Biased testing, or are girls really better at reading than boys?

Biased testing, or are girls really better at reading than boys?

 ShutterstockIn reading tests, young girls tend to be ahead of young boys in all countries, but by young adulthood there is no longer any difference between skills.

ACA hasn't reduced socioeconomic disparities in cancer screening

The Affordable Care Act may be leaving American policy shortly after its chief advocate leaves office. Democrats are keenly aware that the incoming administration may do to Obamacare what President Obama did to No Child Left Behind and NASA's Constellation program. To try and keep much of it intact, they aee touting its benefits, but many are being spun in partisan fashion.

How to reduce peanut allergy risk

Ironically, there are more peanut allergies because hyperactive parents have read too many stories about peanut allergies and are convinced their child will go into anaphylactic shock if someone in the back of the airplane eats one. They go to an allergist - and they are certain to find a sensitivity to something - and concerned parents conflate a peanut sensitivity with being allergic.  But a positive test alone is a poor indicator of allergy.  

Who gets most distracted by cell phones? People who don't use the Internet much

Who gets most distracted by cell phones? People who don't use the Internet much

The mere presence of a cell phone or smartphone can adversely affect our cognitive performance, particularly among infrequent internet users, according to a new experiment using undergraduate college students in Japan.

Where did they find infrequent mobile device users among young people in Japan? That's relative.

The Machiavelli in your chicken

According to a new paper in Animal Cognition, chickens, who are typically thought of as possessing a low level of intelligence compared with other animals, actually demonstrate self-control and self-assessment —capacities which may indicate self-awareness, and are behaviorally sophisticated, discriminating amongst individuals, and exhibiting Machiavellian-like social interactions.

Pacifict microbes in disease treatment may make pathogens stronger

Introducing pacifist microbes into treatment to combat is popular in some circles, yet unproven. It's not as crazy as using a placebo to treat symptoms similar to a disease, as homeopathy charlatans do, but it remains unvalidated. However, in agriculture microbial disease treatment could be beneficial, whereas homeopathy is stupid and inhumane. 

It has been suggested that this approach could also be an effective way of treating cancer, and scientists have already produced encouraging results in the fight against Clostridium difficile infections.

How do you define maturity when the brain never stops changing?

"Act your age" says one group, while "you are only as young as you feel" assures another. Those are two conflicting messages about aging and maturity. How can anyone know when maturity is "just right"?

Improving fecal microbiota transplantation

A placebo-controlled trial may provide a strategy for improving fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. The study identified microorganisms that are key for cure with fecal microbiota transplantation.

Never-smoking women have high prevalence of COPD

African-American women who have never smoked have a high prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) -7 percent versus 5.2% of European-American womenand 2.9% of never-smoking European-American men.

Researchers are scrambling to explain it because COPD is the third leading cause of death in the USA and smoking is considered the biggest risk factor for the disease. Yet 25 percent of Americans with COPD have never smoked.

Smoking intensity in coronary heart disease risk

Smoking causes increased relative risks for coronary heart disease, so the number of cigarettes must also. If you smoke twice as many cigarettes, your risk should be twice as high, right? 

A new study instead says it's time spent smoking, not quantity of cigarettes.