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Cultivating Joy Through Mindfulness: An Antidote To Opioid Misuse

A mind-body therapy, Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), increases the brain’s response to natural, healthy rewards while also decreasing the brain’s response to opioid related cues, a paper[1] from the University of Utah reports. “Previous research shows that prolonged use of opioids makes our brains more sensitive to pain and less receptive to the joy one […]

The Skin Keeps Time Independent Of The Brain

A type of opsin known as neuropsin is expressed in the hair follicles of mice and synchronize the skin’s circadian clock to the light-dark cycle, independent of the eyes or brain, University of Washington researchers report. “This is the first functional demonstration of opsin photoreceptors outside the eye directly controlling circadian rhythms in a mammal,” […]

Why Speech Is A Human Innovation

Except for various cartoon characters, the Geico Gecko and Mr. Ed, animals can’t speak. Yet they have a lot to say to scientists trying to figure out the origins of human language. Speaking isn’t the only avenue for language. After all, linguistic messaging can be transmitted by hand signals. Or handwriting. Or texting. But speech […]

The Microbiome Is Shaped By Genetic Differences In The Immune System

Differences in the genes of the immune system sculpt the assortment of bacteria that colonize the digestive system, new research[1] by scientists at the University of Chicago indicates. “When the input is standardized, you can compare mice of different genetic strains and see what these genetics do to the microbiome in recipient mice. This approach […]