6 Stories

Your Cat's Poop May Be Blowing Your Mind

Jaroslav Felgr's quest to study Toxoplasma gondii

(Newser) - Jaroslav Flegr has a theory: Cat poop is rewiring the human brain, including his own. The Prague-based biologist has been pursuing the theory since the early '90s, but he's only recently beginning to garner scientific respect, with some of the biggest names in neurobiology backing him up, the... More »

Scientists Make Neurons From Skin

New process promises major breakthroughs in neurobiology

(Newser) - A key scientific breakthrough will help researchers get around one of the major obstacles to testing conditions like Alzheimer's: a lack of brain donors. The team has found an efficient way to turn skin cells into neurons by adding a few short strands of genetic material, the Independent reports.... More »

Chemical in Women's Tears a Turnoff for Men

Tears of sadness cool sex appeal

(Newser) - Women's tears of sadness contain a chemical signal that's a big turn-off to men, researchers were surprised to discover. Emotional tears are chemically different from tears caused by dust in the eye or chopping onions, and when male volunteers got a sniff of tears (which have no noticeable odor) collected... More »

Whales Suffer Like Humans

Biologists cite studies as case against whaling

(Newser) - As the International Whaling Commission meets this week to debate the future of whaling, marine biologists say that whales are similar to humans in their capacity to feel and suffer. Recent studies show that whales—like great apes and dolphins—possess a self-awareness, which one neurobiologist says allows them to... More »

Dopamine: Produces the Rush, Not the Pleasure

The "it" neurotransmitter stimulates drive, not good feeling

(Newser) - Dopamine has become the decade’s “it” neurotransmitter, just as serotonin was in the ‘90s. But the popular image of dopamine as the brain chemical in charge of making us feel good, and hooking us on craving that feeling, a “Bacchus in the brain,” is misleading... More »

Brains Hard-Wired to Swing Left or Right

Liberals deal with ambiguity better; conservatives are single-minded

(Newser) - The brains of conservatives and liberals function in fundamentally different ways—with liberals more capable of accepting ambiguity and conflict, and conservative better able to pursue a single-minded course. That's the conclusion of  a new study on the neurobiology of politics, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. More »

6 Stories