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September 19 2014

Coffee Drinkers Have Trouble Talking About Emotions?


People who drink a lot of coffee – and other caffeinated beverages – find it more difficult to identify and describe their own emotions.

This is the claim of a new study, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, from Australian researchers Michael Lyvers and colleagues: Caffeine use and alexithymia in university students.

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September 19 2014

Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder


It’s no secret that yoga can aid mental well-being. What is more, it can help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new research.

Some of the most damaging consequences of seeing combat can happen in the mind. Of the 2.3m American veterans who returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, up to 20% go on to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point. In a report published by the US Department of Veterans Affairs at least 22 American veterans take their lives every day.

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September 19 2014

First blood test to diagnose depression in adults


The first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults has been developed, providing the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression. The test also predicts who will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, offering the opportunity for more effective, individualized therapy. The test also showed the biological effects of the therapy, the first measurable, blood-based evidence of the therapy's success and showed who is vulnerable to recurring episodes of depression.

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September 19 2014

How to build global cities without so many cars


“The study shows that getting away from car-centric development, especially in rapidly developing economies, will cut urban CO2 dramatically and also reduce costs,” says report coauthor Lew Fulton, co-director of NextSTEPS Program at the University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.

“It is also critical to reduce the energy use and carbon emissions of all vehicles.”.

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September 19 2014

Boom! Earth’s Population Could Hit 12 Billion by 2100


Earth is fast becoming a more crowded place — and it may become even more crowded than expected. According to a new projection of human population growth, there could very well be 12.3 billion people by century’s end, up to 2 billion more than some estimates.

The number’s not written in stone, but it’s something to consider. Life’s already pretty complicated with 7.5 billion people confronting environmental problems, food insecurity and spotty public health. Are we ready for more?

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September 19 2014

Where the Birds Go to Die


At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly mysterious or significant about the village of Jatinga, India. Indeed the locale is beautiful, with lush forests and scenic mountain views, and Jatinga itself is a fairly small, rural town of about 2,500 people that is for the most part just the same as any other village in the area. Yet once a year, this rural hamlet becomes the setting of a bizarre mass death of birds that has for the most part gone largely unexplained.

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September 19 2014

Mammals Respond Instinctively To The Cries Of Other Species' Babies


If you've ever found yourself moved by the sound of a mewling kitten, or a whimpering pup, you know that our species can and does respond to the cries of other animals – but newly published findings suggest this quality is not unique to humans.

In the latest issue of The American Naturalist, biologists Susan Lingle, of the University of Winnipeg, and Tobias Riede, of Glendale Arizona's Midwestern University, report that mother deer will hurry in the direction of distress calls uttered by other infant mammals.

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September 19 2014

Furious Monkeys Rejecting Unequal Pay Explained


Monkeys, chimps and other primates go ballistic when they receive unequal pay, much in the way that humans fume under similar circumstances, according to a new study that also helps to explain the reaction.

The angry response to perceived unfairness evolved in order to support long-term cooperation, according to the research, published in the journal Science.

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September 19 2014

Could You Use A Placebo To Calm Your Anxious Dog?


When a dog is left alone, it can be scary for them. Some dogs get so anxious that they destroy your stuff, scratch up your front door, and bark so loud it annoys your neighbors. But now it looks like there might be a solution - and it involves a simple placebo.

The placebo effect is traditionally thought to require some sort of conscious awareness. The sugar pill you just took helps your headache only because you think it will work. Recent research with rats challenged that assumption, and now it looks like placebos can fool dogs too.

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September 19 2014

People Really Do Look Like Their Dogs, And Here's Why


An experiment Nakajima conducted in 2009 showed that people were, at a rate significantly higher than chance, able to match dogs and their owners simply by looking at photographs of their faces. His findings were similar, he says, to those of previous studies. Taken together, he told The Huffington Post in an email, the evidence from his and other scientists' research shows that the popular belief in dog-owner physical resemblance is empirically valid.

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September 19 2014

Bowl Half Empty: Dogs Can Be Pessimists


If you ask a dog "How are you?" it will probably just wag its tail and wait for you to start playing. "Optimist" would be a fair label for dogs in general. But are some pups, notwithstanding all of the tail-wagging, inherent pessimists?

New PhD research out of the University of Sydney by Dr. Melissa Starling, from the school's Faculty of Veterinary Science, sought to find out if dogs had underlying personalities that tended toward either optimism of pessimism.

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September 18 2014

Ancient Egyptian Woman with 70 Hair Extensions Discovered


More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest.

She was not mummified, her body simply being wrapped in a mat. When archaeologists uncovered her remains they found she wore "a very complex coiffure with approximately 70 extensions fastened in different layers and heights on the head"


Photos here

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September 18 2014

Killer Chimps Reveal Why Violence Persists


Chimpanzees and humans share much in common, including cooperating to kill perceived rivals, and now a new study finds that this kind of lethal aggression -- at least among chimps -- is "normal" and sadly all too common.

"Normal," in this case, means that the behavior results from natural and evolved tendencies and does not, as some other researchers have suggested, emerge in response to human pressures, such as habitat loss.

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September 18 2014

Shark skin-like surfaces may ward off hospital superbugs


A material that mimics shark skin, covered with tiny ridges and groves, may help reduce the spread of bacteria in hospitals, a new study suggests.

The study examined how well the shark skin-like material which has bumps that are too small for the eye to see could prevent the growth and spread of disease-causing bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, which are resistant to the antibiotics typically used to treat staph infections, and are known for causing infections in hospitals.

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September 18 2014

Each tree species has unique bacterial identity, microbiome research shows


Each tree species has its own bacterial identity. That's the conclusion of University of Oregon researchers and colleagues from other institutions who studied the genetic fingerprints of bacteria on 57 species of trees growing on a Panamanian island.

"This study demonstrates for the first time that host plants from different plant families and with different ecological strategies possess very different microbial communities on their leaves".

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September 18 2014

Boosting armor for nuclear-waste eating microbes


A microbe developed to clean up nuclear waste and patented by a Michigan State University researcher has just been improved.

In earlier research, Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist, identified that Geobacter bacteria's tiny conductive hair-like appendages, or pili, did the yeoman's share of remediation. By increasing the strength of the pili nanowires, she improved their ability to clean up uranium and other toxic wastes.

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September 18 2014

This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex


Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike humans and most other organisms on Earth, Oxytricha doesn’t have sex to increase its numbers. It has sex to reinvent itself.

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