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The dramatic increase in obesity over the past few decades has been tightly associated with an increase in obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Of course, it's also been associated with a change in the definition of obesity in that period. In  1912 the perfect woman was determined to be 5'7" tall, with measurements of 35-30-40 and weighing in at 171 lbs., but there is no denying the developed world is getting fatter in an unhealthy way. 


17 percent of all sun-like stars have planets one to two times the diameter of Earth orbiting close to their host stars, according to a team of astronomers who created their estimate based on an analysis of the first three years of data from NASA's Kepler mission. Thousands of potential exoplanets have been detected, which is good news for those searching for habitable worlds outside our solar system. 


For decades, the consensus among psychologists has held that a group of five personality traits - openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism - are a universal feature of human psychology.

Not so, say anthropologists writing in the  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


Female athletes are three times more likely than men to suffer anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures, one of the most common knee injuries.   Studies have found that pre-season and ongoing neuromuscular training programs aimed specifically at improving knee stability when jumping, landing or pivoting can significantly decrease ACL injury risk among girls and women. 

The anatomical differences between the male and female knee may contribute to higher injury rates, and should be taken into consideration during reconstructive surgery and sports training, according to a review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).


It's not as fun as the Martini Diet but more scientific than the Tapeworm Diet.

A new paper says that parasitic worm infections, a major cause of disease and disability throughout much of the developing world, might actually help treat metabolic disorders associated with obesity.   

A study in Nature Medicine shows that, once inside a host, many parasitic worms secrete a sugar-based anti-inflammatory molecule that might actually help treat metabolic disorders associated with obesity. The sugar molecule - glycan - is released by parasites to help them evade the body's immune system. By reducing inflammation, they are better able to hide in tissues, and humans experience fewer symptoms that might reveal their presence.


In biology, you learned that the penicillin-producing mold fungus Penicillium chrysogenum only reproduces asexually through spores - it has been taught that way for much of the last century. But a group of researchers now say that the fungus also has a sexual cycle, two "genders". 




In 1928, anti-bacterial researcher Alexander Fleming demonstrated (after discovering it serendipitously following years of research) the formation of penicillin in Penicillium chrysogenum. To date, there is no other known producer of that antibiotic.