My picks from ScienceDaily

Primate Culture Is Just A Stone's Throw Away From Human Evolution, Study Finds:

For 30 years, scientists have been studying stone-handling behavior in several troops of Japanese macaques to catch a unique glimpse of primate culture. By watching these monkeys acquire and maintain behavioral traditions from generation to generation, the scientists have gained insight into the cultural evolution of humans.

New Evidence That Humans Make Aspirin's Active Principle -- Salicylic Acid:

Scientists in the United Kingdom are reporting new evidence that humans can make their own salicylic acid (SA) -- the material formed when aspirin breaks down in the body. SA, which is responsible for aspirin's renowned effects in relieving pain and inflammation, may be the first in a new class of bioregulators, according to a new study.

Unique Skeletal Muscle Design Contributes To Spine Stability:

The novel design of a deep muscle along the spinal column called the multifidus muscle may in fact be key to spinal support and a healthy back, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Contrary To Earlier Predictions, Older Driver Fatal Crashes Trend Down:

Despite growing numbers on the road, fewer older drivers died in crashes and fewer were involved in fatal collisions during 1997-2006 than in years past, a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study reports. Crash deaths among drivers 70 and older fell 21 percent during the period, reversing an upward trend, even as the population of people 70 and older rose 10 percent.

Midlife Coffee And Tea Drinking May Protect Against Late-life Dementia:

Stockholm, Sweden -- Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer's disease (AD) later in life. This conclusion is made in a Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) Study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Cooling The Planet By Growing The Right Crops:

By carefully selecting which varieties of food crops to cultivate, much of Europe and North America could be cooled by up to 1°C during the summer growing season, say researchers from the University of Bristol, UK. This is equivalent to an annual global cooling of over 0.1°C, almost 20% of the total global temperature increase since the Industrial Revolution.

Free-range Chickens Are More Prone To Disease:

Chickens kept in litter-based housing systems, including free-range chickens, are more prone to disease than chickens kept in cages, according to a new study.

Global Warming Linked To European Viral Epidemic:

An epidemic of the viral disease nephropathia epidemica (NE) has been linked to increases in the vole population caused by hotter summers, milder winters and increased seedcrop production by broadleaf trees. New research links outbreaks of this rodent-borne disease to known effects of global warming.

A Good Night's Sleep Protects Against Parasites:

Animal species that sleep for longer do not suffer as much from parasite infestation and have a greater concentration of immune cells in their blood according to a new study. The question of why we sleep has long puzzled scientists. Brian Preston from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, led an international team of researchers who tested the theory that sleep improves immune function.

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New Evidence That Humans Make Aspirin's Active Principle -- Salicylic Acid: Scientists in the United Kingdom are reporting new evidence that humans can make their own salicylic acid (SA) -- the material formed when aspirin breaks down in the body. SA, which is responsible for aspirin's renowned…
College Students Find Comfort In Their Pets During Hard Times: A new study suggests that college students may handle stressful situations better if they have a pet. Research has already shown that pets can improve the quality of life for people who are aging or those who are chronically ill. But…
Karen Starko writes: Several basic questions related to Reye's syndrome (RS) have come to me from readers of Mark's book, Inside the Outbreaks. These show the importance of continued education on health issues. (For example, some physicians thought that fever was essential to getting RS). Again,…
Karen Starko writes: Several basic questions related to Reye's syndrome (RS) have come to me from readers of Mark's book, Inside the Outbreaks. These show the importance of continued education on health issues. (For example, some physicians thought that fever was essential to getting RS). Again,…