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Cutting-edge experiments show an electrical zap improves memory in older adults

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

Improving memory in older adults with electrical stimulation

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Countdown to the moon landing: Apollo 10 – the mission that came so close to the moon

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

The dress rehearsal for that one small step

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It’s all about the sugar fix: Eating too much sugar causes fruit flies to eat even more

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

Eating too much sugar causes fruit flies to eat more sugar

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The secret of STEVE’s glow – understanding the purple pal of the aurora borealis

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

We’ve finally figured out ‘STEVE’ and why he shines so bright

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Barnacles stuck to ancient whales kept an itinerary of whale migration routes

Posted  May 10, 2019  by  Anonymous

Fossil barnacles hold the secrets to prehistoric whale migration

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Do Celebrities Owe Us Health Information? Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, for example

Posted  May 6, 2019  by  Marijke Vroomen-Durning

It’s all over the news – a new royal has been born. Prince Harry’s glowing announcement of his son’s birth was delightful. He was awed and in love. But how much does he owe the public about the details and photos, and everything else people want to kno…

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What’s The Point of Tracking Your Calories With a Food Logging App?

Posted  May 6, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

First up, the quantity and quality of calories matter both to health and to weight. You can’t gain without a surplus. You can’t lose without a deficit. And the quality of the calories you’re consuming will affect health and satiety which in turn will affect the quantity of them that you consume. Moreover, the bioavailable calories you consume will differ by food, and also likely differs by individual (which is why some gain and lose with more ease than others).

Next up, we’re crappy food historians. We may forget portions, choices, or both, not all the time, but certainly some of the time. We can’t possibly know what’s in meals we haven’t cooked ourselves. And even if we are cooking ourselves, most aren’t going to be weighing and measuring everything and eyes are terrible at both.

And a recent study confirms some of the above whereby researchers looking at users of myfitnesspal found the average user was missing nearly a meal’s worth of calories a day (445). Yet studies on food diary use pretty much invariably report they markedly benefit weight loss efforts.

Personally, though I think having some rough inaccurate sense of caloric intake is valuable (if you were in a foreign country and didn’t know the exchange rate, price tags would still be somewhat helpful), more valuable is the use of the food diary to remind yourself that you’re trying to eat thoughtfully and likely differently.

Human nature being what it is, without a system designed to consciously remind you to change your usual default behaviours, you’re likely to drift back to those behaviours, healthy or not, and a food diary, even if inaccurate, if kept in real-time, will remind you many times a day that you’re trying to change.

So long as you’re not using your food diary as a tool of judgment, as it’s not meant to be there to make you feel badly about your choices, chances are it’ll be of benefit, and likely it’ll be of benefit regardless of what it is you’re tracking (calories, macros, carbs, whatever) and even if inaccurate, because it’s primary job is to serve you as your constant change reminder service, not as your judge and jury.

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Saturday Stories: Holocaust Memorial Day, Ponway, And Synagogue Metal Detectors

Posted  May 4, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Lori Gilbert-Kaye, may her memory be a blessing, murdered for being Jewish

A few days ago it was Holocaust Memorial Day, the day we commemorate the murder of 1 out of every 3 living Jews on earth prior to World War II. A week ago saw another murder for the crime of being Jewish, this time in California. Before that it was Pittsburgh. Though there’s not much I can do about any of this, at least I can call your attention to these three pieces that try to weave it all together

Daniella Greenbaum Davis, in The Spectator, on antisemitism’s new normal.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, in The New York Times, on how being almost killed by a terrorist last week has affected his resolve.

Carly Pidlis, in Tablet Magazine, on how Jews can no longer simply consider themselves safe in America.

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How late is too late to revive a brain? Pig brain study raises questions

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Do we know how late is too late to revive a brain?

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Hippo poop provides a key mineral for vital algae’s tiny skeletons

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Hippos provide the skeletons for freshwater algae

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Stitching up surgical cuts with slug slime

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Sticky slug goo may work as a medical adhesive

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How big is too big for quantum mechanics?

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Is there a cut off point for measuring by quantum mechanics versus physics

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How air conditioners could keep you cool and capture carbon

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

Air conditioners could be used for carbon capture to make oil from the atmosphere

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Holy coral reefs? They’ve got a ‘halo’ that could show if they’re healthy

Posted  May 3, 2019  by  Anonymous

How can you tell if a reef is healthy? Check its halo

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The Impenetrable Genius of Donald J. Trump

Posted  May 2, 2019  by  Anonymous

[(A guest blogpost by my slightly right-of-centre friend Peter. Enjoy. Discuss. ~DD)] Nobody really likes him. At least, nobody will publicly defend his character and integrity. He has no discernible political principles. He is a vainglorious boaster and moral alley-cat…

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Children

New Study Suggests ADHD Steers Children To An Unhealthy Diet, Not The Other Way Around

Posted  April 29, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

To be taken with a grain of dietary recall data, but a new study, Children’s Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms Predict Lower Diet Quality but Not Vice Versa: Results from Bidirectional Analyses in a Population-Based Cohort, found that an ADHD diagnosis led children to a less healthy diet, whereas less healthy diets did not lead children to ADHD.

The study was conducted in the Netherlands and it followed 3,680 children starting at age 6 and then ending when they reached the age of 10.

Put plainly, though more ADHD symptoms at age 6 were associated with less healthy diets at age 8, diet quality at age 8 was not associated with ADHD symptoms at age 10.

There are a number of proposed pathways to help explain how ADHD might affect diet quality. ADHD and its impulsivity may increase the risk of binge eating or loss of control eating, and the impact of ADHD on neurotransmitters may affect hunger and fullness. It’s also possible that some parents of children with ADHD may offer foods their children prefer in order to decrease risk of conflict and/or reward desired behaviour.

Clearly more research on this would be welcome.

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Saturday Stories: Freds, Sexism in Science, and Anti-Vaxx Marriage

Posted  April 27, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Danielle Kosecki, in Medium, with her defense of Freds (less serious cyclists, and disclosure, I am one).

Mallory Picket, in The New York Times Magazine, on sexism in science’s highest echelons.

Anonymous, in The Cut, on marriage with an anti-vaxxer.

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CO2-sniffing plane finds oilsands emissions higher than industry reported

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Oilsands greenhouse gas emissions are higher than we calculated

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Cataracts, small brains, and DNA damage – Chernobyl’s wildlife 33 years after the meltdown

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Chernobyl’s wildlife still suffering from radiation damage 33 years later

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Mice reinvent the hamster wheel in zero gravity

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Mice respond to microgravity on the ISS with unusual exercise routine

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Have species from Canada invaded other places?

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Canada has give the world oyster mussels and the grey squirrel for example.

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A comet fragment trapped inside an meteorite captures a time capsule of the early solar system

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

A comet inside an asteroid fell to Earth as a meteorite

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Transcending the uncertainty of quantum mechanics in ‘Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution’ Subhead: ‘What we want is to know what nature is fundamentally like whether we’re around or not’

Posted  April 26, 2019  by  Anonymous

Taking the observer out of quantum mechanics in new book: ‘Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution’

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Exercise

Move More, Eat More? New Study Suggests People Do Eat More When They’re More Active, But Not Much

Posted  April 23, 2019  by  Yoni Freedhoff

One of the possible reasons that in freely living humans exercise doesn’t seem to add up to weight loss as math might predict is that freely living humans might eat back their burned calories. Some may do so consequent to increased hunger. Others to a sense of virtue and the inclination to reward themselves for their hard work. Others still because marketing has convinced them that they must refuel, recover, replenish, etc..

A new study,Activity energy expenditure is an independent predictor of energy intake in humans, published this year in the International Journal of Obesity, set out to look at this phenomenon.

Now to be clear, the study certainly wasn’t designed to explain exercise’s impact on weight. It was just 7 days long and it involved the retrospective analysis of data from 5 prior studies and did not directly measure energy expenditure or energy intake. Instead researchers utilized estimated energy expenditure by way of heart rate and indirect calorimetry data, and energy intake by way of known to be problematic food diaries.

My stats skills are nowhere near good enough to comment on the various treatments of the data, but here’s the scatter plot of the impact of energy expenditure on energy intake.

The increase in energy intake the authors attributed to energy expenditure wasn’t high, roughly 3% of total daily calories (around 70 in this sample), an amount too small to explain away exercise’s often uninspiring impact on weight loss.

Truth be told, I’d have predicted the difference to be larger as eating more consequent to exercise is something I know many people do for one or more of the various reasons mentioned above.

Of course none of this changes the fact that exercise has tremendous health benefits at any weight and that weight shouldn’t be your driver for upping yours if you’re able.

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An Easter Miracle

Posted  April 19, 2019  by  Balbulican

Miraculously recovered from the ashes of Notre Dame Cathedral: an actual, physical excerpt from King Henry’s Response to Cardinal Mueller’s Investigation of the murder of Thomas Becket….

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How do insects like ants time their emergence so precisely?

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Temperature play a key role in mating dances.

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Scientists have put a human brain gene into monkeys. Have they crossed the line?

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

They really did it. Scientists put human brain gene into monkeys

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Pee-oneering archeology. A new technique uses urine to study the ancient past

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

10,000 year-old urine helps reveal the history of animal domestication

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Why the long face? Human faces evolved to reveal emotions and communicate

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Our faces evolved to reveal and communicate our emotions

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Sharks cope with levels of heavy metals in their blood that would kill other animals

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Heavy metals in their blood would kill others, but not the great white shark

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Is there life ‘out there?’ How we’ll search for traces of life on nearby exoplanets

Posted  April 18, 2019  by  Anonymous

Life on exoplanets could be found within our lifetime, according to NASA scientists

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Seeing the first black hole – and what we’ll see next

Posted  April 12, 2019  by  Anonymous

Black hole image confirms the entire story of general relativity

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Collapsing coral reefs – can we rebuild them?

Posted  April 12, 2019  by  Anonymous

Coral reefs less resilient now due to climate change – can we rehabilitate them?

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Ketamine works its magic on depression by ‘stabilizing the brain in a well state’

Posted  April 12, 2019  by  Anonymous

How ketamine can work to magically, if temporarily, lift depression

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Female dolphins may know the joy of sex thanks to a human-like clitoris

Posted  April 12, 2019  by  Anonymous

Examination of dolphin clitoris reveals they enjoy sex too

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How and why do cats purr?

Posted  April 12, 2019  by  Anonymous

A brain signal to the larynx followed by vibrating airwaves as a cat breathes results in purring

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A new tiny hominin discovery gives the ‘hobbit’ a distant cousin

Posted  April 12, 2019  by  Anonymous

New hominin discovery sprouts a new branch on human family tree

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PCPO Budget Is Mild Stuff

Posted  April 11, 2019  by  bigcitylib

I don’t like the directions taken; cutting healthcare spending below the rate of inflation, and etc.  But this government in this budget is definitely no Mike Harris Mark II.   Mind you, they’ll never meet their deficit reduction targets…

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A catastrophe frozen in time – a new fossil site shows how the dinosaurs died

Posted  April 5, 2019  by  Anonymous

A new fossil site captures the day the dinosaurs died

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The race to the moon – what the Russians were doing behind the Iron Curtain

Posted  April 5, 2019  by  Anonymous

Countdown to Apollo – what the Russians were up to

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