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How Kids Learn Behaviors from Video Games

We naturally learn from our environment, including the media we use, whether it’s a television show, a radio station, or a video game. And the media can teach us certain behaviors that we, and others, might not even be aware of. This is why a group of researchers recently took a closer look at how … Continue reading »

Getting Enough Sleep

A couple of months ago, we explored some recent findings on why it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. It’s basically been shown that when we sleep, our brain performs important “housekeeping” chores. Specifically, potentially damaging chemicals are washed out of our brains while we’re asleep, chemicals linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, sleep deprivation … Continue reading »

Chocolate: It Does a Microbe Good

It’s always nice to find out that a food we enjoy eating — something we might even consider to be a treat — is actually healthy and beneficial for us to eat. For example, if you like dark chocolate, then there’s some good news for you. Earlier this week it was reported that eating dark … Continue reading »

How a Substrate Affects a Stem Cell’s Fate

Much of the stem cell field is devoted to figuring out how to direct what stem cells turn into. (In stem cell terminology, the process of having a stem cell become a different type of cell is called differentiation.) By better controlling a stem cell’s fate, we can more efficiently turn the cell into a … Continue reading »

Using Electricity to Heal Wounds

When we get a cut, or a small bruise, the healing process may seem simple — our body knows how to seal up the cut, and repair the bruised tissue over time — but there’s actually a lot that goes into fixing up an injury. For example, cells have to move to the right location, … Continue reading »

Blood Test for Alzheimer’s

Earlier this week, a paper was published showing how, for the first time, a blood test may be used to predict whether a person will develop Alzheimer’s in the near future. Specifically, the blood test was able to predict with accuracy greater than 90% whether a person (70-years-old or older) would develop amnesic mild cognitive … Continue reading »

Giant Viruses!

In the last year, multiple new “giant viruses” have been discovered that are challenging what it means to be a virus… and what it means to be alive. Giant viruses are so much bigger than other viruses that until the early 2000s some had been miscategorized as bacteria — the upper size limits that defined … Continue reading »

The Necrobiome: How Our Bacteria Change After Death

While we are alive, we have intimate relationships with the microbes — the microscopic bacteria, yeast, and other critters — that live on, and inside of, our bodies. We’re only just beginning to learn about the vital roles these microbiomes play, but already we’ve found they’re closely tied to aging, as well as medical conditions … Continue reading »