Humans news stories

Acupuncture may alleviate babies’ excessive crying (infantile colic)
19th January 2017 | | Humans

Acupuncture may be an effective treatment option for babies with infantile colic — those who cry for more than three hours a day on three or more days of the week — reveals research.

Revenge really is sweet: study shows the mood-enhancing effect of retaliation
19th January 2017 | Humans

When we feel ostracised, we’re more likely to behave aggressively. Previous research suggests that vengeance on those who we think have wronged us can be driven by a sense of justice, and may activate neural reward centres. But being ostracised can also lead to generalised aggression, even lashing out at unrelated people, so there seems to be more going on.

Weekend workouts can benefit health as much as a week of exercise, say researchers
19th January 2017 | | Humans

People who cram all their exercise into one or two sessions at the weekend benefit nearly as much as those who work out more frequently, researchers say.

A study of more than 60,000 adults in England and Scotland found that “weekend warriors” lowered their risk of death by a similar margin to those who spread the same amount of exercise over the whole week.

Eat hot peppers for a longer life? Study
18th January 2017 | | Humans

Like spicy food? If so, you might live longer, say researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, who found that consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality — primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke — in a large prospective study.

Humanity May Have Reached its Maximum Lifespan
18th January 2017 | Humans

Global life expectancy has now reached an average that’s regularly in the 80s in Japan and Canada —and in the United States it’s reached a high of 78 years.

Have we reached the end of the line when it comes to living longer and healthier lives? Is there a point at which diminishing returns just mean any gains in lifespan are bound to be insignificant and temporary?

Scientists Could Identify a Person’s Age by Looking at These Cells in Their Brain
18th January 2017 | Humans, Tech

By examining the brains of 480 people that died between the ages of 16 and 106, researchers have learned that glial cells experience bigger changes than neurons during aging.

This information could lead to better treatment options for neurological disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, or even ways to combat aging altogether.

A Nevada woman dies of a superbug resistant to every available antibiotic in the US
16th January 2017 | | Humans

If it sometimes seems like the idea of antibiotic resistance, though unsettling, is more theoretical than real, please read on.

Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that had spread throughout her system could fend off 26 different antibiotics.

‘Puppy talk’ – why do we use it and do dogs respond?
16th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

Scientists have decoded “dog-directed speech” for the first time, and they say puppies respond to it.

Puppies reacted positively and wanted to play when researchers in France played them a tape of phrases like, “Who’s a good boy?”

Sorry, Steak Lovers: Red Meat Linked to Gut Condition
15th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

Men who regularly eat red meat have a higher risk of developing an inflammatory bowel condition called diverticulitis than men who don’t have much red meat in their diet, a new study finds.

Alcohol flips brain into hungry mode
15th January 2017 | | Humans

Alcohol switches the brain into starvation mode, increasing hunger and appetite, scientists have discovered.

In tests on mice, alcohol activated the brain signals that tell the body to eat more food.

Alcohol prevents ability to extinguish fearful memories in mice
15th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

If the goal is to ease or extinguish fearful emotional memories like those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol may make things worse, not better, experiments in mice suggest that. Results of their study demonstrate, they say, that alcohol strengthens emotional memories associated with fearful experiences and prevents mice from pushing aside their fears.

Field study suggests wealthy less willing to tax rich when poor people are around
15th January 2017 | Humans

A study conducted by a researcher with Harvard University suggests that wealthy people are less likely to support income redistribution through a tax on the very rich after having recently been exposed to an obviously poor person.

Why mums and babies prefer to keep to one side of each other
12th January 2017 | | Humans

Mothers hold their children more on the left and wild mammals seem to keep their young more on that side too, at least when fleeing predators.

Now it seems many mammal babies prefer to approach their mother from one side too – and the explanation may lie in the contrasting talents of each half of the brain.

Alt: Mother-baby bonding insight revealed

Why are most people right handed? The answer may be in the mouths of our ancestors
12th January 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Roughly 90% of humans are right-handed and this is one of the traits that separates us from most other primates who don’t really show any overall preference for left or right handedness.

It’s believed that handedness played an important role in human evolution, with a recent study on the earliest evidence of right-handedness in the fossil record shedding light on when and why this trait arose. Interestingly, the clues were found not in our ancient hands, but in our ancient teeth.

Stuttering ‘is caused by restricted blood flow to the brain’, study reveals
11th January 2017 | | Humans

Stuttering is cause by limited blood flow to part of the brain, a breakthrough study has found.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles discovered that stutters have reduced blood flow in region in the frontal lobe of the brain linked to speech production.

We Got The Mesentery News All Wrong
11th January 2017 | Humans

Earlier this week, a story begging to go viral fell onto writers’ laps: We have a new organ called the mesentery, which is a broad, fan-shaped fold that lines the guts. Here at Discover we pounced on the story, and so did CNN, the Washington Post, LiveScience, Smithsonian, Vice News Tonight, Jimmy Kimmel and many, many more.

Miniature brain and skull found inside 16-year-old girl’s ovary
11th January 2017 | | Humans

A tumour containing a miniature brain has been found growing on the ovary of a 16-year-old girl in Japan.

The 10-centimetre-wide tumour was discovered when the girl had surgery to remove her appendix. When doctors cut the tumour out, they found clumps of greasy, matted hair inside, and a 3-centimetre-wide brain-like structure covered by a thin plate of skull bone.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.