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Sun, 19 Sep 2021
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Magic Wand

Foetal testosterone linked to autistic traits

Researchers who having been tracking a group of children since birth have found that the level of testosterone they were exposed to in the womb is linked to whether they show autistic traits throughout childhood.

The children are now 8 years old. Questionnaires filled out by their parents show that those who had experienced higher levels of testosterone in the womb generally have better pattern recognition and numerical skills, such as remembering car number plates, but are less keen on socialising. None have been diagnosed with autism, but these are traits which, when taken to an extreme, are often present in autistic children.

Magic Wand

Yawners aren't bored, they're just empathising

They might look sleepy, bored and switched off, but people with a tendency to yawn a lot actually do so because they are highly attuned to the social world around them.

Those who are prone to contagious yawning - the mysterious phenomenon by which the urge to yawn can be "caught" by watching others doing it - also have particularly high empathy for the emotions of others, research has suggested. They notice that others are yawning and then unconsciously mirror their actions.

Question

Yawning, a test of your empathy?

Today as I was riding home from campus on the bus, I was talking on the phone, and my interlocutor yawned. Almost immediately, I yawned as well. She made a joke about it, and I said that it wasn't my fault, because yawning is contagious -- when you see or hear someone yawn, you tend to yawn as well. I thought that was a well-known fact, but apparently she had never heard it, or noticed it before, so my first instinct was to prove that it was true by explaining to her why it happened. Then I realized that I had no idea why it happened. So I decided that when I got home, I would look it up. Let it never be said that I am not a geek.

Attention

Fluoride in Southern California Tap Water Puts 64,000 Kids at Risk

Four years ago, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) decided to add fluoride to the tap water of millions of Californians as of October 2007.

Since then, the American Dental Association (ADA), scientists at Harvard University, and the prestigious National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences have all raised serious concerns about the safety of fluoridated water for infants and young children.

Health

Mediterranean diet 'helps Alzheimer's sufferers'

Oil, fish and vegetables are known to keep the heart healthy, but a new study has found that the Mediterranean diet may help people with Alzheimer's disease live longer as well.

An American study revealed a Mediterranean diet may help people with Alzheimer's disease live longer than patients who eat traditional Western foods, known for being high in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils and lower in fruits and vegetables.

Health

Alzheimer's memory loss mechanism possibly found

U.S. medical scientists said they might have discovered the mechanism responsible for memory loss observed in Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco's Gladstone Institute and the Baylor College of Medicine discovered a mechanism by which the protein Amyloid-beta might impair neurological functions in Alzheimer's disease.

Evil Rays

Frequent mobile phone users have lower brain activity

Dutch scientists have found that frequent use of mobile phones leads to slower brain activity but that their capability to focus on specific issues increases, it was reported on Monday.

The study on the long-term effects of mobile phone usage was published in the September edition of International Journal of Neuroscience.

Attention

Congo Officials Confirm Ebola Outbreak

Lab results have confirmed a deadly illness outbreak in southeastern Congo as Ebola fever, officials said Monday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and another lab in Gabon confirmed the disease as a hemorrhagic fever, and specifically as Ebola, Health Minister Makwenge Kaput said on national television. More than 100 people have died of illness in the affected region since late August.

Black Cat

Madness! Antidepressants given to babies in New Zealand

Medical authorities are mystified and concerned at figures suggesting antidepressant drugs are being prescribed for children, some less than a year old.

Records of the national drug buying agency Pharmac suggest thousands of prescriptions a year are being written for children under 10.

Antidepressants are powerful psychiatric drugs with potentially severe side-effects.

X

Swan dies of bird flu in southern Russia

Laboratory tests have confirmed that a dead swan found in the Krasnodar Territory was infected with H5 bird flu virus, but not with the N1 strain, a source in the local administration said Monday.

This is the only case of bird flu detected in the territory since 410 chickens died from the virus and 22,000 birds were culled at a local poultry farm in southern Russia.