Human Nature News

Human Nature News

Human Nature News

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Science, technology, and life.
May 23 2008 7:27 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 23

U.K. considers storing all email and phone calls in a government database
(Avril Ormsby, Reuters / New Scientist)


Pro-lifers pressure Bush to defund birth-control clinics that refer some women to abortion clinics
(Stephanie Simon, Wall Street Journal)

Scientists turn bacteria into "living computers"
(Karmella Haynes et al, Journal of Biological Engineering / Roger Highfield, Telegraph)

Cell phone signals can penetrate your brain and alter your behavior
(Douglas Fields, Scientific American)

Teens have oral sex along with—not instead of—vaginal sex
(Laura Lindberg et al, Journal of Adolescent Health / Will Dunham, Reuters)


"16% of US science teachers are creationists"
(Michael Berkman et al, PLoS Biology / Bob Holmes, New Scientist)

Technological innovation by chimps
(Bruce Bower, Science News)

Italy re-embraces nuclear power as an alternative to carbon
(Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times)

Wiping out Malaysia's mosquito population with genetically engineered sterile males
(David Cyranoski, Nature)


Hormone restores willingness to trust after betrayal
(Thomas Baumgartner et al, Neuron / Steve Mitchell, ScienceNOW)

More on the latest, greatest prosthetic hand
(Kate Baggott, Technology Review)

Scientists reverse-engineer visual component of a cat's brain
(Barbara Axt, New Scientist)

Medicare considers covering weight-loss surgery as a diabetes treatment


Electronic implant cuts obesity by blocking nerve signals to eat
(Emily Singer, Technology Review)

Scientists develop tiny, long-jumping robot for investigating dangerous terrain
(Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience)

Magnetic brain stimulation replaces electroshock therapy
(Jennifer Chu, Technology Review)

May 22


Bush signsGenetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
(Tabassum Zakaria, Reuters)

Smoking cessation drug banned for pilots and air traffic controllers
(Stephanie Saul, New York Times)

Stranded island mice evolve into oversized carnivores
(John Vidal, Guardian)

"Vibrating bladder stimulator" fails to make children urinate
(Patrick Davies et al, Archives of Disease in Childhood / Reuters)

New Hampshire lawmakers vote to ban dissolution of dead bodies in lye
(Norma Love, AP)

Clones of cancer-sniffing dog have been implanted

Study suggests peer pressure drives acquaintances to stop smoking
(Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, New England Journal of Medicine/ Gina Kolata, New York Times)

FTC may restrict commercial surveillance of online behavior
(Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post)

Bladders grown from stem cells function properly in mammals
(Anthony Brown, Reuters)

Man strapped to jet-powered wing flies over Alps at 180 miles per hour
(Elizabeth Stewart, Guardian)

Lingerie "stealth belts" and other crime-prevention technology
(Tom Bishop, BBC News)

U.S. invites Americans to send cell phones to Cubans
(Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times)

Scientific report urges society to prepare for brain-enhancing drugs
(Academy of Medical Sciences / Michael Kahn, Reuters)

Dealer testimony on HGH and EPO implicates gold-medal Olympic relay team
(Duff Wilson, New York Times)

Steroid dealer implicates NFL players
(Michael Schmidt, New York Times)

Chinese child obesity rate is second only to U.S.

Foreigners travel to Mexico for euthanasia drug

30 percent of men suffer spousal "domestic violence" … but only half of it is "physical"
(Robert Reid  et al, American Journal of Preventive Medicine / Anne Harding, Reuters)

Moral rule against using children as soldiers spreads around the world
(Lydia Polgreen, New York Times)

May 21

British lawmakers reject ban on human-animal hybrids

British lawmakers refuse to ban abortions earlier than 24 weeks
(Nigel Morris, Independent)

British lawmakers reject restrictions on lesbian or unmarried IVF
(Nicholas Watt, Guardian)

British pro-choice activist suggests legalizing late-term abortions
(Stephen Bates and Esther Addley, Guardian)

Company offers dog cloning to six-figure bidders
(James Barron, New York Times)

Supreme Court upholds ban on virtual child porn
(Linda Greenhouse, New York Times)

Florida county bans smokers from public jobs based on health insurance cost
(Zac Anderson, Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

Gene from extinct species alters mouse development when injected into embryo
(Andrew Pask et al, PLoS One / Michael Perry, Reuters)

Trapped people drink their own urine
(Geoffrey Fowler, Wall Street Journal / Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

New biofuel crops could become runaway weed invasions
(Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times)

Court ruling may force U.S. to change the size of its paper money to help the blind
(David Stout, New York Times)

Virginia ban on "partial-birth" abortions struck down
(Robert Barnes, Washington Post)

California bill would ban driving with a pet in your lap
(Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times)

Smoking may accelerate baldness
(Anahad O'Connor, New York Times)

A gene for sugar craving?
(Ahmed El-Sohemy et al, Physiological Genomics)

Study challenges purported "crisis" of boys' school troubles
(Valerie Strauss, Washington Post)

U.S. warns of Chinese space and cyber power
(Jim Wolf, Reuters)

Cells from 50 donors could grow transplants compatible with 90 percent of Japanese
(Yomiuri Shimbun)

Nascent air taxi industry struggles with tight credit
(Joe Sharkey, New York Times)

GPS may spread to more devices as it gets cheaper
(Kate Greene, Technology Review)

Up to 30 percent of U.S. food is wasted annually

May 19

Scientist says he made human stem cells using synthetic molecules
(Yomiuri Shimbun)

Court says amputee sprinter can use prosthetic legs in Olympics
(Joshua Robinson and Alan Schwarz, New York Times)

Experts propose genetic screening for cousin marriages
(Ian Sample, Guardian)

South Korea bans cloning of human embryos in animal eggs

Half of young Britons don't reliably use condoms with new sex partners
(BBC News)

British prime minister rallies support for human-animal "admixed embryos"

Controlling migraines through home magnetic brain stimulators
(Roger Highfield, Telegraph)

Robot conducts Detroit Symphony Orchestra
(Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press)

Poor people suffer from cuts in agricultural genetic enhancement research
(Keith Bradsher and Andrew Martin, New York Times)

U.S. global food aid plan includes promotion of genetically modified crops
(Stephen Hedges, Chicago Tribune)

Salty food doesn't increase death rate in study
(Hillel Cohen et al, Journal of General Internal Medicine)

Veterinarians urge FDA to list calories on pet-food labels
(Queenie Wong, McClatchy Newspapers)

Web site peddles romantic matches based on DNA predictions of body-scent compatibility
(Regina Nuzzo, Los Angeles Times)

Abuse shifts from illegal to prescription drugs
(Tim Reiterman, Los Angeles Times)

New England Patriots coach rebuts ex-employee's videotape allegations
(John Branch, New York Times)

19 percent of Japanese say they've "seriously thought about committing suicide"

NATO countries set up cyber-defense center
(BBC News)

Eating-contest champs have more flexible stomachs
(Karen Ravn, Los Angeles Times)