Brain

Getting involved in research as an undergraduate can have significant benefits, such as enhancing a student's ability to think critically, increasing their understanding of how to conduct a research project and improving the odds that they'll complete a degree program in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

And, for students who participate in research over several years, the benefits are even greater. They often develop greater confidence in their research skills, an ability to solve problems independently and are more likely to pursue a career in STEM.

For children and teens with migraine, the pain and symptoms that accompany migraine attacks can be debilitating, resulting in missed school days, absence from social or sporting events, and affected home activities. Now the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Headache Society have developed two guidelines that include recommendations for preventing and treating migraine in children and teens.

A study published this week in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research has found that genes have a greater influence than previously thought not only on the number of moles you have but also where they are on your body.

Survival of skin cancer is known to be influenced by gender, with female patients demonstrating higher rates of survival linked to the melanoma sites tending to occur in the lower body, rather than men, who tend to be affected in the upper body, neck and scalp.

New research on the importance of non-cognitive skills - such as conscientiousness, self-esteem and feeling in control of one's life - for graduates' earnings potential offers important lessons for young people receiving their A-level results.

UCLA-led research finds that a comprehensive dementia care program staffed by nurse practitioners working within a health system improves the mental and emotional health of patients and their caregivers.

While the program did not slow the progression of dementia, it did reduce patients' behavioral problems and depression, and lower the distress of caregivers, the researchers found.

The paper is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

First study to examine three mechanisms by which very frequent use of social media may harm mental health suggests efforts should be made to reduce young people's exposure to harmful content, and the impact it has on healthy activities (such as sleep and exercise). Authors suggest that direct effects, such as on brain development, are unlikely and so interventions to simply reduce social media use might be misplaced.

What The Study Did: This research letter uses survey data to report on perceived bullying by internal medicine residents during training.

Authors: Scott M. Wright, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, is the corresponding author.

(doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8616)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

A new multicenter study at Columbia University links long-term exposure to air pollution, especially ozone, to development of emphysema, a chronic lung disease.

In Brief

Long-term exposure to outdoor air pollutants, especially the pollutant ozone, accelerates the development of emphysema and age-related decline in lung function, even among people who have never smoked, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The findings may help explain why emphysema is relatively common in nonsmokers.

Background

An international research team has gained new insights into how water molecules interact. For the first time, the researchers were able to completely observe all of the movements between the water molecules, known as intermolecular vibrations. A certain movement of individual water molecules against each other, called hindered rotations, is particularly important. Among other things, the findings help to better determine the intermolecular energy landscape between water molecules and thus to better understand the strange properties of water.

NEW YORK -- In a scientific first, Columbia scientists have demonstrated how the brains of young songbirds become tuned to the songs they learn while growing up.

The results of this study, published today in Nature Neuroscience, illustrate the extraordinary flexibility of the growing brain. Because the brain region that listens to sounds, the auditory cortex, is similar in birds and mammals, this study could help to explain why we learn our own native language so easily but struggle to learn languages we did not hear when we were young.

A researcher from the University of Houston has found that adults who take prescription opioids for severe pain are more likely to have increased anxiety, depression and substance abuse issues if they also use marijuana.

People in middle-age need to keep up their physical activity levels if they are to enjoy a fit and healthy retirement - according to a new report from the University of East Anglia.

The study reveals that over-55s in particular should be doing more to keep fit as they approach retirement age - because of the physical, mental and social benefits of being active.

But health problems, not having enough time or energy because of work, and a lack of motivation are leaving many approaching retirement in poor shape.

CHICAGO -- People generally think of stress and anxiety as negative concepts, but while both stress and anxiety can reach unhealthy levels, psychologists have long known that both are unavoidable -- and that they often play a helpful, not harmful, role in our daily lives, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Disease-causing air pollution remains high in pockets of America - particularly those where many low-income and African-American people live, a disparity highlighted in research presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York.

The nation's air on the whole has become cleaner in the past 70 years, but those benefits are seen primarily in whiter, higher-income areas, said Kerry Ard, an associate professor of environmental sociology at The Ohio State University, who will present her research today (Aug. 10, 2019.)

Could large TV monitors in waiting rooms, informing visitors about current local medical research, be a good idea? A study shows that people provided with news in this way are more interested in medical research than those randomly excluded from the news flow.

"Simply expressed, interest was 30 percent higher in the group that had received the news, and there's no doubt that was statistically significant," says Ronny Gunnarsson, Adjunct Professor of General Practice at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, the study's lead author.