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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
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.
Methylation in Young Brains May Be Key to Obesity: Mouse Study
Methylation in Young Brains May Be Key to Obesity: Mouse Study

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.

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.

hypothalamus
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 Staff | 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.
Sex, Deconstructed
Megan Scudellari | Feb 2, 2012 | 3 min read
Hormones in the brain control sex-specific behaviors by activating individual genetic programs.
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