Brain

Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown capuchin monkeys, just like humans, find giving to be a satisfying experience. This finding comes on the coattails of a recent imaging study in humans that documented activity in reward centers of the brain after humans gave to charity. Empathy in seeing the pleasure of another's fortune is thought to be the impetus for sharing, a trait this study shows transcends primate species.

DALLAS – Aug. 25, 2008 – Terminally ill rodents with type 1 diabetes have been restored to full health with a single injection of a substance other than insulin by scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Anxious college freshmen can relax. No matter who will be sharing their dorm room, they have the power to make the relationship better, University of Michigan research suggests.

The research, published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, was conducted by psychologists Jennifer Crocker and Amy Canevello at the U-M Institute for Social Research.

WASHINGTON — A special August issue of the Journal of Comparative Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, presents a host of studies that investigate the way that animals adapt their calls, chirps, barks and whistles to their social situation.

The special issue, Acoustic Interaction in Animal Groups: Signaling in Noisy and Social Contexts, reports on findings from the natural world such as:

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- If a stroke patient doesn't get treatment within approximately the first three hours of symptoms, there's not much doctors can do to limit damage to the brain.

But now researchers report a technique that potentially could restore functions to patients weeks or even months after a stroke. The technique involves jumpstarting the growth of nerve fibers to compensate for brain cells destroyed by the stroke.

The initial signs of fetal alcohol syndrome are slight but classic: facial malformations such as a flat and high upper lip, small eye openings and a short nose.

Researchers want to know if those facial clues can help them figure out how much alcohol it takes during what point in development to cause these and other lifelong problems.

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Researchers at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and The Children's Hospital in Denver have conducted the largest study to date describing the medical and psychological characteristics of a rare genetic disorder in which males have two "X" and two "Y" chromosomes, rather than the normal one of each. The study, published in the June 15, 2008, issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, also offers treatment recommendations for men and boys with the disorder.

Boulder, CO, USA - GEOLOGY topics reach deep into Earth and far into space—from magma and plate tectonics to cosmic dust and asteroids—and touch on the intricate details of our planet, including a 1200-year record of corals and coral reef health and the wealth of climate change information found in both bat guano and Chinese loess. The GSA TODAY article studies the end-Permian mass extinction in the marine realm, examining long-term environmental stress and recovery.

Ups and downs of the Mississippi Delta

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT engineers report a new approach to identifying protein structures key to Alzheimer's disease, an important step toward the development of new drugs that could prevent such structures from forming.

In the Aug. 22 issue of PLoS Computational Biology, the researchers describe one such structure uncovered using a new computer-based technique.

Researchers at Sheffield University and the University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom, have helped determine why relearning a few pieces of information may or may not easily cause a recollection of other associated, previously learned information. The key, they find, is in the way in which the learned information is forgotten. Details are published August 22nd in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

In a landmark study, Medical College of Wisconsin researchers in Milwaukee report that drugs used to inhibit a specific fatty acid in rat brains with glioblastoma-like tumors not only reduced new blood vessel growth and tumor size dramatically, but also prolonged survival. The study is the featured cover story of the August, 2008 Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.

(Boston) -- Call it the cocktail party effect: how an individual can participate in a one-on-one conversation within a cluster of people, switch to another, pick up important comments while tuning out others, change topics and return to the first conversation.

This selective switching of attention which relies on disengaging and re-engaging attention to different voices on a time scale of a tenth of a second, can pose challenges for anyone with normal hearing.

A group at the University of Washington has developed software that for the first time enables deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans to use sign language over a mobile phone. UW engineers got the phones working together this spring, and recently received a National Science Foundation grant for a 20-person field project that will begin next year in Seattle.

As the American Presidential election approaches, pollsters are scrambling to predict who will win. A study by a team of researchers at The University of Western Ontario, Canada, and the University of Padova, Italy, may give pollsters a new way to determine how the undecided will vote, even before the voters know themselves.

"Automatic Mental Associations Predict Future Choices of Undecided Decision Makers," was published in the August 22nd issue of the journal Science.

Blacksburg, Va. – The typical American diet often lacks omega-3 fatty acids despite clinical research that shows their potential human health benefits. Zhiyou Wen, assistant professor of biological systems engineering in Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, found a way to grow these compounds using a byproduct of the emerging biodiesel industry. He presented his findings at the 236th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Philadelphia, Pa., on August 21.