Scientists identify a novel neural circuit mediating visually evoked innate defensive responses

Fear overgeneralization, a condition that limits the ability to discriminate between safety and threat, is an important pathological characteristic of anxiety-related syndromes such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder. However, unlike traditional conditioned fear, the mechanism of processing innate fear is largely unknown. Prof. Wang Liping and his colleagues Zhou Zheng and Liu Xuemei […]

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23% of young black women now identify as bisexual

Since 1972, social scientists have studied the General Social Survey to chart the complexities of social change in the United States. The survey, which is conducted every couple years, asks respondents their attitudes on topics ranging from race relations to drug use. In 2008, the survey started including a question on sexual identity. As sociologists who study sexuality, we’ve noticed […]

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Scientists identify genetic factors that may cause some people to become obese

Obesity is a major public-health problem in the United States and around the world, with an estimated 650 million people suffering from the condition. One of the biggest challenges of this ever-worsening condition is figuring out why people become obese in the first place, and why some people are more vulnerable to obesity than others. Now, scientists at The Rockefeller […]

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Scientists identify new disrupted pathway in motor neurone disease

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have identified a new pathway that is disrupted in motor neurone disease (MND), a discovery which could pave the way for new treatments. The ground breaking findings were discovered by converting skin cells to brain cells called astrocytes, and comparing the energy metabolism of cells taken from MND patients versus healthy controls, using a […]

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Researchers identify faulty ‘brake’ that interferes with heart muscle’s ability to contract and relax

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common genetic disease of the heart and a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young people and athletes. Scientists have long known that the condition’s cardinal feature—an unusually thick heart muscle that contracts and relaxes abnormally—is fueled by some glitch in the heart’s molecular machinery. Yet, the sparkplug that ignites such disordered muscle […]

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Biologists identify promising drug for ALS treatment

A drug typically used to treat hepatitis could slow the progression of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to new research by University of Alberta scientists. The drug, called telbivudine, targets a protein called SOD1 that misfolds in most cases of patients with ALS. “We showed that telbivudine can greatly reduce the toxic properties of SOD1, including improving […]

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Researchers identify factors behind inflammation in immunodeficiency patients

Oregon State University researchers have discovered two key factors behind the intestinal inflammation that plagues people suffering from a disorder that affects their immune system. The findings, published in Clinical Immunology, are important because common variable immunodeficiency, known as CVID, afflicts hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. A significant proportion of them will have potentially life-threatening intestinal problems that include […]

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