Sunday, April 22, 2012

10 Amazing Discoveries You Missed This Week

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Angela Waye
Here's what researchers revealed this week: blood tests for depression, how to escape a ticket, the science behind Tupac's reappearance, crazy new species and more.
April 19, 2012

Here are 10 amazing discoveries you may have missed this week.
1. Blood Test for Depression
“Where are you going?”
“Who are you with?”
“When will you be back?”
Ah, the teen years. Our culture regards adolescents as sullen, moody and disillusioned, but it’s no joke at any age when what appears to be moodiness is actually depression or anxiety, serious problems that can be hard to diagnose.
That’s why a new study -- preliminary but promising -- showing that a simple blood test can diagnose depression is pretty huge news. 
"Once you have a measurable index of an illness, it's very difficult to say, 'Just pull yourself together,' or 'Get over it,'" Eva Redei, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and leader of the study told Melissa Healy of the LA Times
The Times story describes how the study was done by testing rats, one group of healthy test subjects, another with a vulnerability for depression. The rats with depression had 11 molecules in their blood and brains that were “largely absent” in the healthy rats, and 15 molecules in rats that had depression and anxiety that were absent in those with depression only. Researchers then tested for these “biomarkers” and found teens with depression “had significantly higher concentrations of the 11 targeted molecules in their blood,” and 18 biomarkers distinguishing teens with depression from those with depression and anxiety.   READ MORE

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