Brain-computer interface based on mutual learning helps tetraplegics in avatar race

May 12, 2018

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are seen as a potential means by which severely physically impaired individuals can regain control of their environment, but establishing such an interface is not trivial. A study publishing May 10 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, by a group of researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Geneva, Switzerland, suggests that letting humans adapt to machines improves their performance on a brain-computer interface. The…

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Prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior, study finds

May 12, 2018

Smoking during pregnancy has well-documented negative effects on birth weight in infants and is linked to several childhood health problems. Now, researchers at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions have found that prenatal marijuana use also can have consequences on infants’ weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use. “Nearly 30 percent of women who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy also report using marijuana,” says…

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New link between gut microbiome and artery hardening discovered

May 12, 2018

The level of diversity of the ‘good bacteria’ in our digestive systems has been found to be linked to a feature of cardiovascular disease — hardening of the arteries — in new research by experts at the University of Nottingham and King’s College London. The gut microbiome is under increasing scrutiny in medical research as it is known to affect many different aspects of our health, including our metabolism and…

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Aggression at work can lead to ‘vicious circle’ of misconduct

May 12, 2018

New research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) reveals that frequently being the target of workplace aggression not only affects the victim’s health but can also cause them to behave badly towards others. Workplace aggression is a significant issue particularly in the healthcare sector, where nurses can be targeted by both their colleagues and co-workers through bullying, and by patients and their relatives through ‘third-party’ aggression. While workplace…

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Alcohol and tobacco are by far the biggest threat to human welfare of all addictive drugs

May 12, 2018

A new review published online today in the journal Addiction has compiled the best, most up-to-date source of information on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use and the burden of death and disease. It shows that in 2015 alcohol and tobacco use between them cost the human population more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life years, with illicit drugs costing a further tens of millions. The largest health burden from…

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Divide and conquer: Creating better medicines with fewer side effects

May 12, 2018

Today, a new study published in Science by Professors Yossi Paltiel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ron Naaman from the Weizmann Institute of Science describes a breakthrough technology with the power to create drugs with fewer unwanted side effects. Chemical compounds are made up of molecules. The most important molecules in biology are chiral molecules. “Chiral,” the Greek word for “hand,” describes molecules that look almost exactly alike and contain…

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Neuroscientists find first evidence animals can mentally replay past events

May 12, 2018

Neuroscientists at Indiana University have reported the first evidence that non-human animals can mentally replay past events from memory. The discovery could help advance the development of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The study, led by IU professor Jonathon Crystal, appears today in the journal Current Biology. “The reason we’re interested in animal memory isn’t only to understand animals, but rather to develop new models of memory that match up…

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Scientists uncover brain circuits behind putting up a fight or freezing in place

May 12, 2018

In a study of mice, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers describe a new circuit involved in fine-tuning the brain’s decision either to hide or confront threats. The study, published in Nature, was partially funded by the NIH’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. “Being able to manipulate specific circuits can uncover surprising relationships between brain areas and provide great insight into how the sensory, emotional, and behavioral centers work…

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What does it mean when you have a double ear infection?

May 12, 2018

A double ear infection is when both ears become infected by bacteria or a virus. Double ear infections are not always more serious than single ear infections, but their symptoms are often more severe. Early diagnosis and treatment may lead to a quicker recovery and reduce the risk of complications. Read on to learn more about identifying and treating a double ear infection. What are the symptoms? Symptoms of double…

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Warning signs of stroke in men

May 12, 2018

When blood cannot flow properly to the brain, brain cells die, and this is called a stroke. Many signs and symptoms are the same for men and women, though some occur more often in men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that strokes are the fifth-leadingcause of death in the United States. They are more common and more likely to be fatal in women, while men tend to have strokes at a…

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