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Patients diagnosed with clinical depression may respond better to medical treatment as a result of belief in a personal God, say researchers at Rush University Medical Center writing in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

136 adults diagnosed with major depression or bipolar depression at inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care facilities in Chicago participated in the study. The patients were surveyed shortly after admission for treatment and eight weeks later, using the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the Religious Well-Being Scale – all standard instruments in the social sciences for assessing intensity, severity and depth of disease and feelings of hopelessness and spiritual satisfaction.
Researchers have found a new oncogenic signaling pathway by which arsenic exposure may lead to adverse health effects, including bladder cancer. The results appear in Cancer Research.

While the correlation between arsenic exposure and cancer tumors such as those derived from bladder, lung and skin is well established, the molecular mechanisms driving this connection has remained unclear.
UCL (University College London) scientists studying face recognition in identical twins say the essential skill is largely determined by our genetics. Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study found that identical twins were twice as similar to each other in terms of their ability to recognize faces, compared to non-identical twins.

Researchers also found that the genetic effects that allow people to recognize faces are linked to a highly specific mechanism in the brain, unrelated to other brain processes such as the ability to recognize words or abstract art.
Writing in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, Harvard University researchers say they have demonstrated that simple changes in beak length and depth can explain the important morphological diversity of all beak shapes within the famous genus Geospiza. Broadly, the work suggests that a few, simple mathematical rules may be responsible for complicated biological adaptations.

Using digitization techniques, researchers found that 14 distinct beak shapes, that at first glance look unrelated, could be categorized into three broader, group shapes. Despite the striking variety of sizes and shapes, mathematically, the beaks within a particular group only differ by their scales.
New research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule, sleeping several times a day, not only refreshes the mind, but can also make us smarter.

Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The results support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter – a common practice at college during midterms and finals –- decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation. 

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego.
Scientists from the University of Washington sent to collect seismic data and evaluate damage from the devastating magnitude-7 earthquake that struck Haiti have recently released a report documenting their results. The team  of civil and environmental engineers says that mass poverty, density of population and lack of building codes were responsible for the widespread devastation.

A survey of 107 buildings in a heavily damaged part of downtown Port-au-Prince found that 28 percent had collapsed and a third will require repairs. A survey of 52 buildings in nearby Léogâne found that more than 90 percent had either collapsed or will require repairs. The report indicates that many of the damaged structures will have to be destroyed and rebuilt.