Brain circuit that silences the voice inside your head discovered

Every time we’re engaged in a certain action, the sounds we produce while walking, eating, even playing music are tuned down a notch in volume by the brain. For instance, during a conversation your voice will be perceived as quieter than it actually is in reality, since our brain want to receive clearer  the information relayed by the other person.

This frog hears through its mouth

One of the smallest amphibians in the world, the  Gardiner’s Seychelles frog, is also one of the most eccentric. The frog doesn’t stand out through an over-glamorous coloring or some unique, wild mating call, but rather as a result of one of its weird biological features. This frog doesn’t have ears – yet it can hear. How? By receiving sound waves

Australian infertile woman becomes first person to get pregnant through ovarian tissue transplant in the abdomen

For infertile women everywhere, regardless of age, health and status, one thing was sure – they were never going to have children; and I say ‘were’ because now we have a precedent, a way through which that can be changed: an infertile Australian woman is now pregnant after growing new eggs in ovarian tissue transplanted into her abdomen in a

Snoring: Busting the Myths

Snoring is a universal problem that affects a huge chunk of the population around the world. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, how smart you are, if you snore – you snore. There are various causes for snoring. As is the case with the other common conditions that affect a large number of people around the world, there are

Men’s height up 11 cm on average since the industrial age

A new study that surveyed through records of hundreds of thousands of men from 15 European countries found that the average height has risen by 11 centimeters since then 1870s. This remarkable surge in men’s height over the span of just four generations has been attributed to the advances in health care since, most notably antibiotics and a massive drop

Skip the juice, go for whole fruit

For some reason which continues to elude me, people are eating less and less fruit – but perhaps the increasing consumption of juice has something to do with this. Now, a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers has shown that eating more fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, was associated with a significantly lower risk of

Air pollution causes 200.000 early fatalities / year in the US

Pollution is real, and it’s a global phenomenon; it doesn’t happen only in the Captain Planet cartoons, and it’s not restricted to Africa or China. Sobering data from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment has shown that air pollution is having a dramatic impact on American health: over 200.000 lives are claimed early because of it, the study concluded.

Painkiller addictions are the worst drug epidemic in US history

Fatal overdoses due to painkillers have reached epidemic levels, greatly exceeding those from heroin and cocaine combined, becoming the worst drug epidemic in US history. Prescriptions for painkillers in the United States have nearly tripled in the past two decades, and the results are dreadful. In 2012, enough painkillers were prescribed to keep every single citizen medicated around the clock

Scientists grow brain-like tissue in petri dish

Most medical research looking to identify the mechanisms of a disease or test treatments rely on animal models. While very useful, mice for instance (a favorite lab pet for researchers) do not have nearly the same brain structure or genes as humans. Even if some genes and proteins scientists target are the same both in mice and humans, it will

Gene key in neuron generation discovered

Scientists have discovered an atypical gene that is thought to be crucial for the generation of new neurons in the brain, a process called neurogenesis. The discovery and further study of the gene might help scientists better understand how neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s affect the brain and, in term, how to address them. New neurons are born through a

Brain-to-brain interface allows first telepathic exchange of information between two humans

In a mind-boggling and, frankly, a bit frightening breakthrough, researchers at University of Washington have devised a brain-to-brain interface that for the first time has allowed the remote exchange of information between two human brains. The test that demonstrated the technology, although simple in nature, shows of a powerful display of force. One researcher (human brain #1), connected through a brain

Crows remember and respond to people’s faces akin to humans themselves

Crows, like most other species from the corvid family (ravens, rooks, etc.), are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet, actually rivaling apes and dolphins. Tool use is common among these birds, but where they shine is in their social and emotional intelligence. For instance, a few years ago I reported how ravens point at things with their beaks

How chemical weapons ‘work’ (kill) people

For nearly two years now, Syria has been embroiled in a gruesome civil war that has so far claimed thousands of lives. Cruelties in the region reached a climax in past weeks after alleged reports of chemical weapons use against civilians were made. So far, it’s unclear which side – the government or rebelling opposition – was responsible for the

Scientists engineer heart in the lab that beats on its own

Regenerative medicine has come a long way, and while important strides forward have been made, scientists are still toiling with ways to completely grow organs in labs. There are millions of people worldwide suffering from afflictions to organs like the liver, lungs or heart – for many of them a transplant is they’re only chance at living a normal life

Human activity drives evolution of bigger brains in animals

It’s clear that humans are now, more than ever, a driving force in evolutionary biology. Early domestication efforts through breeding and training have changed some species to the point that they’ve grown to be as we wanted them to become. The effects of climate change, a great part of which is anthropogenic, actually influence animals all over the world in

Deadly Mers virus found in tomb bat – not the one spreading it to humans

Many months later after scientists isolated thousands of samples taken from different bat species found close to the home of the first known victim of the Mers coronavirus – a deadly virus which first emerged in the Middle East last year, killing 47 so far (~50% fatality among infected) – scientists found the evidence of the presence of the virus in

Delusional people actually see the world differently

There’s an extremely fine line between delusion and grand vision – it’s enough just to take a look back in history and you’ll find a myriad of examples where great minds who justly challenged the status quo were labeled insane, and in some even more unfortunate times, heretics. That’s not to say that behind every conspiracy theorist or person who

LSD and other psychedelics not linked with mental illnesses

Researchers  at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience analyzed a massive survey of 130,000 randomly chosen people from the US to see whether there is any association  between psychedelic drug use and mental health problems – a claim that has had large circulation and is often cited, despite little research in this respect. Their findings suggest

How bacteria colonize the human gut – study reveals important insights

Our bodies are hosts to some hundreds of thousands of bacteria that live in harmony with each other, helping the body be healthy, in return for the food and shelter it provides to these tiny organisms . Collectively, all the microorganisms inside the human body are referred to as the microbiome, most of whom are found in the  gastrointestinal (GI) tract

Women are more likely to wear pink and red during ovulation

It has been previously shown that during ovulation, women tend to increase their attractiveness to men (though not necessarily conscious). Not only do they change their voice pitch [1], but they also tend to dress more fashionable [2]. A new study published in Psychological Science adds to this growing body of research by suggesting that ovulating women may also choose