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Understanding fractions is a critical mathematical ability, and yet it's one that continues to confound a lot of people well into adulthood. New research finds evidence for an innate ratio processing ability that may play a role in determining our aptitude for understanding fractions and other…

Opioids may cause short-term improvement in mood, but long-term use imposes risk of new-onset depression, a new study shows. The link was independent of the known contribution of pain to depression, and the study calls on clinicians to consider the contribution of opioid use when depressed mood…

Cell survival depends on having a plentiful and balanced pool of the four chemical building blocks that make up DNA. However, if too many of these components pile up, or if their usual ratio is disrupted, that can be deadly for the cell. Chemists have discovered how a single enzyme maintains a…

The freaky, flexible coils of the UTI bacterium let it survive where others cannot. But researchers have unlocked its secrets, advancing the effort to block it from setting up shop in the urinary tract.

Sedentary behavior is associated with poor cardiovascular health and diabetes in adults with severe obesity, independent of how much exercise they perform, a study showed for the first time. For every hour spent sitting in 10-minute bouts, odds of diabetes increased 15 percent.

Individuals addicted to cocaine may have difficulty in controlling their addiction because of a previously-unknown 'back door' into the brain, circumventing their self-control, suggests a new study.

In humans, males have XY chromosomes, females have XX but only one of these is active, meaning that both sexes only have one active copy of the X chromosome. A team of researchers studying the evolution of the X chromosome has discovered why it contains such an unusual mixture of genes.

A hormone that extends lifespan in mice by 40% is produced by specialized cells in the thymus gland, according to a new study. The team also found that increasing the levels of this hormone, called FGF21, protects against the loss of immune function that comes with age.

Two proteins have been identified that are important for the demethylation of DNA, report investigators.

Using modern genetic approaches, a team of researchers has provided strong support for the long-standing, but hotly debated, evolutionary theory of kin selection, which suggests that altruistic behavior occurs as a way to pass genes to the next generation.

Offering a standard biomarker test earlier in pregnancy could potentially help doctors to better identify women at risk of giving birth prematurely, thus enabling health services to focus treatments on women at highest risk, according to a new study.

An unusual regulator of body weight and the metabolic syndrome has been discovered by researchers: a molecular mechanism more commonly associated with brain cells. Lowering levels of P75 neurotrophin receptor (NTR) -- a receptor involved in neuron growth and survival -- protected mice fed a…

Depressed patients with signs of systemic inflammation have elevated levels of glutamate in regions of the brain that are important for motivation. These findings suggest which forms of depression may respond best to drugs that target glutamate, such as the anesthetic ketamine.

A previously unsuspected mechanism is activated in the presence of pathogens after only a few hours: the activation of thousands of genes in the cells of the innate immune system and the triggering of its immune defenses.

There are small easy steps that we can take to tackle the burgeoning problem of obesity. One of those solutions is surprisingly simple: use smaller plates.

In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up on the inner walls of arteries that deliver blood to the body. Studying mice and tissue samples from the arteries of patients, researchers now suggest this accumulation is driven, at least in part, by processes similar to the plaque formation implicated in brain…

Scientists have discovered that an overlooked region in brain cells houses a motherlode of mutated genes previously tied to autism. The finding could provide fresh drug targets and lead to new therapies for the disorder, which affects one in 68 children in the United States.

Neuroimaging studies suggest that frontolimbic regions of the brain, structures that regulate emotions, play an important role in the biology of aggressive behavior. A new article reports that individuals with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) have significantly lower gray matter volume in…

Lewy bodies had been considered to be a key element of pathogenesis for Parkinson's disease. Although structural analysis for Lewy bodies with an electron microscope had been performed, it had no secondary structural information of proteins, which is important for the development of drugs. A…

Researchers have conducted the first ever trials of smart pills that can measure intestinal gases inside the body, with surprising results revealing some unexpected ways that fiber affects the gut.

The compound CGP3466B, already proven nontoxic for people, may effectively and rapidly treat depression, according to results of a study in mice. Researchers say that the compound -- previously shown to block cocaine craving in the brains of rodents -- delivers antidepressant effects to mice within…

Patients between the ages of 40 and 70 who undergo aortic valve replacement (AVR) may fare better with tissue-based valves rather than metal-based valves, according to a review article.

Using statins before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery can help reduce cardiac complications, such as atrial fibrillation, following surgery and also can reduce the risk of death during and after surgery, according to a review article.

Chemistry researchers have published a study showing that specialized compounds containing the metal ruthenium may be able to recognize or damage specific DNA structures relevant for cancer.

A mechanism used by many disease-causing bacteria that was once thought to be a microbial superweapon can be thwarted if the cells being attacked are numerous enough. Combining computer simulations and laboratory work, researcher reveals a unique approach to unraveling biological processes and…

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