Category Archives: Medicine & Health

The 10 Coolest Science Stories of 2016

There was a lot of interesting stuff that happened this year, from discoveries to developments of fancy new technologies. This article is all about the science of the last 12 months – the news that was overshadowed by the politics. Therefore, this is a subjective list, because some stories are just better than others. But by staying away from the stories that dominated the news, I am sure you will learn something new as well as find out how the science world is changing. The 10 stories are not ranked, just aggregated for being fascinating.

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Who’s More Believable: Science Expert or Random Internet Commenter?

Doctor computer - wtf you gotta be kidding meIn the latest battle of the war on science, many ignorant parents are risking the lives of their children and others by choosing not to vaccinate their children. This is a terrible idea, but the false, unethical, fraudulent, discredited, expunged research that claimed to have found a link between vaccines and autism (which is not even remotely true, in case that wasn’t clear enough) has lived on because of celebrity endorsements and a campaign of stupidity. Unfortunately, a new study shows that when it comes to the dissemination of information, vaccine experts are seen as no more credible than a random commenter on the internet.

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Wanna Be a Doctor? You Need Psychology – Guide to the new MCAT

doctor-BG-blue-worldPsychology has finally become recognized as an study necessary to become a doctor, according to the non-profit organization AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). This has ramifications for the rest of the world, as its famous medical exam – the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) – is used in 114 countries across the world. The test has undergone major changes that will come into effect in 2015, and one of the changes is the substantial addition in testing psychology knowledge.

Transitioning to the New MCAT

The Current (i.e., soon-to-be-outdated) MCAT

In the current edition of the MCAT, there are three sections:

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The Secret to Happiness Revealed (No, seriously)

Being happy makes you not only live longer, but it makes you more successful in life. Philosophers have been writing about happiness for ages, and it is today one of the most popular topics in psychology research. Luckily, the science is gradually becoming more clear on what factors do and don’t contribute to happiness. However, this article is not about a list of things that will increase your happiness; it is instead about the single most important thing about being and staying happy. It’s the reason why some people who you would expect to be absolutely miserable are in fact exceptionally happy. So what’s the secret?

Posted in Culture, Featured, Legal Issues, Medicine & Health, Psychology, Science, Social Psych, TED | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Are Patents Protecting Ideas or Stifling Innovation?

lawsuit gavel on coins

A patent is a form of intellectual property that can be granted with the presupposition that an invention for public consumption will come out of it later. Parents are good because it allows “the little guy” the time to make his or her invention without worrying about some giant corporation stealing the idea and making it themselves. If a giant corporation does steal the idea, then they must pay this little guy money, which may make the idea theft not worth it in the end. However, what happens when patents for every minuscule idea are granted to people who don’t even have any desire to make something from them? As people have been saying for years, we get the stifling of innovation.

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Can Dogs Sniff Out Cancer? Can Rats Sniff Out Tuberculosis?

Rat Sniffing

I know what you’re thinking – “dogs can sniff out cancer? What a bunch of nonsense!” And do you really want to trust rats with detecting a disease, when they were responsible for so much of the spread of disease throughout history? Well don’t hold it against them, because these animals didn’t know anything about it. In fact, these animals are now used for medical diagnoses, and people’s lives depend on them. It appears that dogs actually can sniff out cancer, and rats can sniff out tuberculosis (TB). Astonishingly, their amazing abilities to smell don’t even stop there.

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In Japan, Strangers are More Likely than Family to Give CPR for Cardiac Arrest

Dark heart art

When it comes to Japanese people giving CPR to someone suffering a cardiac arrest, it appears as though water is actually thicker than blood. A recent review of 547,218 cases of cardiac arrests in Japan between 2005 and 2009 was presented at the American Heart Association. The results were surprising, to say the least. But why would this possibly be the case? How could a family member be so less helpful in this time of emergency?

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Power and Rape – Part 1: Rape in the Military is a Career Killer… for the Victim

The Invisible War bannerIf you ever wanted to know just how bad “blaming the victim” can get, look no further than the U.S. military. It’s clear that blaming and shaming has gone far beyond just making someone have to live with a stigma that they completely don’t deserve – which is bad enough. Rather, the problem is a systematic denial of justice, a protection of the perpetrator, and an outright pursuit of punishing the victim. If this type of discrimination happened in the public sphere, people would be completely outraged; but what is it about this military culture that allows such behavior to go unpunished?

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Vaccine Psychology – Part 1: Vaccine Price Influences Perceived Risk of Infection

Money Syringe

Even the adults who are rational enough to know that vaccines are a good thing (as opposed to the horribly misguided anti-vaccination movement) are still susceptible to the irrationalities of our own psychology. A study published earlier this month from Tulane University in New Orleans, America, has found that the cost of getting vaccinated influences people’s perception of how likely they are to contract a virus.

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Tortured Confessions – The Science of Waterboarding, Torture, and “Intense Stress”

zero-dark-thirty

ResearchBlogging.org With the new movie “Zero Dark Thirty” raising a lot of eyebrows with its depiction of waterboarding, there has been a lot of talk regarding the veracity of such techniques. Namely, does torture yield the intended results? Did the results assist in the hunt for Osama bin Laden? There are the anecdotes that make this an interesting case to look at, but we also have the science to give a more conclusive answer to the question of whether or not waterboarding works.

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