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A variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme ADH1B*3 is associated with reduced rates of alcohol dependence (AD), according to a study in Alcoholism: Clinical&Experimental Research.

The enzyme variant appears to cause sedation and reduce the amount alcohol a person will drink.  ADH1B*3 is found almost exclusively in populations with African ancestry, the study's authors say.
Problem gamblers react more intensely to "near misses" than casual gamblers, possibly spurring them on to play more, according to new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Researchers found that the brain region that responds to rewards by delivering a dose of the chemical dopamine was especially active in these individuals.

Studies have shown that pathological gambling is an addiction, similar in many ways to drug addiction. The new study suggests that the degree to which a person's brain responds to near misses may indicate the severity of addiction.
A new study published in PLoS Medicine has found that skepticism about the benefit of the HPV vaccine remains high among parents of adolescent girls.

Even when financial and healthcare barriers are removed, some parents remain hesitant to have their daughters receive the vaccine - the more educated parents are, the less likely it is they will consent, says the new study.  As a result, policymakers must spend more money to ensure that the debate is properly framed.

The authors surveyed parents of sixth-grade girls (age 11) in a publicly funded school-based program in British Columbia, Canada, to determine the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and to examine the factors involved in their decision to allow receipt of the vaccine.
Pregnant mothers who smoke during pregnancy may be putting their children at risk psychiatric problems in childhood and young adulthood, according to a new study.

Finnish researchers found that adolescents who had been exposed to prenatal smoking were at increased risk for use of all psychiatric drugs especially those uses to treat depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addiction compared to non-exposed youths. The study will be presented tomorrow at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Researchers from the Seattle Children's Research Institute have found that teenagers who sleep less are more likely to gain weight. Their study, they say, is one of the first studies to document an association between sleep duration and weight in adolescents, even after controlling for calorie intake, activity level and depressive symptoms.

"Sleep has long been recognized as an important health behavior," said lead author Leslie A. Lytle. "We are just beginning to recognize its relationship to overweight and obesity in children and adults alike."
A University of Florida engineer has crafted a nickel-sized imaging device that uses organic light-emitting diode technology similar to that found in laptop screens for night vision. The device is paper-thin, light and inexpensive, making it a possible add-on for cell phones.

Other applications could include night vision technology for car windshields, or even for standard glasses to use at night.
A paper detailing the infrared-to-vision device was published in a recent issue of Advanced Materials.