Here in the UK, it is royal baby mania, which makes me as a neuroscientist think about how parental behavior is controlled by the brain. While Duchess Kate is getting a lot of attention for her post-baby style choices and is obviously delighted with HRH Prince George Alexander Louis, she is also undergoing an array of neural and behavioral changes to help take care of the little prince.
Everyone knows a picky eater—a former classmate of mine ate only cereal, pasta and milk—but why does picky eating exist? Continue reading
Before moving to London, I lived in New York City, where it was not uncommon to see cockroaches out on the street, and even once in a while in my apartment (and it was clean, I swear!). Despite an arsenal of poisons and eradication strategies, it seemed like cockroaches were just a part of city life I had to live with. A recent paper in the journal Science has shown that this may be true because cockroaches are quickly evolving to avoid precisely the yummy, sweet-tasting poisoned baits that I was using to keep them out of my kitchen. Continue reading
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a devastating neurological disease where the protective layer around nerves begins to die off, attacked by the body’s own immune system. Without this insulation, the nervous system begins to shut down. Eventually, many people with MS lose the ability to move, speak and control basic bodily functions. Patients usually get their diagnosis in the prime of life and there is nothing to be done besides taking drugs that will postpone the progression of symptoms. These treatments are associated with side effects that can be as debilitating as the disease itself and they are hugely expensive. So, in 2006 when an Italian physician, Dr Paolo Zamboni, announced a simple method for treating MS, it received international attention. Continue reading