Rats remember acts of kindness done by other rats, and are more helpful to individuals who previously helped them. It’s not clear if they do this because they are grateful or if they are trying to make sure that they will get helped in the future as well, but their behavior gives scientists a new understanding of animal social behavior.
The highlight of the award winning film, “The Imitation Game”, is when Alan Turing and colleagues devise an ingenious statistical method that eventually helped decipher the Nazis’ Enigma code. This breakthrough allowed Allied intelligence to read previously unavailable German military positions and actions, vastly shortening World War II. Interestingly, a team of neuroscientists at Columbia University found that more or less the same statistical method applied by Turing and co. is used by the brain to make any kind of decision, be it going left instead of right in an intersection or placing a higher bet during a high raise power game instead of folding.
In the quest to understand what are the crucial differences between human and chimpanzee brains, scientists have isolated a stretch of DNA, once thought to be “junk”, near a gene that regulates brain development in mice. The engineered mouse embryos grew significantly larger brains. Those which received human brain DNA strands had 12% larger brains than those bred with chimp brain DNA. Research like this, though ethically controversial, might help identify which DNA sequences give a brain human characteristics, but also aid in findings treatment or cures for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
A new study has found that unlike monotheistic religions, buddhism doesn’t promote intolerance – instead, it promotes both selfless behavior and tolerance of people we perceive as unlike ourselves.
Suicide rates have generally remained the same for decades, with slight increases in some areas of the world. Basically, scientists and medics don’t really know how to effectively tackle this issue, so they’re considering more unorthodox approaches. A new study has found that classic psychedelic use may reduce suicidal thinking, ultimately dropping suicide rates. “Despite advances in mental health treatments,
Science confirms what every dog owner has known in his heart: our canine friends can tell when we’re happy or upset. The discovery represents the first solid evidence that an animal other than humans can discriminate between emotional expressions on other species.
A new study found that unemployment is one of the main causes for suicide across the world – between 2001 and 2011, unemployment caused approximately 450,000 cases of suicide.
Even after only sleeping for two hours a night, a half an hour nap can restore your protein and hormone levels to normal, a new study has found.
After reviewing existing literature and statistics, researchers from the University of Warwick have found evidence which suggests a significant relationship between cannabis consumption and the onset (or exacerbation) of mania symptoms. We’ve presented quite a few studies on cannabis here on ZME Science. Our general impression is that due to legal constraints (which are somewhat debatable), the medical potential of
For most people, brains are pretty similar – our connections follow the same pattern, and while there are certainly exceptions, you could say that our brains are connected in pretty much the same way. But for autistic people, things are very different. A new study has found that each autistic brain has unique, highly idiosyncratic connections. We’re only starting to