Health & Wellness

Heart - Black

More shocking results: New research replicates Milgram's findings

Nearly 50 years after the controversial Milgram experiments, social psychologist Jerry M. Burger, PhD, has found that people are still just as willing to administer what they believe are painful electric shocks to others when urged on by an authority figure.

Burger, a professor at Santa Clara University, replicated one of the famous obedience experiments of the late Stanley Milgram, PhD, and found that compliance rates in the replication were only slightly lower than those found by Milgram. And, like Milgram, he found no difference in the rates of obedience between men and women.

"People learning about Milgram's work often wonder whether results would be any different today," Burger says. "Many point to the lessons of the Holocaust and argue that there is greater societal awareness of the dangers of blind obedience. But what I found is the same situational factors that affected obedience in Milgram's experiments still operate today."


Study points to calorie-burning fat

Washington, D.C. -- Calorie-burning fat may seem like science fiction, but a study released found that adults have small blobs of metabolism-regulating brown fat previously believed to exist only in babies and children.

This "good" fat, researchers said, unlike white fat that makes up most body fat, is active in burning calories and using energy.


Dentists Still Using Plastic Sealants, Despite BPA Toxicity

In spite of rising concern over the endocrine-disrupting effects of bisphenol-A (BPA), the chemical is still used in dental sealants that are strongly recommended by the American Dental Association.

BPA is used in a wide variety of industrial applications, including in the making of compact discs, polycarbonate plastic water and baby bottles, and the resins that line cans of food. The chemical is known to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen, however, and has been linked to developmental, neurological and reproductive defects and increased risk of cancer. Although the FDA and EPA have yet to regulate it as a toxic substance, the National Toxicology Program concluded in a recent research review that there is indeed cause for concern over BPA's effects, particularly in children.

The issue with dental sealants -- syrupy substances applied to the cracks in teeth, hardened and then buffed smooth as a barrier to the bacteria that cause tooth the same as with plastic water bottles or the linings of cans: Under certain conditions, especially high temperatures, BPA is known to leach out of plastics and resins. Scientists believe that exposure to BPA from such sources is the reason that the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has detected the chemical in the urine of 93 percent of all people tested.


Study: Young Jews More Spiritual, Yet More Divided?

In a seeming departure from centuries-old traditions of American Jewish skepticism, interest in spirituality is markedly on the rise among Jewish young adults, according to a study released this month.

The study's authors note the trend with cautious optimism, suggesting that heightened spiritual interest might provide a "route to Jewish engagement" and "broaden Judaism's appeal" among some disaffiliated young Jews. Spirituality might also "serve as a common religious language" to ease tensions within the Jewish community, the study says, particularly between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews.

But a close reading of the study's findings suggests the opposite, possibly pointing toward a future increase in polarization and hostility among Jews. Worth noting in particular are the two groups of younger Jews that show the strongest interest in spirituality. They are the two fastest-growing Jewish demographic subgroups: Orthodox Jews, and Jews with at least one non-Jewish parent or spouse - that is, converts, intermarried Jews and children of intermarriage.


Put Down the Knife! 11 Reasons Not to Circumcise

Oh, I've heard many reasons why we should circumcise a baby boy. Some of the popular ones are:

I want him to look like me.
He'll be a freak in the locker room.
You have to. Boys who aren't circumcised are dirty.

Jennifer's recent post, WTF? Baby Boys' Circumcised Foreskins Used for Wrinkle Treatment made me laugh out loud. Mostly it was her shock at up cycling foreskins.

As I commented on that blog, I'd already known they "reused" foreskins. My sister had been involved with a skin grafting on a foot that used those circumcised scraps. If feet and penises combined for life aren't your idea of fun, perhaps you've already hopped on the no-circumcise bandwagon.


Debunking the 'Ethnic Angle' to Mass Murders like Binghampton and Virginia Tech

Enough about Asia's "shame-based" culture, it is the gun culture in America that is most conspicuous.

Whenever a minority commits a heinous crime, it seems to beckon us in the media to search beyond an individual motive for a cultural one. We saw it in the case of Cho Sung-hui of Virginia tech, and now, in the latest case involving Jiverly Linh Phat Wong -- (or Voong). He blocked the back exit of a civic community center in Binghamton, N.Y., where immigrants had gathered to learn English and shot 13 people to death before killing himself.

It is a habit of "finding the ethnic angle" that is endemic in the work of American journalists in an age of cultural diversity, and in order to sound credible, we often ask so-called experts to give their insights.

Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University and an expert on mass murderers, offered his take. "He was going to take his life, but first he was going to get even," Levin said the day after the Binghamton incident. "He was going to get sweet revenge against the other immigrants who had looked down upon him, among whom he had lost face. To him, that was an extremely important thing."


Broccoli sprouts cut gastric cancer risk

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Broccoli sprouts protect the stomach against a bacterial infection which causes conditions such as gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer.

According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, eating 2 1/2 ounces of three-day-old broccoli sprouts every day for at least two months reduces the levels of H. pylori infection but does not prevent it.

H. pylori levels are reported to return to pre-treatment levels eight weeks after the individual stops eating the sprouts.


Study: Born Leaders More Likely Than Followers to Have Children

Born leaders may be more likely to have children than people who prefer to be led, a study suggests.

Researchers found that among Finnish adults in a long- term health study, those who'd scored high on a "leadership" scale as teenagers were more likely than low scorers to have a child by the age of 39.

In contrast, several other aspects of the "type A" personality - aggressiveness, eagerness and a strong sense of responsibility - were unrelated to fertility.

The findings suggest that something about leadership traits, specifically, affects a person's likelihood of having children, the researchers report in the Journal of Personality.


US: Obama sets up formal office for healthcare reform

President Barack Obama set up an executive office for healthcare reform at the White House on Wednesday, saying the overhaul was one of the biggest priorities for the first year of his presidency.

Obama issued an executive order that says the U.S. healthcare system "suffers from serious and pervasive problems."

The White House Office of Health Reform (Health Reform Office) will help the executive branch steer "the federal government's comprehensive effort to improve access to health care, the quality of such care, and the sustainability of the health care system," the order reads.


Breaking Up Can Literally Break Your Heart

The word "heartbreak" is bandied about so much we often forget that physical heart pain is a side effect of high-stress events.

There's a pivotal moment in an episode of "The Simpsons" that has always stood out in my memory. When Lisa tells Ralph Wiggum she doesn't want to be his girlfriend, his face scrunches in agony and he clutches his heart as if it's literally breaking. I remember giggling at the exaggeration and then years later when my own heart got broken, I put my hand to my chest and felt his pain.

The word "heartbreak" is bandied about so much we often forget that, along with depression and loss of appetite, physical heart pain is an actual side effect of high-stress events like the loss of loved ones. The grief from a breakup or death can be so consuming that it's actually heart wrenching and can have serious consequences for our physical health, too.