genetics

Biological siblings of people with gambling disorder also display markers of increased impulsivity and risk-taking, University of British Columbia researchers report. The findings[1] suggest people with gambling disorder – a psychiatric term for serious gambling problems – may have pre-existing genetic vulnerabilities to the illness. “Impulsivity, risky decision-making and altered brain reward processing are observed… Read more

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… Read more

In 2009, researchers collected DNA from four elderly men in Namibia, each from one of the many San indigenous communities scattered across southern Africa. A year later, analyses of the men’s DNA were published in the journal Nature — alongside that of South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu. The intention, in part, was to… Read more

A mother and daughter who share a rare genetic mutation and who routinely need just six hours of sleep a night have led to researchers taking a further step in untangling the genetic web of sleep[1]. “Before we identified the first short-sleep gene, people really weren’t thinking about sleep duration in genetic terms,” said Ying-Hui… Read more

Neurons, the fundamental component of the nervous system, exist in a multitude of forms and types. There may be as many as 10,000 specific types of neurons in the human brain. There is even a type of cell discovered in 2005 known as the “Jennifer Aniston neuron” that specifically responds to images of well-known celebrities… Read more