Tag Archives | INFLUENCE


Antidepressant use primes brain for placebo effect

Putting a twist in a run-of-the-mill medication-versus-placebo trial has revealed that prior treatment with antidepressants appears to prime the brain to exhibit a much stronger response to a placebo. The new study, by UCLA researchers, suggests that how the brain responds to antidepressant medication may be influenced by its remembering of past antidepressant exposure. Aimee […]

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“It’s not all in the genes,” say epigenetic code-breakers

“Genes are not destiny,” say the Salk Institute scientists who have been delving into the epigenetic code that allows organisms to develop and pass down new biological traits far more rapidly than via DNA genetic coding.Their groundbreaking study, published inScience, provides the first evidence that an organism’s epigenetic code – an extra layer of biochemical […]

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Motion Important For Viable Stem Cells

New research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University suggests that embryonic stem cells may develop much better under shaky conditions. The researchers discovered that moderate and controlled physical movement of embryonic stem cells in fluid environments, similar to the shaking that occurs in the womb, improves their development. The study, published in […]

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Boffin Ponders Cultural Manipulation By Cat Parasite

Toxoplasma gondii, a common parasite found in cats that can also infect humans may be affecting human behavior and culture on a mass scale, says a scientist from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much like the creatures in the movie Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, the parasite would be manipulating our behavior to advance its […]

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Pollutants Linked To Suicide Rate?

Could neurotoxin pollutants be causing an elevated suicide rate in a North Carolina community? Sited next to a paper mill and other industrial plants, the community is suffering a sustained increase in suicides, which researchers think could be linked to the release of hydrogen sulfide and other airborne chemicals. The study, carried out by a […]

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Placebo Effect Produces Real Painkillers

A study from the University of Michigan (U-M) has provided the first direct evidence that endorphins – the brain’s own pain-fighting chemicals – do play a role in the phenomenon known as the placebo effect. It appears that just thinking that a medicine will relieve pain is enough to prompt the brain to release these […]

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