‘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.
Understanding Animal Research, an organisation promoting greater openness about animal research, has today released a list of the ten universities in the UK that conduct the highest number of animal procedures – those used in medical, veterinary and scientific research. These statistics are freely available on the universities’ websites as part of their ongoing commitment to transparency and openness.
Multilingualism is the norm in India. But rather than enjoying the cognitive and learning advantages seen in multilingual children in the Global North, Indian children show low levels of learning basic school skills. Professor Ianthi Tsimpli is trying to disentangle the causes of this paradox.
Our brains begin to form in the womb but continue to take shape into adolescence. In a series of articles, we look at how the latest research could help us support children’s development, helping them overcome learning disorders and build resilience against future mental health problems.
Scientists have sequenced 15 ancient genomes spanning from Alaska to Patagonia and were able to track the movements of the first humans as they spread across the Americas at “astonishing” speed during the last Ice Age, and also how they interacted with each other in the following millennia.
Wanting your child to have the best chance in life is natural for any parent. But by focusing too much on the ‘skill’ of parenting, are we losing sight of things that matter more – how we talk to and play with children? Cambridge researchers are examining how parents can best help their children in their early years through nurturing rather than shaping.
Evidence has been building in recent years that our diet, our habits or traumatic experiences can have consequences for the health of our children – and even our grandchildren. The explanation that has gained most currency for how this occurs is so-called ‘epigenetic inheritance’ – patterns of chemical ‘marks’ on or around our DNA that are hypothesised to be passed down the generations. But new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that this mechanism of non-genetic inheritance is likely to be very rare.