The recent finding that telling lies induces changes in the brain has stimulated a number of misrepresentations that may wreak more harm on our understanding than the lies on which they report. CNN’s headline runs, “Lying May Be Your Brain’s Fault, Honestly,” and PBS reports, “Telling a Lie Makes Way for the Brain to Keep Lying.” These stories are based on a study from University College London using a brain imaging technique called functional MRI. The authors report that as subjects tell lies, activation of the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with emotion and decision making, actually decreases, suggesting that subjects may become desensitized to lying, thereby paving the way for further dishonesty.
The amount of sleep adults need has once again come under the spotlight, with a recent Wall Street Journal article suggesting seven hours sleep is better than eight hours and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine drawing up guidelines surrounding sleep need.
So, what should the guidelines say? Unfortunately, when it comes to the amount of sleep adults require there is not really a “one size fits all”. Sleep need can vary substantially between individuals.
As plumes of vapor spread across the country, e-cigarettes have seemingly found a home in the lungs of many willing participants. With arguments mounting on both sides of the spectrum, very few answers have been given about the real effects of "water vapor," but one study may have pinned it. According to new research in the journal, Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, most experts agree that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional ones, but also bring a variety of new health concerns into the mix.
One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.
From hydro-electric dams to hydrogen powered vehicles, scientists for years have been struggling to figure out innovative ways to capture the limitless potential of water. Despite the shortcomings, new wave energy technology may be a unique approach to harnessing wave power in our oceans instead.
Electric-free and odd looking compared to more conventional musical instruments, the Yaybahar sounds like it could definitely catch on in the modern day era of electronic beats. Designed by Gorkem Sen, the instrument uses vibrations from the strings which are transmitted via the coiled springs to the frame drums.
During times of stress, the human body often has a difficult time fighting infections or other nasty health issues. That subtle weakness may soon change with a new high-tech gadget which can clear infections and even unknown pathogens from blood.
The recent earthquake in Nepal demonstrated yet again how difficult it is to reliably predict natural disasters. While we have a good knowledge of the various earthquakes zones on the planet, we have no way of knowing exactly when a big quake like the 7.8-magnitude event in Nepal will happen.
Featuring its' own underground river, the Hang Son Soong in Vietnam is the largest known cave in the world and was discovered only recently in 1991 by a local man named Ho Khanh. It wasn't internationally known until 2009 when members from the British Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a survey there. The ever-expanding cave was created 2-5 million years ago by erosion caused by river water flowing through limestone mountains.
Exploring the uncharted territories of the mind and soul, Psychonautics simply relates the experience users feel during altered states of consciousness. One reaches this mindset through a myriad of tools which range from drug-free techniques to full blown psychedelics and hallucinogens. It doesn't matter whether the ritual is shamanistic involving mystical mushrooms, or you're dropped into a sensory deprivation tank, the overall goal is to gain deeper insights into the human psyche and utilize their altered state of mind for greater perspective.
The Galapagos Islands are world-famous as a laboratory of biological evolution. Some 30 percent of the plants, 80 percent of the land birds and 97 percent of the reptiles on this remote archipelago are found nowhere else on Earth. Perhaps the most striking example is the islands’ iconic giant tortoises, which often live to ages over 100 years in the wild. Multiple species of these mega-herbivores have evolved in response to conditions on the island or volcano where each lives, generating wide variation in shell shape and size.
The human face is incredibly versatile in projecting thought and emotions, including one in particular, the angry face. As a behavior that's remarkably similar despite language barriers or even entire species, the question isn't who displays anger, but why? “The expression is cross-culturally universal, and even congenitally blind children make this same face without ever having seen one,” said lead author Aaron Sell, a lecturer at the School of Criminology at Griffith University in Australia.