Behavioral Instruments

Levels of histamine, a chemical produced by the body's immune system, in certain parts of the brain could regulate disorders like Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a new study in mice finds.

  • What it means: If it is confirmed that boosting histamine in a certain part of the brain (known as the dorsal striatum) reduces compulsive, repetitive behavior, it could eventually lead to treatments for such brain disorders.
  • What we already knew: Previous studies revealed mice with a mutation in genes responsible for synthesizing histamine in the brain were prone to repetitive behavior like excessive grooming but it was unclear how and why.
  • What they did this time: Researchers deprived the mice of histamine in the dorsal striatum area and found they began grooming themselves excessively, behavior analogous to OCD in humans.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.