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Showing posts from January 12, 2017

Joint Pain? Don't Blame the Weather

It's not uncommon for people to blame achy joints on the weather, but two new studies from Australia suggest that changes in air pressure or rainy days are not the culprits for your aches and pains. The researchers found there were no links between the weather and people's reports of low back pain in one study, or knee arthritis in the other. The researchers compared weather data from the week that each person's pain began to weather data from one month earlier, when the patient had been pain-free.


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Peekaboo! Baby Brains Process Faces Just Like Adult Brains Do

The findings suggest that the structure of the brain's visual cortex is already highly organized at birth or soon after. The visual cortex is the part of the brain that processes all visual information. Scientists have long wondered how the visual cortex got this way: Are these regions specified at birth, before the brain even knows what a face or tree looks like, or do they develop later as people grow and learn?


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Why Vaccine Myths Persist: Trump Team References Debunked Autism Link

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist, told reporters on Jan. 10 that President-elect Donald Trump asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety, CNN reported. While Trump's team denied making the specific request that Kennedy referenced, a spokeswoman said that Trump is considering forming a commission on autism, reported CNN and other outlets. The Trump team's response, which brought up autism in response to a question about a vaccine committee, appears to draw a connection between the condition and vaccines, despite overwhelming evidence debunking the claim that vaccines cause autism.


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'Tree Man' Has Surgery: What Causes This Rare Condition?

A 27-year-old man in Bangladesh known as the "tree man" recently underwent surgery to remove the extensive, wood-like warts that covered his hands and feet. Over the past year, the man, Abul Bajandar, has undergone 16 surgeries to remove 11 lbs. (5 kilograms) of the unusual growths from his hands and feet, according toAgence France-Presse (AFP). Prior to the surgery, the growths were so extensive that Bajandar could not feed himself or hold his daughter.


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Warmer Waters Linked to Higher Levels of Shellfish Toxin

As the Earth warms up, you may want to lay off the shellfish: Warmer ocean waters are linked to increased — and possibly dangerous — levels of domoic acid, a toxin in shellfish and other marine animals that can make people sick, a new study finds. Researchers looked at more than two decades' worth of data, from 1991 to 2015, and compared ocean water conditions off the Oregon coast (using measures of climate variability such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which looks at factors including not only temperatures but also ocean current) with the levels of domoic acid in Oregon's razor clams (Siliqua patula). The results showed that in the years when the climate was warmer — including years with higher ocean temperatures and changes in ocean currents — the levels of domoic acid in the razor clams were higher, the researchers said in a statement fromOregon State University.


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Your Drunken Urge for Pizza and Wings, Explained by Science

Anyone who's ever had a lot to drink probably knows the feeling: You want to chow down on pizza, fast food or other grub — and probably a lot of it. Now, a new study in mice may offer a possible explanation for this desire to overeat: Alcohol may activate some of the brain cells that normally make people feel hungry.


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Scientists hear voice of ancient humans in baboon calls

PARIS (AP) — Baboon grunts and mating calls may hold secrets about human speech, according to a new study suggesting that the origins of human language could reach back as much as 25 million years.


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