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Prehistoric artists wanted to tell a story as accurately as possible, and so they were better at portraying the walk of four-legged animals than modern man, according to a new paper. 

Most quadrupeds have a similar sequence in which they move each limb as they walk, trot or run, and this sequence was studied and outlined in the early 1880s by Eadweard Muybridge.

 The authors examined 1000 works of prehistoric and modern artwork ranging from cave paintings of cows and elephants to statues and paintings of horses, elephants and other quadrupeds in motion to see how well these artistic depictions matched the scientific observations of animal motion. 


Erythropoietin, called EPO, is banned from sports because of claims it can enhance an athlete's performance unfairly.

A systematic review couldn't find any benefit but it found considerable risk of harm.

Professional cycling remains a popular sport though its image has been tainted by high-profile doping cases. EPO, a blood-cell stimulating hormone, recently made headlines, when the self-appointed United States of America's Anti-Doping agency (USADA) claimed that it was used by record seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. 


 Benzodiazepines, the commonly prescribed sleeping pills and sedatives, may increase the risk of contracting pneumonia by as much as 50% and increase the risk of dying from it, suggests a new paper. 

Benzodiazepines have a wide range of uses and are commonly prescribed for anxiety, epilepsy, muscle spasm, and insomnia.

Benzodiazepines

are also frequently used in palliative care, as a sedative, and to help those with an alcohol problem to "dry out." Around 2 percent of the US and UK population have taken benzodiazepines for 12 months or more, and among the elderly this prevalence rises 10 percent.


As many times as your mother said your behavior would be 'the death of' her, the reverse seems to be true, according to a large study of childless couples. The prevalence of mental illness was also halved in couples who became adoptive parents, the study shows.

It's not the first time that childlessness has been linked with higher than expected death rates, say the authors, but the link has traditionally been attributed to unhealthy behaviors and poor mental and physical health, and few studies have differentiated between voluntary and involuntary childlessness, they say. This work focused on couples treated for infertility.


A combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops used to make synthetic fuel could reduce America's need for crude oil. It's been tried various times, even before World War II, with no success, but it may deserve a rethink.


The announcement that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge (and, despite our title, not a princess, like Diana was, for arcane reasons that only experts in Teutonic monarchy understand) is expecting her first child is also bringing attention to a little-known pregnancy condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that can be debilitating because it causes serious dehydration and malnutrition.