Latest Science and Society News

What makes people great? Popular theorists such as the New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell and the New York Times’ David Brooks argue that intelligence plays a role – but only up to a point. Beyond that, they say, it’s practice, practice, practice.

Mice become profoundly anti-social when the creation of new brain cells is interrupted in adolescence, a surprising finding that may help researchers understand schizophrenia and other mental disorders, Yale researchers report.

Johns Hopkins infectious disease experts say the medical benefits for male circumcision are clear and that efforts in an increasing number of states (currently 18) to not provide Medicaid insurance coverage for male circumcision, as well as an attempted ballot initiative in San Francisco earlier this year to ban male circumcision in newborns and young boys, are unwarranted. Moreover, they say these actions ignore the last decade of medical evidence that the procedure can substantially protect men and their female partners from certain sexually transmitted infections.

 

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 was awarded to Daniel Shechtman "for the discovery of quasicrystals".  In quasicrystals, we find the fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms: regular patterns that never repeat themselves. However, the configuration found in quasicrystals was considered impossible, and Daniel Shechtman had to fight a fierce battle against established science. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2011 has fundamentally altered how chemists conceive of solid matter.

Gauging the quality of patient care through measurements currently used by insurers and health care systems may be harming older patients, according to Sei Lee, MD, MAS, a geriatrician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Neuroscientists investigating the ‘brain code’ claim to have made a significant step forwards in understanding how the brain deals with stress- and mitigates its impact.