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  • Researchers map neurons in the brain involved with social interactions with others in groups
    on October 21, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    In social experiments, three monkeys sat around a rotary table and took turns offering food to one of the other two monkeys. Certain neurons in the brain responded to the actions of other monkeys in the group and influenced an animal’s upcoming decisions to reciprocate or retaliate.

  • Bat study reveals secrets of the social brain
    on October 21, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Neuroscientists used wireless devices to record the neural activity of freely interacting Egyptian fruit bats, providing researchers with the first glimpse into how the brains of social mammals process complex group interactions.

  • Scientists look beyond the individual brain to study the collective mind
    on October 21, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Scientists argue that efforts to understand human cognition should expand beyond the study of individual brains. They call on neuroscientists to incorporate evidence from social science disciplines to better understand how people think.

Diets limiting lipid intake effectively reduce cancerous tumor growth compared to ketogenic diets

According to a new study out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), cutting off lipid supply to cells can limit tumor growth in mice. Throughout the last few years, a handful of published studies have shown some evidence that dietary modifications can assist in decreasing tumor development. A new study from MIT demonstrates how two distinct diets influence cancer cells in mice, and provides an explanation for why calorie restriction may decrease tumor development. While observing mice with pancreatic…

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Antiviral pill reduces the risk of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19 by 50%

At the time of the analysis, 7.3% of molnupiravir-treated patients were hospitalized or died by Day 29, compared to 14.1% of placebo-treated patients who were hospitalized or died in the same time frame. Early data provided by drug manufacturer, Merck, shows that an at-home coronavirus tablet reduces the likelihood of those newly diagnosed with COVID-19 ending up in the hospital or dying. In patients at high risk of developing serious illness, the tablet, an antiviral drug called molnupiravir, was…

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Elevated biomarkers for neurodegeneration found in astronauts returning from space travel

A new study, which assessed five Russian cosmonauts who had stayed on the International Space Station (ISS), found that the astronauts presented significantly elevated levels of biomarkers for brain degeneration. For as long as we’ve been launching astronauts into space, scientists have been studying how spaceflight affects the human body. However, a new study shows that spaceflight may have unexpected degenerative effects on the human brain. The new research was published in the journal JAMA Neurology, and conducted by…

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Viagra analog found to reduce obesity without caloric intake reduction

The Johns Hopkins research team found that the drug, a “cousin” to Viagra, reduced the groups median body weight by -27.5% in female mice and -19.5% in male mice. Obesity has recently become one of the most pressing worldwide health issues. Obesity rates tripled globally between 1975 and 2016, owing largely to a high-calorie diet and a sedentary lifestyle. According to a World Health Organization study from 2016, the prevalence of being overweight was similar among men (39%) and…

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No association found between epidural analgesia during labor and risk of autism spectrum disorders

The researchers found that after assessing 388,254 children and mothers included in the cohort, no relationship between epidural use and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) was found. According to a recently published research study which assessed the risk of autism in close to 480,000 Danish children, pregnant women who have an epidural to relieve pain during birth are no more likely than others to have children with autism. Back in October of 2020, a group of researchers published a paper…

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Largest randomized-controlled trial of amoxicillin for treating chest infections in children finds no significant improvement

The study found that there was only a small, non-significant difference between the two groups, with a reduction in the duration of symptoms in the antibiotic group of 13%. According to a recently published study which conducted the largest randomized-controlled trial for the antibiotic, amoxicillin, to date, has been found to be no more successful at treating chest infections than using a placebo. Amoxicillin is commonly used to treat chest infections in children such as bronchitis and pneumonia. While…

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Significant association found between e-cigarette use and eating disorders in young adult populations

The study found that there were statistically significant differences between the vaping and non-vaping groups for all categories, including for participants who were at an elevated risk for an eating disorder (e-cigarette use: 29.6% vs. non-use: 23.9%) and participants who self-reported any lifetime eating disorder diagnosis (e-cigarette use: 5.8% vs. non-use: 3.2%). Although research studies have previously identified a correlation between vaping and eating disorders, these studies were not conducted on college-aged populations— the age group (20-24) which has…

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Physical exercise associated with lower long-term incidence of anxiety

Over the course of a multidecade longitudinal study, the researchers discovered that exercise reduces the risk of incurring future anxiety disorders by 62%. In a recently published study, a Swedish research team performed a large-scale observational study in hopes of finding whether or not exercise aids in long-term prevention of anxiety disorders. The team studied approximately 400,000 individuals over a 21 year period, and found that exercise does reduce risk of developing future anxiety disorders by 62%. In previous…

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New Dementia biomarkers found in blood could open doors to new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease

A new study claims to have discovered 33 metabolites that are linked with dementia. The finding may provide the foundation for a possible future cure for this disease currently afflicting millions worldwide. (Above: Amyloid plaques are proteins that clump together between the brain cells of Alzheimer’s disease patients.) Dementia, a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with everyday activities. There are many diseases that fall under this umbrella term, but as a…

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18-24 year olds found to be most at risk for obesity

The researchers found that people between the ages of 18 and 24 were at the greatest risk of gaining weight and becoming obese. When young adults (18-24) were compared to the oldest age group (65-74), young adults were 4-6 times more likely to move up in BMI category within 10 years. Researchers from various universities across England and Germany have utilized electronic health records from 400 different primary care practices to determine which age groups are most susceptible to…

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Maternal obesity linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer in offspring

The research team found that adult offspring whose mothers were obese during pregnancy faced a 100% greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than those whose mothers were not. A recently published study has provided evidence that colorectal cancer, the 2nd most common cause of cancer related deaths, may be linked to maternal obesity. Although findings made by researchers failed to demonstrate a definitive relationship, there was a high correlation between colorectal cancer cases in adults born in the 1960’s…

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People previously hospitalized due to COVID-19 show significant decreases in cognition

According to a new study, people who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 showed a substantial decrease in cognitive function, with those being hospitalized showing a 7-point decrease in IQ, on average. The need to understand and respond to prolonged symptoms following the SARS-CoV-2 infection is becoming more urgent as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. Symptoms including exhaustion, shortness of breath, and depression could potentially impair millions of individuals throughout the world. These signs and symptoms that persist or worsen after…

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Overconsumption of fructose increases gut surface and nutrient absorption

According to a new study, eating fructose causes cells in the digestive tract to change in a way that allows it to take in more nutrients. These alterations could explain the association between rising fructose consumption and rising obesity and cancer rates around the world. Obesity is a complicated, multifaceted, and generally preventable condition that affects 13% of the world’s population today. Additionally, 39% of the global population is considered overweight. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity…

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Plant-based diets associated with significantly lower cardiovascular risk, according to new meta-analysis

New research shows that diets consisting of larger amounts of plant-based foods are associated with a markedly lower cardiovascular risk. Those who consumed large amounts of vegetables (400g) were associated with a reduction of CHD mortality of up to 34%. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Dietary habits increase cardiovascular risk through an effect of key indicators such as serum cholesterol, plasma lipids, plasma glucose, blood pressure, body weight, and diabetes, according to…

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New finding shows microglia serve a previously unknown role in neuronal-healing

The University of Virginia research team found that the microglia healed the damaged cells, rather than consuming them, by forming a pouch around the damaged cells, coined “microglial process pouches” by the researchers. The pouches remained on the damaged and swollen nerve cells for hours, shrinking over time and leaving healed dendrites in their wake. The development of antiepileptic drugs has largely centered on targeting known neural processes. With one-third of epileptic patients being resistant to existing medications, a…

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