Although women consume less alcohol than men, they are more susceptible to some of the negative medical consequences of alcohol use, such as cirrhosis of the liver, cardiac disease, and cognitive impairments. Animal studies have also shown that males and females differ on behavioral as well as electrophysiological measures of alcohol's effects.

Three new studies by a University at Buffalo psychologist offer the first known evidence that some people anxiously expect that they will be rejected by others because of their physical appearance, and that this sensitivity, if not mitigated, has serious implications for their mental and physical health.

"Appearance-based Rejection Sensitivity: Implications for Mental and Physical Health, Affect, and Motivation" by Lora Park, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, UB College of Arts and Sciences, reports on three of Park's studies and is currently in press for publication in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

A male fish can size up potential rivals, and even rank them from strongest to weakest, simply by watching how they perform in territorial fights with other males, according to a new study by Stanford University scientists. The researchers say their discovery provides the first direct evidence that fish, like people, can use logical reasoning to figure out their place in the pecking order.

The study, published in the Jan. 25 edition of the journal Nature, is based on a unique experiment with cichlids (SIK-lids), small territorial fish from Africa. "In their natural habitat, male cichlids are constantly trying to ascend socially by beating each other up," said study co-author Russell D. Fernald, professor of biological sciences at Stanford.

Breeding dairy cattle is an inexact science, so many gene-linked traits must be considered. Some of the major ones are quantity of milk produced, its fat and protein content, mothers' pregnancy rates, calving ease and, most recently, stillbirth rate. Such evaluating of genetic traits has allowed dairy farmers to increase milk production to all-time highs.

Scientists recently added calf survival to a series of calculations that lead to what's called a Lifetime Net Merit score. This is an economic evaluation of a bull and--by extension--what he will transmit to his daughters and granddaughters.

Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineers have devised a new process that can improve the efficiency of ethanol production, a major component in making biofuels a significant part of the U.S. energy supply.

Carnegie Mellon researchers have used advanced process design methods combined with mathematical optimization techniques to reduce the operating costs of corn-based bio-ethanol plants by more than 60 percent.

The key to the Carnegie Mellon strategy involves redesigning the distillation process by using a multi-column system together with a network for energy recovery that ultimately reduces the consumption of steam, a major energy component in the production of corn-based ethanol.

Researchers working in Australia have discovered ways in which fruit flies might react to extreme fluctuations in temperature. Short-term exposure to high heat stress ("heat hardening") has been known to have negative effects on Drosophila. But Loeschcke and Hoffmann discovered that it can have advantages too.

Flies exposed to heat hardening were much more able to find their way to bait on very hot days than were the flies that were exposed to cooler temperatures, but the heat hardened flies did poorly on cool days.

Loeschcke and Hoffmann did field releases with colored flies exposed to different heat hardening treatments to get estimates of a fitness component in the wild.

What do red grapes, white onions, green and black teas and blackeye cowpeas all have in common? In addition to vitamins and minerals, these plant foods are rich in a class of chemical compounds called flavonoids.

The first update of the USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release 2, is now available. The new release provides analytical values for 26 selected flavonoid compounds in 393 foods.

For the update, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) analyzed the flavonoids in nearly 60 representative fruits, nuts and vegetables taken from a nationwide sampling.

Second-hand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke or ETS, is clearly associated with cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease in humans. Several studies have shown that up to 20 different carcinogens contained in tobacco smoke can be inhaled by non-smoking bystanders.

Dr. Timothy Fan, veterinary oncologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, explains that although associations between ETS and diseases in animals have not been as extensively researched, a handful of studies show a correlation between ETS and certain forms of cancer in pets.

Cats living in homes where people smoke cigarettes are more than twice as likely as other cats to acquire a deadly form of cancer known as feline lymphoma, according to a first-of-its kind study in cats conducted by scientists at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Massachusetts.

The study, entitled "Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Risk of Malignant Lymphoma in Pet Cats," was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The authors conclude that these findings offer a compelling reason for further study of the relationship between passive smoke and non-Hodgkins lymphoma in humans, which is similar to lymphoma in cats.

A drug commonly used to treat severe acne can lead to depressive behaviour in mice, according to research published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Since the drug’s introduction in the early 1980s there have been controversial reports of depression and suicidal behaviour that may have occurred in some people taking Roaccutane (Accutane in the US).

This has led to the drug’s manufacturers, Roche, including a warning in the product information that taking the medication may cause depression, psychosis and suicidal behaviour.