Gene Therapy to Treat Depression

"Researchers find they can alleviate depression in mice by boosting a protein in one part of the brain." Technology Review on how gene therapy could be used in humans.

"For decades, medications for depression have acted pretty much the same way—by manipulating levels of serotonin and other chemical messengers in the brain. New drugs have offered only modest changes from the old ones. Now a team of researchers, led by Michael Kaplitt, an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, has proposed a different way to attack depression: by using gene therapy to boost levels of a protein called p11 in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. 'We do believe that the deficiency of this gene in this area of the brain may be one of the underlying root causes of depression, and that addressing that could help improve symptoms,' says Kaplitt."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
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  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
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  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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