Science & Society

There is a belief that online social behavior related to video gaming replaces real life but scholars found that is not so; instead of making the social circle smaller, it expands the social lives of gamers.

The authors traveled to more than 20 public gaming events in Canada and the United Kingdom, from 2,500-player events held in convention centers to 20-player events held in bars. The researchers observed the behavior of thousands of players, and had 378 players take a survey, with a focus on players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as EVE Online and World of Warcraft.

Generations are generally useless, aside from marketing plans. The Baby Boom happened in 1946, after soldiers returned home from war (the occupying soldiers came from a different, supplemental draft so they often already had kids) and it was later that marketing groups changed them into a generation stretching to 1964 and even 1965.

Norman Borlaug would have been 100 years old today. He has been called "The Man Who Fed The World," and "The Father of The Green Revolution."

Norm Borlaug was the first plant pathologist to be awarded a Nobel Prize (1970) - for contributions to world peace. For all of use who are fellow plant pathologists, his work has been particularly inspiring.

It is a good time to look back at how the challenge of feeding the world population was met during Borlaug's career, because we have a similar challenge ahead of us.

The chart below shows global population from 1950 with a projection to 2100. 

Can you explain what a deductible is?

If you can, you are in the majority - but not by much. Instead, survey results have found that the people most likely to benefit from the Affordable Care Act, those earning near the Federal Poverty Level, remain the most clueless about health care policies. 

There is a week to go before enrollment in mandatory health care closes and to-date most of the discussion has revolved around technical glitches, exaggerated enrollment, doctors and health plans throwing out patients and alarming costs for most of the public.

As the expansion of health care coverage becomes mandatory nationwide, people are looking to Massachusetts, which had already expanded health insurance coverage to nearly everyone in the state, for implications.

The answer may be a source of dread for states like California, where high taxes and an onerous business climate have caused most of the middle class to disappear: Emergency Room visits went up, even as uninsured visits went down, and that means higher cost.

The new report in the Annals of Emergency Medicine can't determine why they went up; perhaps people did not go before because they did not have coverage or perhaps people went more afterward because fewer private doctors accept their plans and the waiting period was too long.

A study of 235 bereaved parents participating in an online support community revealed that startling 37.4 percent of them were prescribed a psychiatric medication to help them cope with the loss of their child, either during pregnancy or within the first month of life. Some women received prescriptions within a week, which doesn't meet any criteria for depression. 

Of the 88 parents given psychiatric prescriptions, 79.5 percent were for antidepressants and 19.5 percent were only prescribed sedatives or sleep aids. Prescriptions were written shortly after the loss in many cases: 32.2 percent within 48 hours; 43.87 percent within a week; and 74.7 percent within a month. Most women prescribed antidepressants then took them long term, some for years.

If you'd stop believing the myth that women are too slow out of the gate when they are supposed to add numbers, and if you start believing the fact that men are too fast, we might be able to make a little progress on gender balance in technical careers.

Exposure to media that promotes conspiracy theories may increase belief in them, but exposure to debunking information can decrease that belief, a new study has found.

The report, published in the January-March edition of the journal Communication Quarterly and conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri and Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, suggests that messages can influence peoples' beliefs, even in a fragmented media world.

A survey conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago's Program on Medicine and Religion delves into the relationship between attitudes toward organ donation and the Islamic faith.

Previous surveys have found that Muslims are less likely than other religious groups to believe in organ donation and that religious values may be the obstacle. 

The American Muslims surveyed who interpret negative events in life as punishment from God are less likely to be organ donors than those with a more positive outlook. Overall levels of religiosity among American Muslims did not influence attitudes toward organ donation.