The Pain of Rejection

October 09, 2003

Psychologists Matthew Lieberman and Naomi Eisenberger at the University of California in Los Angeles have been investigating what happens in the brain when a person is socially rejected.

Their experiment involved putting people in a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging brain scanner as they played a computer game with what they imaged were two other players. During the game, the other players stopped including them in the game. The researchers monitored what happened in the brains of the rejected.†

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Claudia Hammond reports on a new experimental treatment for the inherited muscle disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.† Attempts at gene therapy so far have failed with this condition, but researchers at the Hammersmith Hospital in London are encouraged by their results of a new approach to rectifying the genetic fault.†

Whales with Decompression Sickness

Until this week the assumption has been that whales donít suffer from decompression sickness despite the depths to which the creatures dive.†

But this week Paul Jepson of the Institute of Zoology and colleagues in the Canary islands reported in the journal Nature their discovery of dead beaked whales and dolphins with this condition.†

More Metal, More Planets

Seven years ago, astronomers first detected planets around stars other than the Sun. Now they know of more than 100 stars with planetary systems, and a pattern has emerged. The more metal content a star has, the more likely it is to have planets in orbit about it.†

Debra Fischer of the University of California in Berkeley explains why this should be and how the discovery is helping to understand how planets form in the first place.