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Hamster pups sleep on sawdust bedding.
Unveiling the Mysteries of Hibernation and Torpor
Neuroscientist Siniša Hrvatin explores how animals initiate and regulate states of dormancy.
Unveiling the Mysteries of Hibernation and Torpor
Unveiling the Mysteries of Hibernation and Torpor

Neuroscientist Siniša Hrvatin explores how animals initiate and regulate states of dormancy.

Neuroscientist Siniša Hrvatin explores how animals initiate and regulate states of dormancy.

hypothalamus

Illustration of a web of dark blue neurons with a purple glow at the center of each neuron.
How the Brain Hits the Brakes on Aging 
Aparna Nathan, PhD | Mar 18, 2024 | 4 min read
Neurons linked to metabolic processes slow aging in mice.
Like many animals, field mice (<em >Apodemus agrarius</em>) fight to protect their territories.
Mouse Brain Cells Activate When They Witness a Fight
Mariella Bodemeier Loayza Careaga, PhD | Jun 1, 2023 | 2 min read
A subset of hypothalamic neurons mirrors aggression in mice, challenging previous views on the location and functional role of these cells.
A cross-section of a mouse hypothalamus, where cells of the arcuate nucleus are shown in bright green at the bottom.
Methylation in Young Brains May Be Key to Obesity: Mouse Study
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Oct 19, 2022 | 4 min read
Epigenetic events, such as methylation, during early brain development in mice occur in genomic regions associated with BMI in humans, according to a new study.
Drawing of a mouse scratching itself after watching a video of a different mouse scratching itself.
Specialized Brain Circuit Makes Mice Itchy When They See Others Scratch
Dan Robitzski | Oct 12, 2022 | 4 min read
A previously undetected pathway in the mouse brain bypasses the visual cortex to directly activate contagious itch.
Newborn baby rats lie in a basket
Mother’s Circadian Rhythms Mirrored in Fetal Rat Brains
Bianca Nogrady | Sep 12, 2022 | 2 min read
Before their own central clocks develop, the brains of fetal rats detect their mother’s metabolic cycle to help regulate the expression of certain genes.
An illustration showing a scale weighing two double-stranded pieces of DNA that has a big question mark in the center.
Mouse Foraging Behavior Shaped by Opposite-Sex Parent’s Genes
Dan Robitzski | Apr 12, 2022 | 7 min read
A study in mice finds that for certain genes, one parent’s allele can dominate expression and shape behavior—and which parent’s allele does so varies throughout the body.
Discovered: Brain Cells that Control Hibernation-Like States
Ruth Williams | Jun 11, 2020 | 3 min read
Two independent teams identify neuron populations in the mouse brain that regulate the physiological changes associated with torpor.
a mouse on an exercise wheel
Early Epigenetic Changes Regulate Voluntary Exercise in Mice: Study
Emma Yasinski | Dec 7, 2019 | 3 min read
Altering DNA methylation in a particular area of the hypothalamus halved the animals’ voluntary exercise as adults.
Exercise Warms the Brain, Causing Mice to Eat Less
Kerry Grens | Apr 24, 2018 | 1 min read
Directly activating a heat sensor also sensitive to capsaicin in chili peppers in the hypothalamus had the same effect as exercise.
Infographic: Searching for the Neural Basis of Gender
Shawna Williams | Feb 28, 2018 | 1 min read
Brain studies have yielded a mixed picture of the neural similarities and differences between people of different genders.
Stem Cells in the Hypothalamus Slow Aging in Mice
Ashley P. Taylor | Jul 26, 2017 | 4 min read
Once implanted into animals’ brains, neural stem cells that secrete microRNA-containing vesicles seem to contribute to an anti-aging effect.
Image of the Day: Pretty Prohormone
The Scientist | Jun 8, 2017 | 1 min read
Once it’s cleaved, the protein precursor pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gives rise to hormones involved in appetite, arousal, pleasure, and more.
Binge-Eating Neurons Identified
Jef Akst | May 26, 2017 | 1 min read
Inducing activity in the zona incerta region of the brain prompts mice to gorge themselves.
Another Obesity Drug Trial Death
Kerry Grens | Dec 2, 2015 | 2 min read
A second patient taking an experimental medication to treat Prader-Willi Syndrome has died of blood clots.
Sperm RNAs Transmit Stress
Kate Yandell | Oct 19, 2015 | 3 min read
Stressed male mice can pass on an abnormal stress response to their offspring via microRNAs found in sperm, a study shows.
Neuroscience of Marijuana Munchies
Ruth Williams | Feb 18, 2015 | 3 min read
Cannabinoids cause appetite-suppressing neurons to produce an appetite-stimulating hormone in mice.
Brain’s Role in Browning White Fat
Anna Azvolinsky | Jan 15, 2015 | 4 min read
Insulin and leptin act on specialized neurons in the mouse hypothalamus to promote conversion of white to beige fat.
Brain Circuit Toggles Eating
Kerry Grens | Sep 26, 2013 | 3 min read
A network of neurons in the hypothalamus can turn feeding behavior on or off with the flip of an optogenetic switch in mice.  
Light on the Brain
Sabrina Richards | Sep 20, 2012 | 3 min read
Researchers find that photoreceptors expressed in zebrafish hypothalamus contribute to light-dependent behavior.
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