Video Gamers Have Better Connected Brains

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Amongst the wider public, video gamers do not have the best reputation. They are perceived, somewhat unfairly, as socially awkward, bespectacled, pimply-faced geeks. However, new research provides them something of a “Revenge-of-the-Nerds moment”: Action video gamers (AVGs) have more gray matter and better connectivity in certain subregions of the brain. Continue reading

Pathogen Jumped from Humans to Rabbits in 1976

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Zoonotic diseases, such as the plague and Ebola virus, jump from animals to humans. Often, but not always, such interspecies transmission occurs following mutations in the pathogen’s genome that make it more suitable for targeting a new host. But, infectious disease is not a one-way street. This same evolutionary process also makes possible “reverse zoonosis” (more properly dubbed zooanthroponosis) — i.e., the transmission of disease from humans to animals. Continue reading

Monkeys Suffer Human-Like Depression

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

It’s no secret that depression is a major problem worldwide. A map published by the Washington Postdepicts the prevalence of depression around the world. Every country on Earth, rich or poor, has citizens who experience depression. Coping with sadness is a part of the human condition, but why some of us suffer in near perpetuity is not understood. Decades of research have produced little more than expensive pills that work only slightly better than a placebo. Continue reading

Malaria May Be Driving Evolution of Blood Type

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Malaria is a deadly disease that, according to the World Health Organization, infects roughly 200 million people annually and kills more than half a million. It has thus become a powerful force of natural selection, helping shape the evolution of its human host. Continue reading

A Bias in Field Goals and Penalty Kicks?

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Seattle Seahawks fans are just now mentally recovering from the heartbreaking Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. (Honestly, even Captain Picard knew to give the ball to Beast Mode.) However, the fact that Seattle recently won a Super Bowl in 2014 relieves a bit of the sting. Continue reading

Is Your Penis Normal? There’s a Chart for That

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Are you one of those men who constantly worries that your penis isn’t of an adequate size? Then you may be suffering from “small-penis syndrome.” (Yes, that’s an actual medical term.) More likely, you are simply intrigued to know how your manhood measures up against the rest of humanity. Either way, whether you are anxious or merely curious, you may soon be able to ask your doctor to pull out a tape measure so he can definitively answer the question, “Hey doc, is my weiner big enough?” Continue reading

Tilapia: A Fish that Will Heal Your Wounds

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience. [NOTE: THE RESEARCH PAPER UPON WHICH THIS ARTICLE WAS BASED WAS RETRACTED ON AUGUST 27, 2015]

The other use for tilapia.

Tilapia is best served with a side of French fries and cabbage, but scientists from Shanghai believe they have discovered an even better use: Collagen extracted from tilapia can be applied as a wound dressing that helps accelerate healing. Continue reading

Thinking About Sex vs. Actually Doing It

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

People put an awful lot of effort into having sex. Other than hunger, thirst, and seeking shelter, it is perhaps the strongest urge that humans have. It’s no wonder that young men spend time in the gym and buy fancy sports cars; equally, it’s no wonder that young women spend hours in front of the mirror and buy lots of clothing. We have a strong biological impulse to get laid, and these are the most widespread ideas we have to accomplish that. Continue reading

How to Kill Insects with Visible Light

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Zzzzzzap! Ahhh, the gratifying sound of another insect biting the dust on a humid summer night. The hauntingly seductive blue glow of the bug zapper attracts thousands of unsuspecting insects to their untimely demise. Phototactic creepy-crawlies simply cannot resist moving toward the light, and when they arrive, a 2,000-volt wire mesh awaits them. Continue reading