Pakinam El-Desouky

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Alzheimer's patients' brains boosted by belting out Sound of Music

Belting out classic numbers from hit musicals can boost the brain function of people with Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers who worked with elderly residents at a US care home.<p>Over a four-month study, the mental performance of patients who took part in regular group singing sessions …

Why do humans hate poo so much?

There’s no denying it, we can’t stand excrement. But why? To find out, we need to see which animals share our disgust, and which ones do the exact opposite.<p>Humans, as a rule, hate poo. Our love for our children generally outweighs our aversion to their bodily waste, but nobody actually enjoys …

Babies’ weak immune systems may benefit them

Newborns’ immune systems may be deliberately suppressed to help them make friends with microbes.<p>Babies suck at a lot of things. They can’t walk. They …

Immune System

From Angkor Wat to Stonehenge: How Ancient People Moved Mountains

From temples to pyramids to statues, ancient techniques moved giant blocks.<p><b>The temple of Angkor Wat, the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, and the famous statues on Easter Island were all built without the conveniences of modern technology. Ancient peoples didn't have access to forklifts, hydraulic</b> …

Genetic mosaic found in neurons ‘is surprising’

Nerve cells in the brain are genetically varied. This surprising finding may help explain the genetic complexity of conditions such as autism, …

Dolphin-Killing Virus Spreads South, May Be Infecting Whales Too

A viral outbreak that's killing bottlenose dolphins is moving down the U.S. East Coast as the animals migrate south for the winter. Between July 1 …

Why Typhoon Haiyan Caused So Much Damage

The deadly typhoon that swept through the Philippines was one of the strongest ever recorded. But storms nearly this powerful are actually common in the eastern Pacific. Typhoon Haiyan's devastation can be chalked up to a series of bad coincidences.<p>Typhoons — known in our part of the world as …

How A Gene For Fair Skin Spread Across India

A study of skin color in the Indian subcontinent shows the complex movements of populations there.<p>Cover Girl, Maybelline, are you listening? A new study of skin color in South Asians finds they have enormous diversity, with a color range that's three times larger than that for East Asians or …

Anthropology

Breast cancer researchers identify genetic 'switch'

Queensland scientists have identified a genetic "switch" that indicates whether breast cancer is aggressive and likely to spread.<p>The discovery may provide a clearer prognosis for breast cancer patients and pave the way for new treatments.<p>Teams from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and the …

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated

When our colleague Rob Stein got his microbiome analyzed recently in the name of science journalism, we were totally fascinated.<p>As Stein noted, it may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diets.<p>Stein was advised to eat more garlic and leeks …

A new way of thinking about how the brain works

My book, <i>50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know</i>, is out now, and is available at a discount price from Amazon and the <i>Guardian</i> bookshop. (And here's a lovely review by Vaughan Bell, who calls it "a concise, solid grounding in neuroscience… remarkably lucid… balanced and entertaining".) When I …