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Seniors, Pay Attention: Stay Active

Cardiovascular activity is good for everyone.  Seniors can benefit from taking walks, too.  A new study shows it can help the elderly keep their attentiveness and improve mental performance.  Science News1 reporter Bruce Bower writes: Seniors interested in pumping up their brains and maintaining an attentive edge might consider taking this inexpensive prescription: Go for […]

Sex and Gender Cannot Be Separated

A study of male children born with a rare birth defect called cloacal exstrophy demonstrates that sexual identity is biologically determined, not a result of upbringing.  The report in Science Now shows that most of the boys identified themselves as male early on, even though unaware of their condition and “raised as girls” under doctor’s […]

Why You Need Sleep

A study in the Jan. 22 issue of Nature1 claims that sleep gives you inspiration.  Sleep is not just a waste of a third of your day; it helps consolidate memories, and provides pivotal insights.  “Insight denotes a mental restructuring that leads to a sudden gain of explicit knowledge allowing qualitatively changed behaviour,” the five […]

Your Accelerated Eyes

When a beam of light hits your eye, a chain of events is set off that is really quite amazing.  Kendall J. Blumer (Washington University School of Medicine) describes a little of it in the Jan. 1 issue of Nature.1  You don’t have to understand the following description; just be glad you don’t have to […]

Why Workouts Work for Humans, Not Pickups

Space Daily began an article on space medicine with a thought-provoking comparison: Most machines don’t improve with use.  Old pickup trucks don’t gradually become Ferraris just by driving them fast, and a pocket calculator won’t change into a supercomputer by crunching lots of numbers.  The human body is different.  As weightlifters know, the more that […]

Stem Cell Breakthrough

Stem cells from skin cells: it’s all over the news – see EurekAlert 1, EurekAlert 2, EurekAlert 3, EurekAlert 4, National Geographic News, BreitBart.com, BBC News 1, BBC News 2, MSNBC and and PhysOrg for sample reports.  Two teams working independently, one in Japan and one in America, were able to tinker with just four […]

Human Genome Project: A “Worthwhile Failure”

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was filled with promise.  Walter Gilbert claimed in 1992 that it would bring about “a change in our philosophical understanding of ourselves… one will be able to pull a CD out of one’s pocket and say, ‘Here’s a human being; it’s me!’”  Why does philosopher-biologist Sahotra Sarkar consider that prospect […]

Genes Are Not Telling the Whole Story

A growing realization is dawning on geneticists: there is more going on in DNA than previously imagined.  Now that whole genomes are becoming available, scientists are eagerly trying to understand how the genetic code (genotype) produces a full-grown organism (phenotype), like a fruit fly or human.  The interesting stuff in DNA used to be the […]

Dmanisi Homo erectus Fossil Count Grows

More bones matching the skulls from the purported Eurasian Homo erectus skulls in Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia have been found (for background, see 08/31/2005 bullet 5, 03/20/2005, 08/01/2002, 11/29/2002).  The find was reported in Nature1 with commentary by Daniel Lieberman in the same issue.2     The bones, including ribs, leg bones and arm bones, […]

Subway System Found in Immune Cells

The announcement of a “third form of intercellular communication” hit scientists like TNT: tunneling nanotubules, that is.  Science Now reported that “Scientists have found what appears to be a whole new way for immune cells to communicate with one another: long, narrow tubes that enable them to connect and exchange molecules.”  These subway tunnels between […]

Large Individual Differences Seen in Human Genome

What makes each individual unique?  Nature1 reported a surprising thing about “the” human genome that is becoming apparent as more individuals’ genes are examined.  The first part is not surprising; the last part is: When the finished sequence of the human genome was unveiled last year, biologists said that it told a story of harmony […]

Vestigial Organs Have a Function: to Smear Creationism

51; Are there body parts you could live without?  Sure; people get by without fingers, teeth, legs, or even brains (figuratively speaking).  Some people think this is proof of evolution.  New Scientist, rather than showing how new organs and structures could arise by mutation and natural selection, listed “five things humans no longer need” as […]

Teeth Resist Cracking

51; Here’s a story to share with your dentist.  You can crack a tooth, but it takes a lot of force.  This should be surprising, since tooth enamel is as brittle as glass.  The way the enamel develops, researchers found, absorbs excess energy and gives your teeth an extraordinary crack resistance.     “Human enamel […]

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