View the videoFailing to get an expected snack rouses fish to fight with extra ferocity. The change in behavior is especially marked in undersized fish facing a big, scary opponent.The fish version of frustration can drive little fish to posture at and fight big fish that they would normally flee from, says Marco Vindas of the University of Oslo. Two of 11 of these overheated...
04/24/2014 - 18:00
Aspirin, the pain reliever that lowers fever and inhibits blood clotting, also shows impressive but spotty protection against colorectal cancer. A new study reveals that people who fail to get this benefit from the drug might be making too little of a key enzyme in the colon.Among aspirin users, those with ample levels of the enzyme 15-PGDH are about...
04/23/2014 - 14:00
Biomedicine, Cancer, Health
Pain makes female mice less amorous, but males ignore burning injections in pursuit of females, a new study finds. The results, published in the April 23 Journal of Neuroscience, highlight stark differences between male and female sexual behavior in mice.But it’s not clear whether the findings apply to the vagaries of human...
04/22/2014 - 17:02
Neuroscience, Health, Evolution
When a baby cries at night, exhausted parents scramble to figure out why. He’s hungry. Wet. Cold. Lonely. But now, a Harvard scientist offers more sinister explanation: The baby who demands to be breastfed in the middle of the night is preventing his mom from getting pregnant again.This devious intention makes perfect sense, says evolutionary biologist David Haig, who describes his idea in ...
04/22/2014 - 12:32
Evolution, Human Development
Many of us have experienced that depressing sight: The bottom of the ice cream pint. You get to the end of your favorite movie and suddenly realize the ice cream is gone — and you’re far too full for comfort. We’re left wondering why we did it. But when it comes to forgetting ourselves and bingeing on the pint, the power of habit can be strong.It could be that our previous eating experiences make...
04/21/2014 - 17:28
Neuroscience, Nutrition, Mental Health
Letters to the Editor
Options for treating addictionAddiction is often seen as a chronic disease, but some long-term studies suggest it can be viewed as a temporary coping problem instead. Bruce Bower presented this alternative view in “The addiction paradox” (SN: 3/22/14, p. 16). “A nice job by Bruce Bower, as usual...
04/19/2014 - 14:00
Climate, Health, Animals
A nerve cell's long, slender tentacle isn’t evenly coated with an insulating sheath as scientists had thought.Instead, many nerve cells in the brains of mice have stretches of these tentacles, called axons, that are naked, researchers report April 18 in Science. The unsheathed feeler can be as long as 80 micrometers....
04/18/2014 - 18:00
Penicillin attacks with a calculated strike, splitting open cell walls. Kanamycin sends a bacterium’s protein assembly line into mayhem. Ciprofloxacin dices a microbe’s DNA into a genetic hash. Like trained snipers, each of these common antibiotics seems to dispatch bacteria with a simple tactic: Target a high-profile molecule crucial to survival and, with a single, clean shot, defeat the whole...
04/18/2014 - 15:00
Eating processed meat is associated with an increased risk of developing colon cancer in people who have the gene variant rs4143094, researchers report April 17 in PLOS Genetics. One in three people have this altered gene, which is found on the same...
04/18/2014 - 09:00
Busy people like to say that the best time to sleep is when you’re dead. But the best time to sleep is actually when you’re young, a study of fruit flies suggests.Newly hatched fruit flies deprived of sleep end up with brain and behavior problems later in life, scientists report in the April 18 Science. “This study is a really...
04/18/2014 - 08:30
Neuroscience, Human Development