Study links 'sun-seeking behavior' to genes involved in addiction

A large-scale study from King's College London explores the link between genetics and sun-seeking behaviors.

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  • There are a number of physical and mental health benefits to sun exposure, such as boosted vitamin D and serotonin levels and stronger bones.
  • Addictions are multi-step conditions that, by definition, require exposure to the addictive agent and have also been proven to have a genetic factor. Countless people are exposed to addictive things, but not all become addicted. This is because of the genetic component of addiction.
  • This large-scale study explores the link between sun-seeking behaviors and the genetic markers for addiction.
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For starlet sea anemones, more food means more arms

A new study finds that starlet sea anemones have the unique ability to grow more tentacles when they've got more to eat.

Credit: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center/Wikimedia
  • These anemones belong to the Cnidaria phylum that continues developing through its lifespan.
  • The starlet sea anemone may grow as many as 24 tentacles, providing there's enough food.
  • When deprived of the chance to reproduce, they also grow more tentacles.
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What is Novichok? A neurotoxicologist explains

Novichok means "newcomer" in Russian.

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The German government has announced that toxicology tests proved that the Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the same nerve agent used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter two years ago.
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Did life on Earth start in space? Study finds evidence of panspermia

A new study shows bacteria could survive travel from Earth to Mars.

Credit: Pixabay / Dr. Michael Daly.
  • Japanese scientists find Deinococcus radiodurans bacteria can survive for up to 8 years in space.
  • The researchers studied the bacteria when it was attached to the International Space Station.
  • The results confirm the possibility of panspermia, that life can be spread in space by traveling microbes.
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    Why flu vaccines only last a year

    A new study at Emory Vaccine Center gets into the bone marrow.

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    • Researchers at Emory Vaccine Center looked at bone marrow to better understand antibody production.
    • Due to constant mutations, identifying a "universal vaccine" has been challenging.
    • The team found that blood markers are reliable indicators of what's occurring inside of bone marrow.
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