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Brain's problem-solving function at work when we daydream

A new University of British Columbia study finds that our brains are much more active when we daydream than previously thought. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , finds that activity in numerous brain regions increases when our minds wander. It also ...

Does mom know when enough is enough?

St. Louis, MO, May 11, 2009 As the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States continues, researchers are examining whether early parent and child behaviors contribute to the problem. A study from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, published in the May/June 2009 issue...

Keeping golf courses green when fresh water is limited

LAS VEGASExplosive population growth in southern Nevada has placed increasing demands on available water resources. In 2007, 80% of the state's residents lived in southern Nevada, where the population approached two million people. The dual concerns of this population boom and a climate that featu...

Red wine vs. white? It makes no difference when it comes to breast-cancer risk

SEATTLE The largest study of its kind to evaluate the effect of red versus white wine on breast-cancer risk concludes that both are equal offenders when it comes to increasing breast-cancer risk. The results of the study, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, were publishe...

Children seriously affected when a parent suffers from depression

Life is hard for the children of a parent suffering from depression. Children take on an enormous amount of responsibility for the ill parent and for other family members. It is therefore important for the health services to be aware of this and have support functions in place for the whole family...

Inactivity of proteins behind longer shelf life when freezing

Frozen biological material, for example food, can be kept for a long time without perishing. A study by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, is close to providing answers as to why. A cell's proteins are programmed to carry out various biological functions. The protein's level o...

Study predicts when invasive species can travel more readily by air

A new study forecasts when climate factors such as temperature, humidity and rainfall will match at geographically distant airline departure and destination points, which could help to shuffle invasive species, and the diseases they may carry, across the globe along existing flight routes. The fin...

What happens when we sleep

This release is available in French . Lack of sleep is a common complaint but for many, falling asleep involuntarily during the day poses a very real and dangerous problem. A new study from the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) at McGill University demonstrates interestingly, that sle...

A low dose of caffeine when pregnant may damage the heart of offspring for a lifetime

A new study published online in The FASEB Journal shows that the equivalent of one dose of caffeine (just two cups of coffee) ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and then reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child. In addition, the researche...

New polymer coatings prevent corrosion, even when scratched

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Imagine tiny cracks in your patio table healing by themselves, or the first small scratch on your new car disappearing by itself. This and more may be possible with self-healing coatings being developed at the University of Illinois. The new coatings are designed to better protec...

Eating eggs when pregnant affects breast cancer in offspring

A stunning discovery based on epigenetics (the inheritance of propensities acquired in the womb) reveals that consuming cholinea nutrient found in eggs and other foodsduring pregnancy may significantly affect breast cancer outcomes for a mother's offspring. This finding by a team of biologists at ...

Students eat more whole grains when it's gradually added to school lunch

Elementary school students will eat more whole grains when healthier bread products are gradually introduced into their school lunches, a new University of Minnesota study shows. Whole grain breads are strongly recommended as part of a healthy diet, but children and pre-teens won't always eat t...

Don't forget the vitamin A when working with its carrier protein

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient involved in vision, growth, cellular differentiation, and immune function. Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, it is chaperoned through the body on carrier proteins. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a study funded by USDA and NIH, discovered ...

Scientific information largely ignored when forming opinions about stem cell research

MADISON - When forming attitudes about embryonic stem cell research, people are influenced by a number of things. But understanding science plays a negligible role for many people. That's the surprising finding from a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison communications researchers who have...

Mice mothers devote energies to offspring when life is threatened

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University researcher has found that sick female deer mice devote their energy to producing healthier offspring. Lisa Schwanz, a researcher in the department of ecology, evolution and organismal biology, studied the size of offspring for both infected and healthy mic...

Mouse study: When it comes to living longer, it's better to go hungry than go running

BETHESDA, Md. (May 14, 2008) A study investigating aging in mice has found that hormonal changes that occur when mice eat significantly less may help explain an already established phenomenon: a low calorie diet can extend the lifespan of rodents, a benefit that even regular exercise does not achi...

United we stand: When cooperation butts heads with competition

Phrases such as survival of the fittest and every man for himself may seem to accentuate the presence of political and social competition in American culture; however, there obviously are similar instances of inter- and intra-group conflict across almost all known organisms. So what makes competit...

Forests could benefit when fall color comes late

Do those fall colors seem to show up later and laterif at all? Scientists say we can blame increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for prolonging the growing season of the trees. And that may actually be good news for forestry industries. Writing in the current issue of the jour...

Men unaware of their cancer risk when female relatives test positive for BRCA mutation

Men whose mothers, sisters or daughters test positive for a cancer-causing gene mutation also have an increased risk of developing the disease but are unaware of that risk. That is the conclusion of a study at Fox Chase Cancer Center exploring how families communicate genetic test results. Like...

Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar

A new UCLA study has found that elementary schools can significantly increase the frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income students by providing a lunch salad bar. The findings, published in the December issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Public Health Nutr...

Family conditions may affect when girls experience puberty

Early puberty in girls has been found to negatively affect these teenagers health in areas such as mood disorders, substance abuse, adolescent pregnancy, and cancers of the reproductive system. Given these findings, it is critical to understand why certain adolescents are at increased risk for ea...

Study finds antibiotic resistance in poultry even when antibiotics were not used

A surprising finding by a team of University of Georgia scientists suggests that curbing the use of antibiotics on poultry farms will do little ?if anything ?to reduce rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria that have the potential to threaten human health. Dr. Margie Lee, professor in the UGA Co...

Penn study on olfactory nerve cells shows why we smell better when we sniff

Unlike most of our sensory systems that detect only one type of stimuli, our sense of smell works double duty, detecting both chemical and mechanical stimuli to improve how we smell, according to University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers in the March issue of Nature Neuroscience. ...

Like salty food? Chances are you had low blood sodium when you were born

A new study concludes that low birthweight babies born with low sodium (salt) in their blood serum will likely consume large quantities of dietary sodium later in life. In the study, researchers also found that newborns with the most severe cases of low sodium blood serum consumed ~1700 mg more so...

Ladybugs may be cute, but watch out when they get near wine

Modern man"s earliest known close ancestor was significantly more apelike than previously believed, a New York University College of Dentistry professor has found. A computer-generated reconstruction by Dr. Timothy Bromage, a paleoanthropologist and Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials and of Basi...

UCLA: How does your brain respond when you think about gambling or taking risks?

Should you leave your comfortable job for one that pays better but is less secure? Should you have a surgery that is likely to extend your life but poses some risk that you will not survive the operation? Should you invest in a risky startup company whose stock may soar even though you could lose y...

Breathing easy: When it comes to oxygen, a bug's life is full of it

Because of new imaging technology, researchers are getting a better understanding of a physiological paradox: how insects, which have a respiratory system built to provide quick access to a lot of oxygen, can survive for days without it. The insect respiratory system is so efficient that resting ...

Invasive ants territorial when neighbors are not kin

A study led by University of California, San Diego biologists shows that invasive Argentine ants appear to use genetic differences to distinguish friend from foe, a finding that helps to explain why these ants form enormous colonies in California. In the December issue of the journal Molecular ...

For Pacific white shrimp, gender matters when competing for food

Waimanalo, HI ?December 12, 2006 -- A new study in Journal of the World Aquaculture Society suggests that, while larger shrimp consistently win over smaller shrimp of the same gender when competing for food, male shrimp will almost always beat female shrimp ?even though adult males of the species a...

Researchers discover mechanism that determines when detailed memories are retained

The levels of a chemical released by the brain determine how detailed a memory will later be, according to researchers at UC Irvine. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical already established as being crucial for learning and memory, appears to be the key to adding details to a memo...

Stanford discovery may help predict when toxoplasma can be deadly

Toxoplasma is arguably the most successful animal parasite on earth: It infects hundreds of species of warm-blooded animals, most notably half of humanity. Its unusual ability to overcome the numerous challenges of infecting and reproducing inside such a wide range of creatures has long intrigu...

Brain protein improves stroke symptoms in rats, even when injected after 3 days

A protein naturally occurring in the brain improves recovery from stroke when injected up to three days after the onset of the stroke, and could be used as an effective stroke drug. A study in rats published today in the open access journal BMC Biology shows that an injection of Granulocyte-Colony ...

Female birds boost up their eggs when hearing sexy song

In a new study published in the latest issue of Ethology researchers show that female songbirds can alter the size of eggs and possibly the sex of their chicks according to how they perceive their mate's quality. The researchers played back attractive ("sexy") songs and less attractive control s...

Plants tell caterpillars when it's safe to forage

The world is filled with cues that could influence the daily feeding patterns of an organism. Many plants, for example, respond to foraging damage by releasing specialized chemical signals - volatile organic compounds that evaporate in the air - that attract the forager's natural enemies. This stra...

Even when faint, ovary scent draws sperm cells

In this week's Analytical Chemistry, scientists at Indiana University Bloomington report biochemical machinery that allows mouse sperm cells to follow the weakest of scents. Even when ovary extracts were diluted 100,000 times, some sperm cells still found their mark. A video demonstrating sperm ...

Primates take weather into account when searching for fruits

New findings reported this week reveal that at least some primates can use their stored knowledge of recent weather as a tool for guiding their foraging behavior when searching for ripening fruit. The work, which potentially informs our understanding of how cognitive skills developed in humans and ...

Cultural transmission in bats: When listening for dinner, bats learn from their neighbors

In an exciting study that provides new understanding of how animals learn--and learn from each other--researchers have demonstrated that bats that use frog acoustic cues to find quality prey can rapidly learn these cues by observing other bats. While numerous examples are known of instances where p...

For diseases, when it comes to sharing a home, only close relatives will do

Being more generous to close relatives is a common theme in both our daily interactions and our understanding of how organisms resolve conflicts in nature. In a paper from July issue of The American Naturalist, biologists Britt Koskella (Indiana University), Tatiana Giraud (Université Paris-Sud), a...

Many cleaners, air fresheners may pose health risks when used indoors

When used indoors under certain conditions, many common household cleaners and air fresheners emit toxic pollutants at levels that may lead to health risks, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Exposure level...

Even fish don't swim well when they're young!

Do you remember learning to swim? Thrashing around, floundering, until suddenly it all clicks into place and a few feeble strokes of doggy-paddle propel you away from your parent's arms. Surely, you think, fish must be born as expert swimmers. Actually, fish larvae are pretty feeble when it comes t...
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