Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 5.57.48 PMHere is what we are reading today:

“Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified a new molecular mechanism by which cocaine alters the brain’s reward circuits and causes addiction. Published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Dr. Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD, and colleagues, the preclinical research reveals how an abundant enzyme and synaptic gene affect a key reward circuit in the brain, changing the ways genes are expressed in the nucleus accumbens. The DNA itself does not change, but its “mark” activates or represses certain genes encoding synaptic proteins within the DNA. The marks indicate epigenetic changes—changes made by enzymes—that alter the activity of the nucleus accumbens.”

“”Researchers tend to be either in a camp that believes the control of eating is all regulated from the top down, or from the bottom up,” said Ralph DiLeone, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobiology and senior author of the paper. “Both are important and this paper brings a little more neurobiological clarity to the question.””

“Sports teams take the field in a blinding array of color combinations. Nearly every color in the rainbow seems to be worn by someone. Is this just a matter of national pride or taste?

According to Hill and Barton (2005), individuals and teams competing in sport who wear red uniforms are more likely to win. What principles might be responsible for this phenomenon?”

“Prof Tim Spector, research collaborator and director of the TwinsUK study from King’s College London, said: “This is an exciting finding that shows that some components of foods that we consider unhealthy like chocolate or wine may contain some beneficial substances. If we can start to identify and separate these substances we can potentially improve healthy eating. There are many reasons including genetics why people prefer certain foods so we should be cautious until we test them properly in randomised trials and in people developing early diabetes.””

“”Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease that researchers have been approaching from all angles,” said Mohamed Naguib, M.D., the Cleveland Clinic physician who lead the study. “This discovery could provide us with a new approach for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.””

“Gopikrishna Deshpande, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, and the NIH researchers recently published their results in the journal, “Brain Connectivity.””




jgabovich · January 21, 2014 at 11:02 pm

The first question that I had after reading “the effect of a team’s colors” was if this is proven research than why don’t more teams want to implement this by having their team wear red? Also I am wondering what about the color automatically brings out aggressiveness. It may possibly be the unconscious knowledge that red means fearlessness as mentioned in the article that drives humans to participate better in competition. This also makes me wonder how the color red affects the opposing team. They see the color too, so what is the psychological difference between wearing and merely seeing the color? Something else I am wondering is if the color only affects men and is somehow related to testosterone? Because women tend to be less aggressive and may not be affected as much by the color red in times of competition.

Alexandra Grundler · January 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm

From Evidence of Biological Basis for Religion: “The group found differences in brain interactions that involved the theory of mind, or ToM, brain network, which underlies the ability to relate between one’s personal beliefs, intents and desires with those of others. Individuals with stronger ToM activity were found to be more religious.” From my understanding of this article, the theory of mind is our brain’s source of empathy, or at the very least, understanding of others. This, at first, seemed odd to me because a great number of religions are mutually exclusive. I thought that this would make it harder for one to understand another’s belief that cannot logically coincide with one’s own. But on second review, I recognized the very stark difference between the concepts of understanding and agreement. Simply because certain religious beliefs do not agree with other religious beliefs (or the lack thereof) and the people adhering to said beliefs do not agree with one another respectively, does not mean that they do not understand. It seems that holding a strong belief is the basis for being able to relate to and understand the beliefs of others.

ksmith53 · January 23, 2014 at 8:41 am

I thought the “Eat Chocolate Fight Diabetes” article was interesting because it makes us view the disease with a different outlook. If we can monitor our eating instead of consistently indulging, then eating small amounts of chocolate or drinking wine may be more beneficial then detrimental to our bodies. This article also hones in on the concept of “everything in moderation,” which is why they warn readers to not instantly eat an entire chocolate bar until more research has been conducted on the subject.

BonnieBurns · January 25, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I was very interested by your article, “the effect of a team’s colors.” I was surprised to hear that red was the color that was found to lead teams to have the most wins and support fear in the opposing team and aggression to the team wearing red. From personal experience, to me teams that had darker colors, like black and dark blue, incited more fear in me. Perhaps this is a difference between males and females? It also made me wonder why don’t more teams at least incorporate red into there uniforms, if there is such a significant showing of red teams performing better? I wonder if the color red signifies some unconscious thought in our brain regarding danger and blood, which helps to create that fear in the opponent.

Kelly Kreulen · February 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

I found “the effects of a teams colors” article interesting and I was able to see the relevance in the modern sports world. The 49er’s made it to the semi-finals in the NFL this year and have across the years been a very good team. The Boston Red Sox are also a very good team and have won the world series more than most other teams in the NBA. Another interesting part of the article was the fact that red may have to do with dominance and therefore increased testosterone leading to aggression. The Bay Area and Boston teams are also known for their very aggressive fans. I think its amazing if these aspects of our evolutionary past have carried on into the current world of sports.

Kelly Kreulen · February 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm

The “eat chocolate, fight diabetes” article was interesting and relates to the a common saying that a glass of wine every evening is actually healthy. This article did a good job at highlighting the idea of moderation. It reminded me of something I have learned in microbiology about vaccines. It would make sense that eating things like chocolate or drinking things like wine are beneficial in small quantities but harmful in larger quantities. Think about vaccines. Vaccines are simply a smaller dose or inactivated version of a potentially very harmful disease. In the small dose, it is beneficial and prepares your immune system. In large doses (a full blown attack of the virus/bacteria/disease) can be extremely detrimental.

lesliewong · February 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

In the “eat chocolate, fight diabetes” article, it stated that foods like chocolate, berries and tea can lower the risk of having type 2 diabetes. It was always apparent to me that type 2 correlated with a person’s diet. Although certain foods may decrease the chance of having diabetes, I believe that there are other factors that need to be considered. A well-balanced diet consisting of all the food groups (not too much of one, i.e. carbs) is necessary, along with the proper amount of exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, now that I know that certain types of foods are beneficial to the body, I’ll be more likely to add them to my shopping cart the next time I’m at the grocery store.

eilamarinero · March 14, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Promising new drug targets for cocaine addiction
I have mixed feelings about this new drug. I think this new drug would be a catch 22 because it would make cocaine seem like a safer drug because the consequences of addiction would no longer be existent.

christinahenning · June 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

biological basis for religion: Being religious myself I found this article very interesting. I never thought there could be biological difference between this who are religious and this who are not. I have learned in many classes that those who are religious have a brighter outlook on life, and are overall more happy. It is amazing to think how religion can impact ones brain

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