Did human-like intelligence evolve to care for helpless babies?

A new study suggests that human intelligence may have evolved in response to the demands of caring for infants. Steven Piantadosi and Celeste Kidd, assistant professors in brain and cognitive sciences, developed a novel evolutionary model in which the progression of...

Angry ourbursts tied to heart problems

Those who rage with frustration during a marital spat have an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as chest pain or high blood pressure later in life, according to new research from Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley....

Spoiler alert: spoilers make you enjoy stories more

This story is going to be spoiled right from the beginning, but don’t worry. According to research by UC San Diego psychology professor Nicholas Christenfeld, spoilers don’t ruin a story: They make you enjoy it even more. One more spoiler: In the movie “The Usual...

Neuroscientists illuminate role of autism-linked gene

A new study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that a gene mutation associated with autism plays a critical role in the formation and maturation of synapses — the connections that allow neurons to communicate with each other. Many genetic variants have been linked to...

New concept turns battery technology upside-down

A new approach to the design of a liquid battery, using a passive, gravity-fed arrangement similar to an old-fashioned hourglass, could offer great advantages due to the system’s low cost and the simplicity of its design and operation, says a team of MIT researchers...

Automatic bug finder

Symbolic execution is a powerful software-analysis tool that can be used to automaticallylocate and even repair programming bugs. Essentially, it traces out every path that a program’s execution might take. But it tends not to work well with applications written using...

Workaholism tied to psychiatric disorders

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway have examined the associations between workaholism and psychiatric disorders among 16,426 working adults. “Workaholics scored higher on all the psychiatric symptoms than non-workaholics,” says researcher...

Study documents African monkeys eating bats

Although Cercopithecus monkeys, a widely distributed genus in Africa, usually have a discerning palate for fruits and leaves, they are opportunistic omnivores that sometimes consume lizards, snakes, birds and mice. These forest-dwelling primates share habitat and food...

Exercise, future anticancer therapy?

At age 70, Alfred Roberts plays hockey twice a week. Nothing special, right? Except that for three years he has had advanced prostate cancer, which has spread to his bones. “I’ve always been active. Hockey keeps me in shape and keeps my mind off things....

Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function

UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt...

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