A stubbed toe, a sore throat, a splitting headache: sometimes life might seem better if we didn't experience pain. In fact, pain can sometimes be useful—it's a way for your body to warn you when it's at risk of being damaged. Some people are born without the ability to feel pain, and their lives are often cut short as a result. In a study published this week in Nature Genetics, a team of researchers has analyzed the DNA of people who can't feel pain to identify a new gene that is essential to the process.
With no threat/promise of re-election hanging over his head, President Obama is using the remainder of his time in office as a chance to talk about a political minefield, climate change. He mentioned it last week at the Coast Guard commencement exercises, and today he took to his newly formed twitter account to answer questions about climate change.
In late March, a team of German-based researchers published a study that found that eating a bar of chocolate every day, when combined with a low-carb diet, helped participants lose weight. As is typical for a study like this, the story got picked up by a number of service-based publications in Europe and the U.S., doing write-ups with splashy headlines and suggestive images of women eating chocolate.
Your brain does a lot when you are asleep. It's when you consolidate memories and integrate the things you've learned during the day into your existing knowledge structure. We now have lots of evidence that while you are sleeping, specific memories can be reactivated and thus strengthened.
From sophisticated imaging tools to cancer-sniffing dogs, researchers are constantly seeking better ways to detect disease, which could lead to earlier and more effective treatment. In recent years, genetically manipulated bacteria seemed like promising indicators, but they never made it to the clinical setting because they couldn't reliably distinguish important chemical signals in complex samples. Now, two research teams have engineered E. coli bacteria to accurately detect the telltale chemical signs of diabetes and liver cancer in urine. The two studies were published today in Science Translational Medicine.