May 2020

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    47% of Americans feel lonely or left out, study shows

    These are the conclusions from an Ipsos poll administered in 2018 by Cigna. For the survey, a sample of 20,096 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was examined online, in English.

    The investigation’s poll is based on the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a 20-item poll produced to evaluate perceptions of loneliness or social isolation. A guide was designed based on these 20 declarations, which include a fair mix of positive and negative statements, and people were designated a loneliness score based on their replies to these inquiries. Higher scores mean grown loneliness. More

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    Exercise prevents regaining of belly fat for 1 year following weight loss, stud

    Researchers found that any physical activity effectively barred people from reacquiring belly fat after weight loss, suggesting that training is especially crucial when weight maintenance. As little as 80 minutes/week aerobic or resistance exercise had moderate positive impacts on restricting weight regain following a diet-induced weight loss. More importantly, both aerobic and resistance training prevented the reacquire of possibly unhealthy belly fat. More

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    Green spaces make kids smarter, study finds

    The sample involved 2,623 kids from Barcelona. Researchers initially evaluated the number of green spaces around the kids’ homes, their commutes to school, and the encircling the schools themselves.
    After, they measured the children’s running memories and concentration compasses using a set of verbal and symbolic examinations. The kids who had more nature around their academies displayed more advancement in operating memory and concentration over the scholar year, a conclusion that remained valid even after the researchers checked for differences in their socioeconomic situation. More

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    New York and Boston pigeons don’t hang out, study shows

    The study finds, most of the Eastern Seaboard pigeons are all mixed up in one interconnected population, they are denizens of an unbroken avian super-metropolis. Excluding New England pigeons, which seem to keep themselves apart. Elizabeth Carlen, a biologist at Fordham University took blood samples from pigeons during a string of journeys across the country. She found that birds from Virginia to southern Connecticut show genetic signs of interbreeding. In \’Widespread genetic connectivity of feral pigeons across the Northeastern megacity\’ she reports that another separate, distinct pigeon supercity begins in Providence, R.I., and continues to Boston. More

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    Elephants really can’t hold their spirits, study shows

    Possibly the most iconic is the story of African elephants and marula fruit. According to this popular wisdom, elephants across Africa preferentially serve on the fallen, ripening, fermenting fruit of the marula tree becoming drunk. Such stories have been scrutinized, however. Researchers have hinted that anecdotes of inebriated elephants may be a result of ‘subjectifying elephant behavior.’ However, the debate is based on considerations mapping on human ethanol metabolism, which may be a crucial error. Humans have a tremendous evolutionary link with ethanol, pre-dating anthropogenic roots, and hold surprisingly effective ethanol metabolism, by a mutation that evolved in our last common ancestor with African great apes.
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    Brain hyper-connectivity stands out among the effects of magic mushrooms, study shows

    The active ingredient in the psychedelic drug, psilocybin, seems to completely disrupt the normal communication networks in the brain, by connecting “brain regions that don’t normally talk together,” said study co-author Paul Expert, a physicist at King’s College London. he drug also seems to have more long-lasting effects. Many people report intensely spiritual experiences while taking the drug, and some studies even suggest that one transcendent trip can alter people’s personalities on a long-term basis, making those individuals more open to new experiences and more appreciative of art, curiosity, and emotion. More

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    Over 70% of cancer patients treated with one dose of Magic Mushrooms reported positive life changes

    A single dose of psilocybin combined with psychotherapy produced significant improvements in emotional and existential distress in patients with cancer that lasted more than four years, according to a study published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
    The finding stems from a follow-up investigation of a 2016 study in the same journal that linked psilocybin, a compound found in psychedelic mushrooms, with substantial improvements in anxiety and depression. That study involved 29 patients with cancer, each of whom received a single dose of either psilocybin or active placebo along with 9 sessions of psychotherapy over 7 weeks. Afterward, participants swapped treatments. More

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    Uranus smells like rotten eggs, study shows

    Uranus’ upper clouds are made of hydrogen sulfide — the same molecule that gives rotten eggs their noxious odor. Using a spectrograph on the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii, Fletcher and his colleagues detected the chemical fingerprint of hydrogen sulfide at the top of the planet’s clouds, the team reports April 23 in Nature Astronomy. That wasn’t a complete surprise: Observations from the 1990s showed hints of hydrogen sulfide lurking deeper in Uranus’ atmosphere. But the gas hadn’t been conclusively detected before. The clouds aren’t just smelly — they can help nail down details of the early solar system. Uranus’ hydrogen sulfide clouds set it apart from the gas giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, whose cloud tops are mostly ammonia. More

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    Viral DNA accounts for 1.3% of the human genome, study finds

    Surprisingly, not all the useful DNA in your chromosomes comes from your evolutionary ancestors – some of it was borrowed from elsewhere. Your DNA includes the genes from at least eight retroviruses. These are a kind of virus that makes use of the cell’s mechanisms for coding DNA to take over a cell. At some point in human history, these genes became incorporated into human DNA. These viral genes in DNA now perform important functions in human reproduction, yet they are entirely alien to our genetic ancestry. More

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    Spending just 20 min in a park makes 60% of the people happier, study finds

    For the study, researchers surveyed 94 adults who visited one of three urban parks near Birmingham over the summer and fall. They were given fitness trackers to measure physical activity but were not told what to do in the park or how long to stay. Each person also answered questions about their life satisfaction and mood — which were used to calculate a subjective well-being score, with a maximum value of 55 — before and after their park visit.

    The average park visit lasted 32 minutes, and 30% of people engaged in at least moderate-intensity physical activity while there. Well-being scores rose during the park visit in 60% of people, with an average increase of about 1.5 points (from about 37 to 39). More

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    100% of amphibians are aglow with biofluorescence

    They tested animals from eight of 10 families of salamanders, five families of frogs, and one family of caecilians. Every animal tested, even larvae, lit up in varying patterns and intensities. Spots, blotches, stripes, snotty secretions, urine, and even bones and digits glowed after exposure to blue light. For most species, this glow was bright green, but some produced yellow or orange fluorescence. Salamanders and caecilians without bold or brightly-colored patterns made up for it with unexpected lights: Their cloacal regions (multipurpose organs they use to eat, excrete and reproduce) shone brightly as a flashlight. More