Monday, 30 April 2012

Editor's Selections: Smart drinks, neural robustness and Earworms


Here are my medicine, neuroscience and psychology ScienceSeeker Editor's Selections for the week:
This post was written by Andrew Watt for A Hippo on Campus.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Editor's Selections: Facial expressions, chronic stress and a stiff drink



Here are my medicine, neuroscience and psychology ScienceSeeker Editor's Selections for the week:
   
This post was written by Andrew Watt for A Hippo on Campus.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Editor's Selections: Social signals, stolen balls, ethnic group suffering and addiction on the streets


Here are my medicine, neuroscience and psychology ScienceSeeker Editor's Selections for the week:
   
This post was written by Andrew Watt for A Hippo on Campus.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Editor's Selections: Olfaction, origins and autism


Here are my medicine, neuroscience and psychology ScienceSeeker Editor's Selections for the week:
   
This post was written by Andrew Watt for A Hippo on Campus.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Are melatonin-laced drinks just taking the piss?

At the end of a long day at work there's nothing quite like the salve of a glass of red to ease the troubles from your mind. Or perhaps a scotch is more your thing (neat or on the rocks I'm not here to judge). Then again maybe yours is a gin and tonic, an Old Fashioned or even just a cup of chamomile. The point is whatever your poison there are few among us who don't turn to a little liquid helper as the day draws to a close. Whether to dull those frayed nerves, to placate our worries, or let's face it to gently ease us into the calming refuge that is unconsciousness. Recently it appears however, that many of us are turning our backs on that hot toddy in favour of a hormonal liquer. Yep we're trading the merlot for the melatonin and the truth is we don't really know what it's doing to us.


Already widely available in the US, and slowly making their way to a store fridge near you, the relaxation drinks, with names such as IChill, Dreamwater and NeuroDrink, have recently found themselves the focus of a Nature Neuroscience Editorial, and for good reason. In the US the drinks, which contain ingredients such as melatonin, GABA and 5-HTP (a serotonin precursor), are classified as dietary supplements, meaning that they are not subject to the tests of safety or efficacy normally required for food and drugs. Rather as the editorial says 'It is instead assumed that the companies selling these products have conducted all of the necessary safety and efficacy testing before the products go to market (although there is no requirement that they release any information about such tests).' But before we dive into to a discussion of the safety of these products let's take a quick look at how consuming melatonin is thought to help us sleep at night.


Editor's Selections: Choice, Coital conversations and Cleaning

It is with great pleasure that I can announce that I am one of the newly minted Editors for ScienceSeeker.org (along with Sarah Chow, Cristy Gelling, Matthew Francis, Jason Goldman, Mark Hahnel, Peter Krautzberger and Allie Wilson). Each week I'll be selecting 3-4 of the best posts from across the blogosphere covering  medicine, neuroscience and psychology for you all to enjoy. To get you all started here are my inaugral ScienceSeeker Editor's Selections:
  • Sam McNerney covers the paradox of choice over at Why We Reason?  Are too many choices impairing our selections?
  • Tiffani Washington discusses why it's important to talk about what goes on behind your bedroom door behind your doctor's door in What We Don't Talk About When We Don't Talk About Sex.
  • And Christian Jarrett digests a study investigating whether that new carriage smell leads to more sanitary  passengers at BPS Research Digest.

   

This post was written by Andrew Watt for A Hippo on Campus.