Losing Focus | Scientific American Mind

For kids in Singapore, the pressure for academic success is intense. After the regular six- to eight-hour school day, many children attend extra classes at private schools and devote long hours to homework in the evening. In recent decades as study hours have expanded, so has the country’s rate of nearsightedness—to epidemic proportions. 

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For Shame | Scientific American Mind

Under certain circumstances, shame may spur positive change, including cooperation and a desire to make amends. Psychologists are finding that there are many shades of shame—some better than others in promoting constructive behavior—and that the way we communicate disapproval to a wrongdoer can lead to drastically different outcomes. 

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Are Prions behind All Neurodegenerative Diseases? | Scientific American

In the human form of mad cow disease, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a person's brain deteriorates—literally developing holes that cause rapidly progressing dementia. The condition is fatal within one year in 90 percent of cases. The culprits behind the disease are prions—misfolded proteins that can induce normal proteins around them to also misfold and accumulate. Scientists have known that these self-propagating, pathological proteins cause some rare brain disorders, such as kuru in Papua New Guinea. But growing evidence suggests that prions are at play in many, if not all, neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's, also marked by aggregations of malformed proteins. Click to read more

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Diana KwonComment