A diet of junk food not only makes rats fat, but also reduces their appetite for novel foods, a preference that normally drives them to seek a balanced diet, reports a study. The study helps explain how excessive consumption of junk food can change behavior, weaken self-control and lead to overeating and obesity.
Gamblers are greedy and birdbrained, new research has found. Gamblers show the same tendencies as pigeons when they make risky decisions. Tests have found that both human gamblers and pigeons were 35 percent more likely to gamble for high-value than low-value rewards.
Astronomers have discovered that filaments of star-forming gas near the Orion Nebula may be brimming with pebble-size particles— planetary building blocks 100 to 1,000 times larger than the dust grains typically found around protostars. If confirmed, these dense ribbons of rocky material may well represent a new, mid-size class of interstellar particles that could help jump-start planet formation.
A number of leading international researchers have recommended that fluorochemicals are only used where they are absolutely essential, until better methods exist to measure the chemicals and more is known about their potentially harmful effects.
Attaching a stone tip to a wooden spear shaft was a significant innovation for early modern humans living around 500,000 years ago. However, it was also a costly behavior in terms of time and effort to collect, prepare and assemble the spear. The skill was likely to have been passed from generation to generation through social or group learning.
Depression may be better predicted and understood now that researchers have discovered that young adults who previously experienced the mental illness have hyper-connected emotional and cognitive networks in the brain.
Therese O'Sullivan and a team from Edith Cowan Univ. found that eating higher amounts of cheese, milk, yogurt or butter does not make a person more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, cancer or any other cause.
About 400 million years ago a group of fish began exploring land and evolved into tetrapods– today's amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Now, researchers have turned to a living fish, called Polypterus, to help show what might have happened when fish first attempted to walk out of the water.
The world’s fastest sprinters have unique gait features that account for their ability to achieve fast speeds, according to two new studies. The new findings indicate that the secret to elite sprinting speeds lies in the distinct limb dynamics sprinters use to elevate ground forces upon foot-ground impact.
Ebola is a rare, but deadly disease that exists as five strains, none of which have approved therapies. One of the most lethal strains is the Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV). Now, researchers are reporting a possible therapy that could someday help treat patients infected with SUDV.
New evidence puts into doubt the long-standing belief that a deficiency in serotonin— a chemical messenger in the brain— plays a central role in depression. Scientists are reporting that mice lacking the ability to make serotonin in their brains did not show depression-like symptoms.
Researchers have found that century-old museum specimens hold clues to how global climate change will affect a common insect pest that can weaken and kill trees– and the news is not good.
An expedition to Mount Everest by Italian researchers has shown for the first time that blood pressure monitored over a 24-hour period rises progressively as people climb to higher altitudes. The researchers also found that a drug used for lowering blood pressure, called telmisartan, was effective in counteracting the effects of altitude up to 3,400 meters.
An unusual new fossil discovery of one of the earliest animals on Earth may also provide the oldest evidence of muscle tissue– the bundles of cells that make movement in animals possible.
Learning a new skill is easier when it is related to an ability we already have. Scientists have discovered a fundamental constraint in the brain that may explain why this happens. They found, for the first time, that there are limitations on how adaptable the brain is during learning and that these restrictions are a key determinant for whether a new skill will be easy or difficult to learn.
A new study from neuroscientists reveals the brain circuit that controls how memories become linked with positive or negative emotions. Furthermore, the researchers found that they could reverse the emotional association of specific memories by manipulating brain cells with optogenetics— a technique that uses light to control neuron activity.