Archive | Humans


Blind human echolocators can recognize the shape, size, and material properties of objects, according to new study

New Canadian research into human echolocation suggests that as well as being able to locate objects, some blind people can also discern the shape and texture of those objects. The new findings, presented last week at the 9th Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting in Vancouver, build onprevious work from the UK that established some of the […]

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The longer a mother breastfeeds, the higher the IQ and salary

Published in The Lancet Global Healthjournal, a study that tracked more than 3,000 newborns for 30 years has concluded that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater the intelligence and earnings of the offspring. “The effect of breastfeeding on brain development and child intelligence is well established, but whether these effects persist into adulthood is […]

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Male genetic diversity strangled by wealth and power

Genetic researchers have discovered an extremely dramatic decline in male genetic diversity between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, while in contrast, female genetic diversity was on the rise. The work, by scientists from Arizona State University (ASU), the University of Cambridge, and the University of Tartu (Estonia), has been published in the journalGenome Research. It […]

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How long can our technological civilization last?

By combining the Earth-based science of sustainability with the space-oriented field of astrobiology, two astrophysicists are attempting to answer questions about humanity’s future in the broadest astronomical context. In their paper, which appears in the journalAnthropocene, Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan (both from the University of Rochester) propose that climate change, ocean acidification, and species […]

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Stark gender differences in art appreciation revealed

The market for art is worth US$65B worldwide but there has been little research conducted on how consumers actually determine the worth of artwork. Now, a new study co-authored by Michigan State University’s Stephanie Mangus (pictured) has found that the sexes show stark differences in how they evaluate art. The study, which appears in Psychology […]

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Less domestic violence for pot smoking marrieds

New research that examined incidences of domestic violence supports the view that marijuana use by couples decreases the likelihood of intimate partner violence. The study, based on tracking 634 couples, was conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo. The findings appear in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Looking at couples over the first […]

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Singing primates and tweeting birds: Uncovering human language’s deep origins

By re-examining contemporary human language, MIT researchers believe they can uncover how human communication could have evolved from the systems underlying the older communication modes of birds and primates. “How did human language arise?” asks linguist Shigeru Miyagawa, a Professor of Japanese Language and Culture at MIT. “The best we can do is come up […]

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Trying to sound sexier? Sorry, guys, you just can’t do it

A series of experiments by researchers at Albright College suggests that men cannot intentionally make their voices sound more sexy or attractive, while women have little trouble increasing their vocal allure. The research, appearing in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, examined the patterns that emerge when men and women intentionally modify their voices to project […]

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Breast lifts: the only way is up

The always intriguing annual stats from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that breast lifts are the procedure du jour for American women, growing at twice the rate of breast implant surgeries. Although breast implants are still the most performed cosmetic surgery in women, lifts are steadily gaining, growing 70 percent since 2000. […]

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Bend me, shape me… into a heart

The human body has lots of soft muscular systems that bend, twist, extend, and flex in complex ways. Robotic systems that try to emulate these biological workhorses have usually fallen well short, but a team of researchers at Harvard has developed a low-cost, programmable soft actuated material which can replicate the biological motions of the […]

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