Manganese speeds up honey bees

The industrial metal manganese, once scarce, is now ubiquitous in our environment. New work suggests that it addles honey bees, which often act as sentinel species for environmental contaminants, even at levels considered safe for humans.

Tiny wireless device shines light on mouse brain, generating reward

Using a miniature electronic device implanted in the brain, scientists have tapped into the internal reward system of mice, prodding neurons to release dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure. This LED light can activate brain cells and may lead to the mapping of circuits involved in sleep, depression and addiction.

Brain scans reveal drugs’ effects on attention

Scientists have developed a way to evaluate new treatments for some forms of attention deficit disorder. Working in mice, researchers at the School of Medicine showed that they can use brain scans to quickly test whether drugs increase levels of dopamine. The same group found that raising dopamine levels in mice alleviates attention deficits caused by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a condition that affects more than 100,000 people in the United States.

Prenatal smoking increases ADHD risk in some children

Smoking while pregnant combined with genetic factors greatly increases the risk of severe ADHD.Past research has suggested that both genes and prenatal insults — such as exposure to alcohol and nicotine — can increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But the identified increases in risk have been very modest. Now, a team of Washington University scientists has found that when those factors are studied together, risk of a severe type of ADHD greatly increases.

Prenatal smoking increases ADHD risk in some children

Smoking while pregnant combined with genetic factors greatly increases the risk of severe ADHD.Past research has suggested that both genes and prenatal insults — such as exposure to alcohol and nicotine — can increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But the identified increases in risk have been very modest. Now, a team of Washington University scientists has found that when those factors are studied together, risk of a severe type of ADHD greatly increases.
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