December 12, 2013 |
Scientists know that the best way to make a vodka martini is to mix the ingredients with a thin wooden spoon -- it combines the ingredients effectively without raising the drink's temperature the way a metal stirrer would. So why would James Bond, the world's most sophisticated martini drinker, routinely order his cocktail “shaken, not stirred”? A trio of British medical researchers believe they have the answer: The heavy-drinking 007 most likely suffered from an alcohol-induced tremor that forced him to shake his martinis.
July 26, 2013 |
When it comes to picking peacocks, beauty is in the eye of the peahen. But what, precisely, does a peahen look for in a mate's ornately feathered displays? Gentlemen of a plumed persuasion, take note: The ladies spend a lot of time checking out the bottom half. It's long been known that peacocks, the males of the species known for their brilliant jewel-toned plumage, show off their sapphire-and-emerald assets to attract a female. The peahens inspect the peacocks before deciding whether or not to mate with them.
January 9, 2011 |
You know that feeling you get when you listen to a favorite part of a favorite song? Some scientists have a refreshingly unscientific word for it: They call it the "chills. " In the lab they can measure the chills, which correspond with a specific pattern of brain arousal and often are accompanied by increases in heart and breathing rates and other physical responses. Now neurologists report that this human response to music -- which has existed for thousands of years, across cultures around the world -- involves dopamine, the same chemical in the brain that is associated with the intense pleasure people get from more tangible rewards such as food or addictive drugs.
May 27, 2012 |
It's graduation time again, and according to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 1.78 million students will walk across a stage and pick up a college diploma. Then they will face terrifying statistics about employment, pressure to make their 20s the best years of their lives, and slogans that suggest that what you do right after college may not matter anyway. What not enough graduates are hearing, however, is that - recession or not - our 20s are life's developmental sweet spot.
May 7, 2013 |
The history of Europe is written in its people's DNA. The Huns and the Slavs made incursions into Eastern Europe about 1,500 years ago. Migrants moved from Ireland to England in recent centuries. Populations in Italy and Spain have been comparatively stable. None of this is breaking news. But scientists were able to see it anew by examining the patterns of genes in 2,257 people now living in 40 countries on the continent. It's surprising "how much past history was still evident in the patterns we've seen," said Peter Ralph, a computational biologist at USC who reported the findings Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology.
April 18, 2014 |
Victims of bullies suffer the psychological consequences all the way until middle age, with higher levels of depression, anxiety and suicide, new research shows. The immediate ill effects of bullying have been well documented, with experts increasingly seeing it as a form of child abuse . Influential studies from Finland have made the case that people who were bullied as kids continued to suffer as young adults - girls who were bullied grew up to attempt and commit suicide more frequently by the age of 25, for instance, and boys were more likely to develop anxiety disorders.