Medicine articlesSongbirds offer clues to highly practiced motor skills in humans
The melodious sound of a songbird may appear effortless, but his elocutions are actually the result of rigorous training undergone in youth and maintained throughout adulthood. His tune has virtually "crystallized" by maturity. The same control is seen in the motor performance of top athletes and musicians. Yet, subtle variations in highly practiced skills persist in both songbirds and humans. Now, scientists think they know why.
Food quality can re-wire young appetite control
A University of Alberta researcher has discovered evidence that suggests the part of our brain that controls appetite changes along with our diets during infancy - a fact that could lead to a greater understanding of childhood obesity.
Researchers seek to make cavity-causing bacteria self-destruct
Bacteria that eat sugar and release cavity-causing acid onto teeth may soon be made dramatically more vulnerable to their own acid. Researchers have identified key genes and proteins that, if interfered with, can take away the ability of a key bacterial species to thrive as its acidic waste builds up in the mouth.
Study identifies where thoughts of familiar objects occur inside the human brain
A team of Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists and cognitive neuroscientists, combining methods of machine learning and brain imaging, have found a way to identify where people's thoughts and perceptions of familiar objects originate in the brain by identifying the patterns of brain activity associated with the objects.
Fight against hay fever and other allergies helped by new immune system discovery
A mechanism which can lead to hay fever and other allergic reactions, by preventing the immune system from regulating itself properly, has been discovered by scientists. Researchers hope their finding, published in the journal PLoS Biology, will allow therapies to be developed that treat allergies by stopping this mechanism.
Language centers revealed, brain surgery refined with new mapping
Neurosurgeons from the University of California, San Francisco are reporting significant results of a new brain mapping technique that allows for the safe removal of tumors near language pathways in the brain. The technique minimizes brain exposure and reduces the amount of time a patient must be awake during surgery.
New method enables scientists to see smells
Animals and insects communicate through an invisible world of scents. By exploiting infrared technology, researchers at Rockefeller University just made that world visible. With the ability to see smells, these scientists now show that when fly larvae detect smells with both olfactory organs they find their way toward a scented target more accurately than when they detect them with one.
4 health behaviors can add 14 extra years of life
People who adopt four healthy behaviours – not smoking; taking exercise; moderate alcohol intake; and eating five servings of fruit and vegetables a day – live on average an additional fourteen years of life compared with people who adopt none of these behaviours, according to a study published in the open access journal PLoS Medicine.
Eat less or exercise more? Either way leads to more youthful hearts
Overweight people who lose a moderate amount of weight get an immediate benefit in the form of better heart health, according to a study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And the heart improvements happen whether that weight is shed by eating less or exercising more.
Researchers uncover key trigger for potent cancer-fighting marine product
An unexpected discovery in marine biomedical laboratories at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has led to new, key information about the fundamental biological processes inside a marine organism that creates a natural product currently being tested to treat cancer in humans. The finding could lead to new applications of the natural product in treating human diseases.
Brain imaging and genetic studies link thinking patterns to addiction
Scientists have for the first time identified brain sites that fire up more when people make impulsive decisions. In a study comparing brain activity of sober alcoholics and non-addicted people making financial decisions, the group of sober alcoholics showed significantly more "impulsive" neural activity.
Peanut allergies showing up at much earlier ages
Children are being exposed to peanuts and exhibiting signs of life-threatening peanut allergies at much earlier ages, according to a new study from researchers at Duke University Medical Center, who caution parents and care-givers to be alert to the trend. -FULL TEXT:
Lack of imagination in older adults linked to declining memory
Most children are able to imagine their future selves as astronauts, politicians or even superheroes; however, many older adults find it difficult to recollect past events, let alone generate new ones. A new Harvard University study reveals that the ability of older adults to form imaginary scenarios is linked to their ability to recall detailed memories.
New study will explore brain's connections between touch and sound
In the middle of the night, as you hear the buzzing of a mosquito, your skin begins to prickle, anticipating that the annoying insect is about to light on you. It's a common occurrence that you might take for granted. But for researcher Michael Beauchamp, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, it's a sensory mystery that he would like to solve.
Research sheds light on the mechanics of gene transcription
The molecular machinery behind gene transcription -- the intricate transfer of information from a segment of DNA to a corresponding strand of messenger RNA -- isn't stationed in special "transcription factories" within a cell nucleus, according to Cornell researchers. Instead, the enzyme RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and other key molecules can assemble at the site of an activated gene, regardless of the gene's position.
Overweight people may not know when they've had enough
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have found new clues to why some people overeat and gain weight while others don't.
Do today's young people really think they are so extraordinary?
When asked about the state of today's youth, former president Jimmy Carter recently mused "I've been a professor at Emory University for the past twenty years and I interrelate with a wide range of students...I don't detect that this generation is any more committed to personal gain to the exclusion of benevolent causes than others have been in the past."
Culture influences brain function
People from different cultures use their brains differently to solve the same visual perceptual tasks, MIT researchers and colleagues report in the first brain imaging study of its kind.
Researchers uncover new piece to the puzzle of human height
In studies involving more than 35,000 people and a survey across the entire human genome, an international team supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found evidence that common genetic variants recently linked to osteoarthritis may also play a minor role in human height.
Price tag can change the way people experience wine, study shows
In what will be music to the ears of marketers, the old adage that you get what you pay for really is true when it comes to that most ephemeral of products: bottled wine.