So, you’re thinking about using a commercial DNA testing kit! You’re not alone. Tens of millions of people have already spit into a little vial and mailed it away to a company promising to tell them where their ancestors are from, to show them cousins they didn’t know they had, and to explain once and… Read more

One of the most famous brain injuries recorded in history was that suffered by Phineas Gage. Having had a large iron rod driven through his head, Gage lost a major part of his prefrontal cortex, which among other things facilitates interaction between reasoning and emotions. Gage survived his injury and maintained most of his cognitive… Read more

If the immune system attacks its own body, it can often have devastating consequences: autoantibodies bind to the body’s structures, triggering functional disorders. The receptors for glutamate, a neurotransmitter, can also become the target of autoantibodies. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine have been investigating the circumstances under which autoantibodies for a… Read more

Just a brief introduction to mindfulness helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions, according to a new study. The effect of mindfulness was so pronounced, they found, that even when participants experienced high heat on their forearm, their brain responded as if it were a normal temperature. “It’s as if the brain was… Read more

Brain temperature is implicated in many common conditions including stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and headaches. Changes in brain temperature can indicate there is a disease developing, but researchers have struggled to measure it. The use of conventional thermometers is very invasive, and remote measuring techniques are blunt and often inaccurate. But a… Read more