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April 17 2015

Endangered butterfly species records 10-year high


The warm start to 2014 boosted the number of some butterflies, including the critically endangered High Brown Fritillary, a survey has found.

More than half of 56 species studied saw their numbers rise compared with the previous year, according to the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.

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April 17 2015

Dog Gazes Hijack the Brain's Maternal Bonding System


No wonder our canine companions often seem like part of the family—dogs have evolved to hijack the same mechanisms in our brains that create the strongest social bonds, including those between mother and child. This powerful example of interspecies affection is fueled when dogs and humans gaze into each other's eyes, a new study shows.

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April 17 2015

Rescued dogs find new purpose hunting giant invasive snails in the Galapagos


The species of the Galapagos Islands may have once evolved in isolation, but that isn't the case anymore. Invasive species are now one of the leading threats to the unique wildlife of the islands, many of which are endangered. One of these invasive species is the giant African snail. In fact, it's considered one of the world's most invasive species — and one of the most destructive.

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April 16 2015

Why happiness is infectious: you can actually smell joy


It is said that happiness is contagious and now scientists believe they may know why.

For the first time researchers have found that humans can pick up whether a person is feeling joyful through their smell.

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April 16 2015

Do our genes tell us how to vote? Study of twins says they might


As a society we believe that our political allegiance depends on which party best marries up with our needs and values – and that these are shaped by our life experiences. But research with twins suggests picking who to vote for in an election might have more to do with your genes than the policies of the parties.

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April 16 2015

How limiting CEO pay can be more effective, less costly


CEOs make a lot of money from incentive pay tied to stock performance. Although such schemes help align executives' interests with shareholders, they are not necessarily the best schemes as compared to schemes that rely on trust between board and executives.


Related: This CEO raised all his employees’ salaries to at least $70,000 by cutting his own

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April 16 2015

Increased television viewing linked to language delay in toddlers


Television is one of the most commonly-viewed forms of media throughout the world. The ever-increasing popularity of television has made it a common feature in nearly every home. Recently, researchers have begun to look at how television may be beneficial or detrimental.

Considering that childhood is a time of rapid learning and development, children may be especially impacted by watching television.

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April 16 2015

People less focused on recurrent bad feelings when taking probiotics


People focus less on bad feelings and experiences from the past (i.e. rumination) after four weeks of probiotics administration. Psychologists Laura Steenbergen and Lorenza Colzato from the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition published their findings in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

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April 16 2015

Eating out once a week may raise blood pressure


Young adults who eat meals in restaurants rather than at home have a greater risk of high blood pressure, a new study suggests.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is the leading risk factor for death associated with cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that young adults with pre-hypertension, or slightly elevated blood pressure, are at very high risk of hypertension.

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April 16 2015

A dieter’s worst enemy: Scientists find ‘voice’ in the brain that tells you to keep eating


That little voice inside your head that tells you to keep eating is, in fact, simply a cluster of around 10,000 brain cells.

Now scientists believe they have found tiny triggers inside those cells that give rise to this 'voice' and ruin a dieter's good intentions.

The new research, done on fish and mice, could someday lead to pills that will be able to quieten that voice or increase its volume.

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April 16 2015

Your own personal placebo: Genes reveal response to sugar pill


You've got a splitting migraine. If you were offered a sugar pill, would you bother taking it? What if you were told your genetic make-up means it is very likely to make you feel better?

This is one of the questions raised by the burgeoning effort to understand which genes influence the placebo effect, and how these genes – collectively known as the placebome – determine a person's susceptibility to the phenomenon.

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April 16 2015

Wine Snobs Are Right: Glass Shape Does Affect Flavor


Seeing is smelling for a camera system developed by scientists in Japan that images ethanol vapour escaping from a wine glass. And, perhaps most importantly, no wine is wasted in the process.

Kohji Mitsubayashi, at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and colleagues impregnated a mesh with the enzyme alcohol oxidase, which converts low molecular weight alcohols and oxygen into aldehydes and hydrogen peroxide.

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April 16 2015

Cannabis extract may help curb seizures in epileptics


A marijuana-derived compound may help reduce the frequency of seizures for epilepsy sufferers, according to a small study published today. More than half of the children and adults treated with cannabidiol (CBD) experienced fewer seizures over the course of a 12-week trial.

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April 16 2015

How cancer decides to turn left or right


Scientists have compiled some of the most sophisticated data yet on the elaborate signaling networks directing highly invasive cancer cells. Think of it as a digital field guide for a deadly scourge.

“This is a very complex set of interactions and processes,” says Andre Levchenko, a Yale University systems biologist and biomedical engineer, and director of the Yale Systems Biology Institute. “The systems biology approach acknowledges that complexity by analyzing how cancer cells migrate together and separately in response to complex cues.”.

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April 16 2015

Mind-reading kids more popular at school


Children who are good at reading other's minds are more popular among their peers at school, a new study has found.

But the link between this ability and popularity is stronger in girls than in boys, according to the new research, published today in the journal Child Development.

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April 16 2015

How oxytocin makes a mom: Hormone teaches maternal brain to respond to offspring's needs


Neuroscientists have discovered how the powerful brain hormone oxytocin acts on individual brain cells to prompt specific social behaviors -- findings that could lead to a better understanding of how oxytocin and other hormones could be used to treat behavioral problems resulting from disease or trauma to the brain.

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April 16 2015

Flirty Female Spiders Use Silk to Capture a Male's Interest


The seemingly calm cornfields of North America brim with courtship and seduction, but people rarely notice it. That's because the players are hairy wolf spiders that are more often squashed than studied.

But new research suggests we're missing out on learning about the dramatic lives of spiders. In addition to cannibalism, ambushes, and the devouring of young, the study finds that when it comes to love, female wolf spiders take things into their own hands.

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