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What influence does the variation in estrogen level have on the activation of the female brain? Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Jean-Claude Dreher, a researcher at the Cognitive Neuroscience Center (CNRS/Université Lyon 1), in collaboration with an American team from the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, Maryland) directed by Karen Berman, has identified, for the first time, the neural networks involved in processing reward-related functions modulated by female gonadal steroid hormones.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have developed an experimental vaccine that could, theoretically, eliminate malaria from entire geographic regions, by eradicating the malaria parasite from an area's mosquitoes.

The vaccine, so far tested only in mice, would prompt the immune system of a person who receives it to eliminate the parasite from the digestive tract of a malaria-carrying mosquito, after the mosquito has fed upon the blood of the vaccinated individual. The vaccine would not prevent or limit malarial disease in the person who received it.

An article describing this work was published on the Web site of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists at Cardiff University (Wales, UK) have confirmed what thousands of people with arthritis have believed for years. Cod Liver Oil really is effective in treating joint pain and can slow, even reverse, the destruction of joint cartilage.

Cartilage is the ‘gristle’ that cushions bones and prevents them from grinding against each other. Loss of cartilage leads to osteoarthritis, the painful and disabling condition experienced by 1.5 million people in the UK and the major reason for joint replacement surgery.

Each holiday season, another woman who loves the rock band No Doubt will receive a plaid skirt that only the band's singer, Gwen Stefani, could pull off. Another athletic guy will receive an oversize sports jersey – even though off the field he prefers Brooks Brothers. Why are we so terrible at predicting the tastes of the ones we love? A new study explains why familiarity with another person actually makes predicting their tastes more difficult.

Past research has argued that lack of diagnostic information causes this sort of misperception, but Davy Lerouge (Tilburg University, the Netherlands) and Luk Warlop (Katholieke University, Belgium) found that we buy unwanted gifts even when we have plenty of knowledge.

Despite research efforts to find modern factors that would explain the different life expectancies of men and women, the gap is actually ancient and universal, according to University of Michigan researchers.

"Women live longer in almost every country, and the sex difference in lifespan has been recognized since at least the mid-18th century," said Daniel J. Kruger, a research scientist in the U-M School of Public Health and the Institute for Social Research. "It isn't a recent trend; it originates from our deep evolutionary history."

Although women consume less alcohol than men, they are more susceptible to some of the negative medical consequences of alcohol use, such as cirrhosis of the liver, cardiac disease, and cognitive impairments. Animal studies have also shown that males and females differ on behavioral as well as electrophysiological measures of alcohol's effects.