Biochemical reactions that maintain an erection uncovered

For decades now, scientists have known what are the biochemical reactions that trigger a penile erection, however not those that actually maintain it. In a breakthrough, physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine have finally uncovered the exact biochemical chain of events involved in the process. The findings will hopefully lead to novel medical treatment for patients suffering from erectile dysfunctions – a

Psychopaths can be spotted through a smell test, study says

Australian scientists say that persons with psychopathic tendencies could be spotted through a smell test, correlated with a psychological questionnaire. The link doesn’t lye in the actual odor emanated by a potentially psychopathic person, though, but rather in their sense of smell. The study conducted by Mehmet Mahmut and Richard Stevenson, from Macquarie University, is based on findings which show that people

The only mammals that regenerate tissue: African mice

These little spiny African mice can do something no other mammal can: they completely regenerate damaged tissue, a feat once thought impossible. They may not look as impressive as Wolverine, but they held quite the surprise: Acomys kempi and Acomys percivali have skin so brittle and easily torn that one can only ask… why? What evolutionary joke was played on

Of mind control: scientists manipulate worm and take control of its behavior

In a remarkable feat of science, scientists at Harvard University have surpassed seemingly insurmountable technological challenges have managed to take over the behavior of a lab worm. Using precisely targeted laser pulses at the worm’s neurons, scientists were able to direct it to move in any directions they wanted, and even trick it in thinking there’s food nearby. These fantastic

Micro-beads based system could allow for instant laboratory analysis

Harnessing the oscillation of magnetic microscopic beads, MIT scientists have carried out experiments which show that it’s possible to develop a tiny device capable of diagnosing biological samples instantly. Such a tiny lab would allow for fast, compact and versatile medical-testing. Tiny magnetic balls, in the micrometer scale or a millionth of a meter, embedded with biomolecules such as antibodies, allow for

Leaders are less stressed than regular employees

Leaders, whether they’re heads of states or business executives, are generally less stressed than non-leaders, contrary to popular belief, according to a recent study from Harvard psychologists, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For the study, the researchers invited 65 non-leaders from various professions and 148 leaders, mainly recruited from a Harvard University executive education program and

Einstein’s brain: now available on iPad

After the most recognized physics figure in the world, Albert Einstein, past away on April 18, 1955, the whole world was left in shock, seeing how he was even by then considered the most famous physicist in history. His dying wish was that of being cremated, however an eccentric physician by the name of Thomas Harvey, a Princeton Hospital pathologist, removed Einstein’s

Hearing restored in gerbils by stem cell treatment – might work for the human ear, too

In an exceptional feat of medical and technical ingenuity, scientists have been able to restore partial hearing to deaf gerbils by implanting modified human embryonic stem cells in their ears. The success rate is pleasing, and offers solid ground on which human trials with a similar treatment might commence. There are many causes which might lead to hearing loss. The

Bacteria replicate close to the limit of thermodynamic efficiency

We often like to think us humans have achieved a remarkable standard of efficiency and development – but a look at the animal life around us is often enough to humble us. Replicating bacteria and physics The common gut bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli, in short) typically takes about 20 minutes to duplicate itself in good conditions – a staggering

How tabby cats earn their stripes – genetics answer

A feline genetic study has revealed that a particular gene variation in a cat’s chromosome is responsible for the stripped fur so many cat lovers adore. According to the researchers, the same gene gives cheetahs, the house cat’s larger and wilder cousin, stripes instead of the regular spots. The research was lead by Stephen O’Brien of the National Laboratory for Cancer

Atlas of the human brain might help identify the mechanics of neural conditions

Neuroscientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle have created an atlas of the human brain, which highlights the activity of genes across the entire organ. The brain map was created after many hard years of labor, and might help scientists from across the world  identify factors that underlie neurological and psychiatric conditions. “The human brain is the most complex structure known

Genetic tweak makes plants produce enzyme-replacing drug

Culturing mammalian cells is currently the only way to make some complex proteins used in certain drugs; but growing such cultures is an extremely difficult and delicate job, because they can harbor human pathogens and must therefore be kept under strict temperature conditions. It’s a difficult job, but it’s definitely worth it; take a look at the rare lysosomal storage

Sperm captured in 3D for the first time, reveals corkscrewing swimming [with video]

Scientists have finally managed to track sperm patterns in 3D, for the first time in history. Bless their gifted brains, this remarkable achievement revealed some interesting and unexpected things: some sperm swim in corkscrew patterns, while others are hyperactive and hectic. Aydogan Ozcan, the sperm study leader, placed sperm on a silicon sensor chip and used red and blue light

DNA could be used to visually recreate a person’s face

No person is the same, thanks to genetic variation. While skin color, hair, or body proportions are elements that might be exactly the same for two persons, you can be sure that one’s face is unique – even in identical twins, if you look extremely closely. While life style, body weight, diet, accidents and so on influence the shape and

Hans Rosling’s enlightening TED talks about world population and world health

Hans Rosling is one of the most remarkable people on the face of the Earth – even the most educated, well traveled and insightful have their perspectives shifted by Rosling. A professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, a member of Time’s most influential 100 people, as well as an accomplished sword swallower, he currently focuses on dispelling myths

New biocompatible, self-healing gel is perfect replacement for cartilages

A team of experts in mechanics, materials, medicine and tissue engineering have managed to create a self replicating gel which can stretch about 21 times its length. The water-based tough gel is also self-healing and biocompatible, which means it could be perfect for people with cartilage injuries. When 1+1 isn’t 2 The new hydrogel (names this way because water is

Loud Music Can Stimulate Your Brain

 Music is LIFE Music makes the world go round, but in recent years youngsters have been warned about listening to too much music at high volumes, advising that it may cause hearing loss in later life. Contrary to this, research in the last few years into the positive reactions of listening to loud music has taken place, and offers an

Pulling all-nighters before tests is counter-productive – does more harm than good

The findings of a new research at UCLA, suggest that cramming all night before a big test, something that we’ve all went through at least once in a point of our lives with personal mixed results, is generally counter-productive as the sleep deprivation acts its toll on cognitive performance. Whether we’re talking about high school or university, especially the latter, we’ve all

Secrets of the ‘Super Agers’: elder people who

Researchers often study and analyze what goes wrong with the brains of people with dementia; but this is not the case here – researchers from Northwestern Medicinecasked themselves exactly the opposite: what happens with the brains of the so-called ‘Super Agers’, elder people who still have terrific memories. Emili Rogalski identified an elite group of people aged over 80, whose

Seizure detector treats epilepsy in rats

Just think about it: a minimally invasive brain stimulator that significantly reduces seizure duration for epilepsy patients. Such a device exists, but sadly, only works in rats so far. The device was tested on nine rats with a ‘petit mal’ form of epilepsy, and it reduced the length of seizures by approximately 60 percent. Most electrical stimulation devices, most notably