- From chaos to order: How ants optimize food search
- Melatonin makes old bones stronger, research shows
- Fighting cancer with dietary changes
- Mind alteration device makes flies sing and dance
- Buried fossil soils found to be awash in carbon
- New insights into premature ejaculation could lead to better diagnosis, treatment
- Neuroscience's grand question: How do neurons regenerate without losing memory?
- Adults who lose weight at any age could enjoy improved cardiovascular health
- Red meat allergies likely result of lone star tick
Posted: 26 May 2014 03:27 PM PDT
Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways. Yet the collective foraging behavior of ants goes well beyond that, a mathematical study reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens in a self-organized way. Understanding the ants could help analyze similar phenomena -- for instance how humans roam the Internet.
Posted: 26 May 2014 10:06 AM PDT
Melatonin supplements may make bones stronger in old rats, research shows. This suggests a possible avenue for the prevention of osteoporosis. Bones are built up by certain cells known as osteoblasts during the daytime and broken down by others (osteoclasts) at night. As we age, we sleep less, and so the cells that break down the bones are more active. By giving old rats melatonin supplements to regulate their circadian rhythms, the researchers have been able to make their bones denser, less brittle and more flexible.
Posted: 26 May 2014 07:15 AM PDT
Calorie restriction during treatment for breast cancer changes cellular programming in a way that lowers the chance of metastases in mice. Breast cancer patients are often treated with hormonal therapy to block tumor growth, and steroids to counteract the side effects of chemotherapy. However, both treatments can cause a patient to have altered metabolism which can lead to weight gain. In fact, women gain an average of 10 pounds in their first year of treatment. Recent studies have shown that too much weight makes standard treatments for breast cancer less effective, and those who gain weight during treatment have worse cancer outcomes.
Posted: 25 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT
Scientists have developed a special device for the thermogenetic control of flies. This tool, called FlyMAD, enabled the scientists to target light or heat to specific body regions of flies in motion and to analyse the animals' brain cells. Compared to other techniques, FlyMAD allows highly improved temporal resolution. Using the new technology, scientists got new insight into the role of two neuronal cell types in courtship behavior of flies.
Posted: 25 May 2014 12:47 PM PDT
Soils that formed on Earth's surface thousands of years ago and that are now deeply buried features of vanished landscapes have been found to be rich in carbon, adding a new dimension to our planet's carbon cycle. The finding is significant as it suggests that deep soils can contain long-buried stocks of organic carbon which could, through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human activities, contribute to global climate change.
Posted: 22 May 2014 04:47 AM PDT
There are many misconceptions and unknowns about premature ejaculation in the medical community and the general population. Two new papers provide much-needed answers that could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment for affected men. Premature ejaculation can cause significant personal and interpersonal distress to a man and his partner. While it has been recognized as a syndrome for well over 100 years, the clinical definition of premature ejaculation has been vague, ambiguous, and lacking in objective and quantitative criteria.
Posted: 21 May 2014 10:35 AM PDT
A new theoretical model to understand how cells monitor and self-regulate their properties in the face of continual turnover of cellular components has been developed by neuroscientists. How the continuous rebuilding of neurons' "parts" takes place without affecting our ability to think, remember, learn or otherwise experience the world is one of neuroscience's biggest questions.
Posted: 20 May 2014 03:48 PM PDT
Weight loss at any age in adulthood is worthwhile because it could yield long-term heart and vascular benefits, suggests new research. For the first time, the findings indicate that adults who drop a BMI category -- from obese to overweight, or from overweight to normal -- at any time during adult life, even if they regain weight, can reduce these cardiovascular manifestations.
Posted: 20 Feb 2014 07:27 AM PST
Lone star tick bites are likely the cause of thousands of cases of severe red meat allergies that are plaguing patients in Southeastern United States including Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia and spreading up the Eastern Seaboard along with the deer population. The allergy can cause hives and swelling, as well as broader symptoms of anaphylaxis including vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, and a drop in blood pressure. Persons with the allergy can go into a delayed anaphylactic shock four-six hours after eating red meat.
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