timers now 49 percent of nation's college and university faculty, study finds
Part-time workers now make up nearly half of the faculty of U.S. colleges and universities, according to the 2016 edition of The Condition of Education, a federal report on the nation’s education system.
- Human brain houses diverse populations of neurons, new research shows
A team of researchers has developed the first scalable method to identify different subtypes of neurons in the human brain. The research lays the groundwork for 'mapping' the gene activity in the human brain and could help provide a better understanding of brain functions and disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia and depression.
- Moral dilemma with driverless cars: Who gets protected, the driver or pedestrians?
A new study shows that the public is conflicted over safety scenarios concerning driverless cars, taking a notably inconsistent approach to the safety of autonomous vehicles, should they become a reality on the roads.
- Scientists reveal single-neuron gene landscape of the human brain
A team of scientists has completed the first large-scale assessment of single neuronal 'transcriptomes.' Their research reveals a surprising diversity in the molecules that human brain cells use in transcribing genetic information from DNA to RNA and producing proteins.
- 'Smoke alarm' one of 36 genes newly found to play role in pain sensation
Researchers have found that a suite of genes in both fruit flies and humans plays a role in nerve sensitivity. The research could lead to new drug targets in pain management.
- New study provides unprecedented insight into the fine details of neuronal communication
For communication between neurons to occur, an electrical impulse, called an action potential, must travel down an axon to its synaptic terminal. A major technical challenge impeding the direct examination of this process, axonal excitability, is the small diameter of a typical axon -- less than 500 nanometers. Researchers have now optimized optical and electrophysiological recordings from single neurons to study axonal excitability with unprecedented detail.
- Precise control of brain circuit alters mood
By combining super-fine electrodes and tiny amounts of a very specific drug, researchers have singled out a circuit in mouse brains and taken control of it to dial an animal's mood up and down. Stress-susceptible animals that behaved as if they were depressed or anxious were restored to relatively normal behavior by tweaking the system, according to a study.
- Running releases protein associated with improved memory in mice
The reason why treadmill training can boost memory recall remains an active area of investigation. A couple of proteins have been shown to fuel exercise-induced neuron growth, but a new study presents a new candidate, cathepsin B -- one that can be directly traced from the muscles to the brain in mice. Also, after a run, protein levels increased in blood in mice, monkeys, and humans.
- Aging monkeys become more selective regarding their social circle
As people get older, they become choosier about how they spend their time and with whom they spend it. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on June 23 find, based on a series of experimental and behavioral studies, that similar changes take place in Barbary macaques. The findings offer an evolutionary perspective on why aging humans behave as they do, according to the researchers.
- Not only trauma but also the reversal of trauma is inherited
Behaviors caused by traumatic experiences in early life are reversible. Researchers could demonstrate that environmental enrichment allows trauma-related symptoms in mice to be reversed. This is the first evidence that positive environmental factors can correct behavioral alterations which would otherwise be transmitted to the offspring. The symptoms and their reversal are associated with epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene.
- New research uncovers why an increase in probability feels riskier than a decrease
New research uncovers why an increase in probability feels riskier than a decrease. The research falls under the realm of subjective probability, also known as likelihood or risk. While past research has looked at how people interpret single estimates of the probability for a future event, the focus of this research was on how estimates change over time.
- State opioid laws appear to have no impact on prescribing for one vulnerable population
States are aggressively enacting laws aimed at curbing prescription opioid abuse and overdose. The laws appear to have no impact on hazardous prescribing for disabled workers, a large population with high opioid use. People in this group, presumably a population the laws aim to protect, are 10 times more likely than average to die of prescription opioid overdose.
- Scientists learn more about how star-shaped brain cells help us learn
A molecule that enables strong communication between our brain and muscles appears to also aid essential communication between our neurons, scientists report.
- 3D Brain-on-a-chip
To study brain cell’s operation and test the effect of medication on individual cells, the conventional Petri dish with flat electrodes is not sufficient. For truly realistic studies, cells have to flourish within three-dimensional surroundings. Researchers have developed a sieve with 900 openings, each of which has the shape of an inverted pyramid. On top of this array of pyramids, a micro-reactor takes care of cell growth.
- Genetic clue to how patients respond to treatment for Parkinson's Disease
Researchers have identified a gene variant which explains why some patients with Parkinson’s Disease respond well to drug treatment and other do not.
- Dose of nature is just what the doctor ordered
People who visit parks for 30 minutes or more each week are much less likely to have high blood pressure or poor mental health than those who don't, according to new research.
- New findings challenge current view on origins of Parkinson's disease
'Mutant flies' have provided insight into the origins of Parkinson's disease, report scientists. The work found that the death of neurons associated with the disease was prevented when chemicals that block the effects of endoplasmic reticulum stress were used.
- United States parents not as happy as those without children, researcher says
Parents in the United States generally are not as happy as those who aren't parents. Not only that, the U.S. has the largest "happiness gap" among parents compared to non-parents in 22 industrialized countries, according to a new report.
- Do you know what you're smoking? Research suggests that you don't
There is little awareness of the chemical components of cigarette smoke amongst US adults, even though many of them report having looked for relevant information. In a new study, researchers suggest that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expand its messaging activities so that information about these constituents reaches all segments of the US population, especially those most vulnerable to tobacco product use and its associated health risks.
- Loss of essential protein in the choroid plexus epithelium linked to hydrocephalus
A team led by researchers reports that mice lacking the protein Alix develop hydrocephalus or 'water on the brain.' Alix ensures that epithelial cells of the choroid plexus are oriented correctly with respect to one another to prevent compromise of the epithelial barrier.
- Scientists identify new switch to boost memory
New insight into the process that converts experiences into stable long-term memories has been uncovered by neurobiologists. The research team discovered that chemical modifications that add methyl groups to RNA, a process known as methylation, could strengthen memory formation.
- Creating more effective product recalls by improving traceability
Even as the food industry looks for ways to curb outbreaks, a new study finds that just being able to trace a product through its supply chain is at once critical, and difficult.
- Rates of nonmedical prescription opioid use, opioid use disorder double in 10 years
Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013, based on a new American study.
- Drug monitoring programs reduce opioid deaths, study shows
The implementation of state prescription drug monitoring programs was associated with the prevention of approximately one opioid-related overdose death every two hours on average nationwide, according to a new study.