Outline of Stress Response

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“Stress is defined as a state of real or perceived threat to homeostasis. The principal effectors of the stress system are corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), arginine vasopressin, the proopiomelanocortin-derived peptides α-melanocyte–stimulating hormone and β-endorphin, the glucocorticoids, and the catecholamines norepinephrine and epinephrine.

 

Appropriate responsiveness of the stress system to stressors is a crucial prerequisite for a sense of well-being, adequate performance of tasks, and positive social interactions. By contrast, inappropriate responsiveness of the stress system may impair growth and development and may account for various endocrine, metabolic, autoimmune, and psychiatric disorders. The development and severity of these conditions primarily depend on the genetic vulnerability of the individual, the exposure to adverse environmental factors, and the timing of stressful event(s). Prenatal life, infancy, childhood, and adolescence are critical periods characterized by increased vulnerability to stressors.”

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The Grandmother Hypothesis – Grandmothers Created Humans (Of Course THEY Knew That!)

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Look like a very few bubbas, living longer and helping mom raise the kids moved us from chimps to Justin Beiber!  How is this relevant to marketing today?

Grandmas made humans live longer   Oct. 23, 2012
The theory says that because a few older women among human ancestors began caring for their grandchildren, their daughters could have more children at shorter intervals, and that women ended up evolving long postmenopausal lifespans, unlike female apes who rarely survive past their childbearing years.

Computer simulations provide new mathematical support for the “grandmother hypothesis” — a famous theory that humans evolved longer adult lifespans than apes because grandmothers helped feed their grandchildren. “Grandmothering was the initial step toward making us who we are,” Continue reading

Learned Something: Gauge Invariance

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I listen to endless hours of very geeky science and academic lectures.  The longer and complicated and less I understand — the better.   Listening to lecture by physicist on economics.  Gauge invariance means if you change the scale or gauge of measurement the relationships in the equation stay the same.

This idea, fact is important for all science.

Neuron Effects of Addiction

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From Acute Drug Effects to Persistent Synaptic Adaptations

Addictive drugs mediate their reinforcing properties by targeting the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, which we define as including the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and its major targets, the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Despite their chemical diversity and individual molecular targets, all addictive drugs have in common that they increase DA concentrations in projection areas of the VTA as well as the VTA itself…In brief:

nicotine can directly increase firing of DA neurons through α4β2-containing nicotinic receptors that are expressed on DA neuronsOpioids, cannabinoids, the club drug γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), benzodiazepines primarily target GABAergic interneurons in the VTA and decrease their activity, which leads to an indirect increase of DA neuron activity Continue reading

Childhood Neglect and Abuse Has Lifelong Genetic Affects – Sadly

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Tough times in childhood ‘mark’ many genes

Adversity during childhood can affect broad regions of brain DNA in both rodents and humans, according to research. The findings offer strong evidence for a biological process that embeds social experience in DNA—affecting not just a few genes but entire gene networks.

MCGILL (CAN) — There’s a remarkable similarity in the way the DNA in human brains and the DNA in animal brains respond to early life adversity. Continue reading