Tag Archives: genetic

Are hot flashes genetic?

First-of-its-kind study finds gene variant linked to the symptom in menopausal women

Most women experience hot flashes and night sweats either before or during menopause, but a significant minority don’t have these symptoms. Could our genes be a factor in determining which women get hot flashes? (more…)

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Breathing New Life into the Study of Asthma

The UA’s Dr. Fernando Martinez wants to know why children on Amish farms are healthier, and his research could have far-reaching implications.

Dr. Fernando Martinez’s first childhood memory was one of awaking in the middle of the night to find his mother suffering an asthma attack. His father, a physician, quelled the flare-up with a nebulizer. (more…)

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Mobile games used for psychology experiments

Initial findings from one of the largest cognitive science experiments ever conducted have shown that mobile games can be used to reliably address psychology questions, paving the way to a better understanding of how cognitive function differs across populations.

With its first comprehensive set of results published today, the Great Brain Experiment, a free mobile app run by neuroscientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL, uses ‘gamified’ neuroscience experiments to address scientific questions on a scale that would not be possible using traditional approaches. The app investigates memory, impulsivity, risk-taking and happiness. By playing the games, anyone can anonymously compare their abilities to the wider population and contribute to real scientific research. More than 60,000 people have taken part so far. (more…)

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Some birds come first — a new approach to species conservation

A Yale-led research team has developed a new approach to species conservation that prioritizes genetic and geographic rarity and applies it to all 9,993 known bird species.

“To date, conservation has emphasized the number of species, treating all species as equal,” said Walter Jetz, the Yale evolutionary biologist who is lead author of a paper published April 10 in Current Biology. “But not all species are equal in their genetic or geographic rarity. We provide a framework for how such species information could be used for prioritizing conservation.” (more…)

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Brainwaves reflect ability to beat built-in bias

Many animals, including humans, harbor ingrained biases to act when they can obtain rewards and to remain inactive to avoid punishment. Sometimes, however those biases can steer us wrong. A new study finds that theta brainwave activity in the prefrontal cortex predicts how well people can overcome these biases when a better choice are available.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Vertebrates are predisposed to act to gain rewards and to lie low to avoid punishment. Try to teach chickens to back away from food in order to obtain it, and you’ll fail, as researchers did in 1986. But humans are better thinkers than chickens. In the May 8 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers show that the level of theta brainwave activity in the prefrontal cortex predicts whether people will be able to overcome these ingrained biases when doing so is required to achieve a goal. (more…)

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Placental Mammal Diversity Blossomed After Age of Dinosaurs

Scientists build new ‘tree of life’ for placentals, visualize common ancestor

Scientists have reconstructed the common ancestor of placental mammals–an extremely diverse group including animals ranging from rodents to whales to humans–using the world’s largest dataset of both genetic and physical traits. (more…)

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Virus Caught in the Act of Infecting a Cell

About the video: watch an animation showing the changes in the structure of a T7 virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium.

AUSTIN, Texas — The detailed changes in the structure of a virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium have been observed for the first time, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) Medical School this week in Science Express. (more…)

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A Course in Professional Storytelling

Students who spent the semester learning about communication through storytelling have produced a story bank of narratives detailing their lives, their studies and their appreciation for what the UA’s English department promotes.

What does it mean to be a great storyteller for a business owner, a fashion designer, a teacher, a marketing professional or a medical researcher?

In a novel, exploratory course offered in the University of Arizona English department this semester, students working toward those careers found that while storytelling is deeply rooted in the tradition of English literature, it is far more expansive than that.

“Whether we think it or not, we are always building influence,” said Stephanie Balzer, an adjunct instructor in the English department, who taught a class of students studying business, genetics, psychology, accounting, education and a number of other disciplines. (more…)

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