Biomedicine & Biotech

Credit: Shutterstock You never think it can happen to you, until it does. I just spent the greater part of this morning being gently ridiculed by my colleagues here at the American Council on Science and Health. Why? One word: Zika. I was in Jamaica last week to attend the wedding of a dear friend. I’d previously lived there for five years while I was pursuing my medical degree. Since I once lived there, I still consider myself a local when I visit, and like some local people do, my comfort level overruled my judgment. And now I have Zika.
For those with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the unfamiliar can be paralyzing and they need more ritual and routine to offset the chaos of the outside world. A new study examined how endocannabinoids -- natural messengers in the body chemically similar to the active compound in marijuana, and known to generally reduce the activity of neurons -- play a role in how the brain controls this fundamental process.
With individuals afflicted with Kennedy's disease, muscle cells and motor neurons die over the years because they accumulate a protein that is mutated. Researchers have discovered that this protein has a self-protective mechanism through which the effects of the mutation are delayed.
Muhammad Ali has been lauded for his oratorical skill, his activism and certainly his boxing. Yet for decades it's been believed that even one of the greatest boxers could not beat back the head trauma that led to the Parkinson's disease he suffered from since the 1980s. Yet was it really boxing that caused it? We are inching closer to learning the truth, but some questions remain.
The neurotransmitter dopamine -- which is most famously associated with the "reward system" in the brain -- is also linked to eye blink rate and time perception, both of which are in constant flux. Immediately after a blink, time is perceived to go by a little more slowly.
While consumers across the U.S. have embraced, and are enjoying, the benefits of genetically-modified products, papaya-loving Hawaiians had less of a choice when an agricultural crisis struck the state in the 1990s. But by using a cell-inserting device, plant specialists eradicated a deadly virus and saved a vital industry.