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Sat, 28 May 2016
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Brain Activity Exposes Those Who Break Promises

© iStockphoto
Researchers have discovered the physiological mechanisms in the brain that underlie broken promises.
Scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered the physiological mechanisms in the brain that underlie broken promises. Patterns of brain activity even enable predicting whether someone will break a promise.

The results of the study conducted by Dr. Thomas Baumgartner and Professor Ernst Fehr, both of the University of Zurich, and Professor Urs Fischbacher of the University of Konstanz, will be published in the journal Neuron on December 10, 2009.

The promise is one of the oldest human-specific behaviors promoting cooperation, trust, and partnership. Although promises are generally not legally binding, they form the basis for a great many everyday social and economic exchange situations. Promises, however, are not only kept, but also broken. Material incentives to deceive are in fact ubiquitous in human society, and promises can thus also be misused in any social or economic exchange scenario in order to cheat one's interaction partner. Business people, politicians, diplomats, attorneys, and private persons do not always behave honestly, as recent financial scandals have dramatically demonstrated.


Fruit Flies Can Be Alcoholics, Too

© Fred Wolf
This fruit fly has been exposed to ethanol vapor, which renders it uncoordinated.
Behavior of Drosophila shows similarities to human addiction

Guard the bourbon fruitcake: Fruit flies like a little booze in their food. And once they get a nip, they're hooked, say scientists studying Drosophila melanogaster, the darling of genetic scientists around the world. The flies show evidence of alcohol addiction, including drinking despite dangerous consequences, a study appearing online December 10 in Current Biology reports.

Studying a model of alcoholism in a simple organism like the fruit fly may lead to a better understanding of the disease in humans. The new research is "a big step forward," says Zachary Rodd, a behavioral pharmacologist who studies rodent models of alcoholism at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. "It's always good to have many models. Each model has its benefits and its limitations. Drosophila has a lot of positives behind it."

Earlier studies found that alcohol has profound physiological effects on fruit flies, but the new study is one of the first to offer flies the choice to drink. Anita Devineni and Ulrike Heberlein, both of the University of California, San Francisco, devised a fly-sized drinking device reminiscent of the water bottles in hamster cages. Flies held inside vials could sip from thin tubes holding either liquid food spiked with 15 percent ethanol or plain liquid food. The researchers measured the descent of the liquids inside each tube to get a readout of which food the flies preferred.

Alarm Clock

Why Are BPA and Other Chemicals in the Womb?

As a physician, I'm careful to ask my patients for a complete list of their medications before prescribing another pharmaceutical because drugs that may not have any important side effects when taken individually can cause significant toxicity when mixed in the body.

As a scientist specializing in environmental health, I'm quite concerned about new Environmental Working Group-commissioned research that has detected more than 200 environmental pollutants in the cord blood of 10 American newborns from racial and ethnic minority groups.


Shocking truth about AIDS exposed on World AIDS Day with "House of Numbers" un-cut footage

© HouseofNumbers.com
When Brent Leung started showcasing his groundbreaking new documentary film about AIDS, House of Numbers, he had no way to comprehend the wave of defamatory attacks that would be unleashed against him. Promoters of conventional AIDS theories (with all their vaccines and pharmaceuticals) have gone on a rampage against Leung, calling him an "AIDS denialist" -- with an obvious invocation of the similar-sounding "Holocaust denialist" phrase.

The implication, of course, is that if you deny any part of conventional AIDS theories, you're as bad as a Nazi war criminal. It's a curious comparison, especially given that the origins of the modern pharmaceutical industry are found precisely in the Nazi regime where pharmaceutical scientists routinely conducted medical experiments on Jewish prisoners. As a fascinating matter of historical fact, the Chairman of Bayer in the 1950's (yes, the same Bayer that makes Bayer Aspirin) was Dr. Fritz ter Meer, a convicted war criminal, who after committing crimes against humanity was sentenced to seven years in prison at the Nuremberg war trials.

The pharmaceutical industry operating today is largely a cabal of unindicted criminals who are guilty of crimes against humanity, and one of their favorite methods of multiplying their profits is to push a disease, then sell a vaccine they claim "treats" the disease. It's the same old scam, whether we're talking about cervical cancer, swine flu or even AIDS.


Talc Producers Failed to Note Cancer Link, South Dakota Lawsuit Says

A Sioux Falls woman is accusing Johnson and Johnson and two mining companies of failing for decades to warn consumers about a link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder.

Deane Berg, 52, applied talc-based body powder to her perineum each day after showering from 1975 to 2007, she says in a federal lawsuit filed last week. She contracted ovarian cancer in 2006.

Berg maintains that talc caused her cancer and that the companies selling the mineral knew there was a risk but failed to warn the public.

"I feel like women have been kept in the dark about a known hazard," said R. Allen Smith, Berg's lawyer. "It's the classic definition of why we need product liability lawsuits."

Red Flag

FDA Hid Research That Damned Aspartame: Fatal Studies Should Have Blocked NutraSweet Approval

When the G.D. Searle Co. sought FDA approval for NutraSweet they submitted doctored, fraudulent "studies," so corrupt that the Department of Justice appointed two prosecutors to Investigate Searle. Searle's lawyers hired the prosecutors and the case died with the statute of limitations.

Listen in on aspartame hearings in 1976 between Senator Ted Kennedy and FDA Commissioner Alexander Schmidt at the Senate Subcommittee on Labor and Public Health:
Commissioner Schmidt: "Today I would like to report to you the final results of the Food and Drug Administration's detailed investigation of animal studies performed by Searle."

Senator Kennedy: "Is this the first time, to your knowledge, that such a problem has been uncovered of this magnitude by the Food and Drug Administration?"

Dr. Schmidt: "It is certainly the first time that such an extensive and detailed examination of this kind has taken place. We have never before conducted such an examination as we did at Searle. From time to time, we have been aware of isolated problems, but we were not aware of the extent of the problem in one pharmaceutical house."

Senator Kennedy: "The extensive nature of the almost unbelievable range of abuses discovered by the FDA on several major Searle products is profoundly disturbing."
Yet a year later look what happened!


Bayer Admits GMO Contamination is Out of Control

© Unknown
Bayer has admitted it has been unable to control the spread of its genetically-engineered organisms despite 'the best practices [to stop contamination]'(1). It shows that all outdoors field trials or commercial growing of GE crops must be stopped before our crops are irreversibly contaminated.

$2 million US dollar verdict against Bayer confirms company's liability for an uncontrollable technology

Greenpeace welcomes the United States federal jury ruling on 4 December 2009 that Bayer CropScience LP must pay $2 million US dollars to two Missouri farmers after their rice crop was contaminated with an experimental variety of rice that the company was testing in 2006.


The Thalamus, Middleman of the Brain, Becomes a Sensory Conductor

Two new studies show that the thalamus--the small central brain structure often characterized as a mere pit-stop for sensory information on its way to the cortex--is heavily involved in sensory processing, and is an important conductor of the brain's complex orchestra.

Published in Nature Neuroscience and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the two studies from the laboratory of Murray Sherman both demonstrate the important role of the thalamus in shaping what humans see, hear and feel.

"The thalamus really hasn't been a part of people's thinking of how cortex functions," said Sherman, professor and chairman of neurobiology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. "It's viewed as a way to get information to cortex in the first place and then its role is done. But the hope is these kinds of demonstrations will start putting the thalamus on the map."


Post-Traumatic Stress May Harm Kids' Brains

© Getty Images
Researchers are trying to figure out what happens in the brain when children have post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Psychological trauma may leave a visible trace in a child's brain, scientists say.

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that children with symptoms of post-traumatic stress had poor function of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that stores and retrieves memories.

This is the first study to use functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to look at the function of the hippocampus in youth with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, researchers said. The findings are in line with what has been previously found in adults.

The study was led by Dr. Victor Carrion, and the senior author was Dr. Allan Reiss, both at the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University School of Medicine.


Lab Mice Show Brain's Role in Learning, Memory

Yi Zuo, a neurobiologist at UC Santa Cruz, has discovered how learning and memory imprint their effects on the brain - spurred by inspiration from her father, her 3-year-old son and a family friend who suffered a stroke.

The intersection of those three people led to a long series of experiments with more than 200 smart and frisky laboratory mice that revealed that learning new tasks can permanently alter the brain's nerve cells in animals, and perhaps in humans.

In a recent visit to her lab among the towering redwoods on the Santa Cruz campus, Zuo explained that her lab mice have shown her and her research team that in learning a new task, the connections between specific cells in the brain are swiftly rewired, and that those fresh connections can become permanent - even after the mice learn even newer tasks.

Much the same must be true in humans, she concluded.