Human Nature News

Human Nature News

Human Nature News

Science, technology, and life.
May 9 2008 8:45 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 9

Australian state bans nipple and genital piercings for minors
(Agence France Presse)

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Courts order thousands of defendants to wear alcohol-monitoring anklets
(Howard Markel, New York Times)

Austrian daughter-rapist hints at mental-illness defense
(Mark Landler, New York Times)

"Beautiful people are healthier and live longer"
(Anthony Little et al, PLoS One / Roger Highfield, Telegraph)

Brew your own ethanol at home
(Timothy Gardner, Reuters)

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The emerging robotic-surgeon industry
(Barnaby Feder, New York Times)

Scans suggest moral dilemma is a struggle between brain regions
(Ming Hsu et al, Science / Greg Miller, ScienceNOW)

Why young people deliberately mutilate themselves
(Jane Brody, New York Times)

Pollution and smoking may accelerate baldness
(Mike Philpott et al, Journal of Investigative Dermatology / Jasper Copping, Telegraph)

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The war between traffic enforcement cameras and speed-trap mapping networks
(Joe Sharkey, New York Times)

Britain plans to deregulate cosmetic laser surgery
(Jeremy Laurance, Independent)

U.S. military funds sled-dog study to learn secrets of fatigue resistance
(Douglas Robson, New York Times)

Potted plants reduce office sick leave
(Tina Bringslimark, Agricultural University of Norway / Telegraph)

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Youth sex is often the motivation for drinking, not just an effect of it
(Mark Bellis et al, BMC Public Health)

May 8

Britain increases jail terms for marijuana possession
(Anil Dawar, Guardian)

A gene that turns male embryos into girls
Ryohei Sekido and Robin Lovell-Badge, Nature / Nikhil Swaminathan, Scientific American)

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Conservatives are happier than liberals because they rationalize inequities
(Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience)

Furnishing your home with biodegradable sofas and pillows
(Penelope Green, New York Times)

Software lets disabled people control video games with their eyes
(Ceri Perkins, New Scientist)

Bluetooth cell phones can be geographically tracked
(New Scientist)

A programmable unmanned lawnmower
(Eric Taub, New York Times)

Remote-controlled vehicle disperses bums from private property
(Greg Bluestein, Associated Press)

British lawmaker proposes to ban abortions beyond 20 weeks
(BBC)

IUDs reduce womb cancer risk by 40 percent
(David Grimes, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists / Maggie Fox, Reuters)

Metal disks electrically repel sharks
(Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience)

Percentage of black kids who can't swim is double the rate among whites
(David Crary, Associated Press)

Indians furious at Bush for blaming food-price surge on rising wealth and demand for "better food"
(Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post)

India's high obesity rate may be due to a fat gene
(Jaspal Kooner et al, Nature Genetics / BBC)

Former New England Patriots employee is giving NFL eight videotapes of opponents' signals
(Mike Reiss, Boston Globe)

NASA considers landing humans on an asteroid
(Ian Sample, Guardian)

Artificial mouth replicates what we do to food
(Linda Geddes, New Scientist

Firm handshakes correlate with good impressions in job interviews
(LiveScience)

May 7

Brain scans of hormone effect suggest high-calorie food can be addictive like cigarettes
(Alain Dagher et al, Cell Metabolism)

New York begins ticketing restaurants that fail to post calorie counts
(James Barron, New York Times)

Survey implies 750,000 Americans aged 14 to 21 are problem gamblers
(John Welte et al, Journal of Gambling Studies)

Survey of college students finds 43 percent "smoked tobacco using a waterpipe in the past year"
(Thomas Eissenberg, Journal of Adolescent Health)

Twin study suggests genes influence whether kids start drinking alcohol before age 16
(Evelien Poelen et al, Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research)

Racial discrepancy in U.S. drug busts and imprisonment
(Erik Eckholm, New York Times)

Medical implant maker shifts from heart-regulation to brain-regulation devices
(Jon Kamp, Wall Street Journal)

Putting surface fat into mouse abdomens causes weight and fat loss without exercise or dietary changes
(Thien Tran et al, Cell Metabolism)

Being adopted doubles the risk of disruptive behaviordisorder in adolescents
(Margaret A. Keyes et al, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine)

Precision-movement experiments lay groundwork for robot-directed surgery
(John Whitman et al, Ultrasonic Imaging / IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control)

Lab devices to differentiate stem cells become more like "natural" bodies
(Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering)

Follow-up exams suggest most "bipolar" diagnoses are erroneous
(Mark Zimmerman et al, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry)

Patients seeking medical care abroad travel more for quality than for price
(Theo Francis, Wall Street Journal)

Companies plan nationwide high-speed wireless network
(Matt Richtel, New York Times)

Remote medical diagnosis via cell-phone cameras succeeds in field tests
(George Whitesides et al, Analytical Chemistry)

Online doctor consultations could adequately replace 28 percent of pediatric "emergency" visits
(Kenneth McConnochie et al, University of Rochester)

Judge extends jail sentence in attempted export of military night-vision goggles to Iran
(Vanessa Blum, South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Epigenetic patterns in brains of people who killed themselves
(Moshe Szyf et al, PLoS One)

Enzyme blockage reduces appetite, weight, and blood-sugar damage
(Tony Means et al, Cell Metabolism)

Study sends fake-pregnant women into stores, complains of salesperson "overfriendliness," which reinforces "traditional gender roles" and "can inhibit women's success"
(Eden King et al, Journal of Applied Psychology)

May 6

Serious parental mental illness doubles a child's risk of autism
(Julie Daniels et al, Pediatrics / Maggie Fox, Reuters)

2008 female suicide bombings in Iraq already exceed prior five-year total
(Agence France Presse)

Australian doctor urges government to solicit kidney donors with $47,000 offer
(Tanalee Smith, Associated Press)

Ruthless racing-horse breeding killed Eight Belles
(Sally Jenkins, Washington Post / Jim Squires, New York Times / Jon Weinbach, Wall Street Journal)

Short limbs increase women's dementia risk by 50 percent
(Tina Huang et al, Neurology / Andrew Stern, Reuters)

10 percent of your fat cells die every year
(Gina Kolata, New York Times)

Encouragement of breastfeeding raises average child IQ by 5 percent
(Michael Kramer et al, Archives of General Psychiatry / Will Dunham, Reuters)

Obama rethinks ethanol support if food runs short
(Associated Press)

Pellicano trial teaches state-of-the-art wiretapping techniques
(David Halbfinger, New York Times)

Most mothers won't vaccinate daughters aged 9-12 against HPV
(Jessica Kahn et al, Pediatric Academic Societies)

Old people turning against medical intervention
(Jane Gross, New York Times)

30 percent of U.S. parents are ignorant of infant development
(Heather Paradis et al, Pediatric Academic Society)

Anti-psychotic prescriptions for kids nearly double in U.K.
(Fariz Rani et al, Pediatrics / Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press)

A business success story in media abandonment of print
(Steve Lohr, New York Times)

May 5

Curing diabetes through intestinal bypass surgery
(Rob Stein, Washington Post)

High-tech glove lets troops "operate wearable computers while still holding their weapons"
(Brittany Sauser, Technology Review)

A portable breathalyzer to monitor drug compliance
(Kristina Grifantini, Technology Review)

Crime labs routinely misrepresent the risk of error in their DNA matches to suspects
(Jason Felch and Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times)

Transplant applicant dies after being rejected for having used medical marijuana
(Associated Press)

Plastic surgeon dismisses finger regrowth powder as "junk science"
(David Batty, Guardian)

Cuba legalizes home computers
(Michael Voss, BBC News)

India's booming market in skin-lightening cream
(Emily Wax, Washington Post)

Robotic animals let scientists infiltrate and spy on real ones
(Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press)

Salvia, the new marijuana
(Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times)

The latest update on viability of extreme preemies
(Adam Wolfberg, Boston Globe)

Ethanol loses congressional support due to food-price surge
(Siobhan Hughes et al, Wall Street Journal)

Bush defends ethanol
(James Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times)

The improving economics of solar energy
(Kevin Bullis, Technology Review)

The campaign against teen tanning
(Bella English, Boston Globe)

Does poverty cause pain, or does pain cause poverty?
(Ed Edelson, HealthDay)