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Fri, 03 Feb 2023
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The Origin of Sex: Cosmic Solution to Ancient Mystery

Comets and asteroids have been blamed for a lot of things before. Shaping Earth. Jumpstarting life. Wiping out dinosaurs. Even possibly altering human evolution.

But never sex.

Roughly 1 billion years after the first organisms romped in the hay, the origin of sex remains one of biology's greatest mysteries. Scientists can't say exactly why we do it, or what triggered those initial terrestrial flirtations. Before sex, life seemed to manage fine by employing asexual reproduction -- the cloning of offspring without the help of a partner.

Magnify

Government Suppresses Major Public Health Report

The public has been denied important information on the link between pollution and health problems including lung, colon and breast cancer.

The Center for Public Integrity, a public interest investigative journalism organization, has obtained copies of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study of environmental and health data in eight Great Lakes states that was scheduled for publication in July 2007. The report, which pointed to elevated rates of lung, colon, and breast cancer; low birth weight; and infant mortality in several of the geographical areas of concern has not yet been made public.


Comment: While suppression of the link between pollution and lung cancer has taken place, there has been an undeclared war on smoking, which has been accused of causing all kinds of ills, not least lung cancer.

See this article for the real story about smoking and why it is being outlawed.


Comment:
If you have injury, that implies liability. Liability, of course, implies damages, legal processes, and costs of remedial action. The governments, frankly, in both countries are so heavily aligned with, particularly, the chemical industry, that the word amongst the bureaucracies is that they really do not want any evidence of effect or injury to be allowed out there."
Right there you have the reason why smoking has been blamed. They have put the responsibility on the smokers for the failing health of the population, rather than where it belongs, namely governments and the corporate chemical industry.


Einstein

Study: Your Brain Works Like the Internet

Your brain functions a lot like the Internet or a network of friends, scientists said Tuesday.

Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the activity in peoples' brains and how different regions connect. They conclude the human brain can be visualized as a complex interacting network that relies on nodes to efficiently convey information from place to place.

Heart

Love More Powerful than Sex, Study Claims

Sex and romance may seem inextricably linked, but the human brain clearly distinguishes between the two, according to a new study. The upshot: Love is the more powerful emotion.

The results of brain scans speak to longstanding questions of whether the pursuit of love and sex are different emotional endeavors or whether romance is just warmed over sexual arousal.

Heart

Is Love Good For You?

While most things are best taken in moderation, love is something you might want to give and receive freely this Valentine's day.

Being involved in a healthy, loving relationship is good for the heart, says Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologist Dr. Julie Damp.

Heart

A Valentine's Day story: Women more perceptive than men in describing relationships

Women are better than men in describing their feelings and those of their romantic partners than are men, while the latter tend to project their own feelings upon their partners more than women. This, according to a study undertaken by graduate student Dana Atzil Slonim and Dr. Orya Tishby of the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in cooperation with Prof. Jacques Barber and Dr. Carol Foltz from the University of Pennsylvania.

The research was conducted in the United States among 97 couples, married and unmarried, between the ages of 18 and 46. Using a questionnaire, the researchers checked the sensitivities of couples in their relationships in three areas: participants' wishes or desires towards their romantic partner; the perceived response of how their partner will respond to these wishes; and finally for their own responses to their partners' responses.

Bulb

Sex differences in the brain's serotonin system

A new thesis from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that the brain's serotonin system differs between men and women. The scientists who conducted the study think that they have found one of the reasons why depression and chronic anxiety are more common in women than in men.

Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that is critical to the development and treatment of depression and chronic anxiety, conditions that, for reasons still unknown, are much more common in women than in men. A research group at Karolinska Institutet has now shown using a PET scanner that women and men differ in terms of the number of binding sites for serotonin in certain parts of the brain.

People

University of Illinois study: exercise to avoid gallstones!

A new University of Illinois study shows that exercise-trained mice get far fewer gallstones than sedentary mice and identifies potential mechanisms to explain why this occurs.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, can be viewed online here.

"For the first time, we have direct evidence that physical activity reduces gallstone formation, adding to the ever-increasing number of reasons that people should get more exercise," said Kenneth Wilund, a faculty member in the University of Illinois Division of Nutritional Sciences and an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Community Health.

People

Male births are more likely to reduce quality of life and increase severe post-natal depression

Giving birth to a boy can lead to higher levels of severe post-natal depression (PND) and reduced quality of life than having a girl, according to research published in the February issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing.

A team of researchers led by Professor Claude de Tychey, from Universite Nancy 2, France, found that just under a third of the 181 women they studied four to eight weeks after delivery had PND.

Nine per cent of the women in the study - carried out in a French community where they didn't face cultural pressures over the sex of their baby - had severe PND and just over three-quarters of those had given birth to boys.

Health

Congo-Kinshasa: Cholera Outbreak Spreads in Katanga

A cholera outbreak in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) province of Katanga has spread, despite efforts to bring the epidemic under control.

The disease has claimed the lives of 97 people and 4,029 have been infected since the first cases of the gastro-intestinal illness were reported in Katanga in September 2007, according to François Dumont, spokesman for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-Belgium). The disease has spread quickly since the end of December.