Can a frightening experience during pregnancy affect the development of an unborn child’s brain? Yes.
The Zika virus is a global health threat. Despite renewed urgency because of the evidence suggesting that Zika causes birth defects, science has known of the virus for some time. It’s a deadly and debilitating virus for some newborns, so it’s important to have an accurate picture of the science behind it, the risks of infection and how it affects developing brains. Continue reading
Why does the brain look so weird?
We spend a third of our life in a completely altered state of consciousness, indeed madness. Dreaming is a descent into what would otherwise be a severe form of psychosis, and often these hallucinations are terrifying. Dreams that reoccur are especially disturbing, and nearly everyone has experienced them. A new study reveals the most common content of recurring dreams and finds very different hallucinations in the dreaming minds of adults and children.
On January 11, 2015 news swept the globe reporting that scores of people died and 200 were sickened by drinking beer poisoned with crocodile bile in Mozambique. Thinking is now shifting to the possibility of poisoned synapses, not reptilian bile as the cause of these deaths.
Hank Greely, Professor of Law at Stanford, talks to us about the potential impact of biotechnologies on human sexual reproduction. Continue reading
Women suffer depression and anxiety disorders at higher rates than men; a new study finds an interesting new explanation for this. Unwholesome family life can alter development of threat-detection circuits in the brain of young girls, which persist into adulthood and predispose women to developing mood and anxiety disorders as adolescents and young adults. Boys are also negatively impacted by family stresses during childhood, but the lasting effects on their brain were seen in only one of two neural circuits controlling our response to threats, anxiety and fear.