Science highlights: human adult neurogenesis, and a fungus killing amphibians

A new study provides further evidence that the adult brain in humans does grow new neurons (a process called neurogenesis) in the hippocampus–the section of the brain where learning, memory, and mood regulation is controlled. These new brain cells may play a role in depression, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, etc. Read the article (Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, 25 March 2019). And, go to the source —…

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Science highlights: threats to global health, and apple trees are dying

See the WHO’s 10 threats to global health in 2019. Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease account for more than 70% of all deaths globally–driven by tobacco use, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diets, and/or air pollution and climate change. These factors also drive mental illness; half of all mental illness starts by age 14, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-19 year-olds….

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Science highlights: insomnia, and maternal mortality

Sleeplessness is a big problem today; its costs from health problems to lost productivity are huge. Recent research has probed the biological basis of insomnia. From analysis of the genomes of over 1.75 million people, insomnia has been potentially linked to hundreds of genes, specific brain regions, and an overlap with mood disorders (depression, anxiety, etc.). Read the article (Simon Makin, Scientific American, 12 March…

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Science highlights: dwindling seafood, Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s and inflammation, today’s fast food, and disease-carrying mosquitos

Rising sea water temperatures have lowered the yield of 235 fish stocks globally by 4% since 1930. However, by 2100, water temperatures will increase more than 3 times the current amount since 1930, plus tropical fish haven’t been factored in, and they’re most at risk. The global seafood supply is decreasing. Read the article (Erik Stokstad, Science, 28 February 2019). Both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may…

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Science highlights: job automation, dishonesty, and craving sweets

Job automation is here and is happening in the fast food industry. 70% of fast food sales come from drive-through. From taking orders, customer interaction, even to cooking, machines are taking the place of human beings–all to get your burger 58 seconds faster. Read the article (Peter Holley, Washington Post, 22 February 2019). “Lying or acting dishonestly is a powerful act that is intent on…

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Science highlights: food waste, weather forecasting, 2080 climate, and sinking land

1/3 of all fruit & vegetables produced annually are thrown away because they appear marked or spoiled. A new edible food coating–already in use–helps food last 2-3 times longer and can cut down on food waste. Read the article (Charlotte Jee, MIT Technology Review, 14 February 2019). Weather forecasting has improved; accurate forecasts can now be made for 10 days in the future. But, there…

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