Brain & Behavior

Gotta love glow “worms”!

Jeff Cremer, a nature photographer, discovered mysterious tiny glow worms (~0.5 inches long) in Peru near the Tambopata Research Center a couple of years ago. Scientists still have not identified the species of these glow “worms”, but suspect they are actually click beetle larvae. Entomologists Aaron Pomerantz, Mike Bentley, and Geoff Gallice from the University of…

I recently received the following question from a reader based on a prior blog entry on how a medication used to treat epilepsy also helps reverse memory loss with Alzheimer’s disease. You can see the original blog here Question: “I find it a little confusing as to how it is possible that this medication can improve…

Do genes make you gay?

Of course they do. To the extent that genes make you anything in particular, though the role of genetics in human behavior is pretty limited. You’ve probably heard about the newly reported research in which a genetic link was found to homosexuality in a study of gay brothers. Kelly Servick has a good writeup on…

New treatment for osteoporosis?

  A recent review published by Dr. Graziana Colaianni (University of Bari, Italy) and colleagues in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, has summarized recent research on the role of the hormone oxytocin in the regulation of bone mass. Bone remodeling and rebuilding are constantly occurring in our bodies. Osteoporosis…

Ask the Experts: Growing new limbs

A reader sent me the following question: “How does a lizard grow a new tail?” This was a very timely question as new research has shed light on this very phenomenon. A team of experts at Arizona State University led by Dr. Kenro Kusumi and colleagues have been studying limb regeneration in lizards.   The…

Get rid of your addictions while you sleep? Weizmann Institute researcher Dr. Anat Arzi is not promising this yet, but she and Prof. Noam Sobel have shown that changing bad habits through sleep conditioning could someday be possible. After just one session in the Neurobiology Department’s sleep lab, volunteers reported smoking on average 30% fewer…

And the beat goes on…

Drs. Thomas Eliot Haworth and Holly Shiels (University of Manchester) teamed up with Drs. Jaakko Haverinen and Matti Vornanen (University of Eastern Finland) to explore how electrical signaling in the hearts of fish have evolved by comparing Teleost fish with sturgeons. Their findings were published this month in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory,…

Enjoy this video of how animals at the Brookfield Zoo celebrated Halloween early this year. Happy Halloween!

Sex Differences in Stress Responses

A recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology presents evidence that altering the sex of just the fat body in heads of fruit flies (Drosophila) causes them to have stress responses similar to the opposite sex. Males and females vary in their response to stress. It turns…

While pharmaceutical companies are making billions in painkiller profits, it’s the public sector that ends up bearing the burden and cost of the fallout that accompanies skyrocketing sales of highly addictive prescription opioids. After the jump is a Pump Handle Q&A with two public health officials at the forefront of the opioid abuse epidemic within America’s big cities.