Culture

New model may help science overcome the brain's fortress-like barrier

Scientists have helped provide a way to better understand how to enable drugs to enter the brain and how cancer cells make it past the blood brain barrier.

The brain is protected by the near-impermeable blood brain barrier, a fortress which protects the brain but which also prevents the treatment of brain diseases, including brain tumours.

Many people believe that teenagers today grow up faster than they used to, while others argue that today's youth are growing up more slowly, perhaps due to overprotection by their parents. A new study explored this issue by examining how often teens in recent years (compared to teens in previous decades) engaged in adult activities such as drinking alcohol, working, driving, or having sex. The study found that today's adolescents are less likely than their predecessors to take part in activities typically undertaken by adults.

Educational and developmental psychologists have tried to understand how skills and motivation are linked to academic achievement. While research supports ties between individuals' concepts of their abilities and their achievement, we lack a complete picture of how these relations develop from childhood to adolescence. A new longitudinal study looked at how youths' self-concepts are linked to their actual academic achievement in math and reading from middle childhood to adolescence.

AUSTIN, Texas -- In two peer-reviewed papers, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that transgender adolescents are twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as the general population, and they are up to four times as likely to engage in substance use. Depression and school-based victimization factored heavily into the disparities in both cases.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The US birth rate hasn't changed for two generations of teenage girls, but other aspects of young parenthood are shifting, especially regarding young fathers, according to new Indiana University research.

The researchers analyzed parenthood, education and income statistics over a long time span from two groups of about 10,000 people -- those born in 1962-64 and those born in 1980-82. These are the key findings:

Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? The question has been scrutinized by chaos theorists, stock-market analysts and weather forecasters for decades. For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult to imagine on Earth - particularly when a real disaster strikes.

Avoiding continuous dieting may be the key to losing weight and keeping the kilos off, the latest University of Tasmania research shows.

In findings published today in the International Journal for Obesity, School of Health Sciences researchers showed in a randomised controlled trial, that taking a two-week break during dieting may improve weight loss.

The study, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia, investigated the body's 'famine reaction' to continued dieting and its impact on weight loss in men with obesity.

Researchers writing in the latest edition of the journal Weed Science are providing new insights into the control of herbicide-resistant kochia, a weed that competes with both dryland and irrigated crops across the Great Plains states.

Kochia typically begins to emerge in late February or early March before other summer annual weed species. It then disperses its seeds broadly by tumbling across the landscape.

How's this for exasperating: Your ADHD child fidgets and squirms his way through school and homework, but seems laser-focused and motionless sitting in front of the TV watching an action thriller.

Next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) plants require high-temperature fluids, like molten salts, in the range of 550-750 degrees Celsius to store heat and generate electricity. At those high temperatures, however, the molten salts eat away at common alloys used in the heat exchangers, piping, and storage vessels of CSP systems. New research at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is aimed at mitigating corrosion levels in CSP plants with nickel-based coatings.