Bryoni Parry

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Dog and Human Genomes Evolved Together

Evolution shaped genes in humans and dogs that correspond to diet, behavior, and disease, according to a new study.<p><b>The bond betweendogs and humans is ancient and enduring. Dogs snuggle up to us at night, gambol by our side during daily walks, and flop adoringly at our feet when we crash on our</b> …

Why Animals "Adopt" Others, Including Different Species

Odd alliances often form due to instinct—but empathy may be involved.<p><b>A feel-good tale of sperm whales "adopting" a deformed bottlenose dolphin made an Internet splash this week. The story resonated with readers, including Reddit commenter Fallapoo, who said: "I see a Disney movie in the works."</b><p><b>But</b> …

What Makes Us Feel an Itch? Answer Surprises Scientists

A molecule that usually works in the heart triggers itch, a new study says.<p><b>It's a burning question in science—what makes us feel an itch?</b><p>Scientists experimenting in mice may have found the culprit: A molecule used by the heart is pulling double duty, sending a message to the spinal cord that …

Dinosaur Eggs Are Missing Link In Egg Evolution

Recently discovered dinosaur eggs are helping researchers fill in missing gaps in the evolution of eggs.<p><b>Studying dinosaur eggs is a lot like a big, frustrating Easter egg hunt: The eggs are rare, fragile—rainwater is acidic enough to dissolve some egg fossils—and it can be difficult to identify</b> …

6 Amazing Science Pictures

The Bigger Brains of London Taxi Drivers

Human Journey<p>How hard could learning a map of a city be? In London, earning the credentials to drive one of the city’s iconic cabs is equivalent to earning a university degree. It’s so advanced, in fact, that being able to navigate the streets isn’t just considered knowledge, but is formally called …

Psychoanalysis as Literature: Stephen Grosz’s ‘The Examined Life’

A psychoanalyst distilled 50,000 hours of therapy into a book—Lucy Scholes says its details are worthy of the masters of fiction.<p>I’ve always found …

OCD Dogs, People Have Similar Brains; Is Your Dog OCD?

Shared biology may lead to better treatments for human anxiety.<p><b>Dogs and people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) have similar brain abnormalities, suggesting that America's most popular pet may someday help doctors understand and treat human anxiety, a new study says.</b><p>Scientists already knew …

14 Cakes Inspired By Scientific Concepts

We already featured anatomical cakes, which are great for anyone obsessed with biology, but if you’re interested in any other scientific fields, …

Red Nose Day

How To Get Happy This Very Minute

<i>In the age of constant communication, 24/7 jobs, and mandatory multitasking, finding a moment for reflection is almost impossible — almost. Courtney</i> …

Freud on Creative Writing and Daydreaming

<i>“Writing is a little door,”</i> Susan Sontag wrote in her diary. <i>“Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.”</i> <b>Sigmund Freud</b> (May 6, 1856–September 23, 1939) — a key figure in the making of consumer culture, deft architect of his own myth, modern plaything — set out to peek through …

U.S. Pet Poll: Most Prefer Dogs, 18 Percent Want Dinosaur

A fifth would rather spend time with their pets than with people.<p><b>Americans love their pets—and a new poll shows just how much we dote on our critters, while revealing some curious attitudes toward animals (and people).</b><p>Six out of ten voters interviewed have a pet, with a third reporting that their …

Do Lemurs Have Personalities?

Changing Planet<p><b>Lemurs have identifiable personality traits that are consistent from situation to situation, and those tendencies may have evolutionary implications, according to a new study conducted at the Duke Lemur Center.</b><p>Ecologist Jennifer Verdolin tested captive gray mouse lemurs, small, …

Why Do Babies Twitch in Their Sleep? (Adorable Video Edition)

When I brought my puppy home last August, I knew he would be fun to play with. I had no idea how entertaining he would be when asleep. He dozed constantly, and more often than not, his whole body — legs, tail, lips, eyes, ears — would twitch. This isn’t a quirk of canines. Sleep twitching happens …

Transforming Proteins May Explain Many Faces of Parkinson’s

We talk about Parkinson’s disease rather than Parkinson’s diseases, as if this disorder was a single thing. It is and it isn’t. Any two patients can differ greatly in when they first showed symptoms, what problems they experience, and how quickly their condition worsens. Some people only ever have …

Can Dogs Feel Our Emotions? Yawn Study Suggests Yes

Pets yawn more in response to owners' yawns than strangers', study says.<p><b>Dog owners who claim their pets know their feelings may be on to something: A new study shows that canines yawn more in response to their owners' yawns than they do to strangers' yawns.</b><p>That suggests dogs are "emotionally …

Dolphins Have Longest Memories in Animal Kingdom

Marine mammals can remember their friends after 20 years apart, study says.<p><b>Sorry, elephants: Dolphins have taken the top spot for best memory, at least for now.</b><p>New experiments show that bottlenose dolphins can remember whistles of other dolphins they'd lived with after 20 years of separation. Each …

Why You Can't Stop Checking Your Facebook Profile

New research suggests regularly checking your Facebook profile doesn’t make you narcissistic—just human.<p>0<p>SHARES<p>How often do you check out your …

Speaking a second language delays dementias, even in the illiterate, study finds

There’s more evidence that speaking a second language can delay the onset of dementia later in life — this time in a population where even illiterate people reaped the benefits of being bilingual.<p>Conducted in Hyderabad, India, the largest study of its kind so far found that speaking two languages …

Language Learning

Study finds that a subset of children often considered to have autism may be misdiagnosed

Children with a genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, who frequently are believed to also have autism, often may be misidentified …

Evolution: A Stunning Monochromatic Exploration of Vertebrate Skeletons by Patrick Gries | Colossal

<p>Created in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, Evolution is an extraodinary collection of images by photographer …

How to Learn: Lewis Carroll’s Four Rules for Digesting Information and Mastering the Art of Reading

Long before he met the real-life little girl who inspired him to write <i>Alice in Wonderland</i> under the pseudonym <b>Lewis Carroll</b>, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was a prominent mathematician and logician. In addition to his scientific bend and his love of language, Carroll also had strong convictions about …

Legendary Harvard Psychologist Jerome Bruner on Identity, “Creative Wholeness,” and How We Limit Our Happiness

Today, we hang so much of our identity on our capacity to create, often confusing what we <i>do</i> for who we <i>are</i>. And while creativity, by and large, is a positive force in the external world, its blind pursuit can be damaging to the inner. So admonishes the influential Harvard psychologist <b>Jerome Bruner</b> …

Van Gogh and Mental Illness

Around the time that Tolstoy was tussling with depression and his spiritual crisis, on the other side of Europe another creative icon was struggling with the darkness of his own psychoemotional landscape. As he was painting some of the most celebrated and influential art of all time, <b>Vincent Van …

How Our Delusions Keep Us Sane: The Psychology of Our Essential Self-Enhancement Bias

<i>“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope,”</i> Helen Keller wrote in her 1903 treatise on optimism. But a positive outlook, it turns out, isn’t merely an intellectual disposition we don — it’s a deep-seated component of our evolutionary wiring and the product …

Leo Tolstoy on Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World

Shortly after turning fifty, <b>Leo Tolstoy</b> (September 9, 1828–November 10, 1910) succumbed to a profound spiritual crisis. With his greatest works behind him, he found his sense of purpose dwindling as his celebrity and public acclaim billowed, sinking into a state of deep depression and melancholia …

Five Ways to Relieve Boredom

<b>The A-Z Challenge: B is for Bored. Shift negative to positive alphabetically.</b><p>When boredom kicks in, we stop using our edge. We zone out or start …

Creativity

6 Science-Backed Ways To Make Better Decisions

Imagine what the world would be like if everyone practiced a little more rational decision-making.<p>Fortunately, research <i>does</i> show that there are things you can do to help make more accurate and reason-based -- and less emotion-based and potentially impulsive -- decisions. Here are just a few:<p><b>Think</b> …

Rise and Shine: 10 Steps to Becoming a Morning Person

In the perfect world we would all be morning people. We would wake up calm, refreshed and ready to tackle the day. But this isn't a perfect world, and many of us have hectic morning routines that are considered a success only if we're able to make it to work on time and with no coffee stains on our …