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Fri, 25 Jun 2021
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Brain differences in adolescents, psychopaths, lend to their impulsive, risk-taking behavior

The next time you find yourself wondering, "Teenagers! Why do they do that?", look to their adolescent brains. New research suggests that the risk-taking behaviors seen in adolescents may be attributed to their still developing brains. Another study explores the brain basis for the risk-taking behaviors of psychopaths.

The new research was presented at the 34th Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

New research--in both humans and animals--shows differences in the structure and functioning of adolescent brains compared with preadolescents or adults that correspond to such teenage behaviors as immature decision making, increased risk taking, and impulsive behaviors. As a result of this research, scientists now urge that puberty be studied as a separate stage of development--one distinctly different from the life stages of children or adults.

Arrow Up

U.S. chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis rates rise

The rates of three leading sexually transmitted diseases -- chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis -- rose again in the United States last year, worried public health officials said on Tuesday.

It was the second year in a row of increases for all three of these sexually transmitted bacterial infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The rate of chlamydia, the most common infectious disease reported to the CDC, increased 5.6 percent in 2006 from 2005.

HAL9000

Voices inside and outside your head: Brain implant turn thoughts to words

Forty-one neurons is a drop in the ocean compared with the hundred billion or so cells that are present in our brains. But those few neurons could help Eric Ramsey talk again.

It is eight years since a car accident left Ramsey "locked-in" - aware but paralysed and unable to communicate other than through eye movements. By listening in on a tiny population of cells in his brain, neuroscientists hope to give him back his "voice" - a first for someone with his problems.

People

Now Doctors Say It's Good to be Overweight

A startling new study by medical researchers in the United States has caused consternation among public health professionals by suggesting that, contrary to conventional wisdom, being overweight might actually be beneficial for health.

The study, published yesterday in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association, runs counter to almost all other advice to consumers by saying that carrying a little extra flab -- though not too much -- might help people to live longer.

Syringe

Study shows how some AIDS vaccines may harm

Some viruses being used in experimental AIDS vaccines may damage the immune system by exhausting key cells, researchers reported on Thursday in a finding that may further cloud the field of HIV vaccines.

©REUTERS/Claro Cortes
A Chinese woman checks her mobile phone while passing an anti-AIDS poster in Beijing November 28, 2004.

People

Stiffer penalties on shoddy nursing homes sought

Senators said on Thursday they will seek stiffer sanctions against nursing homes delivering shoddy care and require clear ownership information from homes acquired by private equity groups.

The bipartisan legislation would give more enforcement power to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees state inspections of the nation's 16,400 nursing homes and also pays for the care of many poor and elderly residents.

Ambulance

CDC: New respiratory bug has killed 10

ATLANTA - A mutated version of a common cold virus has caused 10 deaths in the last 18 months, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Adenoviruses usually cause respiratory infections that aren't considered lethal. But a new variant has caused at least 140 illnesses in New York, Oregon, Washington and Texas, according to a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Crusader

Snakes in Suits: Sense of moral superiority can lead to unethical acts, study finds

Morally upstanding people are the do-gooders of society, right? Actually, a new study finds that a sense of moral superiority can lead to unethical acts, such as cheating. In fact, some of the best do-gooders can become the worst cheats.

Stop us if this sounds familiar.

When asked to describe themselves, most people typically will rattle off a list of physical features and activities (for example, "I do yoga" or "I'm a paralegal"). But some people have what scientists call a moral identity, in which the answer to the question would include phrases like "I am honest" and "I am a caring person."

Past research has suggested that people who describe themselves with words such as honest and generous are also more likely to engage in volunteer work and other socially responsible acts.

But often in life, the line between right and wrong becomes blurry, particularly when it comes to cheating on a test or in the workplace. For example, somebody could rationalize cheating on a test as a way of achieving their dream of becoming a doctor and helping people.

In the new study, detailed in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers find that when this line between right and wrong is ambiguous among people who think of themselves as having high moral standards, the do-gooders can become the worst of cheaters.

Syringe

22,000 Culled in Bird Flu outbreak

Suffolk, UK: Wildfowl on four more farms are to be culled amid fears that birds are infected with deadly bird flu, Defra announced today.

More than 5,500 turkeys at Grove Farm in Botisdale, Suffolk will be slaughtered - along with thousands more on other sites - as a precautionary measure after Defra assessed that the birds had come into "dangerous contact" with poultry carrying the deadly HN51 strain.

©Daily Express
A map showing the exclusion zone

Black Cat

Psychologist adds scientific insight to loaded label of 'psychopath'

For most people on the planet, the term "psychopath" evokes thoughts of violence and bloodshed - and evil of the darkest kind.

But during 25 years, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has built a body of work that may help temper such deeply ingrained perceptions.

Sure, people do commit horrific, unimaginable crimes. But does that automatically mean they are psychopathic? And what is "psychopathy" anyway? With unique research access to prison inmate populations in Wisconsin, Joseph Newman has devoted his career to answering such questions.

Comment: Further material on psychopathy:
* 'Political Ponerology' - Andrew Lobaczewski
* 'The Mask of Sanity' - Hervey Cleckley, M.D.
* 'The Sociopath Next Door' - Martha Stout, Ph.D.
* 'Snakes in Suits' - Paul Babiak, Ph.D., Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.
* 'Without Conscience' - Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.
* 'Predators' - Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.
* Cassiopedia.org :- Psychopathy