Genetic tug of war in the brain influences behavior

Genetic tug of war in the brain influences behavior

Not every mom and dad agree on how their offspring should behave. But in genetics as in life, parenting is about knowing when your voice needs to be heard, and the best ways of doing so. Typically, compromise reigns, and one copy of each gene is inherited from each parent so that the two contribute equally to the traits who make us who we are. Occasionally, a mechanism called genomic imprinting, first described 30 years ago, allows just one parent to be heard by completely silencing the other.

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice -- they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how they do it.

Researchers from Arizona State University, University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä and Norwegian University of Life Sciences made the discovery after studying a bee blood protein called vitellogenin. The scientists found that this protein plays a critical, but previously unknown role in providing bee babies protection against disease.

Cooking up altered states

Cooking up altered states

Churning raw milk sufficiently creates butter. Squirting lemon juice coagulates it into curd. These two phenomena are not as straightforward as they sound on the molecular level.

When milk is churned, the fat molecules in it come closer to form aggregates. Lemon juice increases milk's acidity and creates similar molecular lumps. Yet butter and curd are not solids because in both cases, the aggregated molecules still maintain consistent distances from each other, behaving as if they are part of a liquid.

California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation

California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation

California's disastrous environmental management practices have crippled the state to such an extent that it would have to have rain for a full year to offset the "rain debt" accumulated.

New method to predict the amount of nicotine emitted from e-cigarettes

Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers at the VCU Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (CSTP) have developed the first ever, evidence-based model that can predict with up to 90 percent accuracy the amount of nicotine emitted by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette). The study was published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Mild hypothermia in deceased organ donors improves organ function in kidney transplant

Mild hypothermia in deceased organ donors significantly reduces delayed graft function in kidney transplant recipients when compared to normal body temperature, according to UC San Francisco researchers and collaborators, a finding that could lead to an increase in the availability of kidneys for transplant.

Their study appears in the July 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Trying to quit smoking? First strengthen self-control

The desire to quit smoking--often considered a requirement for enrolling in treatment programs--is not always necessary to reduce cigarette cravings, argues a review of addiction research published July 30 in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Early evidence suggests that exercises aimed at increasing self-control, such as mindfulness meditation, can decrease the unconscious influences that motivate a person to smoke.

Paralyzed men move legs thanks to non-invasive spinal cord stimulation

Five men with complete motor paralysis were able to voluntarily generate step-like movements thanks to a new strategy that non-invasively delivers electrical stimulation to their spinal cords, according to a new study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. The strategy, called transcutaneous stimulation, delivers electrical current to the spinal cord by way of electrodes strategically placed on the skin of the lower back.

Cancer patients lose faith in healthcare system if referred late by GP

There are concerns in America about the ability of patients who are not wealthy, connected elites to get prompt medical care in an Obamacare future. In the past, the government was the great equalizer because they trumped insurance companies, but now the government is the insurance company and there is greater worry about have and have nots. Especially when it comes to prompt treatment.

Prostate cancer is 5 different diseases

Cancer Research UK scientists have for the first time identified that there are five distinct types of prostate cancer and found a way to distinguish between them, according to a study in EBioMedicine.

The findings could have important implications for how doctors treat prostate cancer in the future, by identifying tumours that are more likely to grow and spread aggressively through the body.

The researchers, from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Addenbrooke's Hospital, studied samples of healthy and cancerous prostate tissue from more than 250 men.