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My picks from ScienceDaily


Competition, Not Climate Change, Led To Neanderthal Extinction, Study Shows:

In a recently conducted study, a multidisciplinary French-American research team with expertise in archaeology, past climates, and ecology reported that Neanderthal extinction was principally a result of competition with Cro-Magnon populations, rather than the consequences of climate change.

Facial Expressions Of Emotion Are Innate, Not Learned:

Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, according to a new study. The research suggests that facial expressions of emotion are innate rather than a product of cultural learning. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that sighted and blind individuals use the same facial expressions, producing the same facial muscle movements in response to specific emotional stimuli.

Flowering Plants Speed Post-surgery Recovery:

Contact with nature has long been suspected to increase positive feelings, reduce stress, and provide distraction from the pain associated with recovery from surgery. Now, research has confirmed the beneficial effects of plants and flowers for patients recovering from abdominal surgery.

Bizarre Reproductive Techniques Discovered For Deep-ocean Squid:

Males that produce sperm packages that can penetrate deep into the skin. Females with bellies full of stored sperm. Males that seriously injure the females during mating. This is just a selection of the bizarre reproductive techniques that marine biologist Henk-Jan Hoving has discovered with different species of deep-ocean squid.

Gardening Provides Recommended Physical Activity For Older Adults:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week in order to maintain and improve optimal health. This recommendation is especially important for older Americans, who can be less likely to fulfill this requirement, yet are more at risk for chronic diseases associated with aging.

T’is The Season To Be Jolly?:

As the party season approaches, a timely reminder of the issues surrounding the binge drinking culture are again highlighted by research into ‘young people and alcohol’ a team lead by Professor Christine Griffin, at the University of Bath. The research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) suggests several considerations for future policy.

Both Major Theories About Human Cellular Aging Supported By New Research:

Aging yeast cells accumulate damage over time, but they do so by following a pattern laid down earlier in their life by diet as well as the genes that control metabolism and the dynamics of cell structures such as mitochondria, the power plants of cells.

Military Uniforms Now Provide Reliable Protection From Mosquitoes:

Assuring that uniforms issued to U.S. military personnel are properly treated to repel mosquitoes is now possible, thanks to a new testing method developed by an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist.