Brain

LAWRENCE -- Adults often bemoan the amount of time young people spend staring at a screen and browsing social media. But social media can not only be a way to teach students elements of the scientific process, those who took part in a program to learn scientific argumentation through social media learned the components of argumentation better than their peers who did not, a University of Kansas study has found.

Many people know that girls, on average, are worse at math than boys. But the gender difference is three times greater when it comes to reading. According to international studies, this is where boys struggle.

Why? And what can be done about it? For starters, children who struggle most with learning to read could be identified earlier than is currently done. And now, researchers are finding new ways to do this.

Early adolescents' grades were higher when they socialized with peers from other ethnicities, according to the findings of a University of California, Davis, study that looked at the lunching habits of more than 800 sixth-graders in three states.

More than a quarter of biomedical scientific papers may utilise practices that distort the interpretation of results or mislead readers so that results are viewed more favourably, a new study, publishing on September 11 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, suggests.

Researchers Kellia Chiu, Quinn Grundy and Lisa Bero from the University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Pharmacy performed a systematic review of 35 published academic studies that had previously analyzed so-called 'spin' in biomedical scientific papers - also known as 'science hype'.

Slow slip events, a type of slow motion earthquake that occurs over days to weeks, are thought to be capable of triggering larger, potentially damaging earthquakes. In a new study led by The University of Texas at Austin, scientists have documented the first clear-cut instance of the reverse--a massive earthquake immediately triggering a series of large slow slip events.

Neural activity associated with defensive responses in humans shifts between two brain regions depending on the proximity of a threat, suggests neuroimaging data from two independent samples of adults in the Netherlands published in The Journal of Neuroscience. In one sample, the findings suggest that emotional abuse during childhood may shift the balance of activity between these regions.

Scratching is more than an itch -- when it is sparked by stress, it appears to reduce aggression from others and lessen the chance of conflict.

Scratching can be a sign of stress in many primates, including humans.

Research by Jamie Whitehouse from the University of Portsmouth, is the first to suggest that these stress behaviours can be responded to by others, and that they might have evolved as a communication tool to help social cohesion.

Podcast link: https://soundcloud.com/cmajpodcasts/170118-guide

A new screening guideline from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs), which cause approximately 1244 deaths every year in Canada, recommends one-time ultrasonography screening for men aged 65 to 80 years.

Milan, Italy: Two new studies presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress highlight the risks associated with using e-cigarettes, especially for those who also smoke conventional cigarettes.

One study examined 122 of the most commonly sold e-cigarette liquids in nine European countries and found that all contained at least one substance classified as a health risk.

Conventional electron accelerators have become an indispensable tool in modern research. The extremely bright radiation generated by synchrotrons, or free electron lasers, provides us with unique insights into matter at the atomic level. But even the smallest versions of these super microscopes are the size of a soccer field. Laser plasma acceleration could offer an alternative: with a much smaller footprint and much higher peak currents it could be the basis for the next generation of compact light sources.