In this issue: Most studies of college-student drinking have looked at the individual, and have relied on self reports; New findings gathered from on-the-spot observations show that parties with drinking games can predict higher blood-alcohol concentrations (BrACs).; and Young women at theme parties, especially with sexualized themes and costumes, drink more heavily than men.
Certain genetic factors may both increase and protect against the risk of developing alcoholism. The aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2*2) allele is considered protective against alcoholism and intravenous administration of an anti-Aldh2 antisense gene can curtail long-term drinking among rodents.
In this issue: Very little is known about alcohol use by children; New findings show that the introduction to alcohol use may occur as early as eight or 10 years of age, and is an experience that typically occurs in the home; and Sipping and tasting reflect exposure to parental alcohol use in the home and do not reflect a proneness to engage in delinquent behavior or other problem behaviors.
Four years ago, NASA's Stardust spacecraft chased down a comet and collected grains of dust blowing off its nucleus. When the spacecraft Comet Wild-2 returned, comet dust was shipped to scientists all over the world, including University of Minnesota physics professor Bob Pepin. After testing helium and neon trapped in the dust specks, Pepin and his colleagues report that while the comet formed in the icy fringes of the solar system, the dust appears to have been born close to the infant sun.
A new study finds that a chemical found in the body is capable of promoting weight loss, improving insulin resistance and reversing diabetes in an animal model. The hormone is gastric inhibitory polypeptide receptor blockade.
A Stanford scientist has spelled out for the first time the direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality, using a state-of-the-art computer model of the atmosphere that incorporates scores of physical and chemical environmental processes.
Biofuels reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in comparison to fossil fuels. In the Jan. 4 issue of the journal Science, Smithsonian researchers highlight a new study that factors in environmental costs of biofuel production. Corn, soy and sugarcane come up short. The authors urge governments to be far more selective about which biofuels they support, as not all are more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.
Caterpillar deception is also a matter of smell, and there is an ongoing co-evolutionary arms race in smell similarity between cheaters and their victims.
Practice makes perfect -- or at least that's what we’re told as we struggle through of multiplication tables and piano scales -- and it seems to be true. That's why neuroscientists have been perplexed by data showing that at the level of individual synapses increased, repetitive stimulation reverses gains in synaptic strength. Neuroscientists from Carnegie Mellon and the Max Planck Institute have discovered the mechanism that resolves this paradox. The findings are published in Science.
A Duke University-led analysis of available records shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean’s surface waters warmed in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000, the change was not uniform. In fact, the subpolar regions cooled at the same time that subtropical and tropical waters warmed.
This striking pattern can be explained largely by the influence of a natural and cyclical wind circulation pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), wrote authors of a study published Thursday, Jan. 3, in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science.