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It has long been suggested that #smoking #cigarettes causes premature #aging. This work presents convincing evidence: a comparison between 79 pairs of #identical #twins in which one of the two #smoked for a longer period than the other (or one twin smoked and the other didn't). The researchers had judges assess photographs using graded wrinkles using "the validated Lemperle Assessment Scale, and ranked age-related facial features on a four-point scale." It's fairly clear that those twins that smoked more appeared older in terms of their facial wrinkles; you can see 5 examples in a mini quiz linked to the related New York Times piece. #science #medicine #PlastReconstrSurg via #nytimes http://nyti.ms/KHUQVJ http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Fulltext/2013/11000/Facial_Changes_Caused_by_Smoking___A_Comparison.10.aspx

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Several #systematic #reviews have examined whether #sugar #sweetened #beverages are linked with #weight #gain. Of those, some were financially backed by the #beverage #industry. This paper, a review of reviews, reveals the sad but #unsurprising fact of a stark difference in the rate of reporting a link depending on funding. #plosmedicine via #nytimes http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001578

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Some people have #HSAM (highly superior #autobiographical #memory), they can remember what they had for #lunch 1294 Tuesdays ago, for example. Interestingly, new research shows that this ability is not one that extends more generally to other types of memory, begging the question of what might be #unique about autobiographical memories from a #brain #biology perspective. #science #neuroscience #pnas http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/11/12/1314373110

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Brain-machine interfaces (#BMI) are promising, and do just what you'd guess: connect #brains to #machines (usually a #prosthetic or #robotic component). This work shows that they might be useful for aiding in recovery from brain #injury. The researchers responsible for this work induced brain injury in rats that left them with a diminished capacity for limb movement. However, by facilitating a connection between two brain areas usually bridged by the experimentally damaged portion, some function was restored. Importantly, the researchers found that while simply stimulating the two areas concomitantly was effective (OLS curve), using an algorithmic approach to trigger the stimulation contingent on patterns of spike detection was significantly more effective (ADS curve). #science #pnas http://www.pnas.org/content/110/52/21177.short