Science at Forbes.com:
- Longer Telomeres, A Heavily Hyped Goal Of Anti-Aging Tonics And Salves, Create A Predisposition To Cancer. Dr. Titia de Lange’s recent work, published in the journal eLife, provides the first proof that, by limiting cell division, telomeres repress cancer.
- Social Distancing Is Wearying — For Humans, And Maybe Even For Fish. A recent study by an international research team led by Erin Schuman of Frankfurt’s Max Planck Institute for Brain Research shows that zebrafish, too, may hate to be alone long-term.
- Scientists May Have Found The Evolutionary Roots Of Human Vision. New research suggests that the design of the visual processing system of Madagascar’s gray mouse lemur holds secrets about the origins of vision for humans and for primates around the world.
- Wind Creates Evolutionary Changes In Flying Insects, Depriving Them Of Flight. The first scientist known to be intrigued by flightless insects was the twenty-two-year-old Charles Darwin when, in January of 1831, he visited the Portuguese-held island of Madeira off the coast of Morocco.
- Estrus, and the Evolution of Mean Girl Behavior. Competition among ancestral women for mates might have been fierce.
- Aging Mice Have Memory And Cognitive Declines Reversed With An Experimental Drug. A small-molecule drug named ISRIB quickly and safely restores to old mice youthful levels of cognitive function.
- Longevity Linked To Daily Glucosamine/Chondroitin In An Epidemiological Study. Mortality data from an epidemiological study of nearly 17,000 patients showed that people who took a supplement had an all-cause mortality rate that was 39% lower than that of other study participants. For cardiovascular-related deaths the supplement group’s mortality rate was 65% lower.
- How Some Songbirds Have Evolved to Play Their Terrible ‘Darwinian’ Cards. Here’s an evolutionary riddle: Should the investment that parents make in their offspring benefit the parents or the offspring? If the answer is “offspring,” must all benefit equally? If not, which one should the parents favor?
- Epileptic Seizures Aren’t Entirely Random. Discovery May Lead To Seizure Forecasting System. If people with epilepsy could get “seizure warnings” akin to thunderstorm warnings, their neurological disorder might be less disruptive to their lives.
- Tales from the Vaccine Vault: 30 Facts about Smallpox and the Coronavirus. Together the facts tell a “then and now” story about how difficult it is to eradicate a disease, how vaccines work, and how devastating a virus left unchecked can be.
- More Tales From The Vaccine Vault: 25 Facts About The Coronavirus And Diphtheria Vaccine. Because diphtheria used to fill the graveyards with children’s headstones, it struck terror akin to that of the coronavirus.
- Monogamy in New World Monkeys … And in Humans. A species of New World monkeys seems to have found a tidy solution to the infidelity “problem” that many mammals face.
- A Scientist’s Bakers Yeast Showed How Quickly Evolution Can Happen. At first glance a dish of baker’s yeast in 2020 has little to do with starving pregnant women in Holland in the winter of 1944-1945.
- Do Animals Know Mother Love? Darwin assumed that emotions like mother love are available to at least some animals.
- Dear Enemies’ Are Made when a Song Sparrow Learns to Sing. For for males of the species, the teaching and the learning can make the wheel spin a little longer.
- Do Male Brown Spiders Prefer a Little Death with Their Sex? What would Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin say about the erotic lives of male spiders?
- So Long “Homo Stupidus.” Hello, Intelligent, Compassionate, Neanderthals? Studies illuminating what it may have been like to be a Neanderthal child have helped upend the idea of Neanderthals as brutish, sub-human, and lacking the “right” cognitive stuff.
- Partial Deafness Helps African Naked Mole-Rats Hear At All. Every naked mole-rat is nearly deaf. Scientists have searched for a survival function to the impairment.
- Researchers Just Found That Antibody Levels Decline Soon After Coronavirus Symptoms End. The good news is that your immune system has a memory.
- A New Genus And Species Of Dinosaur From The Gobi Desert. Skeletons and partial relics of oviraptoridae that had two-toed forelimbs were discovered in Mongolia.
- Facial Recognition Development in Wasps Hints at a Mystery of Human Evolution. Scientists have long wondered how prehistoric humans quickly unstuck themselves from the Stone Age and rapidly became as intellectually and socially capable as modern humans. Recent discoveries about wasps may hold a clue.
- Scientists Just Learned a Way to Treat Down Syndrome Prenatally — in Mice. For humans, a drug made from a plant compound that has anti-inflammatory properties represents a possibility for prenatal treatments that are personalized to meet the needs and metabolisms of individual babies.
- Zombie Wildfires and Other Science Zombies to Scare the Daylights Out of You. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Scientific American Samples:
- Bison versus Mammoths: New Culprit in the Disappearance of North America’s Giants. A scientist turns up new clues to the disappearance of North America’s giant beavers, saber-toothed cats and other large mammals.
- Outsmarting Dengue Fever. Why one scientist is vaccinating mosquitoes, not patients.
- Corals in Lust. Why they spawn only at twilight, and only a few times a year.
- Beauty and the Beasts. The sight of a pretty woman brings out the war monger in men.
Discover Magazine Samples:
- Hiking Las Vegas. Just a few miles from the perfectly enclosed, artificial worlds of the Strip’s casinos, there lie some beautiful and accessible spectacles of nature.
- Winemaking: Science, Nature, and Fancy Footwork. Each glass tells you something about the wine’s milieu as well as the vintner’s approach.
- A host of articles including many “20 Things You Didn’t Know about…” ones, for Discover Magazine. (Page upon page. Just keep clicking.)
Other Magazine Samples:
- Darwin in Love. Charles Darwin, who of all people should have known better, married his first cousin. Did his love for Emma color his later works? (JSTOR Daily)
- The Brain Science Behind Conspiracy Theories. It might not be a lack of intelligence that leads many to believe wild—and wildly inaccurate—information, but instead our mind’s way of protecting us from feelings of isolation and despair. (DAME Magazine)
Vermont Public Radio Samples
For about a decade (late 1990s to late 2000s) I contributed commentaries to Vermont Public radio as an on-air personality specializing in mental health. Just a few are still online. Four were part of a series that won a Vermont AP award for VPR. Those commentaries are at https://archive.vpr.org/vpr-author/rebecca-coffey/
Science-Based Op-Eds and Think Pieces:
- Barrett Says Judges Can Avoid Beliefs Coloring Judicial Rulings; Social Scientists Say It’s Challenging (Forbes.com)
- Why People Believe Genuinely Fake News (DAME Magazine)
- Trump Can’t Control Himself (NY Daily News)
- All the President’s White Women (NY Daily News)
- Actually, Truth Isn’t Truth (NY Daily News)
- What Would Sigmund Freud Say about Gay Conversion Therapy? (Seattle Times)
- The Supreme Court Meets Sigmund Freud (Chicago Tribune)
- Beyond the Best Interests of the Migrant Child. (PsychologyToday.com) What Anna Freud knew about traumatized children’s needs.
- Conservative Voters and the Messy ‘Down There’. (PsychologyToday.com)Why Trump and red-states politicians may want to erase transgenderism.
- Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Meet Stormy Daniels, (PsychologyToday.com)A book review with attitude
- The Social Vagina. (PsychologyToday.com) Notes on the new look in “cleavage down under.”
- The Human Ape. (PsychologyToday.com) Our animal nature is undeniable. But is beastly behavior inevitable? (Written in the early days of #MeToo)
- What Do the Milwaukee Cannibal and Roy Moore Have in Common?. (PsychologyToday.com) Let’s start with Jeffrey Dahmer’s charm and strong personalities…and work on from there.
- Old Marshmallow Experiment Illuminates Trump’s Weaknesses. (PsychologyToday.com) A 1960s study with kids reveals our president’s dangerous inner child.
- Punching Anti-Gay Hate Right in the Nose. (PsychologyToday.com) Can a venom-spewing church become a safe space for queer and questioning kids?
- Who Would Jesus Stone?. (PsychologyToday.com) Nonviolence as psychological warfare in a hate-filled world
- Why Don’t Women Leave Batterers?. (PsychologyToday.com) Knocks to the head may diminish them so much that they can’t.
- Is America Safer When Good Guys Have Guns? (PsychologyToday.com) Homicide data + crime victimization survey results = surprise.
- What’s Really Behind Slut Shaming (PsychologyToday.com) Women do it at least as much as men.
- No Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System? (PsychologyToday.com) Thoughts on how to report news of a study that might fan the flames of hatred
- Lessons from America’s First School Massacre. (PsychologyToday.com) The 1927 massacre was America’s largest, killing 37 children and 7 adults.
- Senator Stacey Campfield Out-Does Congressman Todd Akin. (PsychologyToday.com) Why did the Tennessee senator get his facts on HIV/AIDS so hysterically wrong?
- Congressman Akin, Meet Genghis Khan. (PsychologyToday.com) The DNA of 8% of men in the former Mongol empire prove Akin wrong about rape.
- Thoughts for the Fifth Anniversary of the Virginia Tech Massacre. (PsychologyToday.com) On gun control and safety nets.
- A Perfect Storm. (Vermont Public Radio.) Dry cask storage and the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
- The Parent Trap. (Vermont Public Radio.) A new study showed the mental health costs of having children.
- War is Not Abstract. (Vermont Public Radio.) And it’s not a computer game. From when we were on the verge of war in Iraq.
- First Year Gestures of Completion. (Vermont Public Radio.) (or broadcast on September 11, 2002.
- Gay Conversion Therapy. (Vermont Public Radio.) Every medical and mental health association has flagged it as useless and brutal.
- Shooting Anniversaries. (Vermont Public Radio.) About school shootings, and broadcast on the 5th anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre.
- Child Molesters. (Vermont Public Radio.) In Vermont, a judge gave a child rapist a 60-day sentence.
- Talking to Children about War. (Vermont Public Radio.) Child psych literature and my younger child taught me a lot.
- Family Adventure. (Vermont Public Radio.) One of my few parenting opinion pieces, it’s fun. It’s about scuba diving.
- For Beck and Branch, Rebecca produced the Science Bits series.
- The video documentary Attacking Anxiety is on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/manage/406613703/general This science documentary won the Red ribbon and the American Film & Video Festival, the Cine Golden eagle, and the the silver ribbon at the Columbus International film Festival.