Evolution writ small

A unique experiment at Rice University that forces bacteria into a head-to-head competition for evolutionary dominance has yielded new insights about the way Darwinian selection plays out at the molecular level. An exacting new analysis of the exper…

Husbands, wives disagree on their financial status

One reason married couples argue about money may be because they don’t even agree on how much of it they have, new research suggests. The typical husband says the couple earns 5 percent more income and has 10 percent more total wealth than the wife reports, according to a nationwide study. Meanwhile, the typical wife says the family’s debts are about $500 more than reported by her husband.

Public knows no more about genetics than in 1990, study finds

Despite a decade of highly publicized advances in genetics, U.S. adults know no more about genetic testing than they did in 1990, according to a University of Michigan study. “The public needs to have more and better education about genetics,” said Eleanor Singer, lead author of the study and a senior research scientist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), the world’s largest academic survey and research organization.

Scientists shed new light on the body’s internal clock

As mammals, our internal (circadian) clock is regulated by the patterns of light and dark we experience. But how that information is transmitted from the eye to the biological clock in the brain has been a matter of scientific debate. Scientists had suspected that a molecule called melanopsin, which is found in the retina, plays an important role. Now researchers have confirmed that melanopsin does indeed transmit light information from the eye to the part of the brain that controls the internal clock. According to the researchers, melanopsin may be one of several photosensitive receptors that work redundantly to regulate the circadian system.

10 Keys to Recovery From Schizophrenia

UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers have identified 10 key factors to recovery from schizophrenia. The findings open opportunities to develop new treatment and rehabilitation programs and to reshape the negative expectations of many doctors, patients and their families. Based on analyses of the professional literature and the cases of 23 schizophrenia patients who successfully returned to work or school with their symptoms under control, the findings appear in the November 2002 edition of the International Review of Psychiatry.

Genetic Clash With Mother Doubles Child’s Schizophrenia Risk

Scientists have discovered that infants possessing a cell protein called Rhesus (Rh) factor that their mothers lack are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia in young adulthood. Reported in the December issue of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Human Genetics, the study suggests that the gene that codes for Rh factor is to blame for the higher risk. “Previous studies reported a link between mothers and infants who are Rh-incompatible and a higher rate of schizophrenia in the children later in life,” said Dr. Christina Palmer, a research scientist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. “Our research is the first to take a genetic approach to examining this increased risk.”