A team of researchers said this week that they may have identified the genes responsible for bipolar disorder in children. Their study, published in BMC Psychiatry, implicates malfunctioning circadian clock genes, four alterations of the RORB gene to be specific, in the development of the disorder.
Scientists studied the RORA and RORB genes of 152 children with Bipolar and 140 control children. They found four alterations to the RORB gene that were positively associated with being bipolar. "Our findings suggest that clock genes in general and RORB in particular may be important candidates for further investigation in the search for the molecular basis of bipolar disorder," explained co-author Alexander Niculescu.
The controversy surrounding prescription drug advertising is immense. Advocates for prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) claim that it educates consumers, improves the quality of care and contributes to better patient adherence. While opponents argue that it leads to inappropriate prescribing and portrays non-medical problems as treatable medical illnesses.
Thanks to a new paper calling for stricter federal regulation of DTCA, the policy debate over the practice is certain to intensify even more. Soon to appear in the American Journal of Public Health, the study suggests that while there are some benefits stemming from (DTCA), there are significant risks that are magnified by its prominence.
Enhancing the effects of dopamine influences how people make life choices by affecting expectations of pleasure, according to new research from the UCL Institute of Neurology.
Published today in Current Biology, the study confirms an important role for dopamine in how human expectations are formed and how people make complex decisions. It also contributes to an understanding of how pleasure expectation can go awry, for example in drug addiction.
The study builds on earlier research which used brain imaging as participants imagined holiday destinations. An area of the brain called the straitum tracked expectations and the
The concept of altruism, a selfless concern for the welfare of others, a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions, has long been debated in philosophical circles. More recently, evolutionary biologists have joined the debate, saying that altruism may have evolved because any action that improves the likelihood of a relative's survival and reproduction increases the chance of an individual's DNA being passed on.
With the COP15 conference fast approaching, the world's political leaders are gearing up to hash out a global agreement that will save us from ever increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the unstoppable climate change that will follow.
New research published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, however, may complicate their plans. The new research, conducted by a professor of Earth Science at the University of Bristol, shows that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of CO2 has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of CO2 having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now.
After the successful introduction of myspace, facebook, twitter and however many other social networking sites that now exist, researchers at London's Natural History Museum have created a social networking tool called 'Scratchpads' just for natural historians. The platform is designed to get specialists together to share their data and prevent the discipline from being buried under a landslide of painstakingly collected data that isn't always used.