October 30, 2013 |
It's not just what you eat but where and how you eat that seems to affect obesity, say researchers who looked at the effects of family dinner rituals. Families who frequently ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room had significantly lower body mass indices for adults and children, compared with families who ate elsewhere, including in front of the television, the researchers wrote. “Family meals and their rituals might be an underappreciated battleground to fight obesity,” the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity, published Wednesday.
October 29, 2013 |
Doubt - and a reportedly royal severed head - haunts the world of scientific research these days, as European researchers squabble over an unearthed packet of mummified remains thought to have belonged to King Henri IV of France. The mystery has produced a frightful case of regret among a pair of French researchers who were part of the first team to investigate the purportedly royal noggin. This week, the two wrote to the British Medical Journal and urged the retraction of the 2010 study that first identified the disembodied head as belonging to Henri IV. At the heart of the grisly drama is an embalmed head with several vertebrae still attached.
October 29, 2013 |
High in the mountains of northeastern Australia, scientists have discovered three intriguing animals that are brand new to science, and you can see all three of them in the photo gallery above. They include the bizarre-looking leaf-tailed gecko ( Saltuarius eximius ) with its giant eyes and broad leaf-shaped tail; the golden shade skink ( Saproscincus saltus ), which resembles a short snake with legs; and an elegant little frog ( Cophixalus petrophilus ) that spends most of its life in the cool moist cracks between the black granite boulders strewn across the top of the mountain range.
October 29, 2013 |
Poking around in the petunias, fixing the car or puttering around on other hobbies can cut the risk of a heart attack or stroke by more than a quarter among people 60 and older, researchers said Tuesday. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine tracked the behavior and health of nearly 4,000 people 60 and older in Stockholm for about 12 1/2 years, starting in 1997. Specifically, the researchers looked at something called NEPA, or non-exercise physical activity.
October 28, 2013 |
After reading my weekend column about the crisis in life science research, Hajime Hoji of USC's linguistics department reminded me of the late Richard Feynman's brilliant deconstruction of the flaws and pitfalls of science as it's done in the modern age. "Cargo Cult Science" was adapted from Feynman's 1974 commencement speech at Caltech, where his spirit reigns as one of that institution's two certified saints. (The other is Robert A. Millikan, Caltech's first president.)
October 27, 2013 |
In today's world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you'd think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science. You'd be wrong. Many billions of dollars' worth of wrong. A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. The idea was to make sure that research on which Amgen was spending millions of development dollars still held up. They figured that a few of the studies would fail the test - that the original results couldn't be reproduced because the findings were especially novel or described fresh therapeutic approaches.
October 26, 2013 |
In cookbooks, health food stores and alternative health clinics, the word is getting out: Acid is the latest dietary villain. It's not necessarily the acid in foods like tomatoes and lemons that supposedly cause the trouble. Instead, a growing number of people claim that meats, wheat, soda, coffee, alcohol and processed foods of all sorts produce acid in the body after they've been digested. The acid, in turn, is said to fuel health problems including arthritis, obesity and cancer.
October 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A new study has detected air pollutants, including carcinogens, in areas downwind of Canada's main fossil fuel hub in Alberta at levels rivaling those of major metropolises such as Beijing and Mexico City. The study by researchers from UC Irvine and the University of Michigan also found a high incidence of blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among men in the area, compared with the rest of Alberta and Canada. "When you get cancers that can be caused by the carcinogens we are seeing, that is reason for concern," said Isobel J. Simpson, a lead author of the study and a researcher at UC Irvine's chemistry department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2013 |
Ending days of mixed messages, the city of Los Angeles sent a request Thursday formally asking a UC Berkeley engineering professor for a list of concrete buildings that could be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake. The professor, Jack Moehle, responded quickly , saying that the university was "investigating the legal and ethical constraints" of releasing preliminary research data. He did not agree to release the list. Researchers led by Moehle have compiled a database of about 1,500 concrete structures in Los Angeles built before 1980 that may be at risk of collapse in an earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 |
A rare 18-foot oarfish that was found dead off Catalina Island has been dissected and will be split between several universities for research. The serpent-like fish, among the largest reported in nearly 20 years, was spotted by a snorkeler in about 20 feet of water on Oct. 13, said Jeff Chace, program director at Catalina Island Marine Institute. A second oarfish, measured at 14 feet, washed ashore in Oceanside on Friday and is being examined by scientists. Pieces of the massive fish found off Catalina will be split between research institutions including UC Santa Barbara, Penn State and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, he said. "Not a ton is known about it, so we wanted to give people access," Chace said, who described the fish's eye as being the size of a tennis ball.