By Alessandro R Demaio, Harvard University
There’s been a lot of discussion about obesity this week. Whether or not it’s a disease (as it is in the USA now) and how this label would positively or negatively influence action taken by society and governments in addressing this large and growing burden.
This conversation is important, but I have noticed very often it ends with confusion. Questions around why we begin talking about obesity - and end discussing mental health, cancer, heart disease or diabetes. To make things even more confusing, the term ‘Non-Communicable Diseases’ might even be mentioned.-->
(Inside Science TV) – Who can forget the winter of 2013-2014? Record-breaking cold temperatures and heavy snowfall hit from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the East Coast.
Although the majority of Americans still believe that global warming is happening, the especially blustery winter caused some people to question whether global warming is really happening.
“Almost invariably we find that after any winter a drop off in belief in the existence of global warming," said Barry Rabe, a political scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.-->
America has a health care problem. It is excellent, the best in the world, but it is expensive. Rather than solving the problems of defensive medicine costs, designed to prevent lawsuits by conducting unnecessary tests, or tort reform to prevent lawyers from convincing people they are 'suing an insurance company' so the cost won't matter, America has instead created mandates so everyone is forced to buy insurance, and then subsidized people who can't afford it.
By Willem Vervoort, University of Sydney
Some 27 irrigation and dam projects are highlighted in the green paper for agricultural competitiveness released this week by agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce.-->
Playing violent video games in 3-D makes everything seem more real – and in a new study researchers found that people who played violent video games in 3-D showed more evidence of anger afterward than people who played games on 2-D systems.
That may have troubling consequences for young players, according to an upcoming paper in Psychology of Popular Media Culture.
By Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas
People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t.
They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies, but they didn’t. They talk about 400 hundred years of slavery, but it wasn’t. They claim all Southerners owned slaves, but they didn’t. Some argue it was a long time ago, but it wasn’t.
Though it has been in the works since 1996 and long passed both its original 2011 completion date and even the most aggressive budget estimate, the James Webb Space Telescope has a milestone that may get people excited: after 116 days of extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, emerged unscathed from the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
By Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.
The term NIMBY – “not in my back yard"– has long been used to criticize people who oppose commercial or industrial development in their communities. Invariably pejorative, it casts citizens as selfish individualists who care only for themselves, hypocrites who want the benefits of modernity without paying its costs.-->
There are some things that Republicans and Democrats share in common with Palestinians and Israelis and lots of other groups where human conflict seems intractable.
A new sociology paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that seemingly unsolvable political and ethnic conflicts are fueled by asymmetrical perceptions of opponents' motivations, and that these tensions can be relieved by providing financial incentives to better understand what drives an adversary group.
By Alfred Hermida, University of British Columbia
Whatever you do, don’t turn to Twitter for news about Ebola.
The volume and tone of tweets and retweets about the disease will make you wish you were watching the zombie apocalypse of The Walking Dead instead. It is much less scary.
Disrupted circadian clocks are listed as a possible reason that shift workers experience higher incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer.
The body's primary circadian clock, which regulates sleep and eating, is in the brain, but other body tissues also have circadian clocks, including the liver, which regulates blood glucose levels.
In a new study in Diabetes online, University of Utah researchers show that dietary iron plays an important role in the circadian clock of the liver. Judith A. Simcox, Ph.D., a University of Utah postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry, is the study's lead author.
No one is going into deep space any time soon, the modern political climate is such that it will now be common for one president to cancel his predecessor's program. As President Obama did to Bush, someone in 2017 is likely to do to President Obama.
Yet officially, the NASA that the president said could not even go back to the moon on time and on budget is hoping it will go to Mars, and in preparation for that people are trying to understand and characterize the radiation hazards astronauts could face., concludes a new paper by University of New Hampshire scientists.
Nutrigenomics is a branch of nutrition which believes the food we eat affects our genes - and the Food4Me project had gotten €9 million from the EU to put science to belief.
Proponents are looking at the usual factors, such as age, sex, BMI and physical activity, and trying to match that to the way in which an individual's genes interact with the food we eat. This would enable nutritionists to create a bespoke nutrition plan.
Research is on-going, but they believe there are indicators suggesting the technology could offer a vital tool in the fight against various lifestyle-linked diseases such as obesity, heart disease and Type II diabetes.
By Connor Bamford, University of Glasgow
The world has been warned that the current Ebola epidemic may not end without the use of a vaccine – and no licensed vaccines exist yet. That may soon change, because scientists are making swift progress.-->
In 2005, John Ioannidis wrote a paper in PLOS Medicine showing that most published research findings are false.
What makes Americans afraid is the topic of the first comprehensive nationwide study by Chapman University. According to the Chapman poll, the number one fear in America today is not Muslim terrorists or Russian imperialism or Ebola, it's...walking alone at night.
The Chapman Survey on American Fears included 1,500 nationally representative participants. The top five things Americans fear the most are: