What is your dog's IQ?
February 15, 2016 09:16 AM - Lizabeth Paulat, Care2
Researchers in Scotland are attempting to come up with an easy, fast and reliable canine IQ test. This comes after an initial study showed that much like in humans, intelligence in dogs varies considerably. Similarly to human IQ tests, the canine IQ test used spatial patterns and problem solving to determine an underlying intelligence.
To administer the test as fairly as possible the researchers recruited 68 border collies raised on farms in Scotland. They also tested to make sure the dogs had a similar upbringing. They then set about constructing a series of detour and choice-based tests. To ensure a fair ranking, all the testers wore the same outfit and presented a similar demeanor to all the dogs.
Warmer climate contributes to spread of the Zika virus
February 10, 2016 09:51 AM - Nadia Pontes, The Ecologist
The Aedes mosquitos that carry the Zika virus and dengue fever are not just perfectly adapted to life in cities, writes Nadia Pontes. They are also being helped along by warming climates which increase their range. It's time to get serious about the health implications of a hotter planet.
Global warming affects the abundance and distribution of disease vectors. As regions that used to be drier and colder start to register higher temperatures and more rain, mosquitoes expand their breeding areas, which increases the number of populations at
The explosion in the number of Latin American cases of microcephaly - a congenital condition associated with maldevelopment of the brain - has become an international emergency due its "strongly suspected"link with the rapidly spreading Zika virus, according to the World Health Organisation(WHO).
Who would have guessed this? Study finds vacations can lead to weight gains!
February 5, 2016 03:38 PM - Universtiy of Georgia via EurekAlert
A week's vacation may leave many adults with a heavier midsection--extra weight that can hang around even six weeks post-vacation.
A faculty member in the University of Georgia's College of Family and Consumer Sciences found that adults going on a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of nearly 1 pound during their trips. With the average American reportedly gaining 1-2 pounds a year, the study's findings suggest an alarming trend.
"If you're only gaining a pound or two a year and you gained three-quarters of that on a one- to three-week vacation, that's a pretty substantial weight gain during a short period of time," said Jamie Cooper, an associate professor in the college's department of foods and nutrition.
Seafood Consumption May Play a Role in Reducing Risk for Alzheimer's
February 3, 2016 07:01 AM - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
New research published Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that older adults with a major risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease known as APOEɛ4 who ate at least one seafood serving per week showed fewer signs of Alzheimer’s-related brain changes. In contrast, this association was not found in the brains of volunteers who ate fish weekly but did not carry the risk gene.
Meat consumption and climate change linked by EU study
January 28, 2016 07:22 AM - Sarantis Michalopoulos, EurActiv
The overconsumption of meat will inevitably push global temperatures to dangerous levels, a recent study has warned, urging reluctant governments to take action.
The world's rapidly expanding population is posing a huge challenge to farmers. A reportpublished in November 2015 by Chatham House, and the Glasgow University Media Group, examined the interconnection between meat and dairy consumption with climate change.
Nearly one-third of the world's cultivated land is being used to grow animal feed. In the EU alone, 45% of wheat production is used for this purpose, with 30% of overall use met by imports.
Hyperloop moving to full-scale testing
January 24, 2016 09:05 AM - Mary Mazzoni , Triple Pundit
Clean-tech visionary Elon Musk first unveiled his idea for a high-speed ground transport system called Hyperloop back in 2013. The concept — in which passengers are transported in magnet-propelled capsules at more than 750 miles per hour — was quickly dismissed by many as a pipe-dream.
But, while most of us weren’t paying attention, a handful of private companies have been quietly working to make Musk’s vision a reality. Now two of these firms (both unaffiliated with the Tesla and SpaceX CEO) say they are ready to begin testing the technology.
Snowfall along east coast creating state of emergency. What can you do with snow to make the best of it?
January 23, 2016 09:08 AM - ANNE BRAMLEY, NPR
Many people will see the snow currently blanketing much of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard as a nuisance coating sidewalks and roads. Others are celebrating it as an excuse to spend the day swooshing down a hill.
As for me, I like to think of snow as food.
Growing up in Missouri, I consumed as much snow ice cream as possible from November to March. Each time the winter sky let loose, I caught a bowl of fresh flakes. My grandmother mixed raw eggs, cream and sugar and poured it over top.
Snow is one of the first "wild" foods small humans learn to forage. And this time of year it's both free and plentiful to many.
Trying to quit smoking using eCigs? Might actually make it harder!
January 14, 2016 04:44 PM - Elizabeth Fernandez, University of California San Francisco
Electronic cigarettes are widely promoted and used to help smokers quit traditional cigarettes, but a new analysis from UC San Francisco found that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 percent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes.
The study — a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data — is the largest to quantify whether e-cigarettes assist smokers in quitting cigarettes.
The findings will be published online January 14 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
“As currently being used, e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers,” concluded first author Sara Kalkhoran, MD who was a clinical fellow at the UCSF School of Medicine when the research was conducted. She is now at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Why does eating fish during pregnancy aid baby brain development?
January 14, 2016 11:09 AM - TOHOKU UNIVERSITY via EurekAlert
Researchers at Tohoku University's School of Medicine have found an explanation for the correlation between eating fish during pregnancy, and the health of the baby's brain.
Dietary lipid contains fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-3, which are essential nutrients for many animals and humans. The research group, led by Professor Noriko Osumi, found that a balanced intake of lipids by pregnant women is necessary for the normal brain formation of the unborn child.
New Federal dietary guidelines recommend eating less meat
January 7, 2016 12:17 PM - NRDC
Many Americans, especially men and teenage boys, eat too much red meat, poultry and eggs, and should reduce their consumption, according to new federal dietary guidelines jointly released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing Americans’ meat consumption will not only help improve public health, but reduce climate and water pollution from the meat industry.
This is the first time federal dietary guidelines have included a recommendation to reduce meat consumption. The report advises that cutting back on meat can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
The new dietary advice, however, did not include the recommendation from the agencies’ expert scientific advisors that the FDA explicitly link the science-based benefits of adopting diets lower in red meat, and higher in plant-based foods, to additional benefits to environment sustainability and to food security.