The Depression Serotonin Link Is A Myth

The widely held belief that depression is due to low levels of serotonin in the brain and that...

Perceptions Of Environmental Damage Lessen Over Time, Even When Things Stay The Same

Invasive pests known as spruce bark beetles have been attacking Alaskan forests for decades, killing...

95,000 Person Study Shows MMR Vaccine Does Not Lead To Higher Autism Risk

A study of approximately 95,000 children with older siblings found that the measles-mumps-rubella...

Heavy Snoring And Sleep Apnea Signal Earlier Memory Decline

Heavy snoring and sleep apnea may be linked to memory and thinking decline at an earlier age, according...

User picture.
News StaffRSS Feed of this column.

News Releases From All Over The World, Right To You... Read More »


Charles Darwin, for all his brilliance, was perhaps paralyzed by insecurity. There are not many other explanations for why he delayed publishing his seminal work, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life", until 1859.

Heroin addicts who do not give it up should be able to access the drug through the Canadian taxpayer-funded health system, according to a recent paper in BMJ. Standard treatments for heroin drug addiction include detoxification, abstinence programs and methadone maintenance.

Obviously some people never give it up and the paper argues that is a medical failure, that if doctors cannot provide effective treatments for these patients they will remain "outside the healthcare system" and there is "overwhelming" evidence that they will relapse into using heroin and suffer immeasurably while costing society a fortune, according to Professor Martin T. Schechter of the School of Population and Public Health at University of British Columbia.

An international study has identified significant vascular changes in the brains of people with Huntington's disease. This breakthrough, the details of which are published in the most recent issue of Annals of Neurology, will have significant implications for our understanding of the disease and could open the door to new therapeutic targets for treating this fatal neurodegenerative condition.

Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder that causes serious motor, cognitive, and psychiatric dysfunction and gradually leads to loss of autonomy and death. The disease develops in people age 40 to 50 on average. There is no cure and current treatments can only help control certain symptoms, but do not slow the neurodegenerative process.

How does our auditory system represent time within a sound? A new study investigates how temporal acoustic patterns can be represented by neural activity within auditory cortex, a major hub within the brain for the perception of sound.

Dr. Daniel Bendor, from University College London, describes a novel way that neurons in auditory cortex can encode temporal information, based on how their excitatory and inhibitory inputs get mixed together.

Your car moves when you press the accelerator and stops when you step on the brakes. In much the same way, a neuron's activity depends on the excitation and inhibition it receives from other neurons. But how these inputs combine together to make a neuron "go" or "stop" can also convey information.

In 2004, astronomers examining a map of the radiation leftover from the Big Bang (the cosmic microwave background, or CMB) discovered the Cold Spot, a larger-than-expected unusually cold area of the sky. The physics surrounding the Big Bang theory predicts warmer and cooler spots of various sizes in the infant universe, but a spot this large and this cold was unexpected.

Now, a team of astronomers led by Dr. Istvan Szapudi of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa may have found an explanation for the existence of the Cold Spot, which Szapudi says may be "the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity."

Most of today's anticancer drugs target the DNA or proteins in tumor cells, but a new discovery unveils a whole new set of potential targets: the RNA intermediaries between DNA and proteins.

This RNA, called messenger RNA, is a blueprint for making proteins. Messenger RNA is created in the nucleus and shuttled out into the cell cytoplasm to hook up with protein-making machinery, the ribosome. Most scientists have assumed that these mRNA molecules are, aside from their unique sequences, generic, with few distinguishing characteristics that could serve as an Achilles heel for targeted drugs.