Humans news stories

Memories could be erased to cure soldiers of PTSD, say scientists
25th February 2017 | | Humans, Tech

Soldiers could be cured of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by erasing the individual memories of disturbing events, scientists believe.

Study finds that heel-down posture in great apes and humans confers a fighting advantage
25th February 2017 | Animal Life, Humans

Walking on our heels, a feature that separates great apes, including humans, from other primates, confers advantages in fighting, according to a new University of Utah study

Related: Football headers ‘linked to brain damage’

Desert people evolve to drink water poisoned with deadly arsenic
25th February 2017 | | Humans

PEOPLE in a south American desert have evolved to detoxify potentially deadly arsenic that laces their water supply.

For settlers in the Quebrada Camarones region of Chile’s Atacama desert some 7000 years ago, water posed more than a bit of a problem.

Same-sex marriage laws helped reduce suicide attempts by gay, lesbian and bisexual teens, study says
24th February 2017 | | Humans

In a 16-year period during which changes in state marriage laws were sweeping the nation, states that adopted laws allowing same-sex marriage saw an immediate decline in suicide attempts by gay, lesbian and bisexual high school students — a group in which attempted suicide is two to seven times more common than among their heterosexual peers.

How eating less can slow the aging process
24th February 2017 | | Humans

There’s a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to products that fight signs of aging, but moisturizers only go skin deep. Aging occurs deeper — at a cellular level — and scientists have found that eating less can slow this cellular process.

Junk food tax and veg subsidies could add 500,000 years of life
24th February 2017 | | Humans

Taxing junk food and subsidising healthier options could save Australia billions of dollars by preventing people from getting sick. A study that looked at consumer habits finds that the two-pronged approach should be more effective than one based on taxes alone.

Related: Pizza, burgers and the like: A single high-fat meal can damage the metabolism
Related: The Nasty Ingredient in Fast-Food Wrappers

Humans are hard-wired to follow the path of least resistance
24th February 2017 | | Humans

The amount of effort required to do something influences what we think we see, finds a new study, suggesting we’re biased towards perceiving anything challenging to be less appealing.

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.

News stories covering humans, psychology and health.