"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Brain Dead Babies 

When humans get mad cow disease, it's called variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD), and it kills them within about a year. What few treatments exist are ultimately ineffective. Research using RNA interference now suggests a possible way to slow the disease progress - treated mice lived much longer with a prion illness than did controls.

However, the mice had to be treated embryonically, so it's not clear how this will apply to humans, and it is possible that interfering with healthy prion production could have serious side effects. We shall see.

Speaking of brain damage: it seems that psychopaths do not process fearful faces the same way non-psychopaths do. Psychopathic subjects' brains were observed to 'light up' less than controls' when shown pictures of fearful faces, while they were the same for happy faces.

Miscarriage is an extremely traumatic event, and its causes are often utterly mysterious, but a study of 600 UK women whose pregnancies lasted more than 12 weeks suggests a number of factors that may play a role. First of all, underweight women are more likely to miscarry. No shock here, as being underweight is often associated with amenorrhea and fertility problems. Single women, and those who don't take vitamins or eat chocolate are also at increased risk. So ladies? Get thee to Godiva!

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