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Carrot or stick? Punishments may guide behavior more effectively than rewards

When it comes to rewards and punishments, which is more effective — the carrot or the stick? Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have devised a simple experiment to test the effects of rewards and punishments on behavior and have found that punishments seem to be more effective at influencing behavior.MORE

Scientists find new link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s

Researchers have uncovered a unique connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, providing further evidence that a disease that robs people of their memories may be affected by elevated blood sugar, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.MORE

Needleman elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Philip Needleman, PhD, former chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Innovative family planning clinic recruiting study participants

Washington University School of Medicine and the Brown School have received a $4 million grant to study whether a new model of providing family planning services can reduce unintended pregnancies and births. As part of the study, they are recruiting 10,000 women of child-bearing age in the St. Louis area to participate.


Light — not pain-killing drugs — used to activate brain's opioid receptors

Washington University School of Medicine neuroscientists, led by Michael R. Bruchas, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology and of neurobiology, have attached the light-sensing protein rhodopsin to opioid receptor parts to activate the receptor pathways using light from a laser fiber-optic device. They also influenced the behavior of mice using light, rather than drugs, to activate the reward response.

Washington People: Regis O’Keefe

Regis J. O'Keefe, MD, PhD, is the new head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. The former captain of the Yale University basketball team takes a collaborative approach to managing the department. O’Keefe, who specializes in musculoskeletal oncology, said his goal is to make those around him better.


Discovery may open door for treating fragile X carriers

Researcher's portrait
Fragile X syndrome, an inherited cause of autism and intellectual disability, can have consequences even for carriers of the disorder who don’t have full-blown symptoms. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a potential target for treatment for fragile X carriers.MORE
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