In his 1983 fake documentary 'Zelig', Woody Alan plays a character, Leonard Zelig, a kind of human chameleon who takes on the appearance and behaviour of whoever he is with. Now psychologists in Italy
have reported the real-life case of AD, a 65-year-old whose identity appears dependent on the environment he is in. He started behaving this way after cardiac arrest caused damage to the fronto-temporal region of his brain.
Comment: Strange... it sounds a lot like psychopathy.
Japanese doctors were warned on Wednesday against prescribing Tamiflu to teenagers after several young patients taking the bird flu-fighting drug reportedly exhibited dangerous behavior.
The Health Ministry issued emergency instructions Tuesday to a Japanese Tamiflu distributor, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., to warn doctors not to give the drug to teenagers, a Chugai official said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.
Chugai began distributing warnings to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies across Japan on Wednesday, the official said.
Pharmaceutical companies fail to publicly reveal all of the money and gifts they give to physicians and health care workers - making it hard to know what the money is for.
A new analysis found that records were sketchy and hard to access in two states that require drug companies to publicly disclose payments made to physicians.
Five states and the District of Columbia have enacted so-called sunshine laws that require companies to report how much money they pay doctors and other health care workers as well as in what form and for what purpose. Such payments can range from consulting fees for clinical trials to meals to "detailing" (paying doctors to let drug-marketing reps talk up their drugs during the workday), some of which can raise concerns about conflicts of interest when doctors are prescribing the companies' drugs to patients.
U.S. scientists are testing drugs that could help soldiers erase the memory of traumatic events.
The U.S. Army estimates that one in eight soldiers returning home from Iraq suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, ABC News said.
Researchers working on drugs that can target and erase traumatic events from a person's memory say the drugs might work in cases where the event occurred many years ago.
Jon Cartwright PhysicsWeb
Wed, 21 Mar 2007 08:16 UTC
Physicists in Canada have used a conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system to control the movement of a small metal bead inside blood vessels. The experiment demonstrates that MRI systems could eventually control tiny "untethered" devices that perform truly non-invasive surgery.
In the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, scientists climb into a submarine, shrink themselves down to the size of a red blood cell and are then injected into a dying man to break a blood clot. 40 years on, and the art of shrinking is still far away in the realms of science fiction - but the remote control of miniature devices to perform surgery in the bloodstream may not be.
The manic state that is at the ancient root of the word "maniac" might result from a screwed up body clock, new findings in mutant rodents suggest.
These novel mice could help unearth the roots of bipolar disorder - commonly known as manic-depression - which afflicts more than 1 in 40 adults, or roughly 5.7 million people, in the United States alone.
"This should allow us to develop better and more targeted therapies in the future," Colleen McClung, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, told LiveScience.
Scientists have uncovered the first concrete evidence that playing music can significantly enhance the brain and sharpen hearing for all kinds of sounds, including speech.
"Experience with music appears to help with many other things in life, potentially transferring to activities like reading or picking up nuances in tones of voices or hearing sounds in a noisy classroom better," researcher Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, told LiveScience.
Whether you get stung by a bee or simply watch as a friend gets stung, you might start to run and hide every time a bee buzzes across your path. A new study reveals why you do this: It turns out the brain areas that respond when fear is learned through personal experience are also triggered when we see someone else afraid.
The finding, detailed in the March issue of the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, could explain why some people are afraid of things like spiders and snakes despite little contact with them.
Study participants watched a short video of a person conditioned to fear a so-called neutral stimulus - something people normally wouldn't fear - paired with something they find naturally aversive, in this case an electrical shock.
The person in the video watched colored squares on a computer screen: When a blue square appeared, the person received a mild shock; when a yellow square appeared, there was no shock. The participant in the video responded with distress when the blue square appeared - he would blink hard, tense his cheek muscles, and move his hand.