Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes?


People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there’s some new research out that suggests there’s more to that than just a feeling. People appear to be more like their friends genetically than they are to strangers, the research found. “The striking thing here is that friends are actually significantly more similar to one another than we ... Read More »

Scientists Discover Genetic Link to Autism in New Study

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Scientists may have just found a genetic link to autism. They’ve discovered a mutation in the CHD8 gene that causes people with it to have a “strong likelihood of developing autism marked by gastrointestinal disorders, a larger head and wide set eyes. “We finally got a clear cut case of an autism specific gene,” said Raphael Bernier, one of the ... Read More »

IEXPRESS Is the world’s first social media site for inmates


The divide between prisoners and the outside world is being bridged, and not just because of the legions of Jeremy Meeks fans trying to break down prison walls to get their hands on him. Rather, it’s because inmates are entering cyberspace. Contraband smartphones are increasingly prevalent, and the resulting glimpses of life behind bars suggest that jail isn’t always as ruthless as Lockup made it look. ... Read More »

(Un)Fairtrade: is it time we looked beyond the label?

Harvest tea leaves

Research reveals poor wages on ‘Fairtrade’ farms. How can development organisations ensure the label is more scrutinised? Since we publicised our research which found that wages are typically lower, and on the whole conditions worse, for workers in areas with Fairtrade organisations than for those in other areas, we have often been asked about the implications. A UK church group ... Read More »

Exhibition offers an opportunity to discover the wide-ranging materials used to create colour in paintings


LONDON.- ‘Making Colour’, the first exhibition of its kind in the UK, offers visitors an exceptional opportunity to discover the wide-ranging materials used to create colour in paintings and other works of art. Using theNational Gallery’s own paintings and loans from major UK cultural institutions, the exhibition traces the history of making colour in Western paintings, from the Middle Ages to ... Read More »

Humans, Not Climate Change, To Blame For Ice Age Animal Extinction

Photo credit: Jennifer Carole via flickr

Our last glacial period lasted from about 115,000-12,500 years ago. By the end, 177 large mammal species had gone extinct. There has been considerable debate over the last half century regarding what caused the loss of these animals, including saber-tooth cats, mastadons, and giant sloths. While many have argued that these animals simply weren’t able to adapt to the warmer climate, ... Read More »

Europe’s boat people numbers make ours look minuscule


It’s the summer boat season in Europe. Everyone’s out on their boats, including tens of thousands of refugees from Africa making the trip across the Mediterranean. Not all of them make it. So far this year about 42,000 people have tried to cross the Med to get to Italy. They’re from Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria – anywhere in Africa ... Read More »

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades


 Does handwriting matter? Not very much, according to many educators. The Common Core standards, which have been adopted in most states, call for teaching legible writing, but only in kindergarten and first grade. After that, the emphasis quickly shifts to proficiency on the keyboard. But psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of ... Read More »

Researchers Find Association Between Porn Viewing And Less Grey Matter In The Brain

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Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin have published a study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry which found that hours spent watching pornography was associated with differences in gray matter volume in a particular region of the brain. For the investigation, scientists recruited 64 healthy males between the ages of 21-45. Participants were asked to fill out surveys on the amount of time ... Read More »