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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. 

Gaming researcher Jonas Linderoth of the University of Gothenburg followed a group of players in the world's largest online role-play game World of Warcraft for a period of ten months. He observed the players almost daily in their fictional online lives and also filmed and interviewed them.

A new approach used to analyze genetic data to learn more about the history of populations says it can describe in detail events in recent history, over the past 2,000 years, more accurately than in the subjective texts used by people in the humanities. The computer scientists behind it demonstrate their method in two populations, the Ashkenazi Jews and the Masai people of Kenya, who represent two kinds of histories and relationships with neighboring populations - one remained isolated from surrounding groups and one had frequent cross-migration with nearby villages.  

Scientists have reaffirmed that pollinator services of large agriculture fields can be enhanced with a simple cost-effective measure - the creation of small patches of native plants within fruit orchards.