Sunday, March 28, 2010

Research News: Psychopaths' Brains Wired To Seek Rewards

The News: Scientists have long known what psychopaths lack: emotions like empathy, fear and remorse. Now, a new study focuses on what they may have, a brain abnormality that may lead them to seek rewards like money, sex or fame at any cost. More from NPR, All Things Considered, 3/27/2010.

The Research:
Read the research behind this story in Nature Neuroscience, 13, 419-421 (14 March 2010).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Research news: You are what your mother ate

The News: The placentas of female fetuses proved most sensitive to maternal diet, producing more of a protein that responds to estrogen, say researchers led by Cheryl Rosenfeld, a reproductive biologist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The extra sensitivity could make female offspring more susceptible to estrogen-mimicking chemicals in the environment. More from a March 8, 2010 article in Science News by Tina Hesman Saey.

The Research:
Read the research behind this story in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 23, 2010 vol. 107 no. 12 5557-5562

Monday, March 22, 2010

Research News: Dog Origins Tracked to Middle East

The News: Borrowing methods developed to study the genetics of human disease, researchers have concluded that dogs were probably first domesticated from wolves somewhere in the Middle East, in contrast to an earlier survey suggesting dogs originated in East Asia. (Read more in the New York Times for 17 Mar 2010.)

The Research: Read the research behind this story in the letters section of the journal Nature for 17 Mar 2010 [doi:10.1038/nature08837]...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Research News: Global Warming & Arctic Sea Methane?

The News: Scientists studying global warming in the Arctic have discovered a previously unknown source of methane working its way into the atmosphere, a source that is releasing large amounts of the gas each year. Methane is, molecule for molecule, a far more potent global-warming gas than carbon dioxide. The newly discovered emissions are welling up from the continental shelf off Siberia's northern coast. (Read more from the Mar 4th Christian Science Monitor.)

The Research:
Read the research behind this story in Science 327, 1246 (2010): "Extensive Methane Venting to the Atmosphere from Sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf." Natalia Shakhova, et al.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Research News: Shields up

The News:
Magnetized rocks push back origin of earth's magnetic field. Earth's churning interior produced a protective magnetic field as early as 3.45 billion years ago, closer to when life began. Continued in Scientific American, March 4, 2010 by John Matson.

The Research:
Read the research by John Tarduno et al. behind this story in March , 2010 edition of Science, Vol. 327. no. 5970, pp. 1238 - 1240

Research News: Alcohol and aggression in large men

The News:

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, it may pay to keep in mind that there is a kernel of truth to the stereotype that large men are especially prone to being DWI — dangerous while intoxicated.
When they were drunk, bigger men became especially aggressive when given the opportunity to administer electric shocks to a fictitious opponent in a laboratory contest, say psychologist Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky in Lexington and his colleagues. Yet larger men showed no aggression increases after downing a nonalcoholic placebo drink. More in Science News, by Bruce Bower.

The Research:
Read the research behind this story in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology