Culture

For arachnophobes, it's difficult to kill a spider as it scurries across the floor. Those who are scared to fly might not ever set foot on a plane. While nothing physically stops people with these aversions, a mental barrier can keep them from the task at hand.

The same could be said for obese women when it comes to physical activity, according to research presented at the Obesity Society's Annual Meeting on Oct. 5.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The fossilized trail of an aquatic creature suggests that animals walked using legs at least 30 million years earlier than had been thought.

The tracks -- two parallel rows of small dots, each about 2 millimeters in diameter -- date back some 570 million years, to the Ediacaran period.

The Ediacaran preceded the Cambrian period, the time when most major groups of animals first evolved.

DURHAM, N.C. -- It's no secret that reading is beneficial. But can it help kids lose weight? In the first study to look at the impact of literature on obese adolescents, researchers at Duke Children's Hospital discovered that reading the right type of novel may make a difference.

The election year is in full swing, complete with allegations of class warfare and claims about which candidates cater to the rich and which candidates will best serve the interests of the poor and the middle class. But a new study, co-authored by North Carolina State University researcher Dr.

Should businesses that sell products which are responsible for a huge numbers of deaths, illness and injury, such as tobacco and junk food, be held accountable and made to improve public health? Two experts debate the issue on bmj.com today.

In preparing for possible future military interventions, the United States needs to shift substantial resources to the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, and military-civilian efforts must be integrated from top to bottom, according to a new report issued today by a group of veteran government and private-sector leaders.

The report also recommends delegating spending authority to the field level and requiring that civilians and military officers gain extensive cross-agency experience in one another's disciplines.

In his State of the Union Address on January 23, 2007, President Bush stated that, in order to substantially lower foreign oil imports, "We must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017."

Evanston, Ill. (October 2, 2008) - New research published in the journal Science explains why individuals seek to find and impose order on an unruly world through superstition, rituals and conspiratorial explanations by linking a loss of control to individual perceptions. The research finds that a quest for structure or understanding leads people to trick themselves into seeing and believing connections that simply don't exist.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Scientists putting the squeeze on thin films of polystyrene have discovered that at very short length scales the polymer doesn't play by the rules.

From buttons to storage bins, the molding of polymers is big business. At the nanoscale, processes such as nanoimprint lithography squeeze polymers to form patterns during the manufacture of semiconductor devices, organic electronics and optics. Thin films of polymer are important in adhesives, coatings and lubricants.

Not only are doctors, nurses, and firefighters essential during a severe pandemic influenza outbreak. So, too, are truck drivers, communications personnel, and utility workers. That's the conclusion of a Johns Hopkins University article to be published in the journal of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. The report, led by Nancy Kass, Sc.D, Deputy Director of Public Health for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, provides ethical guidance for pandemic planning that ensures a skeletal infrastructure remain intact at all times. Dr.