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Science News And Research

Interesting science news, research tidbits and science discussion.


Common yeast infection linked to mental illness
In a study published in online journal

Tylenol and other paracetamol painkillers may hinder the brain's error-correction mechanisms
It's been known for more than a century that acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and marketed as Tylenol and Panadol) is an effective painkiller, but according to a new Canadian study it could also be impeding error-detection in the brain...

Urgent rethink required on Earth's carbon-sinks, suggests study
In a new study that expands our understanding of how humans contribute to global warming, scientists have discovered that human activity has dramatically changed the terrestrial biosphere to make it a significant contributor to climate change...

Generalized constructal law shows that evolution doesn't apply only to biological things
A law of physics that explains why larger animals live longer and travel further can be extended to the simplest forms of mass migration on the planet - like rolling stones and turbulent eddies in water and air currents...

Gaian bottleneck means alien life never persists, say Oz astrobiologists
Life on other planets would likely be brief and become extinct very quickly, according to a new paper by Australian astrobiologists. In research aiming to understand how life might develop, the scientists realised new life would commonly die out due to runaway heating or cooling on their fledgling planets...

Could suicide be a variant of an evolutionarily adaptive set of behaviors?
In a new paper, researchers argue that a tendency towards self-sacrifice among humans is adaptive in some situations - for instance, a firefighter willingly risking his or her life to save someone from a burning building. But when individuals mistakenly view their own deaths as being worth more than their lives, the results can be needlessly lethal...

fMRI data trove yields new insights into consciousness and abstract thought
Using 20 years of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from tens of thousands of brain imaging experiments, neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts have created a geometry-based method for massive data analysis to reach a new understanding of how thought arises from brain structure...

Brain inflammation linked to compromised reward circuits in depression
Intriguing new research suggests that by blocking inflammation (or its effects on the brain), it may be possible to help depressed individuals who fail to respond to antidepressants...

Sunscreen killing coral reefs
Oxybenzone, a UV-filtering compound used in sunscreens, has been found in high concentrations in the waters around popular coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. According to new research, the chemical not only kills coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they can develop properly...

Placebo response growing over time - but only in America
A new study finds that rising placebo responses may play a part in the increasingly high failure rate for clinical trials of drugs, but the authors of the study say that the increase in placebo responses occurred only in trials conducted in the United States...