My picks from ScienceDaily

Computer Game ‘Tetris’ May Help Reduce Flashbacks To Traumatic Events:

Playing ‘Tetris’ after traumatic events could reduce the flashbacks experienced in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), preliminary research by Oxford University psychologists suggests.

New Computer Program Enables Powerful Data Analysis On Small Computers:

A powerful yet compact algorithm has been developed that can be used on laptop computers to extract features and patterns from huge and complex data sets.

Digital Communication Technology Helps Clear Path To Personalized Therapies:

Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) have shown that search algorithms used in digital communications can help scientists identify effective multi-drug combinations. The study, led by Giovanni Paternostro, M.D., Ph.D., was published in the December 26, 2008, issue of PLoS Computational Biology.

Why The Swamp Sparrow Is Hitting The High Notes:

Birdsongs are used extensively as models for animal signaling and human speech, offering a glimpse of how our own communicating abilities developed. A new study by Adrienne DuBois, a graduate student at the University of Miami (UM) College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology, shows that the Swamp Sparrow has the ability to emit songs that are physically difficult to produce during hostile situations, implying that songbirds use sophisticated vocal performances as signals in aggressive communication.

Where Am I? How Our Brain Works As A GPS Device:

We’ve all experienced the feeling of not knowing where we are. Being disoriented is not pleasant, and it can even be scary, but luckily for most of us, this sensation is temporary. The brain employs a number of tricks to reorient us, keeping our confusion to a minimum and quickly pointing us in the right direction.

Women’s Brains Recognize, Encode Smell Of Male Sexual Sweat:

A new Rice University study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that socioemotional meanings, including sexual ones, are conveyed in human sweat.

Menthol Cigarettes Are More Addictive, New Research Finds:

Menthol cigarettes are harder to quit, particularly among African American and Latino smokers, according to researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).

What Is The Connection Between Sleep Apnea, Stroke And Death?:

Obstructive sleep apnea decreases blood flow to the brain, elevates blood pressure within the brain and eventually harms the brain’s ability to modulate these changes and prevent damage to itself, according to a new study published by The American Physiological Society. The findings may help explain why people with sleep apnea are more likely to suffer strokes and to die in their sleep.

Spirituality Is Key To Kids’ Happiness, Study Suggests:

New study suggests spirituality, not religious practices, determine how happy children are.

Spirituality May Help Adolescents Cope With Chronic Illness:

Chronic illness can lead to poorer quality of life–particularly for adolescents. New research shows that spirituality may help teens cope with their conditions.

Protein That Regulates Hormones Critical To Women’s Health Found In Pituitary:

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have solved the mystery surrounding a “rogue protein” that plays a role in the release of neurotransmitters and hormones in the brain.

Why We Procrastinate And How To Stop:

It’s a new year and many of us have started thinking about various resolutions: updating that resume, cleaning out the attic, starting that exercise routine. But the sad reality is that most of us will not follow through on these commitments, not because we’re insincere, but because tomorrow is always a better time to get going.

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