Human Nature News

Human Nature News

Human Nature News

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Science, technology, and life.
May 2 2008 10:46 AM

Human Nature News

Today's headlines from science and tech.

Below is today's selection of the most interesting science, health, and tech news reports. For analysis and commentary from around the Web, check out the  hot topics page. For Human Nature's takes on some of these stories, visit the blog. (I generally post the link first and write the blog entry later, so check back.) To add your own take, open or join a discussion thread in the Fray—and please link to the original story so others can participate intelligently in the conversation.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

May 2

Congress passes ban on genetic discrimination
(Amy Harmon, New York Times)


World's first fully automated anesthesia during surgery
(McGill University)

Seven percent of Ontario kids in grades 7 to 12 have played the "choking game"
(Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Food-price surge makes Congress rethink ethanol subsidies
(Nicole Gaouette and Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times)

Global food shortage forces acceptance of genetically modified corn
(Jae-Soon Chang, Associated Press)


State bills would guarantee "academic freedom" for teachers who challenge evolution
(Stephanie Simon, Wall Street Journal)

Surgery for girl with backward, upside-down feet
(Karen Matthews, Associated Press)

U.S. military will promote and destigmatize mental-health counseling
(Pauline Jelinek and Lolita Baldor, Associated Press)

Competition between "selfish punishers" promotes altruism in evolution
(Omar Eldakar and David Wilson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)


Big correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity
(Francesco Cappuccio, SLEEP)

Company gears up for mass-production of exoskeletons to boost strength
(Larry Greenemeier, Scientific American)

Melanoma of the rectum
(P.M. van Schaik et al, World Journal of Gastroenterology)

May 1


Living artificial kidney works in clinical trials

Plastic blood cells invented
(Justin Mullins, New Scientist)

Fetal cells may protect mothers against cancer
(Linda Geddes, New Scientist)

Women's voices are judged more attractive during fertility peaks
(Colin Barras, New Scientist)


Magician holds his breath for 17 minutes
(Tara Burghart, Associated Press)

Ontario bill would ban smoking in cars with kids
(Lara Hertel, Reuters)

Flowers bring wasps to orgasm
(Charles Choi, LiveScience)

U.K. plans military robot infiltration contest
(Ceri Perkins, New Scientist)

New York calorie-count posting law takes effect
(Michelle Nichols and Todd Eastham, Reuters)

Testosterone implants make female starlings better home defenders but less attentive parents
(New Scientist)

Estrogen "fuels feelings of power and competition in women"
(Maggie Fox, Reuters)

D.C. launches network of 4,500 surveillance cameras, sans privacy rules
(Mary Beth Sheridan, Washington Post)

Terrorist attacks on civilians double in Pakistan but don't increase worldwide
(Eric Schmitt, New York Times)

April 30

"Grain Companies' Profits Soar as Global Food Crisis Mounts"
(David Kesmodel, Lauren Etter, and Aaron Patrick, Wall Street Journal)

First cloned horse has a baby
(Roger Highfield, Telegraph)

Impact of divorce on kids is overrated
(Alan Li, Council on Contemporary Families / Bonnie Miller Rubin, Chicago Tribune)

Philippines bans kidney transplants to foreigners
(Jim Gomez, Associated Press)

South Korea bids to become a medical tourism hub
(Agence France Presse)

Body fat may speed brain aging
(Stefan Gazdzinski et al, Annals of Neurology / Reuters)

Company begins testing a vaccine to prevent nicotine pleasure
(Sven Norsdenstam, Reuters)

U.K. will begin scanning air travelers with face recognition technology
(Owen Bowcott, Guardian)

A test to measure how many eggs you have left
(Judith Graham, Chicago Tribune)

A gene that lets some athletes beat doping tests
(Gina Kolata, New York Times)

A new era in weather modification
(Rob Sharp, Independent)

U.S. fears Pakistani restrictions on using drones against militants
(Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti, New York Times)

British parents resist vaccinating daughters for cervical cancer
(Loretta Brabin et al, British Medical Journal / BBC News)

April 29

A progress report on technologies to roll back global warming
(Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times)

Day care kids are 30 percent less likely to get leukemia
(Patricia Buffler et al, Causes and Prevention of Childhood Leukaemia Conference)

Chicago amputation rate is five times higher in black neighborhoods than white ones
(Joe Feinglass et al, Journal of Vascular Surgery)

Brain training can increase intelligence
(Susanne Jaeggi et all, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences / Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times)

India's leader calls for a crackdown on sex-selective abortions
(Amelia Gentleman, New York Times)

Analysis criticizes FDA for lax supervision of unsafe artificial blood
(Charles Natanson et al, JAMA / Rob Stein, Washington Post)

U.N. warns of bottomless collapse in Russian population
(James Kilner, Reuters)

A genetic basis for racial differences in drug reactions
(Gina Kolata, New York Times)

Experiments show people often do what's best for the group, not for themselves
(Andrew Colman et al, Acta Psychologica)

April 28

Chastity belts return in Indonesia
(Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times)

Malaysia's plan to fight dengue fever with genetically modified mosquitoes
(Agence France Presse)

Transplant applicants are being denied organs for having used medical marijuana
(Gene Johnson, Associated Press)

Polygamy prosecutors will argue that teen-marriage communities are inherently dangerous to kids
(David Fahrenthold, Washington Post)

First offspring of a cloned dog will be born next month
(Agence France Presse)

Ritalin could be prescribed to seniors to prevent falls
(Jeffrey Hausdorff et al, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society)

California will use family members' DNA to nail suspects
(Maura Dolan and Jason Felch, Los Angeles Times)

25 percent of old people with living wills have changed their minds but mistakenly think their written wishes reflect what they want
(Peter Ditto et al, Health Psychology)

The horse-racing industry braces for a ban on steroids
(Jim Squires, New York Times)

China bans controversial destructive brain surgery
(Nicholas Zamiska, Wall Street Journal)

Gene therapy reduces blindness
(New England Journal of Medicine / Thomas Maugh, Los Angeles Times)

Newspapers ending print editions and becoming Web sites
(Noam Cohen, New York Times)