Humans news stories

Do parasitic worms help keep arteries young?
19th April 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

Among an indigenous group of people in the Amazon region of Bolivia, atherosclerosis is practically nonexistent, whereas it’s a common fact of life for most Americans over 60. It’s a complicated comparison, but parasitic worms seem to be part of the equation, say researchers.

More time spent online makes children less happy with their lives, research finds
16th April 2017 | Humans

Children who spend more time social networking online feel less happy with a number of different aspects of their lives, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.

Ban 9am lectures for students, experts say
16th April 2017 | | Humans

Researchers say traditional education and work start times of 9am mean young adults are likely to underperform as a result of learning at a time which feels unnatural to them

Related: Early school starts pit teens in a conflict between society, biology

Feeling blue? Grab your friends and have fun, say researchers
16th April 2017 | | Humans

Those suffering from dysphoria­—feeling unhappy and experiencing elevated depressive symptoms—respond to positive experiences with a marked reduction in their depressive mood.

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that experiencing or even just anticipating uplifting events in daily life was related to feeling less depressed that same day.

Related: Want to help your mate beat the blues? Show them the love
Related: How just saying ‘thank you’ can help you ward off depression: Act of courtesy can keep the blues at bay by raising self-esteem

Psychedelic drug ayahuasca improves hard-to-treat depression
16th April 2017 | | Humans

It tastes foul and makes people vomit. But ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic concoction that has been drunk in South America for centuries in religious rituals, may help people with depression that is resistant to antidepressants.

The Tallest Men in the World Trace Back to Paleolithic Mammoth Hunters
15th April 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Men from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Montenegro are, on average, the tallest in the world, according to new research that helps to explain why such individuals often grow to six feet and more in height.

Ketamine depression treatment ‘should be rolled out’
14th April 2017 | | Humans

Doctors trialling the use of ketamine to treat depression are calling for the treatment to be rolled out.

Ketamine is licensed to be used as an anaesthetic but has a reputation as an illegal party drug.

Microdosing: The people taking LSD with their breakfast
14th April 2017 | | Humans

There is a small community of people in the UK who “microdose” – or take small amounts of psychedelic drugs as part of their daily lives. They say it boosts creativity and can have medicinal benefits, despite a lack of scientific research.

Doctors once treated alcoholism with heroin. Now, they want to treat heroin addiction with marijuana
14th April 2017 | | Humans

A new drug treatment program says it has a cure for heroin addiction: marijuana.

The claim has attracted national attention, but the history of analogous miracle cures is as long as it is discouraging.

First study finds neonic pesticides in US drinking water
13th April 2017 | | Humans

Small traces of the world’s most widely used insecticides have been detected in tap water for the first time.

Samples taken by scientists in the US state of Iowa showed that levels of neonicotinoid chemicals remained constant despite treatment.

Related: Vital groundwater depleted faster than ever

Getting antibiotics as a baby may have lasting effects on brain, behavior
13th April 2017 | Humans

Banishing bacteria from the body with antibiotics around birth may cause haywire signals in the brain and lasting behavioral changes, a series of studies suggests.

Related: Antibiotics overuse could increase bowel cancer risk, study finds

Many healthy women are diagnosed with cancer even though the cancer would never have made them ill
13th April 2017 | Humans, Tech

The study concludes that screening does not stop the advance of breast cancer and that nearly one third of the tumours diagnosed in women offered screening are actually overdiagnosis.

This means that healthy women who would never have become ill from breast cancer are operated on and exposed to radiotherapy and possibly chemotherapy.

Related: Benefits of PSA test to screen for prostate cancer are roughly equal to its harms, expert panel says

Fruits and vegetables’ latest superpower? Lowering blood pressure
13th April 2017 | | Humans

Eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas — and even coffee — could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to Alicia McDonough, PhD, professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

Related: UK eats almost four times more packaged food than fresh

Rules of memory ‘beautifully’ rewritten
12th April 2017 | | Humans

What really happens when we make and store memories has been unravelled in a discovery that surprised even the scientists who made it.

The US and Japanese team found that the brain “doubles up” by simultaneously making two memories of events.

Is Matter Conscious? Why the central problem in neuroscience is mirrored in physics
12th April 2017 | Animal Life, Humans, Space

The nature of consciousness seems to be unique among scientific puzzles. Not only do neuroscientists have no fundamental explanation for how it arises from physical states of the brain, we are not even sure whether we ever will. Astronomers wonder what dark matter is, geologists seek the origins of life, and biologists try to understand cancer—all difficult problems, of course, yet at least we have some idea of how to go about investigating them and rough conceptions of what their solutions could look like.

Harms of nighttime light exposure passed to offspring
12th April 2017 | | Animal Life, Humans

Animals can pass the damaging effects of nighttime light exposure to their offspring, a new study has found, adding to a growing body of evidence that there’s a health cost to our increasingly illuminated nights.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.