Summer Wombles

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How anxiety scrambles your brain and makes it hard to learn

Olivia admits she’s always been a worrier – but when she started university, her anxiety steadily began to build. One day she was simply too frightened to leave the house. For two weeks she was stuck indoors, before she was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and began to get the help she …

Top 10

When We Run Away From Our Strength

When Kate was 14, her classmate died by suicide on a Friday. On Sunday, Kate attended the funeral. The principal, however, announced that "Madeleine had left school."<p>Her friends couldn't openly mourn their loss; the issue of depression and suicide wasn't addressed. The atmosphere was a heavy grey …

Mental Health

The Chilling Regularity of Mass Extinctions

Scientists say new evidence supports a 26-million-year cycle linking comet showers and global die-offs.<p>One thing we know for sure is that conditions on Earth were, shall we say, <i>unpleasant</i> for the dinosaurs at the moment of their demise. Alternate and overlapping theories suggest the great beasts …

Ice Age

Our Prehistoric Cousins Had Demonic Skulls

If there’s one conference I can’t bear to miss, it’s the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting. Especially because there’s always at least one image presented during the talks that makes me sit bolt upright in my chair and think “What the hell is <i>that</i>?” A few years ago it was when the …

Humans created a new top predator that's taking over the Northeast — and that's just one example of the evolution we're driving

Evolution, it turns out, isn't the long, invisible process we once thought.<p>Instead, it's happening all around us, all the time, and we are its primary drivers.<p>Numbers of the coywolf, a new hybrid of the coyote and the wolf, likely just topped a million.<p>By shaping landscapes, dumping pollutants into …

Biology

A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier

Actually, don't trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.<p>UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life.<p>Here's what you and …

Self-improvement

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Earth - These animals are male on one side and female on the other

From the right-hand side, Dr H. E. Schaef's chicken looked like any normal cockerel, with a bright red comb and a wattle. But from the left you would think it was a hen: its body was slighter and had plainer markings.<p>Even its behaviour was decidedly confused. The creature attempted to mount the …

Biology

Are viruses alive? New evidence says yes

Evolutionary history suggests they evolved from ancient cells<p>Influenza, SARS, Ebola, HIV, the common cold. All of us are quite familiar with these names. They are viruses—a little bit of genetic material (DNA or RNA) encapsulated in a protein coat. But what we don’t really understand, and what …

Scientists are raising important questions about the discovery of a new human ancestor

On September 10, scientists announced the truly remarkable discovery of thousands of bones belonging to a previously unknown species of human ancestor.<p>They gave the new species the name <i>Homo naledi</i>, after the Dinaledi chamber of the Rising Star cave where the bones were found.<p>The finding is already …

Anthropology

Psychedelics Could Trigger A 'Paradigm Shift' In Mental Health Care

Is American medicine on the brink of a psychedelic revolution?<p>It's seeming more and more likely. A scientific review of the existing research into the therapeutic applications of psychedelics, published last week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, highlights the enormous potential of …

Johns Hopkins University

The nudge theory and beyond: how people can play with your mind

The first instalment of our new psychology column looks at how mental manipulation can be backed by good intentions – but when used with stealth, it is deceitful and wrong<p>A couple of decades ago, a class of psychology undergraduates played a mean trick on their lecturer. The students on the right …

Psychology

8 tricks for remembering everything you read

But just because forgetting is a human phenomenon doesn't mean you should simply accept it. In fact, there are plenty of simple, creative strategies for retaining more of what you read — whether that's novels, news articles, or scientific textbooks.<p>To find out what some of those techniques are, we …

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