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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

In the face of routine rejection, many scientists must learn to cope with the insidious beast that is impostor syndrome.

Feature | | Nature Jobs

Research

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.

Article | | Nature

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.

News & Views | | Nature

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.

Article | | Nature

The discovery in 1936 that rats respond to various damaging stimuli with a general response that involves alarm, resistance and exhaustion launched the discipline of stress research.

News & Views | | Nature

Books