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Chart of the Week: We Have Less Control Over Our Reproductive Bodies Than We Think

This week the New York Times published an interactive that illustrates the likelihood of pregnancy despite contraceptive use. Risk is divvied up by method, for perfect and typical use, and added up over ten years. The results are a little terrifying (click to see larger or go here to explore): Somewhere around half of all pregnancies […]

Smell of Cinnamon Can Make Us Buy Expensive Stuff

Shoppers, beware: Your nose could trick you into spending more than you'd planned to. That's according to a new study, which finds that fragrances linked to a feeling of warmth—cinnamon, for instance—can lead us to buy fancier items, Medical Daily reports. It's a little complicated: Warm fragrances, it...

What Does Treatment-Resistant Really Mean?

In his book Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics author Ziad K. Abdelnour writes, “One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.” I face that decision every day. Twenty times a day. Several times an hour. That one line […]

A misdiagnosis of trauma in Ancient Babylon

Despite the news reports, researchers probably haven’t discovered a mention of ‘PTSD‘ from 1300BC Mesopotamia. The claim is likely due to a rather rough interpretation of Ancient Babylonian texts but it also reflects a curious modern interest in trying to find contemporary psychiatric diagnoses in the past, which tells us more about our own clinical […]

Bizarre Creatures Found Living Under Half a Mile of Ice

A National Science Foundation-funded expedition to the Antarctic has unearthed a surprising result: There are fish who live without sunlight under almost half a mile of ice in 28-degree water. Scientists had never before sampled the Whillans Ice Stream, a river of ice between the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Ross Ice Shelf. The…

Is glass a true solid?

Does glass ever stop flowing? Researchers at the University of Bristol and Kyoto University have combined computer simulation and information theory, originally invented for telephone communication and cryptography, to answer this puzzling question. Watching a glass blower at work we can clearly see the liquid nature of hot glass. Show More Summary

Machine-perfusion organ preservation system keeps livers healthier for transplant

A new preservation system that pumps cooled, oxygen-rich fluid into donor livers not only keeps the organs in excellent condition for as long as nine hours before transplantation, but also leads to dramatically better liver functionShow More Summary

Public attitudes toward tiger conservation - and tiger farming

The wild tiger Panthera tigris is considered critically endangered, and it faces threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, depletion of prey and in natural medicine cases for illegal poaching for trade of tiger bones for alternative medical potions and still rarely as skins for ornamentation and collection. read more

Sociologists correlate religion and educational attainment

Sociologists have long tried to document the influence religion has on social groups and in a new paper, a team of academics correlates its role in education. Louisiana State University Sociology Professor Samuel Stroope and colleagues searched for a relationship between religion and educational attainment in the U.S. read more

Lost potential: Microcredit doesn't transform lives of the poor

Microcredit--providing small loans to underserved entrepreneurs--has been both celebrated and vilified as a development tool. Six new studies from four continents bring rigorous evidence to this debate, finding that while microcredit has some benefits, it is not a viable poverty alleviation tool. read more

Friends know how long you’ll live, study finds

Young lovers walking down the aisle may dream of long and healthy lives together, but close friends in the wedding party may have a better sense of whether those wishes will come true, suggests new research on personality and longev...

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Farmers Are Greedy, Archaeologists need Paying

Heritage Action comment on the artefact hunters commenting on landowners challenging their attitudes of entitlement ('Farmers are greedy and archaeologists are money grabbing. Only artefact hunters are virtuous!' 24/01/2015). A farmer is being blaggarded on a forum. Show More Summary

An Unexpected Admission from Dana Nuccitelli at SkepticalScience

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale In Dana Nuccitelli’s recent post at SkepticalScience Matt Ridley wants to gamble the Earth’s future because he won’t learn from the past, he has finally admitted something we’ve been discussing for more than 6 years. (His article was also cross posted at The Guardian here. Yes, that’s the zombie post…

Scientists use X-rays to decipher charred Vesuvius scrolls

David Blank, professor of Classics from University of California, left, uses his laptop computer as he studies an ancient papyrus at the Naples' National Library, Italy Photo: AP The contents of hundreds of papyrus scrolls that wereShow More Summary

Reflecting on the Bothmer collection

David Gill and Christos Tsirogiannis have published "“A Fracture in Time”: A Cup Attributed to the Euaion Painter from the Bothmer Collection" International Journal of Cultural Property 21, 4 (2014) [DOI]. The paper considers the issue of "orphaned" figure-decorated pottery fragments.

DNA & the Origins of Peoples: The Armenians

An excellent lecture from last summer: Hovann Simonian and Peter Hrechdakian delivered the 18th Annual Vardanants Day Armenian lecture on their work using social media to expand the nonprofit Armenian DNA Project, a Facebook group of more than 1,000 members around the world involved in researching Armenian family history through genetic testing.

10 More Things Your Therapist Won’t Tell You

A few years ago, I wrote about some of the secrets your therapist won’t tell you. It’s about time we revisited that topic and shared 10 more things your therapist likely won’t tell you about therapy, treatment of mental illness, or their profession. I share these things not to scare you away from trying psychotherapy […]

23 Million Times Slower than Molasses

I have the pleasure of teaching general chemistry II for the first time ever this semester. It is fun to go back and revisit concepts that I have not spent time with since taking general chemistry ~13 years ago. Our first few classes will focus on intermolecular forces (dipole-dipole, London Dispersion, etc.) and some of … Continue reading »

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