A brain scan study suggests that a suspect gene may increase susceptibility to anxiety and depression* by weakening a circuit for processing negative emotion. People with the depression-linked gene variant showed less gray matter and weaker connections in the mood-regulating circuit. How well the circuit was connected accounted for nearly 30 percent of their anxious temperament, researchers at the National Institute of Healths (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found. Dr. Daniel Weinberger and colleagues report on their brain imaging genetics study in the May 8, 2005 online edition of Nature Neuroscience.
"We discovered the mood-regulating circuit by using the gene to interrogate the imaging data," explained Weinberger. "The brain handles information much like an orchestra. So we asked questions akin to Are the violin and the clarinet playing the same tune and to what extent might this gene account for it?"
In this case, it turned out that the amygdala, a fear processing hub deep in the brain and the cingulate, an emotion-dampening center located near the front of the brain, were playing a duet under the baton of the depression-linked gene.
Jules Asher | EurekAlert!
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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