Medicine articlesAmazonian tribe sheds light on causes of heart disease in developed countries
Heart attacks and strokes - the leading causes of death in the United States and other developed countries - may have been rare for the vast majority of human history, suggests a study published in PLoS ONE on Tuesday, August 11.
The mind's eye scans like a spotlight
You're meeting a friend in a crowded cafeteria. Do your eyes scan the room like a roving spotlight, moving from face to face, or do you take in the whole scene, hoping that your friend's face will pop out at you? And what, for that matter, determines how fast you can scan the room?
No experience required: category-specific brain organization in sighted and blind humans
A new study finds a surprising similarity in the way neural circuits linked to vision process information in both sighted individuals and those who have been blind since birth. The research, published by Cell Press in the August 13th issue of the journal Neuron, reveals that category-specific localized activation of a critical part of the visual cortex does not require any prior visual experience and provides fascinating and valuable insight into the evolutionary history of the human brain.
Human mind: sound and vision wired through same 'black box'
Sounds and images share a similar neural code in the human brain, according to a new Canadian study. In the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists from the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University explain how the same neural code in the brain allows people to distinguish between different types of sounds, such as speech and music, or different images.
Life and death in the living brain: recruitment of new neurons slows when old brain cells kept from dying
Like clockwork, brain regions in many songbird species expand and shrink seasonally in response to hormones. Now, for the first time, University of Washington neurobiologists have interrupted this natural "annual remodeling" of the brain and have shown that there is a direct link between the death of old neurons and their replacement by newly born ones in a living vertebrate.
UT Southwestern physicians bust myths about insulin
People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes often resist taking insulin because they fear gaining weight, developing low blood sugar and seeing their quality of life decline.
First human gene implicated in regulating length of human sleep
Scientists have discovered the first gene involved in regulating the optimal length of human sleep, offering a window into a key aspect of slumber, an enigmatic phenomenon that is critical to human physical and mental health.
Smokers' tongues fail taste test
Smokers have fewer and flatter taste buds. A study of the tongues of 62 Greek soldiers, published in the open access journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, has demonstrated how cigarettes deaden the ability to taste.
Anti-aging gene linked to high blood pressure
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have shown the first link between a newly discovered anti-aging gene and high blood pressure. The results, which appear this month in the journal Hypertension, offer new clues on how we age and how we might live longer.
Nano-magnets guide stem cells to damaged tissue
Microscopic magnetic particles have been used to bring stem cells to sites of cardiovascular injury in a new method designed to increase the capacity of cells to repair damaged tissue, BBSRC-funded scientists at UCL announced recently.
Study shows bilinguals are unable to 'turn off' a language completely
With a vast majority of the world speaking more than one language, it is no wonder that psychologists are interested in its effect on cognitive functioning. For instance, how does the human brain switch between languages? Are we able to seamlessly activate one language and disregard knowledge of other languages completely?
New DNA test uses nanotechnology to find early signs of cancer
Using tiny crystals called quantum dots, Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a highly sensitive test to look for DNA attachments that often are early warning signs of cancer. This test, which detects both the presence and the quantity of certain DNA changes, could alert people who are at risk of developing the disease and could tell doctors how well a particular cancer treatment is working.
Why sleep? UCLA scientist delves into one of science's great mysteries
Bats, birds, box turtles, humans and many other animals share at least one thing in common: They sleep. Humans, in fact, spend roughly one-third of their lives asleep, but sleep researchers still don't know why.
Clues to gigantism provided by family in Morneo mountains
An indigenous family living in a mountainous area of Malaysian Borneo helped Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) researchers to discover information about genetic mutations associated with acromegaly, a form of gigantism that often results in enlarged hands, feet, and facial features.
Trust in a teardrop
Medically, crying is known to be a symptom of physical pain or stress. But now a Tel Aviv University evolutionary biologist looks to empirical evidence showing that tears have emotional benefits and can make interpersonal relationships stronger.
LLNL research reveals how blast waves may cause human brain injury even without direct head impacts
New research on the effects of blast waves could lead to an enhanced understanding of head injuries and improved military helmet design.
Fat in the liver. Not the belly, is a better marker for disease risk
New findings from nutrition researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggest that it's not whether body fat is stored in the belly that affects metabolic risk factors for diabetes, high blood triglycerides and cardiovascular disease, but whether it collects in the liver.
What she sees in you: facial attractiveness explained
When it comes to potential mates, women may be as complicated as men claim they are, according to psychologists.
Share and share alike: how the modern world affects our tendency to share
From giving directions to a stranger to cooking a meal for loved ones, sharing is an essential part of the human experience. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research unravels the complexities of sharing and examines how changes in our culture affect sharing.
Is tetris good for the brain?
Brain imaging shows playing Tetris leads to a thicker cortex and may also increase brain efficiency, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Research Notes. A research team based in New Mexico is one of the first to investigate the effects of practice in the brain using two image techniques.