Over the past few decades, the neurochemical dopamine has earned the reputation of being the brain’s reward molecule. This image is built on observations that when animals and humans experience surges of dopamine, they feel rewarded and motivated to pursue more of the experience or substance which triggered the dopamine release. Researchers theorize that this neurochemical is at the root of an ancient system that evolved to make us feel gratified and thus more likely to approach situations and objects that might satisfy our needs — anything from nutrition to the more sophisticated desires for social approval or even money, a universal ticket for access to most resources.Continue reading
It’s 1920, and an epidemic is in full effect. Encephalitis lethargica (also known as sleepy sickness) has spread across the globe, leaving some of its victims as still as statues, unable to move or speak. With no known cure, these people become passive observers of the world around them as it evolved from the jazz age, through a world war, and into the modern age.Continue reading
More than a decade has passed since President Clinton first announced that the human genome project was successfully completed:
We are here to celebrate the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome. Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.