Anatomy, Mind & Brain, Science

Risky brain, safe brain: MIT charts neural pathways involved in decision-making

MIT-Emotional-Decision-1_0

Researchers at MIT have now identified a neural circuit that they believe underpins decision-making in situations such as this, and have started looking into mice’s brains to better understand the biological processes that make us tick and help us pick.

Anatomy, Anthropology, Biology, Did you know?, News

Why in the world do we have chins? Maybe, because we evolved from being just brutes

Man with prominent chin and missing teeth. Etching by Wenceslas Hollar.

Ever wondered what chins are good for? Upon a quick reflection, you might think it actually has some practical value, supporting your jaw against the massive chewing forces. But that’s nonsense. It doesn’t do any of that, as a recent research concludes. In fact, the chin – the last facial feature to stop growing – actually makes the jaw less resistant to the bending stress of chewing as we age. Though still a mystery, scientists believe the chin is actually a side effect of the rest of the face having become smaller. Much smaller than that of early ancestors or cousin Neanderthals, at least.

Anatomy, Health & Medicine, News

Good News: Biggest Study Yet of Penis Size Confirms Average Size

nomogram

Many men (and women) are curious about the average penis size, but Dr. Abraham Morgentaler took it to the next level. He conducted a study on over 15,000 men to create a chart of the average size – and the good news is, you’re probably better off than you think. “Most men tend to believe they’re smaller than average, and there’s

Anatomy, Health & Medicine, News

54% of men and 31% of women over age 70 are sexually active

Image via journal.ie

We tend to think that sexual activity slows down and ultimately stops as we end, but a new study has shown that it’s not as bad as we think. Over half of all men and almost a third of all women over 70 are still sexually active – with over a third of all people having sex at least twice a month.

Anatomy, Health & Medicine, News

The development of babies’ brains relies directly on fat from the mother’s bottom and thighs

Different hip-to-waist ratios. Image source.

We like big butts and I know why: because it helps babies develop their brains properly. Researchers have found that especially during breastfeeding, the development of babies’ brains relies on fat supplies stripped directly from the mother’s thighs and bottom.

Anatomy, Feature Post, Health & Medicine

What Science Says About the Pain of Running (And Addiction)

Homer-Simpson-Running

I don’t think anybody has ever claimed that running is a 100% wonderful experience. Even the most avid runners still have to get past the painful parts of that morning jogging session. However, there’s a common misconception that some people just aren’t made to run. With the exception of those with certain chronic medical problems, of course, most human bodies

Anatomy, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Imaging Cancer with Sound and Light

a) Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy of sO2 in a mouse ear; b) acoustic-resolution photoacoustic microscopy of normalized total hemoglobin concentration, (hemoglobin), in a human palm; c) linear-array photoacoustic CT of normalized methylene blue concentration, (dye), in a rat sentinel lymph node (SLN); d) circular-array photoacoustic CT of cerebral hemodynamic changes, Δ(hemoglobin), in response to one-sided whisker stimulation in rat; e) photoacoustic endoscopy of a rabbit esophagus and adjacent internal organs, including the trachea and lung. UST = ultrasonic transducer. Courtesy of Dr. Lihong V. Wang.

In 2003, Dr. Lihong V. Wang at Washington University introduced one of the most exciting technologies we’ve had the chance to see in a long while. By combining ultrasound and light absorption, Wang and colleagues developed a new method that makes multicontrast images of biological tissues several inches below the skin. Among others, this allows specialists to see cancer in action with unprecedented

Anatomy, Health & Medicine, News, Psychology

Scratching makes Itching Worse: the Molecular Mechanism behind the Itch

scratching

Seems like your mom was right all along: scratching does, in fact, makes the itching worse. This was the conclusion reached by a group of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis after the scientists studied the molecular and neural pathways that cause and relieve itching. The findings suggest that scratching releases serotonin – a key neurotransmitter involved in

Anatomy, Health & Medicine, News

New Paint-on, See-through bandage Emits Phosphorescent Glow for Healing Below

Credit: Li/Wellman Center for Photomedicine.

An interdisciplinary  team of researchers has created a paint-on, see-through, “smart” bandage that glows to indicate a wound’s tissue oxygenation concentration. Oxygenation plays a crucial role in healing, so mapping it in severe wounds and burns can help to significantly improve the success of surgeries to restore limbs and physical functions. “Information about tissue oxygenation is clinically relevant but is often

Alternative Medicine, Anatomy, News

Scientist gives himself Fecal Transplant from Hunter-Gatherer from Tanzania… to See how it Goes

A Hadza hunting party. Image via The Telegraph

A field researcher from America has transplanted fecal microbiome from a Tanzanian tribesman to his own gut. Why? Well… to see what happens, basically. “AS THE SUN set over Lake Eyasi in Tanzania, nearly thirty minutes had passed since I had inserted a turkey baster into my bum and injected the feces of a Hadza man – a member of one of