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No Free Parking: Many Americans Spend More Time Parking Than Having Sex Each Year Culture 

No Free Parking: Many Americans Spend More Time Parking Than Having Sex Each Year

United States (Sputnik) – Drivers in America spend an average of 17 hours every year just looking for a place to park their car. According to report released Wednesday by a for-profit US transportation consultancy, car drivers in the US spend more time looking for parking every year than they do picking a school for their child, choosing health insurance, or, in many cases, having sex. People who travel by car in dense urban areas are naturally the most affected, according to the consultants. Drivers spend, on average, some 107 hours each year looking for parking in New York City, the hardest-hit US urban area. The report calculates that those hours add Read More

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Go On, Have Dessert: New Study Finds Chocolate Helps Memory, Cognitive Function Food Health 

Go On, Have Dessert: New Study Finds Chocolate Helps Memory, Cognitive Function

Italy (Sputnik) – Go on, treat yourself. A recent Italian study has found that eating chocolate not only helps improves memory and cognitive function in the short term – it can even help prevent cognitive decline as we age. The study, published in May in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, focused on cocoa flavanols, the chemical compounds in cocoa beans, and their effect on brain function, both right after ingesting the flavanols and as a result of regular consumption. Researchers Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara of the University of L’Aquila reviewed the available literature on a variety of studies and found that eating cocoa — which is, of course, the foundation of chocolate — boosts memory performance, Read More

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Get It On To Stay Sharp: Research Shows Regular Sex Boosts Brain Activity Featured Health 

Get It On To Stay Sharp: Research Shows Regular Sex Boosts Brain Activity

World (Sputnik) – New research from scientists at Coventry and Oxford Universities indicates that people over 50 can boost their brain activity, particularly visual memory and verbal fluency, by having sex regularly. Key processes that help neurological function are activated at the point of orgasm, according to scientists at New Jersey’s Rutgers University, as the brain floods with nutrients, oxygen and blood. Along with mood-enhancing properties, there’s evidence that people who don’t maintain active sex lives live shorter lives than those who do, with cardiovascular advantages for women who have sex regularly and decreased chances of prostate cancer for men. A 10-year study at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital found that sexually active Read More

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New Study Suggests That Babies Recognize Human Faces from the Womb Science and Nature 

New Study Suggests That Babies Recognize Human Faces from the Womb

World (Intellectual Takeout) – In opening The Atlantic this morning, an interesting article caught my eye. The title proclaimed: “Fetuses Prefer Face-Like Images Even in the Womb.” I was intrigued. To be perfectly frank, I don’t believe I had ever thought about the fact that a baby in the womb might be able to see, let alone recognize shapes resembling human faces outside the womb. It appears that many others haven’t given such a thought much consideration either, for the study, conducted by Vincent Reid, was a first of its kind. As Reid explains in The Atlantic, the human Read More

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The Placebo Effect: Works Even When Patients Know No Actual Medicine Is Being Used Health Science and Nature 

The Placebo Effect: Works Even When Patients Know No Actual Medicine Is Being Used

World (Futurism) – Clinical epidemiologist Dr. Jeremy Howick recently published a review of five research studies covering 260 patients that showed how “open-label” placebos can be an effective treatment for a number of health issues. Placebos are treatments that have no active medications in them (often they’re just “sugar pills”). So called “open-label” placebos are just like normal placebo pills except patients know they don’t contain any medication. While the belief that placebos only work when patients believe they are real medication is a commonly held one, this open-label study proves that this isn’t necessarily always the case. In fact, this isn’t even a new phenomenon: In 2009, Read More

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New Study Shows Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer Risk; Exercise Reduces It Health Women 

New Study Shows Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer Risk; Exercise Reduces It

World (Sputnik) – Consuming just one small alcoholic beverage a day puts a person at a higher risk for breast cancer, according to a report released on Tuesday by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. Having analyzed data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer from 119 studies, the researchers found that consuming as few as 10 grams of alcohol a day can increase premenopausal breast cancer risk by five percent and postmenopausal breast cancer risk by nine percent.Alice Bender, head of nutrition programs at AICR, explained in the study that alcohol is a known carcinogen that can damage DNA and boost Read More

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Red Bull & Vodka: It’s Your Perception That Gets You Drunker Health Science and Nature 

Red Bull & Vodka: It’s Your Perception That Gets You Drunker

World (Sputnik) – A new study from a French behavioral sciences lab has found that red bull with vodka gets you drunk faster because you believe it will get you drunk faster. The experiment, conducted by researchers with INSEAD Sorbonne University in Paris and soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, brought in 154 young men and presented them with three separately labeled drinks: “Vodka & Red Bull”, “Fruit Juice Cocktail”, and “Vodka Cocktail”. The three beverages were exactly the same thing, a cocktail of fruit juice, Red Bull, and vodka. The only difference was the labeling.But 51 percent of the young men who drank the cocktail Read More

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88% of Diagnoses Different Upon Second Opinion Featured Health 

88% of Diagnoses Different Upon Second Opinion

United States (ANHUSA) – Get a second opinion, and you’ll get confused. That could be the new motto for a healthcare industry characterized by dueling diagnoses. According to a new study by the Mayo Clinic, nine out of ten people who seek a second opinion after receiving an initial diagnosis from a doctor get either a somewhat different or a completely new diagnosis from the second doctor. Only in 12% of cases did the second doctor simply confirm the initial diagnosis. And this is only diagnosis. When it comes to treatment, the disagreement gets even sharper. So much for “settled Read More

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Bilingualism and Brain Health Health Science and Nature 

Bilingualism and Brain Health

World (Mosaic) – In a café in south London, two construction workers are engaged in cheerful banter, tossing words back and forth. Their cutlery dances during more emphatic gesticulations and they occasionally break off into loud guffaws. They are discussing a woman, that much is clear, but the details are lost on me. It’s a shame, because their conversation looks fun and interesting, especially to a nosy person like me. But I don’t speak their language. Out of curiosity, I interrupt them to ask what they are speaking. With friendly smiles, they both switch easily to English, explaining that they Read More

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Watching Porn Affects the Brain, Things Will Never Be the Same Again Unaimed 

Watching Porn Affects the Brain, Things Will Never Be the Same Again

(Sputnik) –  Today, with pornography only ever a few clicks away, a multitude of attitudes to sex imagery abound. Regardless of what porn aficionados have to say, Swedish researchers maintain that excessive porn consumption affects the brain. Like every other gratifying experience, watching sexual images releases high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is often referred to as the “happiness drug” and is a key ingredient in the brain’s reward system. It is known to create vivid memories and spur a strong desire to relive the same stimulation again. Neuroscientist Predrag Petrovic, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, has long studied the Read More

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