Humans news stories

We Are Wired To Be Outside
24th February 2017 | Humans

Science is demonstrating what we intuitively know: Nature makes us happy.

When we first see Elizabeth Bennett, in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, she is walking through a field, surrounded by birdsong and trees. Nature, for Jane Austen’s heroines, is always a source of solace and inspiration. And as Florence Williams shows in her new book, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, modern technology is now revealing what goes on in our brains when we step outdoors—and why nature is so good for us.

Creative people have better-connected brains
24th February 2017 | | Humans

Seemingly countless self-help books and seminars tell you to tap into the right side of your brain to stimulate creativity. But forget the “right-brain” myth — a new study suggests it’s how well the two brain hemispheres communicate that sets highly creative people apart.

Otzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers
20th February 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient.

Although these molecules are very stable in tissues, prior to this study it was unclear whether they could still be found in human tissues after thousands of years

Your face is probably more primitive than a Neanderthal’s
20th February 2017 | | Humans

The face of a modern human is almost uniquely flat and extraordinarily expressive. But our remarkable faces may not be as “modern” as we think

Baby’s Sex Plays a Role in Pregnant Women’s Immunity
18th February 2017 | Humans

Women have claimed for years that their bodies react differently whether they’re pregnant with a male or female baby.

Related: Timing when you get pregnant could prevent a miscarriage
Related: Removal of ovaries during hysterectomy linked to increase in heart disease, cancer and premature death

Female genital cutting has an ‘evolutionary logic’ to it, controversial study claims
18th February 2017 | Humans

The widely condemned practice of ceremonial genital mutilation among girls and young women follows an evolutionary logic, according to a provocative study published Monday.

Related: Denmark’s 29,000 Doctors Declare Circumcision of Healthy Boys an “Ethically Unacceptable” Procedure Offering no Meaningful Health Benefits
Related: Your Appendix Might Serve an Important Biological Function After All

Cambridge scientists consider fake news ‘vaccine’
18th February 2017 | | Humans, Tech

The appearance of fake news on websites and social media has inspired scientists to develop a “vaccine” to immunise people against the problem.

A University of Cambridge study devised psychological tools to target fact distortion.

How places can influence the mind – and vice versa
17th February 2017 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Psychogeography – the idea that places can soak up stories and legends – is the subject of a new book

Not far from where I live there’s a landscape that’s soaked in apocalyptic imagery. It’s a place that has soaked up history and stories, legends and folklore, tales that sit and ferment in the unforgiving stone, long outlasting those frail humans who first forged them. It has what we might call psychogeography, an entwining of people and place, where humans influence the land and the land, in turn, makes its indelible mark on generations of people.

Mysteries of time still stump scientists
16th February 2017 | | Humans

The topic of time is both excruciatingly complicated and slippery. The combination makes it easy to get bogged down. But instead of an exhaustive review, journalist Alan Burdick lets curiosity be his guide in Why Time Flies, an approach that leads to a light yet supremely satisfying story about time as it runs through — and is perceived by — the human body.

Pride: Sin or incentive?
16th February 2017 | | Humans

As human emotions go, pride has earned a bad rap. Christians count it among the seven deadly sins, the ancient Greeks charged it with provoking destruction by the gods, and non-industrial peoples around the world consider it a source of bad luck.

Personality traits ‘contagious’ among children
16th February 2017 | Humans

When preschoolers spend time around one another, they tend to take on each others’ personalities, indicates a new study by Michigan State University psychology researchers.

Before babies even babble or roll, they’re primed to be superhero fans
16th February 2017 | Humans

By preschool, lots of toddlers will proudly don superhero attire and fervently expound on the need to stand up to bullies, defeat villains, and fight for good and justice. It may seem like their sponge-like minds have sopped up every dribble of virtue from their parents, peers, and cartoons. But a new study suggests that their noble credos may actually be hardwired into their noggins long before they can recite the Spiderman theme song

Infants Exposed to Languages Can Retain Them Later in Life
16th February 2017 | | Humans

Children as young as 3 months old who have been exposed to a language have an advantage when they learn — or relearn — the sounds of that language later in life, according to a new study.

Related: Adoptees advantaged by birth language memory

Antibiotics might kill gut bacteria that protect newborn lungs
16th February 2017 | | Humans

Exposure to antibiotics in the womb could permanently weaken the immune system and make lung disease more likely, research in mice suggests.

Related: The drugs don’t work, say back pain researchers

Like or Unlike? Facebook May Harm Health
16th February 2017 | | Humans

After a long week, if there’s not much on TV, you may spend some time on Facebook. Could this decision hurt your health? A new study suggests it might, though the answer is complicated.

Related: The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz

Mystery radiation ‘clouds’ may pose risk to air travellers
15th February 2017 | | Earth, Humans, Space

Danger zones in the air where radiation levels surge could pose an unrecognised health hazard. Airliners may have to avoid these in future, just as they do with volcanic ash clouds, to minimise any risk to travellers and crew.

We have long known that high-altitude flight exposes us to cosmic rays.

Why the sound of noisy eating fills some people with rage
15th February 2017 | | Humans

Imagine feeling angry or upset whenever you hear a certain everyday sound. It’s a condition called misophonia, and we know little about its causes. Now there’s evidence that misophonics show distinctive brain activity whenever they hear their trigger sounds, a finding that could help devise coping strategies and treatments.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.