Science Education & Policy
A study by U.S. and Australian researchers is helping dispel the 40-year-old "thrifty genotype theory," which purports that certain minority groups are genetically prone to diabetes.
The study, co-authored by UC Irvine anthropologist Michael Montoya, along with an epidemiologist and population geneticist, analyzed existing genetic studies published across a variety of disciplines. The team found no evidence to support the widely held thrifty genotype theory, which suggests that cycles of feast and famine early in human history created a gene that helps the body use scarce nutrients – a gene that leads to obesity and diabetes in comfortable, sedentary modern lifestyles.
In a new study that will be published this year in Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Dr. Debbie Knapp, Kent State assistant professor of management and information systems, examines the efficacy of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” policy. She finds that homosexuals are no more disruptive to military life than their heterosexual counterparts.
Approximately 60,000 gays are active in the U.S. military today, according to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military.
Environmental injustice in people-of-color communities is as much or more prevalent today than 20 years ago, say researchers commissioned to conduct a follow-up to the 1987 landmark study, "Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States."
The new report, "Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, 1987-2007: Grassroots Struggles to Dismantle Environmental Racism in the United States," shows that 20 years later disproportionately large numbers of people of color still live in hazardous waste host communities, and that they are not equally protected by environmental laws.
Groundbreaking international legal principles on sexual orientation, gender identity, and international law have been released by 29 international human rights experts, led by University of Nottingham academic, Professor Michael O'Flaherty.
The "Yogyakarta Principles" call for worldwide action against violence, discrimination and abuse, by governments, the UN human rights system, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organisations, and others.
While the government spends billions of dollars on educational and prevention programs to persuade teens not to do things like smoke, drink or do drugs, a Temple University psychologist suggests that competing systems within the brain make adolescents more susceptible to engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, and that educational interventions alone are unlikely to be effective.
Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished University Professor and the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple, outlines his argument in, "Risk Taking in Adolescence: New Perspectives from Brain and Behavioral Science," in the April issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Much of the research surrounding childhood asthma has sought new approaches to managing the disease. However, little was done to address other conditions that often appear along with asthma including depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which can negatively affect a child’s ability to cope.
Research completed at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital asserts that until these extra conditions or "co-morbidities" are addressed, asthma education programs will not be able to help young patients to the fullest. The results will be published in the April 12 issue of The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
In the first nationally representative study to examine the relationship between survey measures of household firearm ownership and state level rates of suicide in the U.S., researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that suicide rates among children, women and men of all ages are higher in states where more households have guns. The study appears in the April 2007 issue of The Journal of Trauma.
"We found that where there are more guns, there are more suicides," said Matthew Miller, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at HSPH and lead author of the study.
Premenopausal women who were assigned to follow the Atkins diet for one year lost more weight when compared to women who were assigned to follow the Zone, Ornish and LEARN diets, according to a study in the March 7 issue of JAMA.
Overweight and obesity are well-documented problems in the United States. National dietary weight loss guidelines (a diet low in calories and fat, high in carbohydrates) have been challenged, particularly by supporters of low-carbohydrate diets. However, limited evidence has been available to effectively evaluate other diets, according to background information in the article.
Adapting to the global climate change impacts outlined in the IPCC's Working Group 2 Report, "Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability", will require new evaluation tools to help choose the best way forward, according to the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), an international network of environmental scientists.
This quest for adaptation strategies opens a new chapter in global environmental change research that requires not only continued development of sophisticated climate models (and understanding the processes behind them) but also a new integration of those models with predictive descriptions of human behaviour.
If solar power is going to play a significant role in the energy equation of the future, there must be advances in technologies to store that power and more investment by manufacturers, concludes a new federally funded study by University of Massachusetts Amherst scientist Erin Baker.
The report by Baker and colleagues explores the viability of sun-fueled technologies through a combination of evaluations by experts and economic modeling, allowing the researchers to look at solar power’s role in the electricity sector in 15-year chunks through 2095.