A study reveals that the severity of learning disorders may depend not only on the child's environment but also on the mother's environment when she was young.
The researchers studied the brain function of pre-adolescent mice with a genetically-created defect in memory. When these young mice were enriched by exposure to a stimulating environment – including novel objects, opportunities for social interaction and voluntary exercise – for two weeks, the memory defect was reversed. The work showed that this enhancement was remarkably long-lasting because it was passed on to the offspring even though the offspring had the same genetic mutation and were never exposed to an enriched environment.
A new testosterone patch, designed to pep up a woman's flagging sex drive after womb and ovary removal, may not work, and its long term safety is not proven, says the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB).
Intrinsa was recently licensed in the UK for the treatment of women, who have gone through the menopause as a result of womb and ovary removal, and who are subsequently experiencing a drop in sex drive. The condition is referred to as hypoactive sexual desire disorder or HSDD for short.
There is some evidence to suggest that a fall in sex drive after the menopause might be linked to low levels of circulating testosterone.
A study by UC Davis researchers published in Archives of Pediatric&Adolescent Medicine has found that most of the healthy children and teenagers in the United States who are taking daily vitamin and mineral supplements probably don't need them. The study also found that the children who most need to take vitamins aren't getting them.
The idea of ecosystem services is a promising conservation concept but has been rarely put into practice. In Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, researchers have created a tool they say can report some of the first quantifiable results that place values on nature's services to humans.
Some of the best-described ecosystem services include pollination of crops, flood and storm protection, water filtration and recreation. The challenging part is translating these services into something with a measurable value. Economic valuation methods take changes in the supply of ecosystem services and translate these into changes in human welfare.
If you care about the environment, you probably have become familiar with the phrase 'food miles' - along with production methods, it has become a key factor in what environmentally conscious people do to get quality food with less impact on the ecosystem.
But they may be negating it, according to new research by the University of Exeter (UK) p ublished in the journal Food Policy. Shopping locally may not be as good for the environment as having food delivered - on average, lower carbon emissions result even from having food delivered right to your house than driving to a local farm.
Most animals, like humans, have separate sexes. We are born, live out our lives and reproduce as one sex or the other, but some animals live as one sex in part of their lifetime and then switch to the other sex, a phenomenon called sequential hermaphroditism. Yale scientists believe the bigger puzzle is why the phenomenon is so rare, since their analysis shows the biological “costs” of changing sexes rarely outweigh the advantages.
This process is even evolutionarily favored, they say, so its rarity cannot be explained by an analysis of the biological costs vs benefits.