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Science Flipflops

Science says… on second thought, science says the opposite.  Or, we’re not sure what science says.  The following recent stories show that things you thought science had proven may not be true at all.  What’s next? Take testosterone for fairness:  The image of the testosterone-crazed, egotistical, reckless, raging road warrior is all wrong.  At least, […]

Consequences of Bad Choices: Well, Duh

Responsibility – integrity – honesty – respect – healthy choices.  Those are the values of a bygone generation.  Do we need science to tell us that our grandparents were right?     PhysOrg reported that “Teen sexual activity and gambling [is] associated with taking nonprescribed medications to get high.”  And Live Science reported, “Coed Dorms […]

New Word Means Green Living: Bioplastics

Did you know that 10% of America’s oil consumption goes into making plastic?  The plastic products from oil pollute our landfills and harm the environment.  Next month, a company founded by a biology professor from MIT is going to make plastic from something green: corn.     Anthony Siskey and Oliver Peoples, according to PhysOrg, […]

Modern Men Are Wimps

Whatever happened to survival of the fittest?  Our ancestors were much stronger, says the author of a new book on anthropology.  PhysOrg reported on a book by Peter McAllister that says today’s males don’t measure up physically to their counterparts even a century ago, let alone those in the Roman empire and earlier.     […]

Conservationists Moan Lack of Hikers

When hiking and backpacking were popular in the 1970s, the number of environmentalists and conservationists rose accordingly.  Since then, many content themselves to watch TV and remain city-bound.  The internet exacerbated the problem.  Science Daily said, “a recent fall-off in strenuous outdoor endeavors portends a coming decline in the ranks of conservation backers.”     […]

Do You Need a Darwinian Doctor?

Visualize a cartoon of Charles Darwin as Hippocrates.  It accompanies a book review in Science by Peter T. Ellison (Harvard).1  Ellison realizes that the mass of material doctors need to master is formidable, but thinks that “Evolutionary biology, however, is no longer an expendable topic in medical education.”     The book is Principles of […]

Appendix to The Origin: “Darwin Was Wrong”

The appendix, that lowly dollop of tissue relegated to vestigial organ status by the Darwinians, is alive and well with new respect.  Science Daily announced results of the “first-ever study of the appendix through the ages.”  Conclusion: “Charles Darwin was wrong: The appendix is a whole lot more than an evolutionary remnant.  Not only does […]

Don’t Just Sit There; Do Something

Inactive people have the most health problems.  That’s why the American Psychological Association is warning that sedentary lives can be deadly, according to Science Daily.  A speaker at an APA convention called physical inactivity “the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.”     Some 25-35% of adult Americans – 40 to 50 million […]

Spleen Scores, Darwin Loses

Hold onto your spleen if you can.  The lowly organ, “known as much for its metaphoric as its physiological value, plays a more important role in the body’s defense system than anyone suspected.”  Natalie Angier reported in the New York Times that Harvard researchers found that the spleen acts like a fort for disease-fighting monocytes, […]

Epigenetics Rising in Consciousness of Geneticists, Embryologists

The old story of genetics was that all the information is in genes, and when sperm and egg unite, it’s only the combination of genes from parents that affect the offspring.  That view has been under challenge for years now as geneticists and embryologists find more and more evidence for additional heritable factors that affect […]

More Going On in the Brain Than We Realize

The news story about a girl who can see in both eyes with half a brain has stunned neurophysiologists (see New Scientist and Live Science).  Somehow, the remaining parts of her brain underwent a massive reorganization of the circuits involved in vision.  “It was quite a surprise to see that something like this is possible,” […]

For Health, Seek a Purpose-Driven Life

Elderly people who have a sense of purpose live longer, reported Science Daily.     Scientists at Rush University Medical Center monitored 1,238 community-living seniors for five years in order to test the hypothesis that purpose in life affects mortality.  “Purpose in life,” explained research leader Patricia Boyle, “reflects the tendency to derive meaning from […]

Discovering Health and Technology in the Human Body

Why invent technology from scratch, when the body contains substances that point the way to high tech, and can heal almost like magic?  Several articles show that harnessing the body’s own resources is the wave of the future.     Umbilical cords were usually tossed into the maternity ward biowaste can, but now they are […]

Who Needs Embryonic Stem Cells?

Cells can be “reprogrammed” to act just like embryonic stem cells, a Nature stem cell blog called The Niche reported.  This eliminates the need to use viruses or inserted DNA to induce the cells to become pluripotent.  The resulting cells are “morphologically indistinguishable” from embryonic stem cells, the article said.     The prior week, […]

Stem Cells Polarize Ethics

Adult stem cells are continuing to promise revolutionary therapies, while embryonic stem cells remain a political football even after Obama’s loosening of restrictions.  Some stories seem to suppress the word “embryonic” and just talk about “stem cells,” but there is a big difference in the ethics of one over the other.  Embryonic stem cells require […]
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