Medicine articlesModerate levels of secondhand smoke deliver nicotine to the brain
Exposure to secondhand smoke, such as a person can get by riding in an enclosed car while someone else smokes, has a direct, measurable impact on the brain-and the effect is similar to what happens in the brain of the person doing the smoking. In fact, exposure to this secondhand smoke evokes cravings among smokers, according to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Turning 'bad' fat into 'good': A future treatment for obesity?
By knocking down the expression of a protein in rat brains known to stimulate eating, Johns Hopkins researchers say they not only reduced the animals' calorie intake and weight, but also transformed their fat into a type that burns off more energy. The finding could lead to better obesity treatments for humans, the scientists report.
Positive effects of depression
Sadness, apathy, preoccupation. These traits come to mind when people think about depression, the world's most frequently diagnosed mental disorder. Yet, forthcoming research in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology provides evidence that depression has a positive side-effect.
Pain and itch connected down deep
A new study of itch adds to growing evidence that the chemical signals that make us want to scratch are the same signals that make us wince in pain.
The limits of self-control
We spend a good share of our days exercising self-control, whether it's ignoring the pastry on the kitchen counter, or smiling gamely at that ridiculous request from the boss when a rolling of the eyes is the first impulse.
Physical and emotional health of older couples linked for better or worse
A study of older married couples that gives new meaning to the matrimonial adage "for better or worse" finds that spouses have a much greater impact on their partner's health than previously known.
Prenatal exposure to common insecticide linked to decreases in cognitive functioning at age seven
Researchers from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health report evidence of a link between prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos and deficits in IQ and working memory at age seven. This is the first study to evaluate the neurotoxicity of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure on cognitive development at the time of school entry.
Research shows it can be good to get angry at work
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that anger used by managers in the construction industry has a positive impact and contributes to the success of a project.
Firefighting stiffens arteries, impairs heart function
Firefighting causes stiff arteries and "cardiac fatigue," conditions also found in weightlifters and endurance athletes, according to two recent studies by researchers at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, located at the University of Illinois.
You can count on this: math ability is inborn
We accept that some people are born with a talent for music or art or athletics. But what about mathematics? Do some of us just arrive in the world with better math skills than others?
Study explains why muscles weaken with age and points to possible therapy
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered the biological mechanism behind age-related loss of muscle strength and identified a drug that may help reverse this process. Their findings were published in the August 2 online edition of Cell Metabolism.
Have we met before? Scientists show why the brain has the answer
Have you ever been approached by someone whose face you recognise but whose name you can't remember? Neuroscientists at the University of Bristol have identified the reasons behind why we are, at times, unable to link a face to a name.
Alcohol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep
Large amounts of alcohol are known to shorten sleep latency, increase slow-wave sleep, and suppress rapid eye movement (REM) during the first half of sleep. During the second half of sleep, REM increases and sleep becomes shallower. A study of the acute effects of alcohol on the relationship between sleep and heart rate variability (HRV) during sleep has found that alcohol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep.
Daily TV quota of 6 hours could shorten life expectancy by 5 years
Watching TV for an average of six hours a day could shorten the viewer's life expectancy by almost five years, indicates research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Easy to visualize goal powerful motivator to finish a race or a task
Whether you are swimming in the Olympics or saving for a vacation, being able to see progress toward your goal will help you reach it.
Study finds 15 minutes of moderate daily exercise lengthens life
Taiwanese who exercise for 15 minutes a day, or 92 minutes per week, extended their expected lifespan by three years compared to people who are inactive, according to a study published in The Lancet.
Does moderate alcohol consumption increase body weight?
A paper from Spain provides an extensive review of the association between alcohol consumption and body weight. Based on the fact that the energy content in 1 gram of alcohol is 29 kJ or 7.1 kcal, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain.
How fat and obesity cause diabetes
Newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetics tend to have one thing in common: obesity. Exactly how diet and obesity trigger diabetes has long been the subject of intense scientific research. A new study led by Jamey D. Marth, director of the Center for Nanomedicine, a collaboration between the University of California, Santa Barbara and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), has revealed a pathway that links high-fat diets to a sequence of molecular events responsible for the onset and severity of diabetes. These findings were published online August 14 in the journal Nature Medicine.
Only an illusion
Selecting matching shoes and gloves before you go to work is relatively easy for most of us. Within a single glance, it's obvious that, say, the brown gloves chosen match as do the red shoes. That's because your visual system groups areas of the world with similar characteristics (red with red, brown with brown).
Tuning out: how brains benefit from meditation
Experienced meditators seem to be able switch off areas of the brain associated with daydreaming as well as psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, according to a new brain imaging study by Yale researchers.