‘Anhedonia’ (the loss of pleasure) is one of the key symptoms of depression. An important component of this symptom is an inability to feel excitement in anticipation of events; however the brain mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood.
Researchers say that new ‘mini-placentas’ – a cellular model of the early stages of the placenta – could provide a window into early pregnancy and help transform our understanding of reproductive disorders. Details of this new research are published today in the journal Nature.
The creation of artificial embryos has moved a step forward after an international team of researchers used mouse stem cells to produce artificial embryo-like structures capable of ‘gastrulation’, a key step in the life of any embryo.
An international team of scientists has identified the neural circuits that enable cuttlefish to change their appearance in just the blink to eye – and discovered that this is similar to the neural circuit that controls iridescence in squids.
Sheep can be trained to recognise human faces from photographic portraits – and can even identify the picture of their handler without prior training – according to new research from scientists at the University of Cambridge.
Skin plays a surprising role in helping regulate blood pressure and heart rate, according to scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. While this discovery was made in mice, the researchers believe it is likely to be true also in humans.
Smoking, lack of exercise, bad diet and our genes are all well-known risk factors for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. But, as researchers are beginning to understand, the environment in the womb as we first begin to grow may also determine our future.