Growing up, when you brought home an A on a test, did your parents ever argue over who’s side of the family “the smarts” came from? I can recall complete reconstructions of the family tree based on what subjects my sister and I were excelling in.
In reality, the grades probably had more to do with good study habits and a certain pride in my work, but new research indicates that there may be more of a genetic component than previously realized. In addition to diet, as we learned in my last post, recent work from Dr. Paul Thompson’s team reveals that genetic variations can have measurable impacts on learning and intelligence. I came across his work thanks to a great piece written by Moheb Costandi at ScienceNOW.
Oh, Google. I remember the days before your name became a verb associated with mild stalking. The days long ago when you were just the weird alternative to Yahoo! for email and internet queries. How far you’ve come – pervasive in every part of my life.
Maybe it’s about time you get used a little more for the science world. Above and beyond searching for job openings for graduate students, that is. A group of researchers from Dresden University of Technology in Germany have tailored the Google PageRank algorithm to better be able to predict clinical prognosis for pancreatic cancer patients. Their work is published in the May issue of PLoS Computational Biology.
I’m always excited to find a follow-up to a story I’ve written about here before. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s happened too often. Could be because this is only my 63rd post, but I’m not one to point fingers. In any case, we have a follow-up on a subject that I’m particularly happy to report on.
I don’t want to go bald. I have friends that are bald. They can rock it. I’d look really weird. And I don’t think I could ever find a workable hair piece either. Yikes.
Luckily, I may not have to worry much longer. Dr. George Cotsarelis’ research team at the University of Pennsylvania published their discovery of a molecule that blocks hair growth, and thus a therapeutic target for baldness, in the March issue of Science Translational Medicine.
A good friend of mine pointed me to what’s turned out to be a very successful strength training program about a year back. However, when I first checked out the website, this image was the first thing I saw. I kid you not. I don’t want to work for the circus, maybe just get in better shape. Luckily, those results apparently aren’t typical. Or I’m not doing it right. Who knows.
In any case, building up muscles or endurance isn’t the only thing that comes from exercise. As we learn from an article published recently in Cell Metabolism, it stimulates changes all the way down to our DNA. Continue reading →