Humans


31 March 2014

Breast lifts: the only way is up


The annual stats report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that breast lifts are the procedure du jour for American women, growing at twice the rate of breast implant surgeries...

24 February 2014

Ancient teeth give up bacterial goldmine


Researchers have discovered a "microbial Pompeii" preserved in the dental plaque of 1,000 year old teeth. Intriguingly, the research team says that the ancient oral bacteria they discovered already showed the beginnings of antibiotic resistance more than eight centuries before the invention of the first therapeutic antibiotics...

10 February 2014

Cars, TVs, triggering type-2 diabetes epidemic in developing world


Skyrocketing obesity and an epidemic of type-2 diabetes look likely for developing countries, as researchers find a striking correlation between disease prevalence and ownership of TVs, computers, and cars...

28 January 2014

The surprising correlation between guilt and last meals


A new study that examined the last meal choices made by death row inmates found a significant link between the inmate's food selection and their self-perceived guilt or innocence...

1 January 2014

Researchers reveal how emotions are mapped in the body


Emotions not only affect our mental state, but also different areas of the body. Anxiety may be experienced as pain in the chest, for example, whereas falling in love may trigger warm sensations all over the body. Now, researchers at Aalto University have mapped a variety of different emotions and the corresponding areas of the body that are activated...

23 December 2013

Hunting humans imitate honeybees


Working with the Hadza tribe in Africa, researchers have found that human hunter-gatherers follow the same mathematical pattern in their movements as sharks, honeybees, and other animals...

15 December 2013

Athletes show significant performance boost from stroboscopic glasses


Professional hockey players who trained with special eyewear that only allowed them to see the action intermittently recorded a huge 18 percent improvement in on-ice skills...

25 November 2013

Scientists mull evolutionary role of "sexual regret"


In the largest study to date on regret surrounding sexual activity, a team of researchers have found a stark contrast in remorse between men and women, potentially shedding light on the evolutionary history of human nature...

29 October 2013

Women's gazes as objectifying as men's


Following on from earlier research that showed how people remembered women's body parts better than their entire bodies, the same researchers have now conducted an eye-tracking study that shows women "check out" other women just as much as men do...

4 October 2013

Brain connectivity may have sparked Einstein's brilliance


A new analysis that compared Albert Einstein's brain to others of the period shows the left and right cerebral hemispheres of the famous scientist's brain were unusually well connected to each other...

1 August 2013

Surprising longevity boost from Holocaust


Despite psychosocial trauma, torture, famine, and malnutrition, male Holocaust survivors have a longer life expectancy compared to those who didn't experience the Holocaust...

8 July 2013

Choir's hearts beat as one


Swedish researchers studying how music affects the human body have found that when people sing in a choir their heartbeats become synchronized and their pulses increase and decrease in unison...

14 June 2013

Menopause - it's a guy thing


After decades of trying to shoehorn menopause into a variety of evolutionary contexts that never seemed to add up, a team of Canadian scientists has concluded that what really causes menopause in women is men...

2 June 2013

Txting tested for battlefield comms


Radios, gunfire, explosions, vehicles, and live voices all combine during combat to create extreme auditory overload for military personnel, but defense researchers think they may have a solution - the humble text message...

20 May 2013

Humans, as well as bats, have echolocation skills


Researchers have been investigating how blind and visually impaired people can use echolocation, the navigational sonar used by bats and dolphins, to determine the location of objects...

15 April 2013

Sexual happiness means keeping up with the Joneses


A new analysis of national data suggests that sex is like income: people are generally happy when they keep pace with the Joneses and they're even happier if they get a bit more...

21 March 2013

Emotional content of books diverging by country, say language sleuths


A computer analysis of more than five million digitized books has revealed a distinct stylistic divergence since the 1960s, with American books becoming decidedly more "emotional"...

17 March 2013

Overheard cellphone conversations "uniquely intrusive"


Confirming what many of us have long suspected, a new study has found that a one-sided cellphone conversation in the background is much more distracting than overhearing a conversation between two people...

21 February 2013

Tweet this: human language may have evolved from birdsong


Charles Darwin speculated that language might have had its origins in singing and now linguists from MIT are taking that theory a step further by proposing that human language could be a grafting of two communication forms found in the animal kingdom...

13 January 2013

Ancient faces reconstructed


A new DNA system employed to analyze modern forensic samples has also been used to establish facial characteristics from centuries old human remains. A study in the journal Investigative Genetics details how the system was able to reconstruct hair and eye color from teeth up to 800 years old...

7 January 2013

Modern parenting crippling kids' brains, says Notre Dame prof


Social practices and cultural beliefs of modern life are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to an interdisciplinary body of research presented at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame...

20 December 2012

Human hands evolved for punching, not just dexterity, says prof


A University of Utah study suggests human hands evolved not only for the manual dexterity needed to use tools or play a violin, but also so we could make fists and punch hard...

10 December 2012

The nose knows: Pinocchio effect reveals liars


Applying thermography techniques to the field of psychology, Spanish researchers have observed the "Pinocchio effect," where a person's nose becomes warmer when they are lying...

14 November 2012

Husbands stay close with oxytocin


The first evidence that oxytocin promotes relationship fidelity in humans has been provided by a study that measured the distance men keep between themselves and an attractive woman...

26 October 2012

Men enjoy dirt-eating as much as pregnant women, Harvard study finds


Harvard scientists say that pica (particularly geophagy - the eating of soil) is far more prevalent in Madagascar than previously thought, and men are partaking as often as pregnant women...

15 October 2012

Knife-on-bottle is "nastiest sound," say scientists


Frenetic activity between the emotional and auditory parts of the brain explains why the sound of a knife on a bottle is so unpleasant, say researchers who have been examining brain scans of subjects listening to different sounds...

10 October 2012

The prettier the guiltier


Past research has linked physical attractiveness to success in a variety of fields, but a new study from Europe shows that beauty can be a handicap when it comes to culpability in domestic violence crimes...

11 September 2012

Joke boffins analyze tragedy humor


"Too soon!" complained the audience when comedian Jeffrey Ross did a skit about the recent shootings in Colorado, but psychologists exploring humor and tragedy say it's not quite as simple as "too soon"...

5 September 2012

Women better with colors


A study examining visual processing in the brain found that men have greater sensitivity to detail and rapidly moving stimuli, while women are better at discriminating between colors...

1 September 2012

Booze intake influenced by glass shape


Research subjects drank beer from a curved glass almost twice as fast as from a straight sided glass, but the shape of the glass made no difference when the drinks were non-alcoholic...

5 August 2012

Waitresses in red win tips race


Male restaurant customers give consistently higher tips - around 20 percent more - to waitresses wearing red, say hospitality researchers...

26 July 2012

Brain hardwired for objectification of women


A new series of experiments have shown that when presented with images of men, both male and female subjects perceive the person as a whole, whereas images of women are perceived as an assemblage of various body parts...

26 June 2012

Reading: up close and personal


There are no significant gender-related differences in the eye's ability to focus at near distances, so scientists have been looking for other reasons why women need higher power reading glasses than men of an equivalent age...

8 June 2012

Coolness no longer cool, say boffins


An intriguing new study - "Coolness: An Empirical Investigation" - suggests that the characteristics associated with coolness today are markedly different than those that originally generated the concept of cool...

2 June 2012

U.S. heads getting bigger


In the space of less than 200 years, the average U.S. Caucasian skull size has increased nearly 7 percent, becoming taller and narrower. The researchers say they cannot pinpoint a reason as to whether the change is primarily due to evolution or lifestyle changes...

15 May 2012

Ovulation goggles make Mr Wrong look like Mr Right


Nice guys finish last when women are wearing ovulation goggles, say researchers who have been investigating exactly why females in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle choose sexy, rebellious cads to pair-up with...

6 May 2012

"Seeing" auras is really synesthesia, say Euro scientists


Spanish researchers say that healers who claim to be able to see the auras surrounding people are actually suffering synesthesia, the neuropsychological phenomenon that mixes the senses...

21 April 2012

Humans drawn to high emotion


Pictures of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right side of the face, leading scientists to hypothesize that we prefer the left side's more intense expressions of emotionality...

17 April 2012

Chin augmentation skyrockets


The always fascinating annual statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that chin augmentation is the fastest growing plastic surgery procedure - a phenomenon, speculate surgeons, sparked by a desire for success in the workplace...

9 April 2012

Empirical evidence for homophobia's link to repressed same-sex attraction


In the first study of its kind, UK and US researchers have found that homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex...

2 April 2012

Beer-goggles effect explained


Alcohol reduces our ability to assess facial symmetry in others, according to UK researchers who say the effect is most pronounced in women...

2 March 2012

Wine subtleties mostly irrelevant to consumer palates


Biology appears to play a major role in wine experts' acute sense of taste, suggests a study that found consumers are "taste blind" to the subtleties of wine, including even fundamental characteristics such as the balance of sugar and acid...

17 February 2012

Texting stunting our reading skills?


The general assumption that text messaging encourages unconstrained language is a myth, says a Canadian researcher who contends that texting has a negative impact on people's linguistic ability to interpret and accept words...

30 January 2012

Ankle gets top rating for scratching pleasure


American itch boffins have been studying which parts of the body produce the most pleasure when scratched. Their analysis of itch relief at different body sites and related pleasurability reveals the ankle to be a scratch-pleasure hotpspot...

23 January 2012

IQ plummets for women in social settings


A new study highlights the unexpected and dramatic consequences subtle social signals in group settings can have on individual cognitive functioning, especially for women...

20 January 2012

Say what? Ambiguity makes language more efficient


To avoid conversational confusion and optimize language, linguists argue that every word should have just one meaning, but a new study from MIT turns that notion on its head, showing instead that ambiguity in words actually makes language more efficient...

18 January 2012

Why gossip is good for you


Gossip has traditionally had a bad reputation, but a convoluted series of experiments carried out in the US have demonstrated the physiological benefits of gossiping...

13 January 2012

Researchers mull bacterium's link to autism


The bacterium Sutterella was found to be present at "remarkably high levels" in the gastrointestinal tracts of children with autism and scientists are pondering what the connection might be...

1 December 2011

Creative types more likely to cheat


While creativity helps people solve difficult problems, it also makes them more likely to cheat than less creative people, claims new research that suggests creativity increases a person's ability to rationalize their cheating...

1 November 2011

Boffins take aim at finance bubbles


US and European scientists have proposed two different methods for detecting finance bubbles, one analyzes verb and noun usage in financial reporting and the other throws some heavy mathematics at the problem. The verdict? There isn't a gold bubble but some recent IPOs look bubblish...

20 October 2011

Men 2% funnier than women


A University of California study has found that men are funnier (funnier ha-ha, rather than funnier peculiar) than women, but not by much, and probably not because it helps them find mates...

14 October 2011

Londoners lead in cell phone crap stakes


British poo boffins say that, on average, one-in-six cell phones is contaminated with fecal matter and that phones owned by Londoners were by far the worst, with nearly one-in-three contaminated with dangerous E. coli bacteria...

29 September 2011

Awfulness of poverty ensured global spread of class system


Ironically, it appears that the worst inequities of the class system were the reason they spread across the planet and destroyed more egalitarian cultures during the early era of human civilization...

16 August 2011

Is the quest for romance causing the gender gap in science?


Four new studies suggest that the goal of being romantically desirable is causing the persistent gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math...

27 July 2011

Scientists quantify critical-mass required for spread of ideas


If just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority, say cognitive scientists from the Rensselaer Institute. The findings have broad implications for the study of innovation, the spread of ideas and the movement of political ideals...

29 June 2011

War cheaper, more popular than ever


Far from the planet becoming more peaceful, the frequency of wars between states has increased steadily from 1870 by 2 percent a year. A new study argues that the rise in conflicts is being fed by economic growth and the proliferation of new borders...

20 June 2011

Chick-magnet pulling power confirmed


Driving a sports car makes a man more desirable to women, but only for uncommitted romantic flings and not as a marriage partner...

3 June 2011

The color red provides speed and strength boost


When humans see the color red, their reactions become both faster and more forceful. Most people are unaware of the color's muscle boosting effect, but a new study suggests it could give sportspeople the edge in activities in which a brief burst of strength and speed is needed...

27 May 2011

Radiation exposure impacting gender ratio


Analyzing data from population centers around normally functioning nuclear power stations, researchers have found that exposure to nuclear radiation leads to an increased percentage of male births...

26 May 2011

Happy men not sexually attractive to women


Men who date online may be inspired to update their profile photos after researchers discovered that women find pictures of brooding men sexier than smiling men...

11 May 2011

Study reveals how cops spot liars


The ability to effectively detect deception is a cornerstone of successful law enforcement, and now, the investigative interviewing techniques used by detectives and intelligence officers are available to everyone thanks to a new paper in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry ...

3 May 2011

Experiments reveal aggression to be a "manhood-restoring tactic"


Manhood is something that is difficult to earn and easy to lose; suggest experiments that also showed aggression as the preferred way for men to hold onto this precarious status...

29 April 2011

Scans reveal brain's in-built caste system


MRI scans reveal that people of higher subjective socioeconomic status show greater brain activity in response to other high-ranked individuals, while those with lower status have a greater response to other low-status individuals...

22 April 2011

Why are the happiest places also suicide hotspots?


The happiest countries (and happiest U.S. states) have the highest suicide rates, say an international team of researchers, who have pulled together a study that attempts to explain this seemingly paradoxical situation...

5 April 2011

Women: they don't make 'em like they used to


A study of 16th century European skulls has found that women are beginning to resemble men as differences in gender-associated craniofacial features become less pronounced over time...

22 March 2011

Men fueling plastic surgery boom


Statistics released this week show that more men are going under the knife to try and preserve their youthful looks. While cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in men were up only 2 percent overall in 2010, many individual procedures increased significantly. Facelifts for men rose 14 percent in 2010 while male liposuction increased 7 percent...

15 March 2011

Sex selection gender skew in East raises concerns


A preference for sons in China, India and South Korea combined with easy access to sex-selective abortions means that some provinces in China have 130 males for every 100 females, leading demographers to estimate that there may be a 20 percent excess of young men in the near future...

28 February 2011

Conservation scientists mull reconstruction of buddhas


Coordinated by UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a group of scientists is examining the debris left from the Taliban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas and considering whether reconstruction of the giant statues might be feasible...

10 February 2011

Testosterone: empathy killer


An administration of testosterone under the tongues of volunteers negatively affected their ability to "read" the minds of others, an indication of empathy. Interestingly, this effect is predicted by a fetal marker of prenatal testosterone and provides further support for the androgen theory of autism...

28 January 2011

Penile presence makes for abominable affairs


Men are more than twice as likely to continue dating a girlfriend who has cheated on them with another woman than one who has cheated with another man, say University of Texas bonk boffins...

11 January 2011

Masculinity trumps intelligence for ovulating women


How human sexual selection evolved is becoming clearer with new findings showing that women in their fertile phase are more likely to fantasize about masculine-looking men and that a man's intelligence has no effect on a female's choice of partner...

7 January 2011

Male sex drive watered-down with tears


When we cry, we send all sorts of emotional signals. But scientists now say that tears carry chemical signals as well, after they observed that merely sniffing a woman's tears reduced sexual arousal in men...

10 December 2010

Country boys boast bigger junk


A European study involving more than 6,000 white males has found significant differences in penis size when comparing urban and rural populations...

1 December 2010

Attractiveness a significant handicap for working women


A new research paper; "Are Good-Looking People More Employable?" found that a double standard exists where attractive men are much more likely to be successful in finding a job than good looking women...

22 November 2010

More of oxytocin's effects revealed


New experiments with oxytocin, known as the love hormone because of its importance in bonding between romantic partners and mothers and children, have shown it to have a profound influence on value judgments as well as feelings of well-being and our sensitivity to advertising...

16 November 2010

Consumers' brains muddled by zero


Why does a one percent credit card interest rate appear more attractive to consumers than a zero percent rate? A new study finds that consumers are often flummoxed when it comes to the concept of zero...

1 November 2010

Modern concerns echoed in ancient papyrus


The annual Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists contains some fascinating insights into what concerned ancient Egyptian minds; miracle medical cures, religious confusion, and monetary safeguards - involving cabbages...

6 October 2010

Top reasons for Facebook unfriending revealed


Researchers spend a lot of time examining how people form friendships online, but little has been known about how those relationships end, until now...

29 September 2010

Fizzy drinks titillate pain receptors


Scientists have discovered that the carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks activates the same pain sensors as mustard and horseradish, leading them to speculate that the consumption of soda is "a macho thing"...

17 September 2010

Placebo a turn-on for women


Many women with low sex drives reported significant increases in sexual satisfaction after taking a placebo, according to new research from The University of Texas...

23 August 2010

Could oxytocin levels identify high risk parents?


It was known that birth and lactation boost oxytocin levels in new mothers and now researchers have found a link between oxytocin in new fathers and the quality of interactions they have with their new offspring; an association, say the researchers, that could help identify high risk parents...

5 August 2010

Ovulating women buy sexier clothes


Ovulating women unconsciously buy sexier clothes, doing so not to impress men, say the researchers, but to outdo rival women during the handful of days each month when they are ovulating...

4 August 2010

Women more likely to bed men in red


Red is typically thought of as a sexy color for women only, but a new study suggests that the link between the color red and sex also applies to men...

7 July 2010

Romantic rejection triggers reward and addiction centers in the brain


The pain and anguish of rejection by a romantic partner trigger activity in the parts of the brain associated with motivation, reward and addiction cravings, according to a study that has implications for understanding why the feelings related to rejection can lead to stalking, homicide and suicide...

25 June 2010

Tactile sensations have profound effect on decision making


A comfortable chair makes a person more amenable to negotiation and a heavy clipboard makes a resume more substantive. Fascinating new research shows that we are heavily influenced by our sense of touch...

16 June 2010

Study suggests the war on drugs might really be a war on sex


Why is there so much heated argument about whether the use of recreational drugs is morally wrong? A new study suggests that the debate about drugs might really be about sex...

8 June 2010

Sexsomnia linked to illicit drug use


Nearly 1-in-10 sleep center patients report sexsomnia incidents and researchers say there is an association between sexsomnia and recreational drug use...

14 May 2010

Risky business and a woman's touch


Participants in a financial simulation were inclined to throw caution to the wind if a female experimenter patted them on the back, whereas similar patting from a male researcher had no effect...

23 April 2010

Sex appeal as important as education?


"Erotic capital" is the implicit but powerful commodity that can count just as much as educational qualifications in the labor market, politics, media or the arts, argues a new study...

13 January 2010

Poker paradox: the more hands you win, the more money you lose


Analyzing more than 27 million hands, a researcher has found that the more hands players win, the less money they're likely to collect - especially when it comes to novice players...

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