Genes found only in humans influence brain size

Public Release: 31-May-2018 New genes arose in human ancestors just before a dramatic increase in brain size and are involved in genetic defects associated with neurological disorders University of California – Santa Cruz IMAGE: Researchers studied the effects of NOTCH2NL genes in cortical organoids grown from human embryonic stem cells. Immunofluorescence staining shows markers for…

Smarter brains run on sparsely connected neurons

Public Release: 17-May-2018 Princeton researchers crowdsource brain mapping with gamers, discover 6 new neuron types Caption By turning a time-intensive research problem into an interactive game, Princeton neuroscientist Sebastian Seung has built an unprecedented data set of neurons, which he is now turning over to the public via the Eyewire Museum. These 17 retinal neurons,…

Skin cancers linked with up to a 92% reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Public Release: 19-Apr-2018   Wiley Previous studies have demonstrated a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in individuals with various cancers, including non-melanoma skin cancers (including squamous cell cancers and basal cell cancers). A new Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology study finds that this inverse relationship also holds true for malignant…

Food abundance driving conflict in Africa, not food scarcity

Public Release: 1-Mar-2018   Dartmouth College In Africa, food abundance may be driving violent conflict rather than food scarcity, according to a study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a publication of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. The study refutes the notion that climate change will increase the frequency of civil war…

Our mitochondria are optimized to run at 122 degrees Fahrenheit ?

Public Release: 25-Jan-2018 Do our mitochondria run at 50 degrees C? PLOS Windows Live Blog Caption Left: Mitochondria of human cells illuminated by the thermo-sensitive probe. Four human cells, each with its nucleus (N) and its numerous hot filamentous mitochondria (yellow-red). Right: Mitochondria as radiators. A high-magnification rendering of one such filament reveals parallel arrays…

Viruses are everywhere, maybe even in space

Public Release: 18-Jan-2018 Portland State University Viruses are the most abundant and one of the least understood biological entities on Earth. They might also exist in space, but as of yet scientists have done almost no research into this possibility. Portland State University biology professor Ken Stedman and colleagues are trying to change this through…

1500 years ago Life Expectancy was about 70 not 40

Public Release: 3-Jan-2018 Redefining knowledge of elderly people throughout history Australian National University An archaeologist from The Australian National University (ANU) is set to redefine what we know about elderly people in cultures throughout history, and dispel the myth that most people didn’t live much past 40 prior to modern medicine. Christine Cave, a PhD…

Gamers have an advantage in learning

Public Release: 29-Sep-2017   Ruhr-University Bochum Neuropsychologists of the Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum let video gamers compete against non-gamers in a learning competition. During the test, the video gamers performed significantly better and showed an increased brain activity in the brain areas that are relevant for learning. Prof Dr Boris Suchan, Sabrina Schenk and Robert Lech report…

Colorectal cancer death rates rising in people under 55

Public Release: 8-Aug-2017   Rise confined to white population American Cancer Society ATLANTA -August 8, 2017- A new report finds that colorectal cancer mortality rates have increased in adults under 55 since the mid-2000s after falling for decades, strengthening evidence that previously reported increases in incidence in this age group are not solely the result…

Pro-vaccine messages are having the opposite effect

Public Release: 7-Aug-2017 Pro-vaccine messages can boost belief in MMR myths, study shows University of Edinburgh Current strategies for correcting misinformation about the dangers of vaccinations have the opposite effect and reinforce ill-founded beliefs, a study suggests. Presenting scientific facts to disprove misconceptions was found to actually strengthen unfounded opinions, such as that the measles,…

Genes that lead to coronary disease are need for fertility

Public Release: 22-Jun-2017 Human genes for coronary artery disease make them more prolific parents Genome-wide scans suggest that natural selection keeps these genes in the population as they benefit childbearing capacity PLOS Coronary artery disease may have persisted in human populations because the genes that cause this late-striking disease also contribute to greater numbers of…