An unhealthy lifestyle leads to brain shrinkage later on, study says

The latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” has been put to the test by researchers who wanted to study what kind of repercussions an unhealthy lifestyle has on the mind. What they found was a dramatic increase in brain damage and dementia cases among subjects who have experienced high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity in middle age. The study,

Scientists genetically engineer glowing dog

In what’s maybe the most startling research I’ve been granted to read about recently, scientists from South Korea at Seoul National University, home to the world’s only strictly genetic engineering curricula, have successfully created a dog that can glow in the dark. The genetically modified female beagle, named Tegon, was born in 2009 using a cloning technique which could help

Researchers create artificial lung that works on air, not oxygen

Researchers from Cleveland have managed to create an artificial lung that reaches an efficiency comparable to that of the real organ, by using air, instead of pure oxygen, as an essential element. There is still a long way to go, and human transplant is years away, but the results so far are extremely encouraging, and the device is a huge

Northern people have bigger eyes and brains

A new Oxford University study shows how people living further away from the equator have bigger eyes and brains than those living closer to it. This is to cope with the harsh colder climate, scientists say. Anthropologists come to this conclusion after examining 55 skulls, dating from the 1800s, representing 12 different populations from around the globe. By measuring eye

Amazing Brain Art

Brain-Art competition is an annual celebration of the beauty and creativity of artistic renderings emerging from the neuroimaging community. Last month concluded the first edition in which various artists from around the world submitted some incredible work for the competition’s galleries – 3D-rendering gallery, connectome gallery, abstract gallery and humorous gallery. Below are a few pieces I found really enjoyable

Shorties: US is the only developed nation to drink milk from cows given artificial hormones

As an European, it often seems to me like the US is a land of striking contrasts – it is in fact the land of opportunities. Matter of fact, I was absolutely shocked to find out that the US is still allowing milk from cows which were given artificial growth hormone, especially since this hormone was banned in Canada, Australia,

Even the best liars can’t suppress all their facial expresions

Mark Frank has been studying the faces of people lying when the stakes are high for over two decades, being one of the leading authorities in this matter; now, he has some good news for the good guys. According to his latest research, entitled “Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations” people lying can suppress most of their betraying facial expressions,

New DNA sequencing device could decode your genome for just $1000

News of a low-cost semiconductor-based gene sequencing machine has been reported this Wednesday in the journal Nature, by a team led by Jonathan Rothberg. The astonishing advancement might lead to a age of personal human genome sequence, where people will be able to decipher their own DNA for as low as $1000. The human genome was first mapped in 2001 and

CalTech soup displays brainlike behaviour

Researchers from the CalTech University have managed to create the first artificial neural network from DNA, a circuit built out of interactinig molecules that can recall memories based on an incomplete pattern, in pretty much the same way a brain works. “Although brainlike behaviors within artificial biochemical systems have been hypothesized for decades,” says Lulu Qian, a Caltech senior postdoctoral

Neural signature of mental time travel

Pretty much everyone has experienced some sort of memory triggering, but there hasn’t been any satisfactory explanation for this common phenomenon. But now, researchers from University of Pennsylvania have provided the first neurobiological proof that memories which are formed in the same context can become linked, the foundation of the theory of episodic memory. This study was headed by professor

HIV treatment brings African patients to normal lifespan

It seems that recently, science is finally beginning to corner the HIV virus. Last week, two studies had the same conclusions, showing how a daily antiviral pill protects sexually active men and women from becoming infected with HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS. Now, researchers show that the life expectancy of already infected African people getting HIV treatment is

Over half of Alzheimer’s cases could be avoided

According to a study conducted by Deborah Barnes, PhD, a mental health researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, more than half of all Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes or light treatment. Analyzing thousands of cases worldwide, she concluded that the biggest impacting factors on Alzheimer that can be modified are, in descending order, low education,

Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal

There has been a long standing debate regarding the Neanderthal people, and what kind of legacy we carry from them. Recently, a study conducted by an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center showed that a part of the human X chromosome originating

Extremely fatal monkey virus spreads to human lab worker

Adenoviruses are nonenveloped (without an outer lipid bilayer) icosahedral viruses, characterized by a particular large size compared to other types of viruses. For years, scientists have thought that each adenovirus strain could infect only one species of animal, however, a recently published report shows how the same strain that infected and decimated a titi monkey colony, also spread to a

Human history recorded in a single genome

First of all, I hope you’re having a great Summer so far, and I apologize for my leap of absence – I’ve been missing you guys. If you want to know the history of your ancestors, you don’t have to look any further than your own body. As it turns out, your own genome carries a one million year old

Pollution linked to memory loss

It’s pretty evident for anyone living in a big, crowded city what pollution looks like and to what degree our health is affected by it. Besides things like your lungs or skin, scientists relate in a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry, how they believe pollution can cause memory loss. To prove their point, they confined a group of lab

Bionic glasses aim to replace guide dogs for the visually impaired

On display at one of the featured stands at this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is a pair of special glasses developed by scientists at Oxford University, which mixes technology already developed by gaming and smartphone manufacturers, and allows people with next to none vision orientate. ‘We want to be able to enhance vision in those who’ve lost it

How aging can be cured in the future – a scientist’s view

If we’re to guide ourselves after Aubrey de Grey‘s telling, according to his predictions the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born, and as science advances along the decades at the current pace it does, he claims people born soon after the latter mentioned birthday will live to be 1,000. “I’d say we

Tour de Hell: 2,100 miles of pain for cyclists

Each year for three weeks, professional cyclists suffer at great lengths, enduring both physical and mental pain, in the Tour de Frace. Considering each day means around 100 miles on a bike, most of the time uphill, though mountains and so on, there aren’t any losers at the Tour de France. If you manage to finish, you’re very much a

Scientists predict age using only a saliva sample

In a recently patented research, UCLA geneticists have shown and demonstrated how they’ve accurately been able to predict a person’s age just by analyzing a saliva sample. The research could possibly find highly welcomed applications in crime scene investigation, as a forensics tool for pinpointing a suspect’s age. “Our approach supplies one answer to the enduring quest for reliable markers