Lifestyle

A lover's touch eases pain as heartbeats, breathing sync, CU study says
June 21, 2017 02:21 PM - University of Colorado Boulder

Fathers-to-be, take note: You may be more useful in the labor and delivery room than you realize.

That’s one takeaway from a study released last week that found that when an empathetic partner holds the hand of a woman in pain, their heart and respiratory rates sync and her pain dissipates.

“The more empathic the partner and the stronger the analgesic effect, the higher the synchronization between the two when they are touching,” said lead author Pavel Goldstein, a postdoctoral pain researcher in the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at CU Boulder.

The study of 22 couples, published in the journal Scientific Reports last week, is the latest in a growing body of research on “interpersonal synchronization,” the phenomenon in which individuals begin to physiologically mirror the people they’re with.

Watching cities grow
June 20, 2017 04:46 PM - Technical University of Munich (TUM)

Three million measurement points in one square kilometer: Prof. Xiaoxiang Zhu and her team have set a world record in information retrieval from satellite data. Thanks to new algorithms, the researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) succeeded in making four-dimensional point clouds of Berlin, Las Vegas, Paris and Washington, D.C. from images stacks of the TerraSAR-X radar satellite. Next the scientists plan to create four-dimensional models of all cities in the world.

Deadly heatwaves could affect 74 percent of the world's population
June 19, 2017 04:21 PM - University of Hawaii at Manoa

Seventy-four percent of the world’s population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves by 2100 if carbon gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change. Even if emissions are aggressively reduced, the percent of the world’s human population affected is expected to reach 48 percent.

“We are running out of choices for the future,” said Camilo Mora, associate professor of geography in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa and lead author of the study. “For heatwaves, our options are now between bad or terrible. Many people around the world are already paying the ultimate price of heatwaves, and while models suggest that this is likely to continue, it could be much worse if emissions are not considerably reduced. The human body can only function within a narrow range of core body temperatures around 37°C. Heatwaves pose a considerable risk to human life because hot weather, aggravated with high humidity, can raise body temperature, leading to life threatening conditions.”

Global diet and farming methods 'must change for environment's sake'
June 16, 2017 11:56 AM - IOP Publishing

Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says.

The research, from the University of Minnesota, also found that future increases in agricultural sustainability are likely to be driven by dietary shifts and increases in efficiency, rather than changes between food production systems.

Researchers examined more than 740 production systems for more than 90 different types of food, to understand the links between diets, agricultural production practices and environmental degradation. Their results are published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Researchers find way to reduce environmental impact of idling buses and delivery trucks
June 16, 2017 11:49 AM - University of Waterloo

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a system for service vehicles that could reduce emissions and save companies and governments millions of dollars per year in fuel costs.

In a study recently published in Energy, Waterloo engineers found a way to capture waste energy from service vehicles, such as buses or refrigerated food delivery trucks, as they are slowing down.

They also figured out how to use that energy to replace the fossil fuels that are currently needed to operate secondary systems, such as air conditioning or refrigeration units, when the vehicles are stopped and idling.

Indoor tanning still accessible to young people — despite bans
June 14, 2017 11:17 AM - Springer

Despite legislation prohibiting the use of ultraviolet (UV) indoor tanning facilities by minors, one in every five tanning salons in US states where such bans are in place stated over the phone that they would allow an underaged caller to do so. Many others provide inaccurate health information about indoor tanning, says Leah Ferrucci, of the Yale School of Public Health in the US. She led a studyin Springer’s journal Translational Behavioral Medicine.

Poor diet, plus Alzheimer's gene, may fuel disease
June 13, 2017 10:03 AM - University of Southern California

A diet high in cholesterol, fat and sugar may influence the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people who carry the ApoE4 gene, a leading risk factor for the memory-erasing disease, indicates a new USC study.

Overriding the Urge to Sleep
June 8, 2017 01:05 PM - California Institute of Technology

Caltech researchers have identified a neural circuit in the brain that controls wakefulness. The findings have implications for treating insomnia, oversleeping, and sleep disturbances that accompany other neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression.

The work was done in the laboratory of Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05), assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech. It appears in the June 8 online edition of the journal Neuron.

Overriding the Urge to Sleep
June 8, 2017 01:05 PM - California Institute of Technology

Caltech researchers have identified a neural circuit in the brain that controls wakefulness. The findings have implications for treating insomnia, oversleeping, and sleep disturbances that accompany other neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression.

The work was done in the laboratory of Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05), assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, and director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech. It appears in the June 8 online edition of the journal Neuron.

Where climate change is most likely to induce food violence
June 8, 2017 12:30 PM - Ohio State University

While climate change is expected to lead to more violence related to food scarcity, new research suggests that the strength of a country’s government plays a vital role in preventing uprisings.

“A capable government is even more important to keeping the peace than good weather,” said Bear Braumoeller, co-author of the study and associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.

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