Brain & Behavior

Since mental health problems are estimated to affect some 10% of the world’s population, it stands to reason that if you don’t suffer from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder yourself, you are probably close to someone who does. So you might be pleased to read about a new finding that could eventually lead to a…

I first heard about Wade’s book when a colleague started talking about bits and pieces of it. He was reading it pursuant to a writing a review. I asked the publisher for a review copy, which they kindly supplied, and started tracking the pre-publication reactions. After reading the first couple of chapters, I realized that…

The original tree hugger

New research sheds light why koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) spend so much time hugging trees. As shown in the infrared image above, the trees stay cool on hot days. Since koalas do not sweat, hugging trees is another method to keep their cool in addition to panting and licking their fur. The research also shows that the…

Big-Eared Bat Rediscovered

The New Guinea big-eared bat (Pharotis imogene; specimen pictured above) was thought to be extinct for the past 120 years. The bat is now considered critically endangered or possibly extinct as this specimen is the only known member of the genus. Since very little is known of this endangered bat, researchers who identified this specimen suggest…

The heath effects of occupational solvent exposure don’t always fade with time. A new study has found that years — sometimes even decades — down the road from their last workplace exposure, some workers are still experiencing very real cognitive impairments.

Crickets are the first insect to now be farmed for human consumption in the United States. I’ll admit the thought of snacking on cricket flour-based chips is not exactly appetizing. But the process of farming insects over more traditional livestock seems to be less wasteful. Insect farming is a more efficient way of producing dietary protein as…

I don’t have time to read the original or make much comment on this, but since this topic has come up here before, I thought I’d pass on the press release from Burke REhabilitation and Research: Burke Medical Research Institute Scientists Show Axon Growth Possible in Central Nervous System White Plains, NY – May 21,…

Heroic cats

Just in case you have not seen this viral YouTube video of the family cat saving a boy from a vicious dog attack, I have embedded it below. I think this kitty deserves a nice fresh fish for dinner…every day. An article was posted today in NBCNews featuring the heroics of other house cats. Here…

Rare fatty antifreeze

I have heard of some animals using sugars as antifreeze (check out the prior blog on wood frogs that freeze and survive!), but never lipids. Researchers have discovered that larva of the Goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis) shown above survive nearly freezing solid as well, which they hypothesize may be accomplished by accumulating acetylated triacylglycerol,…