Gut microbiota helps to maintain core body temperature under cold exposure

The gut microbiome has been shown to have diverse impacts on human and animal physiology and health. Now, a research group led by Prof. John R. Speakman from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has revealed the important role of gut microbiota in thermoregulation—the way animals respond to cold exposure. During cold exposure, it is […]

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Social anxiety disorder may increase risk of alcoholism

New research published in Depression and Anxiety indicates that, unlike other anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder may have a direct effect on alcoholism. For the study, researchers assessed alcoholism, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobias through interviews with 2,801 adult Norwegian twins. Social anxiety disorder had the strongest association with alcoholism, and it predicted […]

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COPD, ILD patients may not benefit from bilateral lung transplant listing

(HealthDay)—While an unrestricted listing strategy does not seem to impact overall survival among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease (ILD) awaiting lung transplant, it may increase the number of transplants performed, according to a study published in the February issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Michaela R. Anderson, M.D., from the Columbia […]

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Doctors may be prescribing antibotics for longer than needed

For most infections, the long-standing advice is to take a full course of antibiotics. The rationale for not simply stopping antibiotics as soon as you start to feel better is that antibiotics don’t kill the bacteria instantly. If stopped too early, the remaining bacteria, which are exposed to low concentrations of antibiotics, tend to be more resistant. These can then […]

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Researchers discover clues to brain differences between males and females

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have discovered a mechanism for how androgens—male sex steroids—sculpt brain development. The research, conducted by Margaret M. McCarthy, Ph.D., who Chairs the Department of Pharmacology, could ultimately help researchers understand behavioral development differences between males and females. The research, published in Neuron, discovered a mechanism for how androgens, male sex steroids, […]

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Sex and aggression in mice controlled by cold-sensor in brain

Testosterone is blamed for sex drive and aggression, but it also appears to be critical for telling the brain “enough!” when it comes to those behaviors. A molecule called TRPM8 (pronounced trip-M-8) embedded in the surface of some cells seems to be responsible for sending these cues in response to testosterone. Without these cues, male mice become dangerously aggressive and […]

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Open-source software tracks neural activity in real time

Tracking the firings of individual neurons is like trying to discern who is saying what in a football stadium full of screaming fans. Until recently, neuroscientists have had to tediously track each neuron by hand. “People spent more time analyzing their data to extract activity traces than actually collecting it,” says Dmitri Chklovskii, who leads the neuroscience group at the […]

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Unwanted unacceptable thoughts—most people have them and we should talk about them

Imagine you’re lying in bed when a sack of cocaine falls from a plane, crashes through your roof and lands next to you. You call the police who come round and arrest you for possession. This would be ridiculous. You are not responsible for things that fall into your house. Now imagine you’re lying in bed when murderous, violently sexual […]

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