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Antidepressant prescriptions in the UK increased by 9.6% in 2011, to 46 million prescriptions. Since that is for a total of only 63 million people in the last census, a lot of whom are children, the antidepressant prescription total is quite high.

But does that reflect over-medication or appropriate treatment for better diagnoses? 


An international team of researchers sequenced nuclear and mitochondrial DNA that had been extracted from the leg of an early modern human from Tianyuan Cave near Beijing, China and found that the human from 40,000 years in China is related to many people on multiple continents.

Analyses of this individual's DNA showed that the Tianyuan human shared a common origin with the ancestors of many present-day Asians and Native Americans. In addition, the researchers found that the proportion of Neanderthal and Denisovan-DNA in this early modern human is not higher than in people living in this region nowadays.


Researchers have announced the discovery of a two million year old fossil fox at the now renowned archaeological site of Malapa in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.
 

The previously unknown species of fox is named Vulpes Skinneri, for the recently deceased South African mammalogist and ecologist Prof. John Skinner of the University of Pretoria.
 


In Europe, where over 19 million students are in tertiary education, they are looking for ways to improve the teaching skills of scientists in order to teach more effectively the next generation of innovators.  It would seem obvious that reducing the anti-science mentality of the culture would be the obvious step but the sociologists argue instead that the position of 'teacher researcher' should be created under the social sciences banner.


Rats socially isolated during a critical period in adolescence are more vulnerable to addiction to amphetamine and alcohol, according to a new paper. Amphetamine addiction is also harder to extinguish in the socially isolated rats.

These effects persist even after the rats are reintroduced into the community of other rats.

"Basically the animals become more manipulatable," said Hitoshi Morikawa, associate professor of neurobiology in the College of Natural Sciences. "They're more sensitive to reward, and once conditioned the conditioning takes longer to extinguish. We've been able to observe this at both the behavioral and neuronal level."


In a genome-wide analysis of 13 metastatic prostate cancers done on men who died of metastatic prostate cancer and whose tissue samples were collected after a rapid autopsy, scientists found consistent epigenetic signatures across all metastatic tumors in each patient. 

The discovery of stable epigenetic marks that sit on the nuclear DNA of cancer cells and alter gene expression, defies a prevailing belief that the marks vary so much within each individual's widespread cancers that they have little or no value as targets for therapy or as biomarkers for treatment response and predicting disease severity.