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How the immune system can cause psychosis, and tool use in otters

16.05.2024
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On this week’s show: What happens when the body’s own immune system attacks the brain, and how otters’ use of tools expands their diet

 

First on the show this week, when rogue antibodies attack the brain, patients can show bizarre symptoms—from extreme thirst, to sleep deprivation, to outright psychosis. Contributing Correspondent Richard Stone joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss the hunt for biomarkers and treatments for this cluster of autoimmune disorders that were once mistaken for schizophrenia or even demonic possession.

 

Next on this episode, producer Katherine Irving talks with Chris Law, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington and the University of Texas at Austin, about how sea otters gain energy benefits (and dental benefits) when they use tools to tackle tougher prey such as snails or large clams.

 

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

 

About the Science Podcast

 

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Richard Stone; Katherine Irving

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.z4pdg62

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