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Latest Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare News from Discover Magazine

02:09 EDT 25th June 2018 | BioPortfolio

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Showing News Articles 1–25 of 226 from Discover Magazine

Thursday 21st June 2018

What Over 1 Million Genomes Tell Us About Psychiatric Disorders

The brain is an enormously complex thing. Trying to suss out the genetic overlap of the disorders that strike it is perhaps even more complicated. Still, the Brainstorm Consortium, a collaboration of researchers from Harvard, Stanford and MIT, is aiming to do just that. A new study put out by the group shows there are distinctions in how psychiatric and neurological disorders relate to each other;...

Koko the Gorilla Dead at 46, Her Legacy Lives On

Koko, a gorilla who was instrumental in expanding our knowledge of the inner lives and abilities of primates, has died at the age of 46. The western lowland gorilla was born at the San Francisco Zoo in 1971 on the Fourth of July — her given name was Hanabi-ko, Japanese for "fireworks child" — and was trained in sign language from a young age. Koko proved to be an adept learner and would go ...

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Larry David and the Game Theory of Anonymous Donations

In a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode from 2007, Larry David and his wife Cheryl and their friends attend a ceremony to celebrate his public donation to the National Resources Defense Council, a non-profit environmental advocacy group. Little does he know that the actor Ted Danson, his arch-frenemy, also donated money, but anonymously. “Now it looks like I just did mine for the credit as opposed t...

Blood At A Crime Scene Can Reveal Age of Suspect or Victim

There's a significant gap between the information that real-world forensics teams can glean from a crime scene and what turns up in glamorized tv shows such as "CSI." Today, however, that gap gets a little smaller: Researchers reveal it's possible to determine the age of the person based on their blood. Let's face it, as impressive as forensic DNA analysis is, it takes weeks or even months to p...

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Organs Grown to Order

More than 100,000 people in the United States need an organ transplant, but demand always outpaces supply. An average of 20 people in the nation died every day in 2016 because organs were unavailable, and that was despite record annual donations of more than 33,000. Physicians have proposed many solutions to encourage organ donations, including payment. But scientists are looking elsewhere to ens...

Friday 15th June 2018

What Does God Look Like?

What would you say if you saw this stranger on a bus? Well, if you’re Christian, you might say he’s God. Psychologists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill surveyed 511 Christians in the U.S. and, based on the participants’ combined perceptions, this is roughly what they thought God should look like. The team, led by Joshua Conrad Jackson, showed the volunteers 300 pairs...

How Can a Baby Have 3 Parents?

It seems impossible, right? We have been taught from the time we were young that babies are made when a sperm and an egg come together, and the DNA from these two cells combine to make a unique individual with half the DNA from the mother and half from the father. So how can there be a third person involved in this process? To understand the idea of three-parent babies, we have to talk about DNA....

Wednesday 13th June 2018

Dirt Could Help Fight Superbugs

About 23,000 Americans die each year due to a bacterial infection resistant to antibiotics. Since 2010, the number of children who have become resistant has increased sevenfold. In recent years, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics led to the superbug phenomenon, in which bacteria that cause illness and disease become resistant to medicines. That makes it harder to treat conditions like pneumoni...

Faster Rewards Mean More Motivation

It’s just after lunch. You’ve got an assignment due soon, but you’re sleepy and would rather mindlessly browse the internet. How will you find the motivation to get going and actually finish the thing? A new study suggests getting a reward for your work sooner rather than later can help boost your interest in and enjoyment of the task at hand. The paper, published in the June issue of the...

Tuesday 12th June 2018

When Does Hungry Become Hangry?

Have you ever been grumpy, only to realize that you’re hungry? Many people feel more irritable, annoyed, or negative when hungry – an experience colloquially called being “hangry.” The idea that hunger affects our feelings and behaviors is widespread – from advertisements to memes and merchandise. But surprisingly little research investigates how feeling hungry transforms into feeling h...

Thursday 7th June 2018

'Westworld' Science Advisor Talks Brains and AI

One of many hats that neuroscientist David Eagleman wears in real life is science advisor for HBO's science fiction show "Westworld." The show takes place in a futuristic theme park staffed by robotic hosts who seemingly exist only to fulfill the dark and violent fantasies of wealthy human guests who want to indulge adventure and vice in a Western-style playground for adults. But as the show hint...

In Russia's Space Graveyard, Locals Scavenge Fallen Spacecraft for Profit

The Altai mountain region of Central Asia is a rugged and remote place. Right in the center of the continental landmass, it forms a crossroads between the Kazakh steppes, the snow forests of Siberia and the arid plains of Mongolia. It’s a landscape of granite, forced up by the inch-a-year collision of the Indian tectonic plate with Asia, then carved out over millions of years by streams of snowm...

A Sour Taste in Your Mouth Means You're More Likely to Take Risks

Tired of playing it safe? Go suck a lemon! No, really. A new paper published in Scientific Reports says tasting something sour is linked to more risk-taking behavior in people. Researchers from the University of Sussex in England recruited 168 volunteers from both the United Kingdom and Vietnam. The team gave them a taste of just one of various solutions that fell into the five main taste group...

Have You Accepted Your Research Mission Yet?

Have you accepted Your Research Mission yet? SciStarter is challenging you to a special mission to join and participate (at least once) in any three of these SciStarter Affiliate projects. Complete your mission and you’ll earn a SciStarter certificate. Keep on participating and you’ll be eligible to become one of the top three mission contributors to win some swag and be connected wit...

Wednesday 6th June 2018

Science Explains Why East Coast NFL Teams Often Get Crushed In Night Games

(Credit: flickr/Ed Yourdon) The first ever Monday Night Football game kicked off in September 21, 1970, launching the NFL into prime time American TV. But it’s also a night that Hall of Fame New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath would probably rather forget. The legendary passer threw three interceptions that night in Cleveland against the Browns in a game that was plagued by “blunders, a reco...

Science Explains Why East Coast NFL Teams Get Crushed In Night Games

(Credit: flickr/Ed Yourdon) The first ever Monday Night Football game kicked off in September 21, 1970, launching the NFL into prime time American TV. But it’s also a night that Hall of Fame New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath would probably rather forget. The legendary passer threw three interceptions that night in Cleveland against the Browns in a game that was plagued by “blunders, a reco...

Researchers Get a Peek at How Other Animals See the World

A household scene as viewed by various pets and pests. Human eyesight is roughly seven times sharper than a cat, 40 to 60 times sharper than a rat or a goldfish, and hundreds of times sharper than a fly or a mosquito. (Image courtesy of Eleanor Caves) Animals have us beat in basically every test of sensory perception. Bats bounce ultrasonic waves to locate prey, and bears can smell a carcass from...

Monday 4th June 2018

What Makes Us Okay With Bullshitting?

We all know a bullshitter. They can shoot off explanations and rationales for just about anything — even if they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re not liars, purposefully hiding the truth, but they certainly don’t care if what they’re saying is true or not. Scientists have studied the phenomenon before, digging into how we perceive bullshit and its consequences. But what m...

Friday 1st June 2018

From Mouth to Mind: How Language Governs Our Perceptions of Gender

Take a second and try to talk about a person without mentioning gender. If English is your native tongue, odds are you failed. But if you had been born in Indonesia, you might have succeeded. Lera Boroditsky, who studies language and cognition at the University of California, San Diego, recalled a conversation with a colleague from the Southeast Asian country. He was asking her about someone she...

Chewing Gum While Walking Burns More Calories, Researchers Say

Walking and chewing gum, at various points in this nation’s history, has served as a benchmark to gauge one’s competence as a leader. Democratic vice presidential-nominee John Edwards in 2004 assured Americans that a president must possess the ability to walk and chew gum. During that same campaign, Sen. Jim Bunning boasted to Kentuckians that he could indeed walk and chew gum. Last year, Re...

Thursday 31st May 2018

Yet Another Study Says Vitamin Supplements Are Worthless

Vitamin — the first four letters come from the Latin word for “life.” To sustain that, we need these organic compounds in small amounts, but it seems their purpose ends there. New research reaffirms the counterintuitive notion that vitamin and mineral supplements aren’t the magical panacea we’ve been led to believe. It's something that researchers have been finding for years, and a me...

Wednesday 30th May 2018

A Bleary Unicorn: The Elusive Hangover Cure

From freezing showers to ingesting prickly pear to smoking joints, everyone has a home remedy for alcohol’s notorious afterglow: the hangover. Mongolian men swear by pickled sheep eyes, ancient Egyptians wore necklaces of Alexandrian laurel, and one 17th century English physician even sold a hangover “cure” made with human skulls and dried vipers. Hangovers are a problem that even predates ...

Tuesday 29th May 2018

Sex Matters in the Lab

In 2016, the National Institutes of Health introduced a regulation to address a growing issue in clinical research — sex differences. Until then, most work that relied on animal models tended to use only male critters. The trend was problematic, particularly since any drug therapies based on these studies often worked differently once females were factored into the equation. Since the recent pu...

Friday 25th May 2018

What Magnetic Fields Do to Your Brain and Body

There’s no escaping magnetic fields—they’re all around us. For starters, the Earth itself is like a giant magnet. A spinning ball of liquid iron in our planet’s core generates the vast magnetic field that moves our compass needles around and directs the internal compasses of migrating birds, bats, and other animals. On top of that, ever-industrious humans have produced artificial magnetic ...

Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Debunking the Biggest Myths About 'Technology Addiction'

How concerned should people be about the psychological effects of screen time? Balancing technology use with other aspects of daily life seems reasonable, but there is a lot of conflicting advice about where that balance should be. Much of the discussion is framed around fighting “addiction” to technology. But to me, that resembles a moral panic, giving voice to scary claims based on weak data...


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