Human Nature News

Human Nature News

Human Nature News

Science, technology, and life.
May 30 2008 10:25 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 30

California Senate passes bill to let landlords ban smoking in apartments
(Patrick McGreevy and Nancy Vogel, Los Angeles Times)

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Hospital gave liver transplants to mobsters while other applicants died
(John Glionna and Charles Ornstein, Los Angeles Times)

Fuel thieves steal restaurant grease
(Susan Saulny, New York Times)

New York regulators restrict steroids for race horses
(AP)

Doctor says Obama is trying to quit smoking via nicotine gum
(Lawrence Altman and Jeff Zeleny, New York Times)

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U.S. calls for "bioengineered products" to solve the world food crisis
(AFP)

The more kids a woman has, the more teeth she loses
(Stefanie Russell et al, American Journal of Public Health / Will Dunham, Reuters)

Compression of spines during football games shortens high-school players "by almost one full centimeter"
(Brian Campbell et al, American College of Sports Medicine / Megan Rauscher, Reuters)

Do wealthier patients suffer more onerous, expensive, and futile procedures at life's end?
(Anemona Hartocollis and Ford Fessenden, New York Times)

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Computer uses brain scans to calculate which word you're thinking of
(Tom Mitchell et al, Science / Maggie Fox, Reuters)

Graham convicted of lying in sports doping case
(Duff Wilson and Carol Pogash, New York Times)

Brazilian Supreme Court upholds legalization of stem-cell research
(Marco Sibaja, AP)

Scientists design robots to explore Antarctica
(Greg Bluestein, AP)

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Racial split over banning menthol cigarettes
(Stephanie Saul, New York Times)

British government, citing tax revenue, ignored early warnings of cigarette harm
(Gregory Katz, AP)

May 29

Monkeys eat with mechanical arms using brain signals only
(Andrew Schwartz et al, Nature / Benedict Carey, New York Times /

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Most nations, but not U.S., agree to ban cluster bombs
(Kevin Sullivan and Josh White, Washington Post / John Burns, New York Times)

Scientists develop "environmentally friendly bombs"
(Charles Choi, LiveScience)

U.S. opens its first big cellulosic ethanol refinery
(Kevin Bullis, Technology Review)

Power outage kills woman in iron lung
(Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times)

Feds threaten to fine brewer for calling his beer " Legal Weed"
(Eric Bailey, Los Angeles Times)

Public schools match private schools on math scores
(Christopher Lubienski et al, Phi Delta Kappan / LiveScience)

Obesity may promote malaria resistance
(Vincent Robert et al, Malaria Journal)

Lesbian seabirds
(Charles Choi, LiveScience / Susan Milius, Science News)

Thinking about death causes increased cookie consumption
(Nora Schultz, New Scientist)

Inflatable vest delivers "portable hugs"
(New Scientist)

May 28

Lead exposure impairs brain development and causes crime
(Kim Dietrich et al, Kim Cecil et al, David Bellinger, PLoS Medicine / Thomas Maugh and Marla Cone, Los Angeles Times)

U.S. child obesity rate finally stops increasing
(Cynthia Ogden et al, JAMA / Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times / Rob Stein, Washington Post)

Weight-loss surgery increases 41 percent in U.K.
(Colin Brown, Independent)

Global warming already contributes to U.S. drought and forest fires
(Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)

Britain plans to ban cigarette vending machines
(Ben Russell, Independent / Press Association)

Farming machines replace illegal immigrants
(Joshua Brustein, New York Times)

Company markets placebo pills for kids
(Christie Aschwanden, New York Times)

Study blames premature births on elective Caesarians
(Vani Bettegowda et al, Clinics in Perinatology / Denise Grady, New York Times)

Researchers test oxytocin nasal spray as preventive treatment for shyness
(Roger Highfield, Telegraph)

New military PTSD cases increase by half in one year
(Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post)

Electronic magnifying glasses improve object visibility as needed
(Anne Eisenberg, New York Times)

A pioneering project in carbon burial
(Pierre-Henry Deshayes, AFP)

A progress report on electronic brain stimulation to treat depression
(Lauran Neergaard, AP)

Japan's new chemical suicide fad
(Blaine Harden, Washington Post)

May 27

Life-seeking probe lands on Mars
(Marc Kaufman, Washington Post / Photos available from NASA)

Iran thwarts nuclear inspectors
(Elaine Sciolino, New York Times)

China exempts bereft earthquake parents from its one-child policy
(Andrew Jacobs, New York Times)

New York will pioneer ambulances to collect dead people for fast organ harvesting
(Rob Stein, Washington Post)

Living with young peers boosts longevity in fruit flies
(Chun-Fang Wu et al, PNAS / Louise Daly, AFP)

Baby offered for sale on eBay
(Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters)

Adult children monitor ailing parents through motion sensors and electronic alerts
(Elizabeth Olson, New York Times)

U.N. report vindicates drone's video of its Russian killer
(C.J. Chivers, New York Times / Peter Finn, Washington Post)

Weather researchers send drones into hurricanes
(Jim Loney, Reuters)

Russia and China denounce U.S. missile-defense plan for Eastern Europe
(Edward Wong and Alan Cowell, New York Times)

Study suggests ADHD costs affected employees three weeks of productivity per year
(Ron de Graaf et al, Occupational and Environmental Medicine / Randolph Schmid, AP)

New York City experiments with protected bike lanes
(Robin Shulman, Washington Post)

College admissions pressure drives high schoolers to substitute classes for eating
(Winnie Hu, New York Times)

Smith and Wake Forest stop requiring SAT scores
(Tamar Lewin, New York Times)

California's Byzantine new regulations on cell-phone use while driving
(Steve Hymon, Los Angeles Times)

Free circumcision spreads in Africa as AIDS prevention strategy
(Katharine Houreld, AP)

Study of NFL players suggests bulking up can lead to heart disease
(Marc Miller et al, American Journal of Cardiology / Joene Hendry, Reuters)

New York and Canada warn of unapproved aphrodisiacs and sexual performance drugs
(David Caruso, AP / David Ljunggren, Reuters)

More on Cindy McCain's beer-company income
(Michael Luo, New York Times)