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Soda Bans, Bike Lanes: Which 'natural Experiments' Really Reduce Obesity?

Banning sodas from school vending machines, building walking paths and playgrounds, adding supermarkets...

Shrinking Habitats Have Adverse Effects On World Ecosystems

An extensive study of global habitat fragmentation - the division of habitats into smaller and...

10 Tips For Choosing An Academic Dean

Clear and realistic expectations are key to successfully hiring heads of departments, say Professor...

Levee Detonations Reduced 2011 Flood Risk On Mississippi River

A controversial decision in 2011 to blow up Mississippi River levees reduced the risk of flooding...

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Positive racial role models may have an effect on school performance, according to new research by Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management professor Ray Friedman and co-authors who document what they call the “Obama Effect” - namely that the performance gap between black and white Americans in a series of online tests was dramatically reduced during key moments of the 2008 presidential campaign, when Obama’s accomplishments garnered the most national attention.
Stradivarius and his violins are so eponymous in our culture that they have become a benchmark for quality - and the mystery of why they sound so good has baffled competitors for centuries.   After 33 years of work, a Texas A&M University professor is confident he knows the secret - chemistry.
A team of Yale University astronomers say that galaxies stop forming stars long before their central supermassive black holes reach their most powerful stage, meaning the black holes can’t be responsible for shutting down star formation.  
 
Astronomers believe that active galactic nuclei (AGN), the supermassive, extremely energetic black holes at the centers of many young galaxies, were responsible for shutting down star formation in their host galaxies once they grew large enough. It was thought that AGN feed on the surrounding galactic material, producing enormous amounts of energy (expelled in the form of light) and heat the surrounding material so that it can no longer cool and condense into stars.
 
Not a fan of the mass media?  You just might not live as long,  according to a BMC Medicine study of people from 29 Asian countries which says that individuals with high levels of trust in the mass media tend to be healthier.

Unless we are your mass media.   We have articles for and against the health claims related to chocolate, for example, along with articles for and against almost everything else.    Sometimes life is easier if you pick a position first and just write articles that support it but scientific neutrality holds us back from that time-honored path.
There may be a simple way to address racial bias: Help people improve their ability to distinguish between faces of individuals of a different race, according to Brown University and University of Victoria researchers who say they learned this through a new measurement system and protocol they developed to train Caucasian subjects to recognize different African American faces.

"The idea is this that this sort of perceptual training gives you a new tool to address the kinds of biases people show unconsciously and may not even be aware they have," said Michael J. Tarr, the Sidney A. and Dorothea Doctors Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and a professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown.
Headache sufferers either benefit from acupuncture or they mentally fool themselves into thinking acupuncture helps, according to two separate systematic reviews by Cochrane Researchers which show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for prevention of headaches and migraines, but faked procedures, in which needles are incorrectly inserted, can be just as effective.

In each study, the researchers tried to establish whether acupuncture could reduce the occurrence of headaches. One study focused on mild to moderate but frequent 'tension-type' headaches, whilst the other focused on more severe but less frequent headaches usually termed migraines. Together the two studies included 33 trials, involving a total of 6,736 patients.