Archive for the 'Science' Category

Good to know… good to see

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Smallpox Smallpox is an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning spotted, or varus, meaning “pimple”. The term “smallpox” was first used in [...]

10 Things You Need to Know About Coffee

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

1. Caffeine Can Kill You But you’d have to drink 80 to 100 cups in a hurry, health experts say. We advise not trying. Absolutely — but don’t lock up your coffee pot just yet. Experts say you’d have to drink 80 to 100 cups of coffee in quick succession, which equals about 6 gallons [...]

Neurobiologists Discover Butterfly Chronometer

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Each fall, hundreds of millions of newly hatched monarch butterflies flit from the fields and forests in eastern regions of Canada and the United States to the alpine fir forests of central Mexico, converging on the same spot to wait out the winter. Scientists don’t know exactly how these insects find their way, but a [...]

Antennal Circadian Clocks Coordinate Sun Compass Orientation in Migratory Monarch Butterflies

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

During their fall migration, Eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) use a time-compensated Sun compass to aid navigation to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico. It has been assumed that the circadian clock that provides time compensation resides in the brain, although this assumption has never been examined directly. Here, we show that the [...]

Milk drinking started around 7,500 years ago in central Europe

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

The ability to digest the milk sugar lactose first evolved in dairy farming communities in central Europe, not in more northern groups as was previously thought, finds a new study led by UCL (University College London) scientists published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology. The genetic change that enabled early Europeans to drink milk without [...]

7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Our personalities do more for us than determine our social circles. Temperament can impact a person’s physical health. “The idea that behaviour or personality traits can influence health is one that’s been around for a long time. We’re just now getting a handle on to what extent they do,” said Stephen Boyle of Duke University [...]

Archaeologists Discover Oldest-known Fiber Materials Used By Early Humans

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A team of archaeologists and paleobiologists has discovered flax fibers that are more than 34,000 years old, making them the oldest fibers known to have been used by humans. The fibers, discovered during systematic excavations in a cave in the Republic of Georgia. The flax, which would have been collected from the wild and not [...]

30,000-Year-Old Wild Flax Fibers

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A unique finding of wild flax fibers from a series of Upper Paleolithic layers at Dzudzuana Cave, located in the foothills of the Caucasus, Georgia, indicates that prehistoric hunter-gatherers were making cords for hafting stone tools, weaving baskets, or sewing garments. Radiocarbon dates demonstrate that the cave was inhabited intermittently during several periods dated to [...]

No sex tonight honey, I haven’t taken my statins

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

High cholesterol isn’t just bad for the heart – it could also make it harder for women to become sexually aroused. That might mean that cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins would help to treat so-called female sexual dysfunction (FSD). Hyperlipidemia, or raised levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood, is associated with erectile dysfunction [...]

Widespread belief in contraceptive myths, survey suggests

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Britain’s high rate of unintended pregnancies could be down to widespread belief in myths surrounding contraception, experts have warned. Women listed methods including washing with cola drinks and using cling film when asked about contraception for a new poll. More than half, 53 per cent, also erroneously thought that using the contraceptive pill long term [...]