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In a Nutshell. Controlled portions of nuts such as walnuts are often recommended for patients with obesity and type-2 diabetes because they are thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. How the nuts might do so, however, remains murky. In a small new brain-imaging study partially sponsored by the California Walnut Commission, researchers at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have found that consuming walnuts activates an area in the brain associated with regulating hunger and cravings. Get more HMS news here. The findings, published online in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, reveal for the first time the neurocognitive impact these nuts have on the brain. The scientists recruited 10 obese volunteers to live in Beth Israel Deaconess’ clinical research center for two five-day sessions. The order of the two sessions was random, meaning some participants consumed the walnuts first and others consumed the placebo first.

The man with the golden blood | Mosaic. Listen to or download an audiobook of this story on SoundCloud and iTunes. His doctor drove him over the border. It was quicker that way: if the man donated in Switzerland, his blood would be delayed while paperwork was filled out and authorisations sought. The nurse in Annemasse, France, could tell from the label on the blood bag destined for Paris that this blood was pretty unusual. But when she read the details closely, her eyes widened. Surely it was impossible for this man seated beside her to be alive, let alone apparently healthy? Thomas smiled to himself. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all the cells and tissues in our body. It would be straightforward if we all had the same blood. Some 160 of the 342 blood group antigens are ‘high-prevalence’, which means that they are found on the red blood cells of most people. If a particular high-prevalence antigen is missing from your red blood cells, then you are ‘negative’ for that blood group.

The situation looked bleak. What caused Haiti’s cholera epidemic? The CDC’s museum knows but won’t say. Last Friday, a friend doing research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta sent me a photo of a display at the CDC’s in-house museum. She thought I’d be interested because it had to do with the cholera epidemic in Haiti, which I lived through at its beginning and have been reporting on ever since.

She was right. It blew my mind: Farren Yero To understand what’s so insane about it, you need to know a little about two of the maps in that image and the CDC’s history with the epidemic. The main part of the map, that pink-and-red mass that looks like a crab claw, is Haiti. One of the several key facts this map fails to note is that three months earlier there had been zero diagnosed cases of cholera in Haiti. Now let’s go to the second map, the inset at the bottom right—the little beige street grid: This is the most famous map in the history of public health and one of the most important in the history of science.

You can see it if you look closely. Why not? Evaluation of the potential for virus dispersal during hand drying: a comparison of three methods - Kimmitt - 2016 - Journal of Applied Microbiology. The exceptional grave of Louise de Quengo, a 17th century Lady - Preventive Archaeology in France. Plants Murder Bugs to Pay Their Bodyguards - Inkfish. It’s not only carnivorous plants that bugs have to watch out for. Sure, if an ant tumbles into a pitcher plant or a spider stands in the open maw of a Venus flytrap, we know what’s coming next. But certain innocent-looking plants—perhaps very many of them, even including ones in your own yard—murder hosts of insects that they have no plans to eat. They lure passing bugs into a slow death, then exchange their corpses with other insects for protection. One of these plants is the serpentine columbine, or Aquilegia eximia.

Native to California, it grows downward-hanging blossoms in fiery hues. The plant is covered all over in fine hairs, or trichomes, each with a gluey droplet at its tip. Like flypaper, these sticky plants ensnare many of the tiny creatures that are unfortunate enough to land there. These adhesive death traps are common in the plant world. But have the plants engineered the whole thing? LoPresti studied columbine plants growing in a California reserve to learn more. Brainflayer: A Password Cracker That Steals Bitcoins From Your Brain. For bitcoin fans, the notion of a “brain wallet” has long seemed like the ideal method of storing your cryptocurrency: By simply remembering a complex passphrase, the trick allows anyone to essentially hold millions of dollars worth of digital cash in their brain alone, with no need to keep any records on a computer.

It turns out, however, that your mind is a surprisingly vulnerable place to put the key to your crypto-liquid assets. And now one hacker is releasing the brain-thieving software to prove it. Next month at the hacker conference DefCon, security Ryan Castellucci plans to release a piece of software he calls Brainflayer, designed to crack bitcoin brain wallets and let any hacker suck out the digital cash stored in them. In fact, wise bitcoiners have known for years that brain wallets—despite their promise of hiding crypto treasure in the most private depths of the user’s mind—are often unsafe.

Kaminsky argues that’s still a lesson bitcoiners need to hear. Go Back to Top. Pills, thrills and polymer gels: what's the future for male contraception? There are, despite an ancient and colourful history, only three forms of male contraception: condoms, withdrawal and vasectomy. The first condoms were used by Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, who used a goat’s bladder in her vagina to protect against his sperm, which was said to contain scorpions and serpents that killed his mistresses. The withdrawal method got bad press in the bible when Onan withdrew and spilt his seed rather than impregnate his widowed sister-in-law, Tamar.

God was very displeased with this contraceptive method and killed him. Vasectomy was first offered to a man in Indiana in 1899 as a cure for his “excessive masturbation” – an alternative to the more conventional treatment of castration. The vasectomy was a great success and the physician reported that the patient “became more of a sunny disposition, brighter of intellect and ceased to masturbate”. And we really haven’t progressed much since then. There is clearly a huge gap in the market. The injection. More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think. Rounding out concerns about the effect of coffee on your heart, another meta-analysis examined how drinking coffee might be associated with heart failure. Again, moderate consumption was associated with a lower risk, with the lowest risk among those who consumed four servings a day. Consumption had to get up to about 10 cups a day before any bad associations were seen.

No one is suggesting you drink more coffee for your health. But drinking moderate amounts of coffee is linked to lower rates of pretty much all cardiovascular disease, contrary to what many might have heard about the dangers of coffee or caffeine. But let’s not cherry-pick. A meta-analysis published in 2007 found that increasing coffee consumption by two cups a day was associated with a lower relative risk of liver cancer by more than 40 percent. Photo The same holds true for breast cancer, where associations were statistically not significant. Is coffee associated with the risk of death from all causes?

Chemistry set pencils can turn life-saving tests into child’s play | Science. This piece was first published on The Conversation If you’ve ever sat opposite a doctor and wondered what she was scribbling on her notepad, the answer may soon not only be medical notes on your condition, but real-time chemical preparations for an instant diagnostic test. Thanks to the work of a team of researchers from California Polytechnic State University, recently published in the journal Lab on a Chip, chemicals formed into pencils can be made to react with one another by simply drawing with them on paper. The team may have taken inspiration from colouring books for their take on a chemical toolkit, but their approach could make carrying out simple but common diagnostic tests based on chemical reactions – for example diabetes, HIV, or tests for environmental pollutants – much easier.

The project started with an established technique called paper-based microfluidics. In this case, the difference is that the reagents aren’t added to the paper via droplets. Primer0020: Zombie Bone-Eating Harem-Keeping Worms. At the bottom of the ocean, several kilometres down, is the abyssal seafloor. The pressure is crushing, the temperature is two to three degrees Celsius. The darkness is absolute: no light means no nutrients, and thus almost no life. Except when a whale falls. When whales die, they fall to the bottom of the ocean. Whale falls are the dark inverse of coral reefs. A coral reef is composed of microscopic, living organisms.

A whale fall is the dead body of a single, giant organism. Some we do know, like the famously disgusting hagfish, with its habit of burrowing face-first into dead flesh and its defense mechanism of exuding slime. Along with sleeper sharks, hagfish eat the soft tissues of dead whales. When hagfish are disturbed, they exude molecules that instantly turn the seawater around them into slime.

It takes about two years for the soft tissues of a whale fall to be consumed, after which only the skeleton is left. Whalebone is about sixty five percent mineral and thirty percent protein. How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers. Widely proscribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions.

Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use. Sativex, for example, which contains an equal mixture of the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is already licenced as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis and in the US, dronabinol and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects. Now, in a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults. There are more than 85 cannabinoids, which are known to bind to unique receptors in cells and which receive outside chemical signals. These receptors feed into signalling pathways, telling cells what to do.

Finding the right dose. Woman gives birth after womb transplant, in medical first | Science. A woman in Sweden has given birth after receiving a womb transplant, the doctor who performed the pioneering procedure said on Friday. The 36-year-old mother received a uterus from a close family friend last year. Her baby boy was born prematurely but healthy last month, and mother and child are now at home and doing well. The identities of the woman and her husband were not disclosed. “The baby is fantastic,” said Dr Mats Brannstrom, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm IVF who led the research and delivered the baby with the help of his wife, a midwife.

“But it is even better to see the joy in the parents and how happy he made them.” Brannstrom said it was “still sinking in that we have actually done it”. For the proud parents, the years of research and experimentation were well worth the wait. “It was a pretty tough journey over the years, but we now have the most amazing baby,” the father said in a telephone interview. Is Breakfast Overrated? Photo For years, we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But scientific support for that idea has been surprisingly meager, and a spate of new research at several different universities — published in multiple articles in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition — could change the way we think about early-hours eating.

The largest and most provocative of the studies focused on whether breakfast plays a role in weight loss. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and other institutions recruited nearly 300 volunteers who were trying to lose weight. They randomly assigned subjects to either skip breakfast, always eat the meal or continue with their current dietary habits. (Each group contained people who habitually ate or skipped breakfast at the start, so some changed habits, and others did not.) Sixteen weeks later, the volunteers returned to the lab to be weighed.

Neither will those of Dr. Relax, UK – We're Not All Going to Die of Ebola. Some of the panicky headlines you may have read recently (Background image via) The latest Ebola outbreak has been ongoing for several months, killing over 600 West Africans. However, it hasn’t been widely reported until now for two reasons: foreign reporting is becoming increasingly non-existent, and no Westerners had died yet, so nobody really cared. Two American casualties later and suddenly the British Foreign Secretary is raving about threats to national security – threats he was presumably oblivious to until he saw them in the New York Times.

Now that they’ve noticed it, journalists can’t get enough of "the silent death lurking everywhere". So in the words of my editor at VICE UK: What is Ebola? Firstly, Ebola is pretty nasty. Ebola has killed around 2,250 people since humans first encountered it in 1976. So should we panic? The thing is, outbreaks occur almost annually – this is the 29th since 1976. A microscopic image of Ebola virions (Photo via) @mjrobbins. Cyclists breathe easier on their own paths. June 27, 2014 — Boston has installed more than 50 miles of bike lanes since 2007, and the number of pedal-powered commuters in the city, while only 2.1%, is more than three times the national average. To help urban planners continue to improve bike friendliness, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) set out to determine the types of lanes that expose cyclists to the smallest amount of vehicle pollution.

The researchers attached a mobile monitoring unit to the back of a bicycle and hit the road to sample two types of pollutants from vehicular exhaust—black carbon and nitrogen dioxide—known to increase the risk of asthma, heart disorders, and other health problems. They traveled five common bicycling routes in the city during both morning and evening commutes, to compare bike paths, which are separated from the road, and bike lanes, which run adjacent to traffic. Read abstract: Impact of bicycle route type on exposure to traffic-related air pollution — Amy Roeder. Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions. An e. You can write it with one fluid swoop of a pen or one tap of the keyboard. The most commonly used letter in the English dictionary. Simple, right? Now imagine it printed out millions of times on thousands of forms and documents.

Then think of how much ink would be needed. OK, so that may have been a first for you, but it came naturally to 14-year-old Suvir Mirchandani when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money at his Pittsburgh-area middle school. It all started as a science fair project. Interested in applying computer science to promote environmental sustainability, Suvir decided he was going to figure out if there was a better way to minimize the constant flurry of paper and ink. Reducing paper use through recycling and dual-sided printing had been talked about before as a way to save money and conserve resources, but there was less attention paid to the ink for which the paper served as a canvas for history and algebra handouts.

"We were so impressed. Superbug gonorrhoea found in Japan - health - 13 July 2011. Sanjay Gupta: Only 6 Percent Of Marijuana Research Considers Medical Benefits. Britain ponders 'three-person embryos' to combat genetic diseases | Science. Rolf Zwaan: The Preliminary Results are in! The Father and the Fetus | Wonderland. Schoolboy patents pancreatic cancer sensor. Older fatherhood: something interesting for society to consider | Science. Flu vaccines for all children. Silky scheme for vaccine storage without refrigeration - health - 09 July 2012. Nobel laureate occasionally hangs out on street corners, answering physics questions. Girl, 10, has vein made from her own stem cells successfully transplanted | Science. Womb with a View: Labor inside an MRI Scanner Reveals the Mechanics of Childbirth: Scientific American Gallery. The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Genius. Does Texting Increase Truthfulness? The Physics of Spilled Coffee. Microsoft Word is cumbersome, inefficient, and obsolete. It’s time for it to die.

N.Y. Preschool Starts DNA Testing For Admission. The Right (and Wrong) Way to Die When You Fall Into Lava | Wired Science  House mice picked up poison resistance gene by having sex with related species | Not Exactly Rocket Science. Hagfish filmed choking sharks with slime, and actively hunting fish | Not Exactly Rocket Science. Graffiti from Pompeii. Nature Wants to Eat You. What made Darwin first. Weirdest of the Weird: Discoblog’s Favorite Stories of 2010 | Discoblog. Drink 'til You're Green: Scientific American Podcast. New From Google: The Body Browser. The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical.

Anti-clotting factors in vampire bat saliva may save your life. | C6-H12-O6. Human and jellyfish combined to make the first living laser. Was Darwin a Punk? A Q&A with Punker-Paleontologist Greg Graffin. Sound of sex could alert internet porn filter - tech - 20 May 2011. Partial solar eclipse and transit of the Space Station from Oman. Absinthe Fact and Fiction. Sunspot Drop Won’t Cause Global Cooling | Wired Science. Booze myths: The truth at the bottom of the bottle - health - 31 December 2010. Take a look at the world's oldest mathematical object - io9. Heart With No Beat Offers Hope Of New Lease On Life. Tut, tut! Finding the genetic trail. France Telecom to Shut Down a Beloved Precursor of the Web | Degrees of Freedom. Ultrasonic French Fries. Japanese robot arm can pick up ketchup. Earth is shaped like a lumpy potato - environment - 05 April 2011. Genetically Modified Cows Produce "Human" Milk - Food.

What killed Charles Darwin? Arnold Gesell - Dome Alone - LIFE in the Laboratory - Photo Gallery. Stone Age humans liked their burgers in a bun - life - 18 October 2010 - New Scientist. Ancient People Played Lots Of Games: Scientific American Podcast. Semen allergy suspected in rare post-orgasm illness. The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists [Slide Show] The link between coffee and acute ischemic stroke onset. Zeros to heroes: 11 unlikely ideas that changed the world - 08 September 2010. Researchers study the science of stabbing with a broken bottle. Archaeologists turn Kinect into handheld 3D scanner. Hairy limbs keep bed bugs at bay.

Sabre-toothed squirrel scurried at dinosaurs' feet - life - 02 November 2011.