• What happened to US diplomats in Cuba? – Science Weekly podcast

    Ian Sample delves into a preliminary study of US embassy staff said to have been targeted by an energy source in Cuba. With no unifying explanation, what do scientists think happened?Subscribe and review on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud and Acast, and join the discussion on Facebook and TwitterBetween 2016 and 2017, a number of US diplomats in Cuba reported distressing symptoms including headaches, dizziness, eyesight, hearing, concentration and balance problems. Many claimed t
  • How Emotions May Impact Kids’ Snacking Habits

    A new study finds that young children tend to prefer sweets over other types of snacks when they are feeling more emotional. For example, the findings show that children aged four a half to nine years chose chocolate candy over goldfish crackers more frequently in response to both sadness and happiness — particularly sadness.
    For the study, the children were divided into groups and shown either a happy, sad, or neutral clip from Disney’s The Lion King. When presented with four snacki
  • Additional Review of Ketamine as Fast Acting Antidepressant is Promising

    Ketamine, a drug widely used for anesthesia during surgery has received extensive analysis as a potential medication to treat severe depression. Two new studies suggest the medication could offer a new therapeutic approach as the drug can produce an antidepressant response in a few hours, rather than weeks.Ketamine and related drugs may represent a “paradigm shift” in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar depression — especially in patients who do not res
  • New Technique Creates Images from Brain Activity of Perceptions

    Neuroscientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough have developed an imaging technique that can reconstruct images of what people perceive based on their brain activity gathered by EEG.
    Specifically, the new method is able to digitally reconstruct images seen by test subjects based on electroencephalography (EEG) data.
    “When we see something, our brain creates a mental percept, which is essentially a mental impression of that thing. We were able to capture this percept using EEG to g
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  • Preschool Education Fosters Healthy Eating Habits

    An often-overlooked epidemic in America is fact that one in four preschoolers are overweight or obese. Experts explain that poor nutrition in early childhood has enduring consequences to children’s cognitive functioning. Moreover, most believe early obesity increases the risk for physical health issues in adulthood.
    Preschool, therefore, is a critical period for children to begin to make their own dietary decisions to develop life-long healthy eating habits. A new study finds that preschoo
  • Putting Research into Practice With Mindfulness X (Sponsored)

    By Craig Smith - The practice of mindfulness dates back thousands of years with some of its origins rooted in the practicesof early eastern religions including Hinduism and Buddhism.
    Mindful togetherSince its secular introduction to the west by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the late 1970’s, scientific interest in the application of mindfulness interventions keeps growing. A number of mindfulness-based interventions have been developed and tested over a wide range of target populations, successfully tr
  • No Simple Answer to Impact of Smartphones on Teens

    New research suggests the impact of cell phones is dependent upon many variables, including the vulnerability of the teen.
    Researchers attempted to answer the question of whether the next generation will be better or worse off because of smartphones? They discovered the answer is complex and often dependent on an adolescents’ life offline.
    The research is discussed in a commentary appearing in a special edition of Nature that focuses on the science of adolescence. In the paper, Dr. Candice
  • Amino Acid May Be Implicated in Depression

    A new Finnish study finds that people with major depressive disorder (MDD) may have reduced bioavailability of the amino acid arginine.
    In the body, arginine turns into nitric oxide (NO), a powerful neurotransmitter and immune defense mediator that improves circulation and helps blood vessels relax. A person’s global arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR) is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and this ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to prod
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  • New Communication Strategies Help Alzheimer’s Couples

    A new first-of-its-kind study has found that caregiver-partner communication can improve among couples as they attempt to manage dementia, but it takes practice.
    For these couples, the communication strategies they have used before simply do not work anymore. Impaired communication leads to misunderstandings, conflict, isolation, and loss of intimacy.
    The new study involved a 10-week in-home intervention to support couples affected by dementia. Researchers discovered that by involving both partn
  • Perceptions of God Impact Conservative and Liberal Attitudes

    New research suggests Republicans who believe that God is highly engaged with humanity are like Democrats — more liberal — when it comes to social and economic justice issues.
    The Baylor University study proposes that some types of theology make conservatives more “compassionate,” while others make liberals “harsher.”
    “Partisanship explains only so much. Images of God reveal deep moral perspectives that affect the ways in which Americans understand justi
  • What is the Windsor hum and is it really US Steel’s fault?

    An intermittent rumbling similar to a case investigated on The X-Files has been driving some residents berserk for years – with similar noises heard around the world. The truth is out there ...Name: The Windsor Hum.Age: About seven years old. Continue reading...
  • How Eating Disorders Can Affect Young Athletes

    Source: U.S. News and World ReportCompetitors are at risk for anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
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  • South Korea LGBT Activists Seek Equality in Conservative Country

    Source: United Press International - Health NewsSouth Korea's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is hungry for recognition.
  • Education Dept No Longer Probing Transgender Bathroom Complaints

    Source: CNN - Top StoriesA spokeswoman for the Department of Education confirmed on Monday that the department is no longer investigating civil rights complaints from transgender students banned from using bathrooms conforming with their gender identity.
  • "Me Too" Founder Speaks About Power of Empathy

    Source: Star TribuneMore than 20 years after realizing that survivors of sexual coercion could find healing in sharing their stories, Tarana Burke has found her own simple words at the heart of a national conversation. "Me too."
  • Blood and Urine Tests Developed to Indicate Autism in Children

    Source: ScienceDailyNew blood and urine tests which search for damage to proteins could lead to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders and consequently, children with autism could be given appropriate treatment much earlier in their lives. Autism spectrum disorders are defined as developmental disorders mainly affecting social interaction and they can include a wide spectrum of behavioral problems.
  • Malaysian Newspaper Draws Flak Over Piece on Identifying Gays, Lesbians

    Source: U.S. News and World ReportAn article by a Malaysian newspaper on how to identify lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people has sparked outrage on social media, as the country grapples with the growing influence of religious hardliners.
  • Israel Rebukes Polish Leader for “Jewish Perpetrators” Remark

    Source: U.S. News and World ReportIsraeli politicians are accusing Poland's prime minister of anti-Semitism for saying there were Polish perpetrators in the Holocaust just like there were "Jewish perpetrators".
  • Bolstering Self-Concept in Young Mental Health Patients May Aid in Treatment

    New research suggests an important part of treatment for young mental health patients — especially those in a hospital setting — is improving how they perceive themselves, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.
    Researchers found that youth with psychiatric disorders receiving inpatient services reported lower self-concept — particularly global self-worth — compared to those receiving outpatient services.
    “This was the first study that e
  • Both Older and Younger Siblings Impact Each Other’s Empathy Levels

    A new multi-university study finds that both older and younger siblings, even toddlers, can have a significant influence on the other’s capacity for empathy.
    The study, published in the journal Child Development, was conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, Universite Laval in Quebec City, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Toronto.
    Like parents, older brothers and sisters act as role models and teachers, helping their younger siblings learn about the world. Children
  • Social Media May Not Harm Teens’ Academic Performance

    Despite widespread concern among parents and educators, using social media may not adversely impact teens’ academic performance, according to a new study in Educational Psychology Review.
    “Concerns regarding the allegedly disastrous consequences of social networking sites on school performance are unfounded,” said Professor Markus Appel, a psychologist who holds the Chair of Media Communication at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany.
  • Social Media Does Not Significantly Harm Adolescent Academic Performance

    Despite widespread concern among parents and educators, using social media may not adversely impact teens’ academic performance, according to a new study in Educational Psychology Review.
    “Concerns regarding the allegedly disastrous consequences of social networking sites on school performance are unfounded,” said Professor Markus Appel, a psychologist who holds the Chair of Media Communication at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany.
  • The Good News and Bad News: You’re Out of A Job

    It’s said that, “When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.” That can prove especially true in business, where bottoming out after job loss can be necessary before finding the radical solution that will lead to a new work identity, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame.
    “When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.” This can prove especially true in business, where bottoming out as a result of job loss can be
  • Excess Calcium May Influence Development of Parkinson’s

    Emerging research suggests excess levels of calcium in brain cells may lead to the formation of toxic protein clusters that characterize Parkinson’s disease.
    Parkinson’s disease is one of a number of neurodegenerative diseases caused when naturally occurring proteins fold into the wrong shape and stick together with other proteins.
    The proteins in turn eventually form thin filament-like structures called amyloid fibrils. These amyloid deposits of aggregated alpha-synuclein, also know
  • Pre-bunking: can you be ‘brainwashed’ into spotting fake news?

    Cambridge University is recruiting thousands of people to play a fake-news simulator, in the hope they will learn to identify the real thingName: Pre-bunking.Age: A modern malaise/cure, still in its early infancy. Related: Bad News: the game researchers hope will 'vaccinate' public against fake newsContinue reading...
  • Sleep May Be Essential for Learning and Forgetting

    Why do people and other animals sicken and die if they are deprived of sleep? What is it about sleep that makes it so essential?
    A new study, published in Science, shows evidence that in fact humans sleep to forget some of the things they learn each day — maintaining the brain’s “plasticity,” its ability to change and adapt.
    The investigation is a follow-up on the “synaptic homeostasis hypothesis” (SHY) posited by psychiatrists Drs. Chiara Cirelli and Giu
  • College Roommates May Underestimate Each Other’s Distress

    Although college can be an exciting time, many students feel extreme pressure to succeed both academically and socially, and this can lead to serious distress.
    A new study at New York University (NYU) finds that even someone as close as a roommate may not recognize just how stressed their living partner is. With a little training, however, roommates may be in the best position to help detect each other’s distress and offer support.
    “College students can detect certain levels of distr
  • Bad News: the game researchers hope will 'vaccinate' public against fake news

    Aim is for players to build a fake news empire, which researchers hope will expose propaganda tacticsFake news is already an entire industry, an anti-democratic weapon, a movie, a play, an insult and a cliche.Now it is being turned into a game – to help people understand its wiles and deceptions.Related: Fake news and botnets: how Russia weaponised the webContinue reading...
  • Brain Research Helps Explain Drunken Aggression

    Source: Medical News TodayA new study examines what goes on inside the brains of intoxicated young men. The findings may help to reduce alcohol-related crime.
  • The Lesbian Pioneers Who Fooled Spain's Catholic Church

    Source: BBC News - Top HeadlinesTheir wedding in 1901 remains the only known same-sex marriage in the church's history, the British Broadcasting Corporation's James Badcock reports.
  • Canadian High Court Says Sexual Assault Case Used Victim Stereotype

    Source: Globe and Mail -NationalAlthough trial judges are entitled to deference on their findings of fact, Chief Justice Richard Wagner said the stereotyping was 'an error of law'.
  • Teens With Stroke at Birth Use Opposite Side of Brain for Language

    In a new study, researchers observed young people who had left-brain stroke damage at birth and found they are now using the right side of the brain for language — in the exact, mirror-opposite region to the normal language areas on the left side.
    At least one in 4,000 newborn babies experience a perinatal stroke, one that occurs right around the time of birth. But a stroke in a baby, even a big one, does not have the same long-term effects as an adult stroke. The findings help d
  • Brain Imaging Can Predict CBT Effectiveness for OCD

    Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), have developed a new method to predict whether a person with obsessive compulsive disorder would benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy.
    Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a challenging, life-long mental health disorder marked by repetitive thoughts and actions that can seriously impair work performance, relationships, and quality of life. Examples of OCD include washing hands needlessly dozens of times of day, or spending s
  • Alzheimer’s Signs Reversed in Mouse Study

    Researchers have successfully reversed the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, thereby improving the animals’ cognitive function.
    Investigators from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute discovered that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 eliminates the plaques.
    The study, which appears in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, raises hopes that drugs targeting this enzyme will be able to successfully treat Alzheimer’s dis
  • Social Media Can Help Start Healing Process

    In a new study, investigators at Drexel University examined how and why women decide to disclose pregnancy loss on Facebook. Their findings shed light on a shift in our social media behavior that is making it easier for people to come forward and share their painful, personal, and often stigmatized stories.
    “While many use Facebook to largely talk about happy and light topics and believe that to be the expected norm on this platform, some people make complicated decisions to talk about thi
  • Why don’t the Carillion bosses seem embarrassed?

    My father warned me about scoundrels in business. Now bad behaviour can be called out online, but international shame still doesn’t stop roguesAs my father had been seriously ripped off three times during his life in business by people he trusted, he often warned me about the surprising number of rogues and scoundrels swanning around, ready to use any vile trick to relieve me of my money.Just my father’s bad luck, I thought, until about a decade ago, when I came across one of these v
  • Blood and Urine Tests Developed to Diagnose Autism

    New blood and urine tests that can indicate autism in children have been developed by researchers in England.
    The researchers, who discovered a link between autism and damage to proteins in blood plasma, say the tests could led to earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and earlier intervention.
    “We hope the tests will also reveal new causative factors,” said Dr. Naila Rabbani, Reader of Experimental Systems Biology at the University of Warwick, who led the study. &ldquo
  • Many Struggling Readers Have Binocular Vision Problems

    A new Canadian study finds that many elementary school children who read below grade level have challenges with their eyesight — even if standard tests say their vision is 20/20.
    Researchers from the University of Waterloo found that one-third of a group of children with reading difficulties tested below-normal in binocular vision. Healthy binocular vision is defined as both eyes being able to aim simultaneously at the same visual target. Problems with binocular vision may lead to eye stra
  • High Dopamine May Cause Psychosis Patients to Focus More on Expectations

    A new study finds that schizophrenia patients with auditory hallucinations often hear what they expect to hear. In fact, the hallucinations may be an extreme version of a perceptual distortion quite common among healthy people.
    Research has long established that people who experience hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms tend to have elevated dopamine, but the exact link between dopamine and hallucinations has remained unclear.
    In the new study, researchers at Columbia University Irving Me
  • Screening All Adults for Hepatitis C is Most Cost-Effective Way to ID Those Infected

    Screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is the most cost-effective way to identify more people with the disease as well as improve patients’ health and quality of life, compared to the current recommendations of screening only certain populations.
    Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation and sometimes serious liver damage. Many people with HCV experience neuropsychiatric symptoms such as brain fog, confusion, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. Th
  • Maude Julien: 'How I escaped from my father's cult'

    Maude Julien’s father tried to turn her into a ‘superhuman’ through a series of cruel experiments. Now aged 60, she recalls how she survived her her horrifying upbringing and began to lead a happy and well-balanced lifeIn 1936, a 34-year-old French businessman called Louis Didier struck a bargain with a poor mining couple in Lille: he persuaded them to give him their six-year-old daughter, Jeannine. Didier would provide the girl with material security and a university-level edu
  • Are you eager to please? Personality quiz

    Do you tend to work to put another person at their ease, or are you happy to let things get awkward? Take these simple questions to find outChoose which statement, a) or b), best applies to you.Asked to give an impromptu speech, you: Continue reading...
  • Many Teens Take Great Care in Posting Online Content

    A new study finds that many teens, particularly girls, may go to great lengths to create a favorable online image. That may include posting only carefully selected photos, choosing to share activities that make them appear well-liked and even going as far as to ask friends to like and comment on their posts.
    So what may appear as a fun and effortless way to share content may actually be quite painstaking and tedious.
    “Teenagers aren’t just posting carelessly; they’re surprising
  • More Daily Activity Linked to More Gray Matter in Older Adults’ Brains

    Higher levels of everyday physical activity, such as house cleaning, walking a dog, and gardening, are associated with more gray matter in the brains of older adults, according to a new study.
    The gray matter in the brain includes regions responsible for controlling muscle movement, experiencing the senses, thinking and feeling, memory and speech and more. The volume of gray matter is a measure of brain health, but the amount of gray matter in the brain often begins to decrease in late adulthood
  • Conversation Boosts Kids’ Brain Development

    New research has discovered that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child’s brain.
    In a study of children between the ages of four and six, cognitive scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that differences in the number of “conversational turns” accounted for a large portion of the differences in brain physiology and language skills that they found in children.
    The findings suggest that parents can have considerable influence
  • Social Media Replaces Human Contact? Maybe Not

    A new study contradicts the notion that social media has created “social displacement” — the alienation of people from friends and family in favor of Facebook and Twitter.
    Published in the journal Information, Communication & Society, the study finds no evidence for the proposition that social media crowds out face-to-face communication with those who ought to matter most — our close friends and family, according to Dr. Jeffrey Hall, a University of Kansas Associ
  • The media exaggerates negative news. This distortion has consequences | Steven Pinker

    Whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will make us think that it isEvery day the news is filled with stories about war, terrorism, crime, pollution, inequality, drug abuse and oppression. And it’s not just the headlines we’re talking about; it’s the op-eds and long-form stories as well. Magazine covers warn us of coming anarchies, plagues, epidemics, collapses, and so many “crises” (farm, health, retirement, welfare, energy, deficit) t
  • Earthlings likely to welcome alien life rather than panicking, study shows

    Should aliens be discovered, public reaction is likely to be positive, say researchers – despite alarming fictional portrayals of contact“The fear I felt was no rational fear, but a panic terror,” wrote HG Wells, describing his narrator’s response to a Martian invasion in War of the Worlds.But despite such alarming portrayals, researchers say the discovery of alien life is more likely to be welcomed with open arms than panic. Related: Why we keep scanning the skies for si
  • Guilt over household chores is 'harming working women's health'

    Worries over whether women are doing their ‘fair share’ has a clear impact on their health, according to a new analysisGuilt about not doing enough housework may be harming working women’s health, according to new analysis of data from the International Social Survey Programme.
    Over a two-year period, women in 24 countries were asked to rate the amount of household chores they do each day in terms of their perceived “fair share”. They also ranked their physical heal

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