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United Academics Connects Science to Society.
Gender based violence is a deeply embedded problem in many societies and cultures. Despite this, efforts to challenge it are rarely seen at a primary school level. There is a perception that children aged 11 and 12 are too young to “know” about violence, or to offer opinions on it. But this is something that has to change if we are ever going to combat the attitudes and behaviour that can lead to this type of violence.... Read more »
Nancy Lombard. (2013) Young People’s Temporal and Spatial Accounts of Gendered Violence. Sociology. DOI: 10.1177/0038038512458734
According to British historian Arnold Toynbee, “History is just one damned thing after another.” Or is it? That is the question Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut in Storrs tries to answer in a new study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He and his colleagues show history may be deterministic, at least to a certain extent. Their computer simulations show that warfare may have been the main driver behind the formation of empires, bureaucracies and religions.... Read more »
Peter Turchin et al. (2013) War, space, and the evolution of Old World complex societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1308825110
Researchers have studied the correlation between the activity in bed and the salary of some workers. As it turns out, those who do not have such an intense sex life, have lower salaries (3 percent less) than those who do.
Sex will make you rich. No, this is not an advertisement to promote prostitution, but the result of a research conducted by Nick Drydakis from the Anglia Ruskin University of Cambridge. His paper, which was terminated in July after one year of research, tested over 7500 persons in Greece. The results show that the more passion one has the more he earns: those who have sex more than four times per week have a salary 5% higher than average. On the other hand, for those who do not practice the ars amatoria regularly, the salary drops down to 3,2% below average.... Read more »
Nick Drydakis. (2013) The effect of sexual activity on wages. IZA. info:/
Increase the impact of your speech by simply adding a story. It will influence the audience in the following five ways.... Read more »
Fargier R, Ménoret M, Boulenger V, Nazir TA, & Paulignan Y. (2012) Grasp it loudly! Supporting actions with semantically congruent spoken action words. PloS one, 7(1). PMID: 22292014
Hasson U, Ghazanfar AA, Galantucci B, Garrod S, & Keysers C. (2012) Brain-to-brain coupling: a mechanism for creating and sharing a social world. Trends in cognitive sciences, 16(2), 114-21. PMID: 22221820
Sara L. Beckman and Michael Barry. (2007) Innovation as a Learning Process: Embedding Design Thinking. California Management Review. DOI: 10.2307/41166415
Researchers Hays, Kornell and Bjork studied the effect of making mistakes on people’s learning in various experiments. They conclude that it can be a good thing to not yet know the answer. It makes you better remember the subject. So instead of guiding students step-by-step and avoid to let them get anything wrong, it is better to make it a bit too difficult for them.... Read more »
Hays MJ, Kornell N, & Bjork RA. (2013) When and why a failed test potentiates the effectiveness of subsequent study. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, 39(1), 290-6. PMID: 22582968
Studies suggest that a majority of emerging adults, both men and women, will experience one or more casual sex encounters and that these encounters are associated with lowered psychological well-being, physical dangers and negative relationship outcomes. Is this trustworthy?... Read more »
Shannon E. Claxton and Manfred H. M. van Dulmen. (2013) Casual Sexual Relationships and Experiences in Emerging Adulthood. Emerging Adulthood. DOI: 10.1177/2167696813487181
We’re all familiar with the idea of an IQ test, and we might know where we stand on the IQ scale – but what about the rest of the animal world? And how smart are machines becoming? At present, it’s hard to tell.... Read more »
David L. Dowe. (2005) A computer program capable of passing I.Q. tests. School of Computer Science and Software Engineering. info:/
Small numbers can imply big things. Global sea level rose by a little less than 0.2 metres during the 20th century – mainly in response to the 0.8 °C of warming humans have caused through greenhouse gas emissions. That might not look like something to worry about. But there is no doubt that for the next century, sea level will continue to rise substantially. The multi-billion-dollar question is: by how much?... Read more »
Levermann A, Clark PU, Marzeion B, Milne GA, Pollard D, Radic V, & Robinson A. (2013) The multimillennial sea-level commitment of global warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(34), 13745-50. PMID: 23858443
As a junk food lover, I found this news really depressing. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article on a study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington. The study followed a large group of subjects (about 2,000) for an average of almost seven years to look at the effects of blood glucose levels on the chance of developing dementia.... Read more »
The specific vulnerability of the immune system to recent environmental changes is reflected in the dramatic increase in virtually all inflammatory disorders, such as allergy and autoimmunity. Furthermore, clinical expression of allergy within the first months of life and detectable immune dysregulation at birth provide clear evidence of very early environmental effects. Already, approximately 30% to 40% of the world’s population is affected by one or more allergic conditio... Read more »
Prescott SL. (2013) Early-life environmental determinants of allergic diseases and the wider pandemic of inflammatory noncommunicable diseases. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 131(1), 23-30. PMID: 23265694
There is a new trend in the social network world: opting out. Websites like suicidemachine, seppukoo and quitfacebookday help people to just quit being virtually social. Who are these people? And what drives them? Austrian psychologists tested it and just published their results.... Read more »
Stieger S, Burger C, Bohn M, & Voracek M. (2013) Who commits virtual identity suicide? Differences in privacy concerns, internet addiction, and personality between facebook users and quitters. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking, 16(9), 629-34. PMID: 23374170
How do you get to know one of Earth’s most mysterious creatures? By looking at its earwax, according to a group of US researchers. Analysing the contents of blue whales’ ears, through a process similar to analysis of tree rings, led the team to construct a chemical timeline of the its life. This technique, they say, should allow significant further research both into how blue whales develop and how they respond to environmental concerns.... Read more »
Stephen J. Trumble et al. (2013) Blue whale earplug reveals lifetime contaminant exposure and hormone profiles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311418110
People that just lost a loved one or got fired don't loose their general feeling of happiness forever. Scientists have proven that major life events usually influence your well-being for no longer than three months.... Read more »
Suh E, Diener E, & Fujita F. (1996) Events and subjective well-being: only recent events matter. Journal of personality and social psychology, 70(5), 1091-102. PMID: 8656337
A baby’s first year of life is all take and very little give. “Change my nappy!” “Feed me!” “Me! Me! Me!”
We all start out as very demanding, seemingly thankless creatures. But collectively we make up one of the most social species on Earth. As we develop, we all acquire the abilities needed to participate in a give-and-take society.
Young children start helping their parents – and other adults – soon after their first birthday. If an adult drops something – say a clothes peg when trying to hang up the washing – the chubby fingers of an observant toddler could come to the adult’s aid.... Read more »
You’ve probably heard that human beings and chimpanzees share almost 99% of their DNA. But is this enough to explain the many differences we see between ourselves and our evolutionary cousins?*
Enter DNA methylation. When a methyl group (CH3) binds to DNA, this can alter the expression of the gene that that specific DNA sequence represents. So, two genes, identical in sequence, can be expressed differently depending on the methyl groups bound to it.
A new study, published in PLOS Genetics, has investigated the methylation patterns in the DNA of humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans**. And indeed, the researchers found several differences in their comparative analysis.... Read more »
Rodriguez RM, Suarez-Alvarez B, Salvanés R, Muro M, Martínez-Camblor P, Colado E, Sánchez MA, Díaz MG, Fernandez AF, Fraga MF.... (2013) DNA methylation dynamics in blood after hematopoietic cell transplant. PloS one, 8(2). PMID: 23451113
Chronic lack of sleep has serious public health implications... Read more »
Alvaro PK, Roberts RM, & Harris JK. (2013) A Systematic Review Assessing Bidirectionality between Sleep Disturbances, Anxiety, and Depression. Sleep, 36(7), 1059-1068. PMID: 23814343
Suffering a miscarriage can be a very distressing experience but for many women their next pregnancy is a normal one. For women, however, who suffer recurrent miscarriage, where they have three or more in a row, it can be utterly devastating.
More frustrating still is that in many cases – more than half – doctors are unable to find an underlying cause or offer more than just a handful of options for treatment... Read more »
Kuroda K, Venkatakrishnan R, James S, Sucurovic S, Mulac-Jericevic B, Lucas ES, Takeda S, Shmygol A, Brosens JJ, & Quenby S. (2013) Elevated Periimplantation Uterine Natural Killer Cell Density in Human Endometrium Is Associated With Impaired Corticosteroid Signaling in Decidualizing Stromal Cells. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. PMID: 24025400
Being attracted to one gender only is só last century. That’s at least the idea you get when reading Elizabeth Morgans just published review of various international studies on the sexual orientation of youth and emerging adults. It seems that many youngsters are not easily placed in a box of perfectly corresponding sexual orientation, identity, fantasy and experience. New generations are instead getting increasingly sexually flexible.... Read more »
Elizabeth M. Morgan. (2013) Contemporary Issues in Sexual Orientation and Identity Development in Emerging Adulthood. Emerging Adulthood. DOI: 10.1177/2167696812469187
Prince Charming and the boy accused of the Boston bombings may not seem to have much in common. But thousands of teenage American girls appear to be falling in love with 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and the explanation may lie in a very awkward place indeed – somewhere between the shining armour and the poisoned apple.
Tsarnaev has become the focal point for a number of fan clubs on social media, largely comprising teenage girls protesting his innocence and professing undying love. Two Facebook groups have 8,400 and 13,500 members respectively.... Read more »
Peter Glick, Susan T. Fiske. (1996) The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating Hostile and Benevolent Sexism . Journal of Psrsonality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35220.127.116.111
On the same day that the of the Jurassic Park film series has been confirmed, a study published in the journal PLOS One has detailed experiments that seem to prove once and for all that dinosaurs will never again walk the Earth.
The 1993 film, based on a book by Michael Crichton, depicts a theme park island filled with dinosaurs, resurrected from ancient DNA extracted from fossilised mosquitoes trapped in amber.
In the early 1990s, several scientists announced they had extracted DNA from insects fossilised amber as long as 130 million years ago. Insects from this time in Earth’s history, the early Cretaceous period, would have flown among dinosaurs such as flying pterosaurs, swimming plesiosaurs, giant, long-necked sauropods, among the largest creatures ever on land, feathered birds and mammals.... Read more »
David Penney et al. (2013) Absence of Ancient DNA in Sub-Fossil Insect Inclusions Preserved in ‘Anthropocene’ Colombian Copal. PLoS ONE. info:/
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