Medicine articles'Supermap' of avian flu yields new info on source/spread
Scientists here have designed a new, interactive map of the spread of the avian flu virus (H5N1) that for the first time incorporates genetic, geographic and evolutionary information that may help predict where the next outbreak of the virus is likely to occur.
Mit team takes high-res, 3-d images of eye
In work that could improve diagnoses of many eye diseases, MIT researchers have developed a new type of laser for taking high-resolution, 3-D images of the retina, the part of the eye that converts light to electrical signals that travel to the brain.
Children across cultures see same and different natural world
A Tzotzil Maya infant from a remote village in the Guatemala Highlands and a North American infant from Chicago have vastly different cultural experiences and know words that the other can't fathom. Yet children such as these from diverse cultures around the world share strikingly similar aspects of conceptual and language development related to notions about the natural world, according to Northwestern University research.
Brain likely more adept at using nose than previously realized
Brains are able to adjust automatically to the demands of distinguishing between small differences in smell, new research at the University of Chicago shows.
Scientists identify genes activated during learning and memory
Researchers have long recognized that for learning and memory to take place, certain genes must be activated to alter neuron activity inside the brain. Disruptions in normal gene expression within these neurons can lead to alarming consequences, such as seizures and epilepsy. But identifying and cataloging all the genes involved in learning is a daunting task. In the March 13 issue of BMC Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University scientists show how an innovative computational approach can provide a rapid way to identify the likely members of this long sought-after set of genes.
How the brain copes with shifty eyeballs
Neurobiologists have pinpointed brain regions critical to one of the brain's more remarkable feats—piecing together a continuous view of the world by integrating snippets of visual input from constantly moving eyes. Since the eyeball has only a narrow field of clear view, it must continually make tiny shifts to sample the visual world. And during these shifts, which last thousandths of a second, people are essentially blind.
Study shows response to financial loss parallels brain's processing of pain
People process information about financial loss through mechanisms in the brain similar to those used for processing physical pain, according to a new imaging study. The results could provide a new understanding of excessive gambling.
For better or for worse -- optimists and pessimists are influenced by different ad messages
When it comes to financial matters, people tend to fall into two categories: prevention-focused (risk-averse) or promotion-focused (gain-oriented). A study in the June issue of the Journal of Consumer Research tests comparative ads that are positively framed ("Brand X is better than Brand Y") and negatively framed ("Brand Y is worse than Brand X"), and analyzes how their effects might differ depending on your initial mindset.
Vigorous exercise keeps people thin with age
The old adage "use it or lose it" is truer than ever. People who maintain a vigorously active lifestyle as they age gain less weight than people who exercise at more moderate levels, according to a first-of-its-kind study that tracked a large group of runners who kept the same exercise regimen as they grew older.
An ancient bathtub ring of mammoth fossils
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory geologists have put out a call for teeth tusks, femurs and any and all other parts of extinct mammoths left by massive Ice Age floods in southeastern Washington.
Meditation may fine-tune control over attention
Everyday experience and psychology research both indicate that paying close attention to one thing can keep you from noticing something else. However, a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that attention does not have a fixed capacity - and that it can be improved by directed mental training, such as meditation.
Researchers publish first marsupial genome sequence
An international team, led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced the publication of the first genome of a marsupial, belonging to a South American species of opossum. In a comparison of the marsupial genome to genomes of non-marsupials, including human, published in the May 10 issue of the journal Nature, the team found that most innovations leading to the human genome sequence lie not in protein-coding genes, but in areas that until recently were referred to as "junk" DNA.
Daylight device lightens electricity cost
By combining a tilting platform, an acrylic dome and a light source that mimics the sun, MIT researchers are creating a device that will help manufacturers design window systems that bring more daylight into buildings while controlling incoming solar radiation. The result should be significant energy savings and more contented occupants.
Sumo wrestling in the brain
Increasing the amount of SUMO, a small protein in the brain, could be a way of treating diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, reveal scientists at the University of Bristol, UK. Their findings are published online in Nature.
Ethanol vehicles pose a significant risk to human health
Ethanol is widely touted as an eco-friendly, clean-burning fuel. But if every vehicle in the United States ran on fuel made primarily from ethanol instead of pure gasoline, the number of respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations would likely increase, according to a new study by Stanford University atmospheric scientist Mark Z. Jacobson.
Study finds high media use in infants, toddlers and preschoolers
Seventy-five percent of infants, toddlers and preschoolers watch television daily for an average of more than one hour, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin in their comprehensive study of media use among children ages zero to six.
Healing chronic wounds through use of nanoscale surfaces
It's both costly and frustrating when doctors are unable to heal persistent wounds, such as diabetic ulcers or pressure sores in patients with limited mobility. Traditional treatments are often less than satisfactory.
Parents can sneak veggies into kids diet
Parents who want their kids to consume fewer calories and eat more vegetables might find a healthy solution with "stealth vegetables." A Penn State study shows that decreasing the calorie density of foods by adding vegetables and other lower-calorie ingredients leads to a reduction in children's calorie intake and an increase in vegetable consumption.
Spreading viruses as we breathe
Keeping at arm's length won't protect you from catching an infectious disease, according to new research by Queensland University of Technology which reveals airborne viruses can spread far and wide.
Virtual reality helps MS patients walk better
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology scientists have created a virtual reality device that combines auditory and visual feedback to improve walking speed and stride length in patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson.