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.

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.

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"?

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. 

Deep brain stimulation doesn't improve memory - it hurts it

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of areas in the brain known to be involved in making memories does not improve memory performance, according to a new study

Deep brain stimulation is an invasive technique that involves the implantation of electrodes deep into the brain and then running current through them to electrically stimulate nearby neurons. 

Smoking during pregnancy may make your child abuse drugs and alcohol

Smoking during pregnancy may make your child abuse drugs and alcohol

Smoking during pregnancy is a well-known risk factor for many health problems in children, including low birth weight, heart defects and asthma. In our latest study, we show that smoking in pregnancy also increases the risk for children’s later tobacco smoking, as well as alcohol and cannabis use. This effect may be partly explained by so-called epigenetic changes at birth, in genes important for brain function and development.

Cellular switch to turn off asthma attacks

Using human immune cells, researchers report they have identified a critical cellular "off" switch for the inflammatory immune response that contributes to lung-constricting asthma attacks. The switch, they say, is composed of regulatory proteins that control an immune signaling pathway in cells.