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E.g., 08/24/2017
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  • Itch
  • autistic mice
  • football players
Your search has returned 536 articles:
  • News

    How an itch hitches a ride to the brain

    Scientists have traced the sensation of itch to a place you can’t scratch.

    The discomfort of a mosquito bite or an allergic reaction activates itch-sensitive nerve cells in the spinal cord. Those neurons talk to a structure near the base of the brain called the parabrachial nucleus, researchers report in the Aug. 18 Science. It’s a region that’s known to receive information about other...

    08/17/2017 - 14:14 Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers fascinated by critters’ strange biology

    Suck it up

    Tubelip wrasses’ slimy lips help the fish suck up dinner from coral reefs, Helen Thompson reported in “The better to eat you with, my dear” (SN: 7/8/17 & 7/22/17, p. 44).

    “How do wrasses ‘suck’ if they have no lungs?” asked reader John Coventry. 

    Suction-feeding fish let their mouths do all the work, says marine biologist David Bellwood. “In just the same way that we...

    08/09/2017 - 11:31 Animals, Neuroscience, Physics
  • News

    Mice with a mutation linked to autism affect their littermates’ behavior

    The company mice keep can change their behavior. In some ways, genetically normal littermates behave like mice that carry an autism-related mutation, despite not having the mutation themselves, scientists report.  

    The results, published July 31 in eNeuro, suggest that the social environment influences behavior in complex and important ways, says neuroscientist Alice Luo Clayton of the...

    07/31/2017 - 13:00 Neuroscience, Genetics, Mental Health
  • News

    Most football players who donated their brains to science had traumatic injury

    A majority of football players whose brains were donated for research suffered a degenerative brain disease during their lives, according to the largest sample of players ever studied. The finding provides more evidence that the repetitive injuries to the brain sustained while playing American football are associated with the disease, researchers say.

    Of 202 deceased former football...

    07/25/2017 - 16:28 Mental Health, Neuroscience
  • Context

    There’s a long way to go in understanding the brain

    Scientists pour a lot of brainpower into understanding how their experimental equipment works.

    You don’t want to be fooled into thinking you’ve made a great discovery because of some quirk in the apparatus you didn’t know about. Just the other day, a new paper published online suggested that the instruments used to detect gravitational waves exhibited such a quirk, tricking scientists...

    07/25/2017 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Ravens pass tests of planning ahead in unnatural tasks

    View the video

    Ravens have passed what may be their toughest tests yet of powers that, at least on a good day, let people and other apes plan ahead.

    Lab-dwelling common ravens (Corvus corax) in Sweden at least matched the performance of nonhuman apes and young children in peculiar tests of advanced planning ability. The birds faced such challenges as selecting a rock useless at the...

    07/13/2017 - 14:20 Animals, Neuroscience, Evolution
  • News

    Brain activity helps build an alpha male

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    Boosting the activity of certain brain cells can help a mouse climb the social ladder.

    Nerve cells in a region called the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex appear to control whether male mice are dominant or submissive to other males, researchers report in the July 14 Science. The finding adds to previous evidence that this brain region is involved in social interactions...

    07/13/2017 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Just one night of poor sleep can boost Alzheimer’s proteins

    How well, not how much, people sleep may affect Alzheimer’s disease risk.

    Healthy adults built up Alzheimer’s-associated proteins in their cerebral spinal fluid when prevented from getting slow-wave sleep, the deepest stage of sleep, researchers report July 10 in Brain. Just one night of deep-sleep disruption was enough to increase the amount of amyloid-beta, a protein that clumps into...

    07/10/2017 - 16:15 Neuroscience
  • News

    Brains encode faces piece by piece

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    A monkey’s brain builds a picture of a human face somewhat like a Mr. Potato Head — piecing it together bit by bit.

    The code that a monkey’s brain uses to represent faces relies not on groups of nerve cells tuned to specific faces — as has been previously proposed — but on a population of about 200 cells that code for different sets of facial characteristics. Added...

    06/01/2017 - 13:58 Neuroscience
  • News

    Obscure brain region linked to feeding frenzy in mice

    Nerve cells in a poorly understood part of the brain have the power to prompt voracious eating in already well-fed mice.

    Two to three seconds after blue light activated cells in the zona incerta, a patch of neurons just underneath the thalamus and above the hypothalamus, mice dropped everything and began shoveling food into their mouths. This dramatic response, described May 26 in...

    05/25/2017 - 14:00 Neuroscience