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  • News in Brief

    Black children commit suicide at twice the rate of white kids

    Suicide rates for children ages 5 to 12 are roughly twice as high for black children as for white children, according to new data. But for adolescents ages 13 to 17, the pattern flips, with white kids having higher suicide rates, researchers report online May 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.

    The new study is based on an analysis of suicide rates among children ages 5 to 17 from 2001 to 2015....

    05/22/2018 - 09:00 Health, Mental Health
  • News

    Why science still can’t pinpoint a mass shooter in the making

    Immediately after a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, people leaped to explain what had caused the latest mass slaughter.

    By now, it’s a familiar drill: Too many readily available guns. Too much untreated mental illness. Too much warped masculinity. Don’t forget those shoot-’em-up video games and movies. Add (or...

    03/23/2018 - 11:46 Science & Society, Psychology, Mental Health
  • Feature

    Depression among new mothers is finally getting some attention

    On the hormonal roller coaster of life, the ups and downs of childbirth are the Tower of Power. For nine long months, a woman’s body and brain absorb a slow upwelling of hormones, notably progesterone and estrogen. The ovaries and placenta produce these two chemicals in a gradual but relentless rise to support the developing fetus.

    With the birth of a baby, and the immediate expulsion of...

    03/11/2018 - 05:00 Neuroscience, Mental Health
  • News

    What we do and don’t know about how to prevent gun violence

    In the fraught days following a mass shooting, people often ask if an assault weapons ban or allowing concealed carry permits would reduce the likelihood of further violence. But reliable evidence on the effects of those policies can be hard to find.

    Now the largest comprehensive analysis of research on U.S. gun policy in years offers some answers, but also troublingly little guidance. A...

    03/09/2018 - 15:52 Science & Society, Mental Health
  • News in Brief

    Gay, lesbian and bisexual high schoolers report ‘tragically high’ suicide risk

    High school students who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are more likely to report planning or attempting suicide compared with their heterosexual peers, a new study finds.

    In a nationwide survey in 2015, 40 percent of adolescents who identified as one of these sexual minorities or said they were unsure of their orientation reported seriously considering suicide. Thirty-five percent...

    12/19/2017 - 15:35 Health, Mental Health
  • News in Brief

    Laws to protect athletes’ brains do reduce concussions — eventually

    To guard against the dangers of concussions, by 2014, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had enacted laws to protect young athletes. More than 2½ years after these laws went on the books, repeat concussions began to decline among high school athletes, researchers report online October 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

    Researchers reviewed concussion data from 2005 to...

    10/19/2017 - 17:11 Health, Mental Health
  • News

    How gut bacteria may affect anxiety

    Tiny molecules in the brain may help gut bacteria hijack people’s emotions.

    Bacteria living in the human gut have strange influence over mood, depression and more, but it has been unclear exactly how belly-dwelling bacteria exercise remote control of the brain (SN: 4/2/16, p. 23). Now research in rodents suggests that gut microbes may alter the inventory of microRNAs — molecules that...

    08/29/2017 - 15:20 Health, Mental Health
  • 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
  • News

    Nerve cell miswiring linked to depression

    Researchers have pinpointed a gene that keeps important brain cells in mice from crossing their wires, providing a possible link between brain wiring and mood disorders like depression.  

    Without the gene, called Pcdhαc2, mice acted more depressed, researchers report April 28 in Science.

    Nerve cells, or neurons, that produce the chemical messenger molecule serotonin extend long...

    04/28/2017 - 13:30 Neuroscience, Mental Health