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Could suicide be a variant of an evolutionarily adaptive set of behaviors?

Snapping shrimp, naked mole rats, ants, honeybees, and humans – what do they all have in common? They all share a similar colony-like organizational system that biologists have termed eusociality. Eusocial species have been remarkably successful in both surviving and thriving through the use of colony-level cooperation. One cooperative behavior used by all eusocial species […]




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fMRI data trove yields new insights into consciousness and abstract thought

Using 20 years of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from tens of thousands of brain imaging experiments, neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts have created a geometry-based method for massive data analysis to reach a new understanding of how thought arises from brain structure. The research, appearing in the current issue of Nature Scientific […]




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Brain inflammation linked to compromised reward circuits in depression

Around one third of people with depression have high levels of inflammation markers in their blood. Now, new research appearing in in Molecular Psychiatry shows that persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure). The findings bolster the case that […]




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Sunscreen killing coral reefs

Oxybenzone, a UV-filtering compound used in sunscreens, has been found in high concentrations in the waters around popular coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. According to new research, the chemical not only kills coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they […]




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Study identifies recipe for Goldilocks quantum phase transitions

University of Miami researchers have found that crossing a quantum phase transition at just-the-right speed generates the richest, most complex light-matter entanglement – a characteristic evident in our Universe. Such structure resembles “defects” in an otherwise smooth and empty space. The findings are published in Physical Review A, the American Physical Society’s main journal. “Our […]




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Zoloft appears to alter brain structures, say U.S. researchers

Experiments with monkeys showed that the antidepressant sertraline (marketed as Zoloft) significantly increased the volume of one brain region in depressed subjects but decreased the volume of two brain areas in non-depressed subjects. Conducted by researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the experimental results have been published in the journalNeuropharmacology. “These observations are important […]




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