Tuesday, January 23, 2018
facebook

google plus


'Love hormone' helps us understand social cues

22 Jan 2018 | 12:20 PM

BOSTON: Oxytocin -popularly known as the love hormone-plays a crucial role in helping the brain process a wide array of social signals, Harvard scientists have found.

[ + read story ]

Boston

Oxytocin --popularly known as the love hormone--plays a crucial role in helping the brain process a wide array of social signals, Harvard scientists have found.

The study suggests that oxytocin acts like a modulator in the brain, turning up the volume of certain stimuli while turning others down, helping the brain to make sense of the barrage for information it receives from one moment to the next.

In investigating the role of oxytocin in processing social signals, researchers from Harvard University in the US began with an prevalent behaviour - the preference for male mice to interact with females.

Studies have shown that this behaviour is not just social - it is actually hard-wired in the brains of male mice.

When male mice are exposed to pheromone signals of females, neurons in their medial amygdala showed increased levels of activation, researchers found.

When the same mice were exposed to pheromones of other males, those same neurons showed relatively little stimulation.

Armed with that data, researchers targeted the gene responsible for producing oxytocin--which was known to be involved in social interactions ranging from infant/parent bonding to monogamy in certain rodents.

Using genetic tools, they switched the gene off, and found that both males' preference for interacting with females and the neural signal in the amygdala disappeared.

“This is a molecule that's involved in the processing of social signals,” said Catherine Dulac, professor at Harvard.

“What we are trying to do is understand the logic of social interactions in one particular species," Dulac said.

Understanding oxytocin and molecules like it may shed light on a number of brain disorders.

With an understanding of how various neurotransmitters work to amplify or quiet certain stimuli, researchers may gain new insight into how to treat everything from depression, which is often characterised by a lack of interest in social interactions, to autism, which is thought to be connected to an inability to sort through social and sensory stimuli. PTI

'Love hormone' helps us understand social cuesPhoto for representation only.
New eczema therapy reduces asthma severity in kids

New eczema therapy reduces asthma severity in kids

20 Jan 2018 | 4:24 PM

LONDON: Scientists have discovered insights for a possible new therapy for eczema that also reduces the severity of asthma in children.

Meat, high-calorie beverages may up bowel cancer risk

Meat, high-calorie beverages may up bowel cancer risk

19 Jan 2018 | 6:05 PM

BOSTON: People consuming meat, refined grains and high-calorie beverages are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, a study warns.

Flu may spread just by breathing: study

Flu may spread just by breathing: study

19 Jan 2018 | 12:21 PM

WASHINGTON: We may pass the flu to others just by breathing, according to a study which contradicts the popular belief that people can catch the influenza virus by exposure to droplets from an infected person's coughs or sneezes.

100 per cent fruit juice may not up diabetes risk: study

100 per cent fruit juice may not up diabetes risk: study

19 Jan 2018 | 12:22 PM

WASHINGTON: Drinking 100 per cent fruit juice may not increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study. The research was published in the Journal of Nutritional Science.

Prebiotics in infant formula may boost learning, memory

Prebiotics in infant formula may boost learning, memory

18 Jan 2018 | 6:32 PM

WASHINGTON: Adding prebiotics to infant formula can help enhance memory and exploratory behaviour in babies, scientists have found.

New robot can help treat rare birth defect

New robot can help treat rare birth defect

18 Jan 2018 | 1:51 PM

WASHINGTON: Scientists have created a robot which can be implanted into a baby’s body to treat a rare birth defect that affects the food pipe.

Poisonous herb extract may lead to birth control pill for men

Poisonous herb extract may lead to birth control pill for men

18 Jan 2018 | 1:42 PM

WASHINGTON: A plant extract, traditionally used by African warriors as a heart-stopping poison on their arrows, may be used to develop birth control pill for men, a study in mice suggests.

Severe gum disease linked to lung, colon cancers

Severe gum disease linked to lung, colon cancers

17 Jan 2018 | 3:23 PM

NEW YORK: Do you have bad oral health? Beware, you may be at high risk of developing cancers of lung, colon and pancreas, researchers have warned.

Eating high-salt diet may lead to dementia

Eating high-salt diet may lead to dementia

17 Jan 2018 | 3:09 PM

NEW YORK: Love to eat crispy roasted nuts and potato wafers that are high in salt? Beware, besides harming your heart, it may also harm your brain and lead to dementia, researchers have warned.

TV ads make teens crave junk food: study

TV ads make teens crave junk food: study

17 Jan 2018 | 11:13 AM

LONDON: Watching shows through streaming websites like Netflix may be healthier than regular TV, say scientists who found that teens who are exposed to over three hours of commercials a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks.

Breastfeeding halves diabetes risk in women

Breastfeeding halves diabetes risk in women

17 Jan 2018 | 10:44 AM

WASHINGTON DC: Women who breastfeed their newborns for six months or longer significantly reduce their risk of developing diabetes by half as they get older, finds a recent study.

Non-invasive therapy could remotely kill cancer cells

Non-invasive therapy could remotely kill cancer cells

16 Jan 2018 | 9:33 PM

LOS ANGELES: Scientists have developed a system that can non-invasively and remotely control immune cells so that they recognise and kill cancer cells.

Holding nose while sneezing may burst your ear drum

Holding nose while sneezing may burst your ear drum

16 Jan 2018 | 1:44 PM

WASHINGTON DC: If you are about to sneeze, don't try to stop it by pinching your nose and closing your mouth, as according to doctors, it can rupture throat, burst an ear drum and even pop a blood vessel in brain.

Magic mushrooms may treat depression without dulling emotions

Magic mushrooms may treat depression without dulling emotions

16 Jan 2018 | 12:32 PM

LONDON: Psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms can help relieve the symptoms of depression, without the 'dulling' of emotions linked with antidepressants, a study has found.

Teens who vape more likely to start smoking

Teens who vape more likely to start smoking

16 Jan 2018 | 11:04 AM

LOS ANGELES: Teens who use e-cigarettes or hookahs are more likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes within a year, a study has found.

Eating muesli may keep arthritis at bay

Eating muesli may keep arthritis at bay

14 Jan 2018 | 7:34 PM

BERLIN:Eating muesli, fruits and vegetables every morning may lead to stronger bones and help prevent arthritis, scientists say.

Anxiety may be early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease

Anxiety may be early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease

14 Jan 2018 | 1:10 PM

BOSTON: Heightened anxiety in older adults may be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, a study has warned.

Regular yoga can slow down ageing of brain

Regular yoga can slow down ageing of brain

14 Jan 2018 | 11:22 AM

NEW DELHI: Practising yoga regularly can slow down ageing of the brain and helps it stay young, claims a study.

Hypersensitive brain networks may cause chronic headaches

Hypersensitive brain networks may cause chronic headaches

13 Jan 2018 | 8:23 PM

WASHINGTON: Patients with fibromyalgia have brain networks primed for rapid, global responses to minor changes, a study has found.

How fast food is damaging your immune system

How fast food is damaging your immune system

12 Jan 2018 | 12:51 PM

Washington DC: Fast food makes the immune system more aggressive in the long term, suggest researchers.

Habits that are weakening youth today

Habits that are weakening youth today

12 Jan 2018 | 12:08 PM

NEW DELHI: ‘Health is wealth' is more of hearsay than practice and rising incidence of health disorders, owing to poor lifestyle, are indicative of the fact that seldom our health is taken seriously.

This could be the reason behind winter weight gain

This could be the reason behind winter weight gain

11 Jan 2018 | 1:10 PM

WASHINGTON DC: Here's another reason to bask in the sunshine! According to a recent research, fat cells are sensitive to sunlight and therefore, reduced sunshine in winter may contribute to weight gain.

New swallowable sensors to monitor human gut health

New swallowable sensors to monitor human gut health

11 Jan 2018 | 1:09 PM

MELBOURNE: Scientists have successfully completed the first human trials of an ingestible capsule that can monitor gases in the gut in real time, potentially revolutionising the way stomach and colon disorders are diagnosed.

Frozen embryos as good as fresh ones for sucessful IVF births

Frozen embryos as good as fresh ones for sucessful IVF births

11 Jan 2018 | 7:14 PM

WASHINGTON: The success rate of frozen embryo transfers for in vitro fertilization (IVF) is almost the same as, or even better than, those using fresh ones, researchers said on Wednesday.

Can sleeping for longer lead to healthier diet?

Can sleeping for longer lead to healthier diet?

10 Jan 2018 | 9:28 PM

WASHINGTON: Sleeping for longer every night could help you to reduce the intake of sugary foods and lead a healthier diet, suggests a study.

Paracetamol in pregnancy may delay daughters' language skills

Paracetamol in pregnancy may delay daughters' language skills

10 Jan 2018 | 9:23 PM

NEW YORK: Women who consume acetaminophen—also known as paracetamol and widely used to reduce a high fever or relieve pain—during early pregnancy are six times more likely to see delay in their daughters' language skills, warns a new study.

Just ‘trying' cigarette? You could become daily smoker

Just ‘trying' cigarette? You could become daily smoker

10 Jan 2018 | 11:53 AM

WASHINGTON DC: At least 3 out of 5 people who try a cigarette become daily smokers, suggests to a study.

  • SpectrumWarming up to 
winter games

    Warming up to winter games

    The battery of my phone has died five times since this morning. I’ve never spoken so much on the phone,” says Roshan Thakur. He sounds tired but the joy and excitement coursing through his veins do not let him stop.

  • Going strong on a downhill track

    He is a six-time Olympian. India’s only regular representative at six Winter Games. Yet, in a country bereft of global sporting heroes, he occupies our mind space only once every four years. Shiva Keshavan, the luger, is once again set for a journey he has traversed all by himself since 1997.

  • The dawn of spring

    There was a time when Kashmir was green and beautiful. There was a time when tall pine trees, gushing streams, splendid houseboats and films stars romancing on shikaras made up for strokes on Kashmir’s canvas.

more Spectrum...
Degrees with an European edge

Degrees with an European edge

17 Jan 2018 | 12:57 AM
Prospects in printing technologyCareer Hotline

Prospects in printing technology

17 Jan 2018 | 12:57 AM
coursechat

Professional accounting course in New Zealand

17 Jan 2018 | 12:57 AM
scholarship roundup

HSCST Fellowship Programme

17 Jan 2018 | 12:57 AM
more Jobs & Careers...