The Science Behind Anti-Depressants May Be Completely ‘Backwards’

Anti-depressants are the most commonly-prescribed medication in the U.S., with one in 10 Americans currently taking pills like Zoloft and Lexapro to treat depression. But these pharmaceuticals are only effective less than 30 percent of the time, and often come with troublesome side effects.

In a controversial new paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, psychologist Paul Andrews of McMaster University in Ontario argues that this failure of medication may be based in a misunderstanding of the underlying chemistry related to depression.

Andrews surveyed 50 years’ worth of research supporting the serotonin theory of depression, which suggests that the disease is caused by low levels of the “happiness” neurotransmitter, serotonin.

But Andrews argues that depression may actually be caused by elevated levels of serotonin. And this fundamental misunderstanding may be responsible for inappropriate treatment: The most common form of antidepressants are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which operate by targeting serotonin receptors in the brain in an effort to amplify serotonin production.

Currently, scientists are unable to measure precisely how the brain releases and uses serotonin, because it can’t be safely observed in a human brain. But Andrews —> Read More Here

Sorry, But Your Dog Can’t Remember That Fun Game Of Fetch

Sorry to break it to you, but your dog probably has no recollection of that fun game of fetch the two of you played yesterday. And that yummy treat you gave him just minutes ago? Even that has probably gone poof!

The truth is, a dog’s memory just isn’t very good. And a new study suggests that the same is true for 25 other animal species, from bees and birds to big mammals. Their recall of specific events disappears within minutes or even seconds.

“When it comes to short-term memory, it seems to work almost the same for all animals,” Dr. Johan Lind, a professor of ethology ethology at Stockholm University in Sweden and the study’s lead author, said in a written statement. “It’s a bit surprising that apes do not remember better than rats, but the results are clear. Human memory stands out because it is so susceptible, anything seems to stick in the memory for a very long time.”

For their study, a “meta-analysis” of previous research, Lind and his colleagues analyzed nearly 100 studies in which captive animals performed a short-term memory test. In the first part of the test, an animal is briefly exposed —> Read More Here

The Eiffel Tower Just Became A Little More Green. Here Are 8 Other Landmarks That Did It First

eiffel1

Two wind turbines have been successfully installed on the Eiffel Tower to offset some of the structure’s energy use, renewable energy company UGE and the public service authority in charge of the iconic landmark announced this week.

The two turbines, which were placed 400 feet above ground level, are expected to produce 10,000 kWh annually. This will offset the power used by commercial activities on the tower’s first floor, according to UGE. The turbines are of the vertical axis variety, as opposed to the larger and more common horizontal axis turbines that rotate like traditional windmills, and they are painted to match the tower.

The project is part of a larger efficiency upgrade that also includes LED lighting and rooftop solar panels on a visitor pavilion.

The Eiffel Tower might be lighting a greener path in Paris, but there are other landmarks in cities around the world that have undergone updates to become more environmentally friendly. Here are eight of them:

The White House
white house solar
President Jimmy Carter famously had solar panels added to the White House roof in 1979. The panels, which were intended to heat water, were removed after Ronald Reagan took office. With little fanfare, the <a target="_blank" —> Read More Here

1 2 3 2,002