Diets should be personally tailored to your gut microbiome, study says

From ABC Science, 20 November 2015: Even if we all ate the same meal, everyone would metabolise it differently, according to a new study that suggests that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all dietary advice. Rather diets should be tailored to an individual’s gut microbiome, or combination of gut bacteria, Israeli scientists said. The Continue reading Diets should be personally tailored to your gut microbiome, study says

Moods may have an evolutionary purpose

From ABC Science, 4 November 2015: Moods, both positive and negative, may actually serve an evolutionary purpose in helping us to have more realistic expectations. Researchers have used mathematical modelling to show that our mood may be a subconscious way for us to keep track of the availability of rewards in our environment, and to Continue reading Moods may have an evolutionary purpose

Training the brain to ‘divide and conquer’ may be the secret to multi-tasking

From ABC News in Science, 13 October 2015: The trick to multi-tasking may be training our brain to ‘divide and conquer’ each task separately, Australian researchers have found. In one of the largest studies of its kind, Professor Paul Dux and Dr Kelly Garner from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology used real-time brain Continue reading Training the brain to ‘divide and conquer’ may be the secret to multi-tasking

Ancient teeth point to earliest modern humans in southern China

From ABC News in Science, 15 October 2015: Modern humans may have occupied southern China at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought. Archaeologists have found 47 Homo sapiens teeth closely resembling our own, dated from 80,000-120,000 years old, in a cave in Hunan province, according to a letter published today in Nature. The discovery Continue reading Ancient teeth point to earliest modern humans in southern China

Black Death plague pathogen thousands of years older than first thought

From ABC News in Science, 23 October 2015: The microbe responsible for the Black Death plagues was infecting Bronze Age humans more than 3,000 years earlier than the pandemics it is most notorious for. Early forms of the bacteria, Yersinia pestis, have been found in Bronze Age human teeth up to 5,000 years old, according Continue reading Black Death plague pathogen thousands of years older than first thought

What would the Milky Way galaxy look like from across the universe?

From ABC Science, 26 August 2015: Apart from being home to the only known forms of life in the universe, our Milky Way galaxy isn’t all that unique. It’s a typical large spiral galaxy, between 100,000 and 180,000 light years wide and containing between 200 billion and 400 billion stars. The Milky Way has four Continue reading What would the Milky Way galaxy look like from across the universe?

Are there more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth?

From ABC Science Online, 19 August 2015: It may hurt your brain to think about it, but it seems that the answer is likely to be yes, or at least the numbers are roughly in the same ballpark. Astronomers actually set out to answer this question about a decade ago. It’s a tricky problem to Continue reading Are there more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth?

Could gut bacteria help make you more anxious?

From ABC Science, 29 July 2015: Stress during childhood can affect the make-up of our gut bacteria and this, in turn, could influence our mental health as adults, a new mouse study suggests. The research found transplanting gut bacteria from mice stressed when they were young could encourage anxiety-like behaviour in some recipients. The researchers Continue reading Could gut bacteria help make you more anxious?

Music preferences reveal your inner thoughts

From ABC Science, 23 July 2015: Jeff Buckley or Rage Against The Machine? Your music preferences reveal a lot about how you think. There is a clear link between people’s cognitive styles and the type and depth of emotion they prefer in music, say researchers. Their work, published today in PLOS ONE, shows people who Continue reading Music preferences reveal your inner thoughts

Human screams target brain’s fear centre

From ABC News in Science, 17 July 2015: Does the sound of a human scream make your hair stand on end? Now scientists say they can explain why. They’ve found the sound of human screaming is acoustically designed to plug directly into your brain’s fear and alarm circuit. A study, published today in Current Biology Continue reading Human screams target brain’s fear centre