New model explains how our immune system sometimes helps cancer spread

Mathematicians at the University of Alberta have developed a model that explains how the immune system interacts with cancer—and in some cases, may help cancer spread to other areas of the body. “Past research has shown that sometimes, the immune system has the opposite effect of what we might expect,” said Thomas Hillen, a mathematical biologist at the U of […]

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Deepening our understanding of selfish behavior

Is a selfish person just processing the decisions that result in rewards to others differently? Perhaps, suggests a recent RIKEN study. A RIKEN team, led by Hiroyuki Nakahara of the Laboratory for Integrated Theoretical Neuroscience at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science, discovered this when they examined 36 healthy volunteers aged between 20 and 32 years. Their aim was to […]

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Should we start asking our friends if they're in the right 'headspace' to chat?

When someone on Twitter shared an exchange where a friend asked if she was in the ‘right headspace’ before sharing something that might hurt them, the conversation quickly went viral. Yana Birt showed the message and posted; ‘I just want to say, a lot of y’all dump information on your friends at the wrong time without their consent. If you […]

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As the 9-to-5 work day disappears, our lives are growing more out of sync

You may have noticed the 9-to-5 work day is disappearing. We increasingly live our lives according to our individual schedules, although these are rarely completely within our individual control. As our working lives become increasingly 24-7, our new research suggests there’s now an additional task to do in our families and friendships. We need to work harder than before to […]

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What is ‘attachment’ and how does it affect our relationships?

Research across many years and many cultures has found around 35-40% of people say they feel insecure in their adult relationships. While 60-65% experience secure, loving and satisfying relationships. How secure or insecure we are with our romantic partners depends, in part, on how we bonded with our parents at a young age. From the day we were born we […]

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Researchers discover how the sun damages our skin

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have discovered the mechanism through which ultraviolet radiation, given off by the sun, damages our skin. What kind of ultraviolet radiation is the worst for our skin? And how exactly does the sun damage it? Those two questions are at the heart of a new study by Zachary W. Lipsky, a biomedical […]

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Neuroscientists find brain activity patterns that encode our beliefs

For decades, research has shown that our perception of the world is influenced by our expectations. These expectations, also called “prior beliefs,” help us make sense of what we are perceiving in the present, based on similar past experiences. Consider, for instance, how a shadow on a patient’s X-ray image, easily missed by a less experienced intern, jumps out at […]

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How our body ‘listens’ to vibrations

The sensation of a mobile phone vibrating is familiar. The perception of these vibrations derives from specialized receptors that transduce them into neural signals sent to the brain. But how does the brain encode their physical characteristics? To understand this, neuroscientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have observed what happens in the brains of mice whose forepaws perceive vibrations. […]

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