Author Archive | Will Parker

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Tylenol and other paracetamol painkillers may hinder the brain’s error-correction mechanisms

It’s been known for more than a century that acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and marketed as Tylenol and Panadol) is an effective painkiller, but according to a new Canadian study it could also be impeding error-detection in the brain. The research appears in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. “Past research tells us physical […]

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Urgent rethink required on Earth’s carbon-sinks, suggests study




In a new study that expands our understanding of how humans contribute to global warming, scientists have discovered that human activity has changed the terrestrial biosphere to make it a significant contributor to climate change. Published in Nature, the study looked at the net balance of the three major greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and […]




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Generalized constructal law shows that evolution doesn’t apply only to biological things




A law of physics that explains why larger animals live longer and travel further can be extended to the simplest forms of mass migration on the planet – like rolling stones and turbulent eddies in water and air currents, according to new research from Duke University. “The finding demonstrates that evolution doesn’t apply only to […]




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Stimulants’ ADHD calming mechanism revealed




When Dr. Charles Bradley administered Benzedrine to a group of children with hyperactivity in 1937 a new era of psychopharmacology was born. His observation that “fourteen children responded in a spectacular fashion” ushered in the widespread use of methamphetamine-like drugs to treat hyperactivity and learning disorders. But for more than seven decades scientists have not […]




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Could suicide be a variant of an evolutionarily adaptive set of behaviors?




Snapping shrimp, naked mole rats, ants, honeybees, and humans – what do they all have in common? They all share a similar colony-like organizational system that biologists have termed eusociality. Eusocial species have been remarkably successful in both surviving and thriving through the use of colony-level cooperation. One cooperative behavior used by all eusocial species […]




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fMRI data trove yields new insights into consciousness and abstract thought




Using 20 years of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from tens of thousands of brain imaging experiments, neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts have created a geometry-based method for massive data analysis to reach a new understanding of how thought arises from brain structure. The research, appearing in the current issue of Nature Scientific […]




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Brain inflammation linked to compromised reward circuits in depression




Around one third of people with depression have high levels of inflammation markers in their blood. Now, new research appearing in in Molecular Psychiatry shows that persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure). The findings bolster the case that […]




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coral_reef

Sunscreen killing coral reefs




Oxybenzone, a UV-filtering compound used in sunscreens, has been found in high concentrations in the waters around popular coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. According to new research, the chemical not only kills coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they […]




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