Opioids affect ‘cuteness’ of babies

Opioids affect ‘cuteness’ of babies

A new pilot study has found that opioid dependence – which includes dependence on drugs such as heroin – affects how ‘cute’ we perceive images of children to be. As cuteness can trigger caregiving motivation, this result indicates that the opioid system may have significant effects on our ability to care for others. The implications of this may need to be considered in any consideration of medical or recreational opioid use.

Study links risk factors to variations in postpartum depression

A study shows that depression following childbirth can begin at different times and follow multiple distinct trajectories, emphasizing the need for clinicians to monitor for signs of postpartum depression and be aware of risk factors that may predispose a new mother to depression. The study is published in Journal of Women's Health.

Modeling radiation damage

In nuclear reactors, energetic neutrons slam into metal atoms that are ordered in a lattice, displacing them with enough force to trigger a cascade of collisions. Laurent Béland,Yuri Osetsky and Roger Stoller, of the Energy Dissipation to Defect Evolution Energy Frontier Research Center at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, modeled radiation damage and discovered that the number of defects ultimately created in a material correlates with atomic displacements that high-pressure shock waves generate early in the collision cascade.

Cleaner coatings for solar

Keeping energy-concentrating mirrors at solar thermal power plants free from dirt is both labor and time intensive. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are working to address the challenge with lab-developed superhydrophobic coating technology.

A rapid and effective antidote for anticoagulant bleeds

A specially designed antidote to reverse acute, potentially life-threatening anticoagulant-related bleeding worked quickly, and was well-tolerated according to interim results of the ongoing ANNEXA-4 study.

Andexanet alfa reduced anticoagulant activity by roughly 90% within half an hour among patients with acute major bleeding while receiving a factor Xa (fXa) inhibitor, resulting in "excellent or good" homeostatis at 12 hours in most subjects, reported lead investigator Stuart J. Connolly, MD, from McMaster University, in Hamilton Ontario, Canada.

Breast cancer mortality lower in women who breastfeed

A new study of women 20 years after undergoing surgery for primary breast cancer shows that breastfeeding for longer than 6 months is associated with a better survival rate. Among breast cancer survivors who breastfed for >6 months, both breast cancer mortality and overall mortality risk were less after 20 years, according to the study published in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Testing future nuclear reactors

Fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors are a promising design in the next generation of nuclear energy production, and one of the first steps from concept to reality is underway at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

What's the best way to remove perfluoroalkyls that threaten the water supply?

Elevated levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in drinking water can persist in water supplies for long periods and present an important health risk for millions of Americans, from hormone suppression to potentially cancer. A comprehensive review of the latest research on innovative and cost-effective ways to remove or destroy PFAS from drinking water, groundwater, and wastewater is published in Environmental Engineering Science.

Surgeons Love the Job, Even with its Intense Demands

Despite the significant challenges associated with a career in cardiothoracic surgery, heart and lung surgeons report a very high level of job satisfaction, according to a survey.

To establish a current, detailed profile of the specialty, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) issued a 63-question workforce survey for cardiothoracic surgeons to more than 4,300 of its active and senior members. STS has distributed this type of survey approximately every five years since the early 1970s. 1,262 surgeons participated in the most recent survey, resulting in a 29.1% response rate.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Raises Glutamate Levels in Humans

The notion that low levels of electrical stimulation applied to the scalp, barely enough to create a mild tingling sensation, could activate the brain is a relatively new and somewhat controversial idea. The technique, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been reported to modify mood, emotion, and cognition, yet researchers lack any evidence for how - or even if - it directly modulates brain activity. Still, some researchers see its potential for a new strategy to treat psychiatric disorders.