Researchers at Max Planck Institute for Brain Research have discovered a mammalian claustrum in reptiles, believed to impact decision-making and consciousness. The study hints at the claustrum’s prehistoric existence, in mammals, reptiles, and possibly their common ancestor. Continue reading Study finds a classically mammalian brain region in reptilian brains
Bioengineers from the University of Texas at Dallas have developed a new form of composite material by incorporating yeast into a gel. They demonstrated that the composite can change size depending on the nutrients present around the gel and that different shapes can be formed by genetically manipulating the yeast. Continue reading It’s Alive!: A Living Smart Material
by Sam Zimmerman figures by Hannah Zucker If we were all mice, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and most inherited disorders would be a thing of the past. We could nibble on as much cheese as we wanted without fear of heart disease and run around our favorite wheel for hours on end without knee pain because all these ailments have been cured in mice. Unfortunately, … Continue reading Why Drugs Tested in Mice Fail in Human Clinical Trials
Scientists discovered that a family of proteins known as Sestrins can actually mimic the beneficial effects of exercise. This could potentially be useful for maintaining the health of people who have difficulty moving and exercising. Continue reading Could we replace exercise with protein supplements?
by Sydney Sherman figures by Aparna Nathan More likely than not, you or someone you know has taken a genetic test. Whether they are curious about their ethnic roots and family tree or want to determine their risk for developing a certain disease, consumers have access to genetic testing as a simple “spit-and-send” process. We use the technology and rely on the results, but how … Continue reading What can we learn from a genetic test?
New research from Cedars-Sinai suggests that patients with young-onset Parkinson’s may have been born with the beginnings of the disorder. Continue reading People With Young-Onset Parkinson’s May Have Been Born With It
A bird known for “brood parasitism”, laying its eggs in other birds’ nests, also has a strong preference for more brightly colored offspring. A new study shows that the two behaviors are unrelated. Continue reading Playing favorites: a new study investigates parental preferences in American Coot
CIFAR Fellows’s paper questions whether diabetes, heart attacks and strokes are actually non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Microbiota (bacteria, viruses, fungi) that spread flu, HIV/AIDS, may also carry NCDs. People with NCDs have damaged microbiota, causing disease when transmitted into healthy animals. Spouses and cohabitants’ shared lifestyles and environments also lead to gut bacteria transfer.
Continue reading Is diabetes communicable?
by Aparna Nathan figures by Abagail Burrus Superheroes aren’t the only ones with riveting origin stories. As humans, where did we come from? How did we populate six continents? For hundreds of years, archaeology has tried to provide the answers by digging up artifacts and piecing together their histories. However, shovels and brushes are now joining forces with test tubes and lab coats. Within the … Continue reading Digging for DNA: Ancient genomes can illuminate the past and reframe the present
Scientists have developed a biodegradable ultrasound speaker that can be placed inside the brain. When activated, it makes the blood-brain barrier permeable, potentially allowing certain drugs such as brain cancer chemotherapy and antidepressants to reaching their destination more easily. Continue reading Ultrasound speaker implant that can open a door to your brain