Medicine

Some harmful effects of light at night can be reversed, study finds
Chronic exposure to dim light at night can lead to depressive symptoms in rodents - but these negative effects can be reversed simply by returning to a standard light-dark cycle, a new study suggests.

Scientists read monkeys' inner thoughts
Anyone who has looked at the jagged recording of the electrical activity of a single neuron in the brain must have wondered how any useful information could be extracted from such a frazzled signal.

Study shows how aging impairs immune response
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have uncovered one of the mechanisms by which aging may compromise the ability of the immune system to fight infections and respond to vaccines. The study, conducted in aging mice, shows that administering antioxidants may help reverse this loss of immune function. The findings were published online this month in the journal Cell Reports.

Study identifies how muscles are paralyzed during sleep
Two powerful brain chemical systems work together to paralyze skeletal muscles during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, according to new research in the July 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The finding may help scientists better understand and treat sleep disorders, including narcolepsy, tooth grinding, and REM sleep behavior disorder.

Researchers find a brain center for social choices
Although many areas of the human brain are devoted to social tasks like detecting another person nearby, a new study has found that one small region carries information only for decisions during social interactions. Specifically, the area is active when we encounter a worthy opponent and decide whether to deceive them.

Tooth protection from the sea
A team of dentists and scientists from Newcastle University are developing a new product from a marine microbe to protect dentures, teeth and gums from bacteria in the mouth.

Should we sleep more to lose weight?
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that sleep behavior affects body weight control and that sleep loss has ramifications not only for how many calories we consume but also for how much energy we burn off.

Hunting for autism's chemical clues
On her laptop computer one recent afternoon, University at Buffalo researcher Charmion Cruickshank calls up a mass spectrometry readout showing the breakdown of chemicals in the urine of a child with autism.

Why chronic pain is all in your head
When people have similar injuries, why do some end up with chronic pain while others recover and are pain free? The first longitudinal brain imaging study to track participants with a new back injury has found the chronic pain is all in their heads -- quite literally.

Omega-3 lowers inflammation in overweight older adults
New research shows that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can lower inflammation in healthy, but overweight, middle-aged and older adults, suggesting that regular use of these supplements could help protect against and treat certain illnesses.