Monday, June 22, 2009

Psych in the news

Among Many Peoples, Little Genomic Variety. "But as analyses of genomes from dozens of distinct populations have rolled in -- French, Bantu, Palestinian, Yakut, Japanese -- that's not what scientists have found. Dramatic genome variation among populations turns out to be extremely rare."

Positive Is Negative. "Despite what all those self-help books say, repeating positive statements apparently does not help people with low self-esteem feel better about themselves. In fact, it tends to make them feel worse, according to new research."

In New York, Number of Killings Rises With Heat. Seven homicides in New York City. None connected in any way but this: They happened during the summer months, when the temperatures rise, people hit the streets, and New York becomes a more lethal place.

Get a Life, Holden Caulfield. "Some critics say that if Holden is less popular these days, the fault lies with our own impatience with the idea of a lifelong quest for identity and meaning that Holden represents ... Ms. Feinberg recalled one 15-year-old boy from Long Island who told her: “Oh, we all hated Holden in my class. We just wanted to tell him, ‘Shut up and take your Prozac.’”

The return of trepanation? Trepanation, the ancient practice of drilling a hole in your skull to relieve pressure on the brain, is now being studied as a possible treatment for dementia.

Keeping an Open Mind to Animal Homosexuality. 'Sure, it’s widely recognized that the animal kingdom is full of male-on-male and female-on-female action, from fruit flies on up to bottlenose dolphins and, of course, Homo sapiens. But though the origins and evolutionary consequences of homosexuality are varied, biologists tend to oversimplify such behavior.

Do you have what it takes to be a NASA pillownaut? Great story (with pictures like the one at the top) of how research is done. Imagine telling your kids that your role in helping space research was spent lying in bed!

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