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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence into adulthood. Diagnoses exploded in the 1990s and now it is found in about 5% of children, but such diagnosis is based on clinical judgment rather than objective diagnostic markers. Symptoms include difficulty focusing attention and remaining "on task", impulsive behavior and extreme hyperactivity but some diagnoses have been made even when those behaviors were mild, so chemical interventions should be cautiously - but they are not.

Neural tube defects in Europe remain too high for the past 20 years, despite a long-standing medical recommendation that would prevent them, according to a paper in The BMJ today. 

Each year, around 5,000 pregnancies in Europe are affected by neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly (problems with brain and skull formation), with serious consequences for newborns and their families. Taking folic acid supplements before and during early pregnancy can greatly reduce the risk, but evidence suggests that only a small minority of women do so.

The speed and character of human dispersals changed significantly around 100,000 years ago, and our dark side deserves a thanksgiving for that; a new paper suggests that betrayals of trust were the missing link in understanding the rapid spread of our species around the world. 

VY Canis Majoris is a stellar goliath, a red hypergiant, one of the largest known stars in the Milky Way. It is 30-40 times the mass of the Sun and 300 000 times more luminous. In its current state, the star would encompass the orbit of Jupiter, having expanded tremendously as it enters the final stages of its life.

Drowning has emerged as a mysterious cause of death amongst groups of young common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), according to research by a team of scientists led by international conservation charity the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Drowning as a cause of death amongst wild birds is comparatively rare and normally involves single rather than multiple animals. Starlings, however, have been observed to drown in groups of 10 or more, prompting scientists to investigate these unusual occurrences.

Boulder, Colo., USA - Whether extreme river floods are becoming more frequent and/or severe in a warming world remains under debate, partly because instrumental measurements of river discharge are too restricted in length to detect shifts from natural variability. In this open access article for Geology, Daniel Schillereff and colleagues demonstrate for the first time the recovery in a systematic manner of flood frequency and magnitude data from temperate lakes that accumulate homogeneous (visually similar) sediments.