Jon Hamilton appears in the following:
Friday, November 29, 2013
Forecasters expected the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season to be really busy — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told Americans to expect between seven and 11 hurricanes. But this year has been one of the quietest on record. Why were the predictions so far off?
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Scientists have identified special cells in the brain's hippocampus that mimic a trick of some digital cameras. These cells automatically 'tag' the memory of each event in our lives with information about where that event took place — the better to recall, perhaps, where we left our lost keys.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Everybody knows that you're not supposed to smoke while you're pregnant because it's bad for the baby. But nicotine patches often used to help women quit may pose a risk, too, researchers say. Other forms of nicotine replacement may do less harm.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Brain scans may help people who were ill treated as children realize that they process fear differently than others. They may have a harder time realizing what's truly a threat and what's not. Researchers say that can lead to increased risk of anxiety and depression.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Humans and other primates have really good vision. One scientist thinks that ability evolved in part to help monkeys and humans quickly recognize venomous snakes. When monkeys see photos of snakes, neurons in a specific part of the brain light up. The neurons respond to photos of the reptiles more than to monkey faces.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
While mice sleep, their brain cells shrink, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to flow easily around them. The fluid can then clear away toxins. This finding appears to offer the best explanation yet of why animals and people need sleep.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
The aging brain may be more flexible than we thought, a study of older adults now suggests. After playing a racing car video game an hour a day, thrice weekly for a month, adults age 60 and over were better at multitasking than untrained 20-year-olds.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Age-related fumbles of memory are often feared as early signs of Alzheimer's dementia, but recent research confirms an important difference. The underlying biology of the two sorts of memory loss aren't the same. And the age-related form may be reversible someday.
Monday, August 12, 2013
From human growth hormone to EPO, many sports doping products these days come from big drug companies, not rogue chemists. Scientists and body builders warn that new drugs being developed to treat muscle wasting disease will also likely be abused by athletes — with little chance of detection.
Monday, August 05, 2013
Mothers with the "sensitive" version of a gene became more likely to strike or scream at their children during the Great Recession, researchers say. But as a complete economic collapse became less likely, the moms relaxed. Those with the "insensitive" version didn't change their behavior.
Monday, July 15, 2013
The case focuses on a line of plastic resins made by Eastman Chemical. The resins don't contain BPA but may indeed act like estrogens, two other chemical companies allege. Eastman is suing.
Friday, June 28, 2013
NASA has a plan to fend off giant asteroids, but what about tsunamis, earthquakes, storms that last 45 days and mammoth floods? Earth scientists say science-based strategies can help communities prepare for the worst of the worst.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Scientists and parents have long been baffled by the fact that children with autism often don't pay attention to human voices. Researchers say that may be because speech doesn't activate a reward system in the brain for those children the way it does for typical children.
Monday, June 10, 2013
For children with epilepsy, doctors now try to prevent seizures altogether. It's a big switch in thinking from the days when seizures weren't considered such a bad thing. That changed due to research showing that seizures can affect learning and memory.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Officials are forecasting that hurricane activity will be "above normal" this season, with 13 to 20 named storms. As many as six of those could be major hurricanes. Warm ocean waters and the lack of El Nino conditions are partly to blame.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Melissa Block talks to Jon Hamilton about the science of tornadoes.
Friday, May 17, 2013
The new version of the DSM, the manual of psychiatric diagnoses, is already sparking criticism. But psychiatrists say it helps make sure they're all on the same page.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Unlike cardiology and most other fields of medicine, psychiatry still hasn't developed discrete, biological tests for diagnosing illnesses of the mind. That's because the brain "hasn't yielded its secrets yet," one psychiatrist says.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Scientists used to think that identical twins turned out differently because they were treated differently by friends, teachers or their parents. A study of mice supports the idea that small changes in behavior can lead to larger ones and eventually even resculpt brains in different ways.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Linguists used to think the human brain had a specific region devoted to understanding language. But brain scans now indicate that regions controlling vision, movement, taste, smell and touch are all called into action when we think of a word, too.