Humans news stories
Using a satnav to get to your destination ‘switches off’ parts of the brain that would otherwise be used to simulate different routes, reveals new UCL research.
The study, published in Nature Communications and funded by Wellcome, involved 24 volunteers navigating a simulation of Soho in central London while undergoing brain scans.
Cities shape how we think, feel and behave. Can we create cities that improve our brain health?
Not quite four decades ago the Chinese settlement of Shenzhen was a modest fishing village, with a population of roughly 30,000. Today, thanks to a policy begun in 1979 that encouraged foreign investment, that sleepy community is a manufacturing hub with about 10 million people.
Scientists have uncovered a method for improving short-term working memory, by stimulating the brain with electricity to synchronise brain waves.
Researchers at Imperial College London found that applying a low voltage current can bring different areas of the brain in sync with one another, enabling people to perform better on tasks involving working memory.
A less strenuous form of exercise known as whole-body vibration (WBV) can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise in mice, according to a new study. WBV consists of a person sitting, standing or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. When the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body, and muscles contract and relax multiple times during each second.
Many cultures swear by the benefits of a hot bath. But only recently has science began to understand how passive heating (as opposed to getting hot and sweaty from exercise) improves health.
At Loughborough University we investigated the effect of a hot bath on blood sugar control (an important measure of metabolic fitness) and on energy expended (number of calories burned).
Scientists have long warned that rising global temperatures may impact public health in a devastating way because climate change is associated with deadly weather events, the spread of infectious diseases and even food shortages.
Related: A Clinical Trial Just ‘Reversed’ Type 2 Diabetes in 40% of Participants
B vitamins may offer some protection against the impacts of air pollution, a small scale human trial suggests.
Researchers in the US found that high doses of these supplements may “completely offset” the damage caused by very fine particulate matter.
Related: Link between Vitamin D treatment and autism prevention
Related: Sensory links between autism and synesthesia pinpointed
Three UK-based scientists have won a prestigious prize worth 1m euros for studying the brain’s reward centre.
Their work helps understand our drive to shop, eat or even land on the moon. Reward is necessary for keeping us alive, but it can also spiral out of control leading to gambling and drug addiction.
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have reversed depression symptoms in mice by feeding them Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacteria found in live-cultures yogurt. Further, they have discovered a specific mechanism for how the bacteria affect mood, providing a direct link between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health.
Gluten-free diets adopted by growing numbers of health-conscious consumers enhance the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, scientists have warned.
A major study by Harvard University suggests that ingesting only small amounts of the protein, or avoiding it altogether, increases the danger of diabetes by as much as 13 per cent.
A majority of patients in the United States visited a doctor who received payments from drug companies, but most have no clue about it, according to a new Drexel University study.
Related: Doctors Prescribe More Antibiotics When Expectations are High, Study Says
Policy makers throughout the world, guided by behavioral scientists, are devising ways to steer people toward decisions deemed to be in their best interests. These simple interventions don’t force, teach or openly encourage anyone to do anything. Instead, they nudge, exploiting for good — at least from the policy makers’ perspective — mental tendencies that can sometimes lead us astray.
A controversial new treatment facility in Los Angeles wants to find out if cannabis can help keep opioids from claiming more lives to addiction
Related: Death of Matthew Dawson-Clarke a warning about dangers of ayahuasca tourism
Using marijuana raises the risk of stroke and heart failure even after accounting for demographic factors, other health conditions and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking and alcohol use, according to new research.
Related: Don’t smoke it with tobacco: scientists suggest ways to make cannabis safer
Ever witnessed a punch up during a boozy night out? Did you assume that you probably wouldn’t be a reliable witness because you’d been drinking? You may have been right, but our latest research indicates that in some circumstances this is not the case.
A study by Indiana University researchers has identified 24 compounds — including caffeine — with the potential to boost an enzyme in the brain shown to protect against dementia.
In a new book, “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” the social psychologist Adam Alter warns that many of us — youngsters, teenagers, adults — are addicted to modern digital products. Not figuratively, but literally addicted.
In the past, we thought of addiction as mostly related to chemical substances: heroin, cocaine, nicotine. Today, we have this phenomenon of behavioral addictions where, one tech industry leader told me, people are spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cellphones.