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  • Letters to the Editor

    Global warming unpaused, how space affects the brain and more reader feedback

    Space travel vs. the brain

    Getting to Mars may leave a mark on astronauts’ minds. In “Trip to Mars could damage brain cells” (SN...

    07/29/2015 - 15:27 Neuroscience, Climate, Cells
  • Scicurious

    How trans fats oozed into our diet and out again

    On June 16 the Food and Drug Administration made the final call: Trans fats are no longer “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. That means that food manufacturers have three years to ooze these cheap and useful fats out of their processed foods.

    In fact, most of them already have. Trans fat —a...

    07/29/2015 - 14:24 Nutrition, Science & Society
  • News

    Resveratrol’s anticancer benefits show up in low doses

    Less can be more.

    Low doses of resveratrol, a chemical found in red grapes and some other foods, were better than higher ones at stimulating cancer-fighting processes, researchers report July 29 in Science Translational Medicine. Mice with a genetic predisposition for colon cancer also developed...

    07/29/2015 - 14:00 Biomedicine, Cancer, Physiology
  • Feature

    Brain activity in unconscious patients offers new views of awareness

    The average brain weighs about 1.3 kilograms and consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy budget. Much of that energy powers the brain’s 86 billion nerve cells, or neurons, which conduct tiny electrical currents that can travel close to 120 meters per second. A typical neuron transmits its signals to about 7,000 neighboring cells and to cells beyond. These neurons assemble into structures...

    07/28/2015 - 17:47 Neuroscience
  • News

    Age affects brain’s response to anesthesia

    Anesthesia elicits different patterns of brain waves in the very young and very old, scientists have found. Understanding these distinctions may ultimately lead to brain monitors that could make surgery safer for these vulnerable patient populations. 

    These findings are groundbreaking, says neuroanesthesiologist Stacie Deiner of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City....

    07/28/2015 - 11:47 Neuroscience
  • Reviews & Previews

    Autism’s journey from shadows to light


    07/25/2015 - 07:00 Science & Society, Mental Health, History of Science
  • News

    Boosting estrogen, only in the brain

    Researchers have developed a chemical that transforms into a powerful hormone once inside a rat — but only in the brain, not the body.  

    A protein in rats’ brains turns a chemical nicknamed DHED into the hormone estrogen, scientists report July 22 in Science Translational Medicine. This targeted treatment could provide estrogen to the brain and avoid potentially dangerous side...

    07/22/2015 - 17:32 Neuroscience
  • Science Stats

    Bystanders deliver on CPR

    Bystanders may be getting better at rescuing people in cardiac arrest. Using cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, a person repeatedly compresses the chest to restart a stopped heart. Zapping the person with defibrillator paddles can do the trick as well, but they are less available.

    A team led by scientists at Duke Clinical Research Institute finds that in North Carolina from 2010 to...

    07/22/2015 - 14:01 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Death by brain-eating amoeba is an inside job

    On July 9, just a few days after swimming in Minnesota’s Lake Minnewaska, 14-year-old Hunter Boutain was dead. Doctors believe the culprit was the water-dwelling amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. Most people know it by its other name: The brain-eating amoeba. 

    It’s the stuff of horror films — the tiny amoeba crawls up the nose to the brain where it wreaks havoc, ultimately...

    07/20/2015 - 19:28 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    Breakdown of Alzheimer’s protein slows with age

    A new study may help explain why Alzheimer’s is a disease of aging.

    A protein fragment that forms the brain cell–killing plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease sticks around longer and longer as people age, researchers report July 20 in the Annals of Neurology. That persistence may make it easier...

    07/20/2015 - 16:28 Neuroscience, Health