Why do most people eat dessert after dinner but not before? Culture, or the brain? 

The prevailing belief is that the body often needs protein so only after that is obtained are carbohydrates 'craved', to add to the body’s fat stores. Yet it is not so simple and a new study combines effects to see how the brain's parallel internal states guide behavior.
We all know people who have poor impulse control. They can't open a bag of chips without eating the whole thing, or they lose their temper over something minor and can't calm down. A new study finds it may involve two major circuits in the basal ganglia. 
Yes, I know - I have touched on this topic already a couple of times in this blog, so you have the right to be bored and surf away. I am bound to talk about this now and then anyway, though, because this is the focus of my research these days. 
Recently I was in the Elba island (a wonderful place) for a conference on advanced detectors for fundamental physics, and I presented a poster there on the topic of artificial-intelligence-assistend design of instruments for fundamental physics. Below is the poster (I hope it's readable in this compressed version - if you really want a better pic just ask).



Eukaryogenesis is the point at which animal and plant cells separate from bacteria. In animal and plant cells, tubulin forms microtubules which are critical to their internal organization, because they support the cell, giving it structure, shape, and internal organization.

Because it is so essential to the cell, uncovering the origin of tubulin would be a remarkable step in understanding how the complex cells found in animals and plants diverged from the single cells of bacteria.
In the 1960s and '70s, population apocalypse stories were popular. Movies like "Soylent Green" and books like "The Population Bomb" and "Ecoscience" provided dystopian views of the future, where science would fail and government would be forced to get drastic, with forced sterilization and abortion needed until the number of people got down to a limit farming could sustain.

That never happened. Progress did. Companies created new agricultural tools, herbicides were created that avoided resistance. Then we got GMOs. First in insulin, then they saved the papaya in Hawaii, and then we got common products like corn, soybean, and cotton. Food got more plentiful and more affordable.
A saying in psychology goes that more truth comes out when people are drunk. This is even when it comes to politics, where studies showed that young people who espouse more liberal beliefs get more conservative when they are inebriated. They stop saying what they think they should be saying based on what people want to hear.

Along that line, a wealthy person who was raised poor is more likely to see through excuses of poor people than someone born into money, according to a new paper. They are less 'sympathetic' than people who have never had to struggle. 
The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has been overturned, which means that the Supreme Court ruled that the right to an abortion is not federally protected by the US Constitution (in the 1973 case, that it couldn't be illegal under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment), and is instead up to states as per the enumerated powers part of the Constitution. As most of you know, when the Constitution was written, states were concerned about replacing one autocratic centralized government with another, so the Constitution, and then the immediate Bill of Rights, were written to specify that if it was not in the Constitution, it was left to states.

Vernians are the true believers who think Jules Verne's books are scientific manuals rather than fantastic stories. To my knowledge, there are few, if any, true Vernians around. Still, there are neo-Vernians today who see Verne's books are scientific manuals illustrating the theories of his day. Furthermore, a Vernian process shows how to evaluate science and project itinto the engineering future. Maybe the most forgotten and valuable part of Verne's science fiction was its use in education.

Some areas on Mars are extremely salty, very cold, and have only a hint of oxygen - just like Earth. Yet even in the permafrost of Lost Hammer Spring in the Nunavut territory of Canada’s High Arctic, researchers have found microbes that have never been identified before

Using genomic and single cell microbiology methods, they examined their metabolisms and found that the microbial communities found living in Canada’s High Arctic can survive by eating and breathing simple inorganic compounds of a kind that have been detected on Mars - methane, sulfide, sulfate, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.