Jun 26, 2009 | 3
Scientists in Japan have tweaked the chromosomes of mice to make the animals act autistically. The engineered rodents display genetic impairments and behavior that mirror those of some humans with the disorder.
The work, published in Cell, provides direct evidence linking chromosome abnormalities (believed to be responsible for approximately 10% of autism cases) and autism. In some people with autism, a specific region of human chromosome 15 is doubled.
Feb 10, 2009 | 1
Do you squander all your dough at the casino? Maybe it's because your DNA is telling you to take risks with your money.
OK, it's not as simplistic as that. But Northwestern University researchers say they've linked two genes with our tendency to be bold or conservative investors, according to their study set to be published tomorrow in PLoS One. The genes regulate the brain's systems of dopamine and serotonin, chemicals important in areas of the brain that are active when we take or shun risk, respectively.
Jan 6, 2009 | 7
Make fun, if you must, but it turns out that love may not fade with time, after all — and leaves a lasting impression in our brains as well as our hearts, according to a recent study.
Researchers from Stony Brook University in New York scanned the brains of 10 women and seven men who had been married an average of 21 years and insisted they were still madly in love with their spouses. When the scientists showed the subjects photos of their partners, the fMRIs detected intense activity in the ventral tegmental area of their brains, a region that produces the pleasure-giving neurotransmitter dopamine. A previous study of 17 people in the early, lustful months of relationships showed similar activity in the same brain area, a core component of our motivation and reward network.
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