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‘Reptilian’ brain is a penny-pincher

A primitive sector of the brain, the amygdala, affects financial decisions. But how do we explain a big difference in men’s and women’s altruistic actions?

Types of rapists revealed by kisses

The lack of kissing is one of the traits that separates serial rapists from single-victim rapists.

Alcohol intoxication major risk factor for dementia

Young-onset dementia has usually been blamed on genetic causes, but a Swedish study has revealed nine other risk factors for the illness – with alcohol intoxication being the worst.

C-section infants don’t get enough good microbes

Children born by Caesarean section start life with insufficient intestinal bacteria flora. These bacteria are known to play a part in protecting children from developing allergies and children who lack them may be at higher risk of other health problems.

Genes reveal Palaeolithic genders

It can be hard to determine whether ancient human bones stem from a male or a female. Swedish scientists have come up with a gene technology that can help.

Spiders find jobs that match their personalities

When cooperative spiders select specialties in the service of their colony you might think they had consulted career advisors.

Wars decline but get more deadly

There were fewer armed conflicts in the world in 2012 than the year before. But the number of battle-related deaths rose dramatically, mainly because of the civil war in Syria.

Anxiety could link to a protein

A special protein might explain why some people develop anxiety disorders and others don’t. Swedish scientists have used modified mice to carry a human gene controlling this protein to test its effect

Spit can reveal disease

Swedish scientists say in the near future a simple saliva test will suffice to reveal serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

Diamonds leap to quantum computing challenge

Diamonds can be used to tame quantum particles and make components of super computers.