Prayer for Atheists: a helpful practise even if you don’t believe in God

Prayer for Atheists: a helpful practise even if you don't believe in God

Legend has it that the physicist Niels Bohr had a horseshoe hanging above his door. A colleague asked him why, to which he responded, “it’s for luck.” The colleague then asked him if he believed in luck. Bohr reassured him that as a scientist he did not believe in luck. Puzzled, the colleague asked again why Bohr had the horseshoe hanging above his door. Bohr responded, “I’m told that you don’t have to believe in order for it to work.”

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$125 million gift from Microsoft co-founder launches new institute to probe immune system

$125 million gift from Microsoft co-founder launches new institute to probe immune system

Immunology is the latest field that will benefit from a hefty sum donated by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The newly launched Allen Institute for Immunology, planned before the philanthropist died in October from complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, will attempt to better define what’s normal for the immune system and why it falters in cancer and autoimmune diseases.

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Fentanyl Surpasses Heroin As Drug Most Often Involved In Deadly Overdoses

Fentanyl Surpasses Heroin As Drug Most Often Involved In Deadly Overdoses

Fentanyl is now the drug most frequently involved in overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a National Vital Statistics System report published Wednesday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report sheds a bright light on the changing nature of America's drug landscape — and the devastating number of overdose deaths that have occurred in the U.S. in recent years.

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Research identifies new therapeutic target for cancer treatment and tissue regeneration

Research identifies new therapeutic target for cancer treatment and tissue regeneration

Research led by the University of Plymouth and Technische Universität Dresden has identified a new therapeutic target for cancer treatment and tissue regeneration – a protein called Prominin-1. Dr Bing Hu from Plymouth's Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed) together with Dr Denis Corbeil from the Technische Universität Dresden and a multinational team has shown how Prominin-1 (also known as CD133) plays a significant role in ensuring stem cells respond to extracellular signals.

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Crosswords and puzzles don’t prevent mental decline, study says

Crosswords and puzzles don't prevent mental decline, study says

Tackling a tricky crossword or a challenging Sudoku puzzle will not fend off age-related mental decline, new research has shown. Scientists have, in recent years, argued that brain-training exercises, such as completing puzzles or learning another language, can reduce the risk of developing dementia. But that may not be the case after all, according to a team of Scottish researchers whose research was published in the BMJ.

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Emojis can make online messages easier to understand and more believable, study finds

Emojis can make online messages easier to understand and more believable, study finds

The use of emojis can impact the effectiveness of online messages, according to research published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture. “The idea for the study came out of a brainstorming session with my co-author Alecka. She is interested in psychology and social media, and I am interested in basic cognition, so studying how we view emojis felt like a perfect mix of our backgrounds if you think about the hypothetical Venn-Diagram,” said T. Alex Daniel of Westfield State University, the corresponding author of the study.

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Turning to alcohol to feel less shy at parties? Brace for ‘hangxiety’

Turning to alcohol to feel less shy at parties? Brace for 'hangxiety'

December, with all of its holiday parties and family get-togethers, can be a nightmare for people who get nervous during social occasions. Many reach for liquid courage in the hopes alcohol will help them mix and mingle with more ease. Big mistake, a new study has found. Highly shy people not only didn’t feel less anxious when they drank but also experienced “a significant increase” in anxiety the day after, suffering through an especially edgy hangover known as “hangxiety,” British researchers noted.

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Andrea planned to spend $80k on Russian treatment, then a Sydney doctor made an offer

Andrea planned to spend $80k on Russian treatment, then a Sydney doctor made an offer

As a 31-year-old mother of two, being told to prepare for life in a wheelchair was not part of Andrea Zorbalas's life plan. But in late 2010, when the words "you have multiple sclerosis" came out of her doctor's mouth, her life changed forever. "It was devastating," Ms Zorbalas said. "I had a young family to look after. "The doctors said that I basically had 10 years before I was in a wheelchair because the MS was so aggressive."

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