Brain

The origins of modern humans continues to be one of the most hotly debated topics among anthropologists, and there is little consensus about where and when the first members of our species, Homo sapiens, became fully modern. While fossil evidence tells a complex tale of mosaic change during the African Stone Age, almost nothing is known about changes in human 'life history,' or the timing of development, reproductive scheduling, and lifespan.

With an innovative combination of a novel application of synchrotron imaging, high-resolution microtomography, and developmental analysis, the team reconstructed tooth growth and determined the age at death of a fossil juvenile from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco. This study represents the first non-destructive approach to characterize dental development with a high degree of precision, as synchrotron images reveal microscopic internal growth lines without damage to the specimen.

Two Iowa State University botanists and their colleague at the University of North Carolina have discovered a new species of North American bamboo in the hills of Appalachia. It is the third known native species of the hardy grass. The other two were discovered more than 200 years ago.

Sexual victimization can mean several things -- verbal coercion to have sex with an intimate partner, rape by a stranger, a woman fondled in a bar or forced intercourse when a woman is too intoxicated to consent or object.

Perceived attractiveness is the result of compatibility of biological sex and gendered cues--masculinity and femininity as specified within the society—according to a study by researchers at New York University and Texas A & M University. The findings appear in the most recent issue of the journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Genetically modified crops were supposed to improve efficiency and make life easier for farmers in poor countries. The opposite may be true, according to a Washington University in St. Louis study. Technology may be racing too fast for farmers to keep up. It may even be linked to higher suicide rates.

The arrival of genetically modified crops has added another level of complexity to farming in the developing world, says a sociocultural anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

The "raging hormones" of puberty are known to produce mood swings and stress for most teenagers, making it difficult to cope with this period of life. Until now, the specific causes of pubertal anxiety have not been identified, making it harder to understand and treat adolescent angst.

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) hold great promise for benefiting degenerative diseases, and do so by invoking multiple mechanisms. Such cells can be grown in a manner compatible with clinical use (i.e., without animal feeder layers) and even without the need for immunosuppression. These were a few of a number of conclusions arrived at by an international collaboration led by Evan Y. Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., and spearheaded by a member of his lab, Jean-Pyo Lee, Ph.D., of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research ("Burnham").

It's a modern medicinal miracle. Health food advocates haven't been this excited since Psyllium took the nation by storm. Cocoa is for real and it apparently does everything.

A paradigm shift in medical education is needed, one with more emphasis on training future physicians to enhance their empathy skills and to learn to view patients as persons, not just cases, a medical education specialist at Jefferson Medical College says.

High performance schools integrate the best in today's design strategies and building technologies. Even better, they make a difference in the way children learn. Research has shown that better buildings produce better student performance, reduce operating costs and increase average daily attendance. They also are more likely to maintain teacher satisfaction and retention and reduce liability exposure.

A group of European researchers has developed a spinal cord model of the salamander and implemented it in a novel amphibious salamander-like robot. The robot changes its speed and gait in response to simple electrical signals, suggesting that the distributed neural system in the spinal cord holds the key to vertebrates’ complex locomotor capabilities.The EPFL Salamander Robot walks down to the waters of Lake Geneva. Credit: Photograph by A. Badertscher, courtesy Biologically Inspired Robotics Group, EPFL

Patients admitted to hospitals for ischemic stroke on weekends had a higher risk of dying than patients admitted during the week, in a Canadian study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

A "weekend effect" has been previously documented when looking at other conditions such as cancer and pulmonary embolism; however, little is known of its impact on stroke death.

University College London researchers have found the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain's attention on a subconscious level. The wider implication for the study, published in Current Biology, is that techniques such as subliminal advertising, now banned in the UK but still legal in the USA, certainly do leave their mark on the brain.

Let’s say a college student enters a classroom to take a test. She probably already has an idea how she will do—knowledge available before she actually takes out a pencil. But do animals possess the same ability to think about what they know or don’t know?