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Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 23.01.2017
Biosocial science: The murky history of the nature and nurture debate
Biosocial science: The murky history of the nature and nurture debate
The idea that social behaviours are biologically influenced is controversial, but may provide new views on how our environment influences who we are and what we do, writes Daphne Martschenko from the Faculty of Education. Self-righteousness, gratitude, sympathy, sincerity, and guilt - what if these social behaviours are biologically influenced, encoded within our genes and shaped by the forces of evolution to promote the survival of the human species' Does free will truly exist if our genes are inherited and our environment is a series of events set in motion before we are born?

Life Sciences - Health - 23.01.2017
New clue towards understanding why prion strain virulence varies depending on which cells are infected
New clue towards understanding why prion strain virulence varies depending on which cells are infected
Prion strains are more or less virulent depending on the population of cells they infect. The reason for these different virulence levels remains largely unknown. Researchers at INRA recently took a decisive step closer to explaining these variations. They observed that certain strains were favoured over others depending on the level of PrP protein, which forms the substrate of brain cells in mice.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.01.2017
Brain cells mobilize sugar in response to increased activity
New research is providing insights into why the brain is so reliant on sugar to function. In a study published Jan. 19 in Neuron, a research team led by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators discovered that brain cells recruit a specific sugar, glucose, to fuel the transmission of electrical signals that enable people to think, breathe and walk.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.01.2017
The brains of alcohol dependents and binge drinkers may recover differently
The brains of alcohol dependents and binge drinkers may recover differently
Cells that clear damage in the brain are less active in alcohol-dependent patients after withdrawal than in models of adolescent binge-drinking. People who have become alcohol-dependent suffer symptoms of withdrawal while abstaining from drink. These include cognitive impairment, such as memory problems, making plans and being able to act flexibly.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.01.2017
Brain's connections which keep related memories distinct from each other, identified in new study
Brain’s connections which keep related memories distinct from each other, identified in new study
Neuroscientists at the University of Bristol are a step closer to understanding how the connections in our brain which control our episodic memory work in sync to make some memories stronger than others. The findings reveal a previously unsuspected division of memory function in the pathways between two areas of the brain, and suggest that certain subnetworks within the brain work separately, to enhance the distinctiveness of memories.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.01.2017
Around Antarctica: ACE expedition completed its first leg
Around Antarctica: ACE expedition completed its first leg
The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) arrived yesterday in Australia after 30 days at sea.

Life Sciences - 20.01.2017
How To Survive Nail-Biter Football Games, According to Science
For the millions of people watching NFL games this weekend, it is not all fun and games. Rooting for your favorite team can leave you feeling anxious and stressed - right down to the last second. The good news is that there is a way to help manage your stress reactions during the game. Mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly popular way for people to improve stress management, and Carnegie Mellon University scientists are leading the way to understanding how and why.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.01.2017
Bacterial discovery solves 20-year-old molecular paleontology mystery
A fatty molecule once thought to be unique to flowering plants has turned up in bacteria skimmed from the Adriatic Sea and may provide biotech insights. A fatty molecule thought to be unique to flowering plants has turned up in bacteria skimmed from the Adriatic Sea. The surprising finding solves a 20-year-old paleontological mystery and could affect how scientists interpret the presence of this molecule in the ecological record.

Life Sciences - 20.01.2017
Zika uses axons to spread havoc in central nervous system
Zika uses axons to spread havoc in central nervous system
The Zika virus wreaks havoc in the central nervous system well after the initial stages of pregnancy and can use long axon projections of neurons to spread, a new Yale School of Medicine study suggests. The researchers tracked infections in the brains of newborn mice, the equivalent developmentally to a second trimester fetus in human pregnancy.

Life Sciences - 19.01.2017
How ants navigate homeward - forward, backward, or sideward
How ants navigate homeward - forward, backward, or sideward
An international team including researchers at the university of Edinburgh and Antoine Wystrach of the Research Centre on Animal Cognition (CNRS/Université Toulouse III—Paul Sabatier) has shown that ants can get their bearings whatever the orientation of their body. Their brains may be smaller than the head of a pin, but ants are excellent navigators that use celestial and terrestrial cues to memorize their paths.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.01.2017
Study pinpoints how skin cells’ identity can be disassembled to create stem cells
FINDINGS Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have published a study demonstrating how specialized proteins are able to change the identity, or cellular characteristics, of skin cells and create induced pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to turn into any cell type in the body.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.01.2017
Scientists engineer fruit flies with ancient genes to test causes of evolution
Kristi Montooth at the University of Nebraska holds a bottle with fruit flies, the subject of a new study on the genetic basis of adaptation and evolution. Scientists at the University of Chicago have created the first genetically modified animals containing reconstructed ancient genes, which they used to test the evolutionary effects of past genetic changes on the animals' biology and fitness.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.01.2017
Tool to map gene's 'social network' sheds light on function, interactions and drug efficacy
Tool to map gene’s ‘social network’ sheds light on function, interactions and drug efficacy
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Although the human genome has been mapped, many questions remain about how genes are regulated, how they interact with one another, and what function some genes serve. A new tool developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology distills the huge amount of genomic data into gene networks that can point to the function of genes, highlighting relationships between genes and offering insights into disease, treatment and gene analogs across species.

Life Sciences - Physics - 19.01.2017
Molecule flash mob
Molecule flash mob
Neurotransmitter transporters are some of the most popular transport proteins in research as they play a major role in the processing of signals in the brain. A joint study by TU Wien and the Medical University of Vienna has now successfully demonstrated for the first time the structural impact of membrane lipids on medically relevant serotonin transporters.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.01.2017
Blood test can predict life or death outcome for patients with Ebola virus disease
Blood test can predict life or death outcome for patients with Ebola virus disease
Scientists have identified a 'molecular barcode' in the blood of patients with Ebola virus disease that can predict whether they are likely to survive or die from the viral infection. A team at the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with Public Health England, Boston University and other international partners, used blood samples taken from infected and recovering patients during the 2013-2016 West Africa outbreak to identify gene products that act as strong predictors of patient outcome.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.01.2017
Latest research offers hope for patients with inflammatory diseases
Latest research offers hope for patients with inflammatory diseases
University of Queensland researchers have discovered a molecular trigger for inflammation that could lead to new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and neurodegenerative diseases. UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) researcher Professor Jennifer Stow said targeting this trigger - a protein called SCIMP, could reduce or 'switch off' inflammation.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.01.2017
Delirium could accelerate dementia-related mental decline
Delirium could accelerate dementia-related mental decline
When hospitalised, people can become acutely confused and disorientated. This condition, known as delirium, affects a quarter of older patients and new research by UCL and University of Cambridge shows it may have long-lasting consequences, including accelerating the dementia process. The study, published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, is the first to show the multiplying effects of delirium and dementia in these patients.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.01.2017
Vitamin B-12, and a knockoff version, create complex market for marine vitamins
Vitamin B-12, and a knockoff version, create complex market for marine vitamins
The New Year is a busy time for pharmacies and peddlers of all health-related products. In the oceans, marine organisms rely on nutrients, too, but the source of their vitamins is sometimes mysterious. University of Washington oceanographers have now found that vitamin B-12 exists in two distinct versions in the oceans.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.01.2017
Viruses Overheard Talking to One Another
Viruses Overheard Talking to One Another
Viruses may be stealthy invaders, but a study at the Weizmann Institute of Science reveals a new, chatty side of some: For the first time, viruses have been found communicating with one another. This communication - short 'posts' left for kin and descendants - helps the viruses reading them to decide how to proceed with the process of infection.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.01.2017
Unveiling the biology behind nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Unveiling the biology behind nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
EPFL scientists have discovered a new biological mechanism behind nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease covers a range of diseases that result from fat accumulation in the liver, but not as a result of alcohol abuse. Fat buildup can lead to liver inflammation, scarring and irreversible damage, such as cirrhosis and liver failure.
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