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Science careers and mental health

Science’s hyper-competitive environment and its ‘publish or perish’ culture can breed anxiety and depression. Nature's latest global graduate survey, published in October 2017, showed 12% of all respondents had sought help for anxiety or depression caused by their PhD studies.  And an international study published in Nature Biotechnology in March 2018 provided compelling evidence of a mental health crisis in graduate education with nearly 40% of respondents showing signs of moderate to severe depression. Our online resource aims to highlight this important issue and provides support and advice, not only to scientists struggling with poor mental health but also their colleagues, mentors, and supervisors.

Image: Sébastien Thibault

Articles

Research

  • Nature | Article

    Increased expression of the potassium channel Kir4.1 on astrocytes in the lateral habenula drives neuronal bursting in rodent models of depression.

    • Yihui Cui
    • , Yan Yang
    • , Zheyi Ni
    • , Yiyan Dong
    • , Guohong Cai
    • , Alexandre Foncelle
    • , Shuangshuang Ma
    • , Kangning Sang
    • , Siyang Tang
    • , Yuezhou Li
    • , Ying Shen
    • , Hugues Berry
    • , Shengxi Wu
    •  &  Hailan Hu
  • Nature | Article

    WebSchizophrenia is associated with genetic variation at the major histocompatibility complex locus; this study reveals that alleles at this locus associate with schizophrenia in proportion to their tendency to generate greater expression of complement component 4 (C4A) genes and that C4 promotes the elimination of synpases.

    • Aswin Sekar
    • , Allison R. Bialas
    • , Heather de Rivera
    • , Avery Davis
    • , Timothy R. Hammond
    • , Nolan Kamitaki
    • , Katherine Tooley
    • , Jessy Presumey
    • , Matthew Baum
    • , Vanessa Van Doren
    • , Giulio Genovese
    • , Samuel A. Rose
    • , Robert E. Handsaker
    • , Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium
    • , Mark J. Daly
    • , Michael C. Carroll
    • , Beth Stevens
    •  &  Steven A. McCarroll
  • Nature | News & Views

    Salvos of neuronal activity in the brain’s lateral habenula, regulated by astrocyte cells, drive depression-like behaviours in rodents. The finding might help us to understand one antidepressant and to develop more.

    • William M. Howe
    •  &  Paul J. Kenny
  • Nature | Article

    The metabolism of ketamine to (2S,6S;2R,6R)-hydroxynorketamine (HNK) is essential for its antidepressant effects, and the (2R,6R)-HNK enantiomer lacks ketamine-related side effects but exerts rapid and sustained antidepressant actions in mice; these antidepressant effects are independent of NMDAR inhibition but require AMPAR activity.

    • Panos Zanos
    • , Ruin Moaddel
    • , Patrick J. Morris
    • , Polymnia Georgiou
    • , Jonathan Fischell
    • , Greg I. Elmer
    • , Manickavasagom Alkondon
    • , Peixiong Yuan
    • , Heather J. Pribut
    • , Nagendra S. Singh
    • , Katina S. S. Dossou
    • , Yuhong Fang
    • , Xi-Ping Huang
    • , Cheryl L. Mayo
    • , Irving W. Wainer
    • , Edson X. Albuquerque
    • , Scott M. Thompson
    • , Craig J. Thomas
    • , Carlos A. Zarate Jr
    •  &  Todd D. Gould

Books