My picks from ScienceDaily

Some Bottlenose Dolphins Don't Coerce Females To Mate:

Mating strategies are straightforward in bottlenose dolphins, or are they? Much of the work carried on male-female relationships in that species to date show that males tend to coerce females who are left with little choice about with whom to mate. This explains the complex relationships we observe in male bottlenose dolphins, which are only paralleled by human social strategies: the formation of alliances and alliances of alliances, also called coalitions. These alliances and coalitions are then used to out-compete other male bands to access females.

Eating With Our Eyes: Why People Eat Less At Unbused Tables:

People watching the Super Bowl who saw how much they had already eaten -- in this case, leftover chicken-wing bones -- ate 27 percent less than people who had no such environmental cues, finds a new Cornell study.

Most Physicians Believe That Religion Influences Patients' Health:

More than half of physicians believe that religion and spirituality have a significant influence on patients' health, according to a report in the April 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Physicians who are most religious are more likely to interpret the influence of religion and spirituality in positive ways. The relationship between religion and health generates controversy in the medical world, according to background information in the article. "Consensus seems to begin and end with the idea that many (if not most) patients draw on prayer and other religious resources to navigate and overcome the spiritual challenges that arise in their experiences of illness," the authors note. "Controversy remains regarding whether, to what extent and in what ways religion and spirituality helps or harms patients' health."

Smoking And Caffeine May Protect Against Parkinson's Disease:

In families affected by Parkinson's disease, the people who smoked cigarettes and drank a lot of coffee were less likely to develop the disease, say researchers at Duke University Medical Center. The findings suggest that both genetic and environmental factors may influence the development of Parkinson's, a progressive neurodegenerative disease marked by trembling of the arms and legs, stiffness and rigidity of the muscles and slowness of movement.

Getting Dirty May Lift Your Mood:

Bacteria found in the soil activated a group of neurons that produce the brain chemical serotonin. Treatment of mice with a 'friendly' bacteria, normally found in the soil, altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs, reports research published in the latest issue of Neuroscience.

Detecting Poisons In Nectar Is An Odorous Task For Honeybees:

Though many spring flowers have bright advertisements offering sweet rewards to honeybees, some common flowers have not-so-sweet or even toxic nectars. Why plants would try to poison the honeybees they wish to attract is a scientific mystery. The honeybee, which accounts for the pollination of at least 1/3 of the world's crop plants, may encounter such poisoned nectar in common crop and garden plants such as Rhododendrons and almond trees.


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