January 31, 2012 The anesthetic and club drug ketamine seems to lift depression symptoms in a matter of hours. But how does it work? Researchers are searching for the answer in an attempt to make a new class of depression medications. "We can take care of a migraine in hours," one researcher asks. "So why do we have to wait weeks or months with depression?"
January 30, 2012 Currently, there's no quick fix for severe depression. Antidepressants usually take weeks to work, if they work at all. But patients who received experimental doses of ketamine — long used as an anesthetic, and an illegal club drug — report an astounding relief from their symptoms in less than a day.
January 24, 2012 Researchers found that children whose blood contained high levels of chemicals used in nonstick coatings and stain-resistant fabrics were less responsive to vaccination. The finding suggests, but doesn't prove, that these chemicals may make some children more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
January 6, 2012 A study of more than 7,000 British civil servants finds that age-related declines in cognitive ability start as early as 45. The results suggest that efforts to head off mental problems late in life need to begin in middle age, the study's authors write at the end of their paper.
December 29, 2011 In the world of science, 2011 may go down as the year of the retraction. Lots of highly publicized discoveries got debunked this year. And many of those discoveries involved findings that both scientists and the public really wanted to believe.
December 23, 2011 Birds and wasps do it. So do octopuses, otters, polar bears and dolphins. A surprising number of animals use tools, and scientists say there are some widespread misconceptions. Among them: Using tools isn't a sign of intelligence, and animals don't need fingers to be crafty with tools.
December 15, 2011 Researchers think the treatment encourages brain cells to form new connections, allowing the brain to rewire itself to compensate for damage caused by a stroke.
November 22, 2011 A couple of hours after eating, participants in a Harvard study who consumed canned soup had BPA levels in their urine that were about 12 times higher than the people who didn't. But the health implications of this sort of exposure to the chemical, which can act like the hormone estrogen, are still murky.
September 21, 2011 The links between red wine and longevity aren't nearly as strong as they once seemed, according to new research in the journal Nature. In fact, the research calls into question the whole mechanism used to explain wine's power to extend life.
September 13, 2011 Scientists found that single men who started out with relatively high testosterone levels were more likely than other men to become fathers. But once a baby arrived, testosterone levels plummeted.
September 1, 2011 A part of the brain called the amygdala has cells specialized to detect animals, researchers have found. One reason we have these cells may be that some animals posed a threat to our ancestors. But researchers also found cells that respond specifically to cute animals like puppies or bunnies.