Research Roundup (Fall ’13, Week 5)

Every week our Research Editors highlight a few of the latest headlines in science news and explain why these pieces are interesting and applicable to our classes at UC San Diego. If you find an engaging science article, share it with us on our Facebook page and your highlight may just be featured!

Growing Up Poor, Stressed Impacts Brain Functions as Adult | Science Daily

Based on recent tests, researchers are now able to connect childhood stress and poverty to dysfunctions in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex of adults. Due to stress, these areas of the brain either show greater or less activity, eventually leading to mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

If you are interested in learning more about neuropsychiatric disorders, consider taking BIPN 152 (Healthy and Diseased Brain).

— Nicholas Kotsyubko | Research Editor

Single-sex flowers release his, hers fragrances | Science News

Research in Tsukuba, Japan on the Glochidion and Phyllanthus species of flowers, separates their male-only and female-only sex organs into separate clusters of flowers. The scents produced are so distinct that even the human nose is capable of identifying the sex of the plant.

If you are interested in learning more about interesting genetic occurrences, consider taking BICD 100 (Genetics).

— Nicholas Kotsyubko | Research Editor

Dear Evolution, Thanks for the Allergies | Scientific American

Researchers from Stanford and Yale University have independently produced the first hard data to support the notion that allergies are the body’s way of protecting us against toxins in the environment. Therefore, common allergic reactions such as coughing or vomiting after exposure to irritants could indicate that the body and its immune system is preparing a response to help you survive future exposures.

If you are interested in learning more about the molecular and cellular basis of immune response, consider taking BICD 140 (Immunology).

— Amelia Wong | Research Editor

Monkey that Purrs like a Cat Is Among New Species Discovered in Amazon Rainforest | Science Daily

At least 441 new animal and plant species, such as a monkey that purrs like a cat, have been discovered over the past four years in the unexplored parts of the Amazon Rainforest. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has catalogued these new plant and animal species in hopes of bolstering support to protect the natural habitat of the Amazon which is in danger of deforestation and dam development.

If you are interested in plant and animal ecosystems, consider taking BIEB 140 (Biodiversity).

— Amelia Wong | Research Editor