• Permafrost is already thawing. Will it tip the scales in the climate crisis?

    Permafrost is already thawing. Will it tip the scales in the climate crisis?

    Feb 24, 2020 15:46

    Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon. As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere.

  • World leaders urged to 'step back from precipice' of ecological ruin

    World leaders urged to 'step back from precipice' of ecological ruin

    Feb 23, 2020 14:15

    A statement, which was released through non-profit thinktank Aspen Institute reads “The loss and degradation of nature jeopardizes human health, livelihoods, safety and prosperity. It disproportionately harms our poorest communities while undermining our ability to meet a broad range of targets set by the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. We must rise above politics and ideology to unite the global community around the urgent cause of protecting our planet and way of life.”

  • Exploring why mindfulness meditation has positive mental health outcomes

    Exploring why mindfulness meditation has positive mental health outcomes

    Feb 21, 2020 10:31

    Researchers suggest that consistently practicing mindfulness meditation encourages self-compassion, helping people to find greater meaning in their life, but also reducing the tendency to avoid or escape from unpleasant thoughts or emotions that cause pain, suffering or discomfort. Combined, these three factors could lead to improvements in wellbeing and mental health.

  • Predicting autism risk may begin with a drop of blood

    Predicting autism risk may begin with a drop of blood

    Feb 16, 2020 12:23

    Principal Investigator Robert Naviaux, professor of medicine and pathology at UC San Diego School of Medicine said “We know from the history of certain genetic diseases, such as PKU, that if children can be identified before the first symptoms have appeared, then the disease can be prevented, even though the children have the DNA mutations,” adding, “I believe that over half of autism cases may be preventable if only we had a way to identify the children at risk before the first symptoms appear.

  • Could ‘young’ blood stop us getting old?

    Could ‘young’ blood stop us getting old?

    Feb 06, 2020 13:25

    A clutch of scientific startups are trying to discover the secrets of parabiosis and use them to tackle age-related disease. By identifying factors in plasma that change with age, they aim to create therapies that either supplement what’s beneficial in young blood or to inhibit what’s detrimental in old. One is even beginning to report early clinical trial results.

  • How smart were our ancestors? Answer isn’t in brain size, but blood flow

    How smart were our ancestors? Answer isn’t in brain size, but blood flow

    Feb 05, 2020 14:33

    Researchers have often assumed increases in intelligence in human ancestors (hominins) occurred as brains grew larger. This is not an unreasonable assumption; for living primates, the number of nerve cells in the brain is almost proportional to the brain’s volume. Other studies of mammals in general indicate the brain’s metabolic rate — how much energy it needs to run — is nearly proportional to its size.

  • Personalized diets may be the future of nutrition, but the science isn’t all there yet

    Personalized diets may be the future of nutrition, but the science isn’t all there yet

    Feb 03, 2020 16:43

    Nutrition recommendations have focused on properties of food, debating whether focusing on calorie counts, carbohydrates, fats or proteins might be more important. But more studies are showing that people’s bodies can react very differently to the same foods, and standardized nutrition advice doesn’t fit everybody.

  • Scientists say we need these six things to meet climate goals

    Scientists say we need these six things to meet climate goals

    Feb 02, 2020 11:16

    In a multi-faceted study that drew upon workshopping, surveying, and an assessment of scientific and academic literature, the researchers examined the elements most likely to help society limit global warming by transitioning to a carbon-neutral state by 2050.

  • Automation isn’t wiping out jobs. It’s that our engine of growth is winding down

    Automation isn’t wiping out jobs. It’s that our engine of growth is winding down

    Jan 29, 2020 10:23

    In the context of economic stagnation, even small increases in productivity are enough to destroy more manufacturing jobs than are created. The best explanation for this worsening economic stagnation is that, since the 1970s, more and more countries adopted export-led growth strategies, built up manufacturing sectors and began to compete in global markets. In this context, countries with high levels of robotization are not necessarily the ones that have lost the most industrial jobs.

  • Lyme disease patients fight for their lives while academics fight each other

    Lyme disease patients fight for their lives while academics fight each other

    Jan 29, 2020 10:21

    A study from Johns Hopkins demonstrated that 23 percent of Lyme rashes are not properly diagnosed. The blood tests used to diagnose Lyme are four decades old and unacceptably inaccurate: A review of eight studies that evaluated the effectiveness of these tests revealed that they miss more cases than they diagnose. The result is that many people go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed, leading to a life that can be devastatingly altered or worse.