New study uncovers same-sex couples' opinions about marriage and cohabitation

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on same-sex marriage equality, a University of Cincinnati survey of same-sex couples finds that 90 percent of the respondents felt that the option to marry was important to their relationship. The study is currently published online in the Journal of Homosexuality.

UC researchers Stephen M. Haas, an associate professor of communication, and Sarah W. Whitton, an assistant professor of psychology, uncovered the perceived benefits of cohabitation and marriage of same-sex couples after conducting a national online survey of 526 individuals who reported they were in a committed, same-sex relationship for at least six months. The survey also found that many same-sex couples view living together as significant because it symbolizes and solidifies their commitment to their relationship, possibly because marriage has never been an option. The researchers say this view differs from previous national research on different sex couples, for whom cohabitation signifies less commitment than marriage.

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Has breast milk become an Internet commodity, and not just for infants?

The practice of breast milk sharing among mothers has evolved into an Internet-based marketplace in which this valuable commodity is being bought and sold not only to feed babies, but as a “natural superfood” for body builders and athletes. An Editorial in Breastfeeding Medicine, the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, examines the relatively safe milk exchange models and the risks associated with breast milk purchase on the Internet. The article is available free on the Breastfeeding Medicinewebsite until July 16, 2015.

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Attention to angry faces may predict future depression

Epidemiological data indicate that a majority of individuals who experience one episode of major depressive disorder will experience another depressive episode in the future. New research shows that an attentional bias toward angry faces is one risk factor that may predict future depressive episodes.

Remote cave study reveals 3,000 years of European climate variation

Roaring Cave in Scotland. A study of its limestone has produced a unique 3000-year-long record of climatic variations that may have influenced historical events including the fall of the Roman Empire and the Viking Age of expansion. CREDIT Courtesy of UNSW

Roaring Cave in Scotland. A study of its limestone has produced a unique 3000-year-long record of climatic variations that may have influenced historical events including the fall of the Roman Empire and the Viking Age of expansion.
CREDIT
Courtesy of UNSW

University of New South Wales Australia-led research on limestone formations in a remote Scottish cave has produced a unique 3000-year-long record of climatic variations that may have influenced historical events including the fall of the Roman Empire and the Viking Age of expansion.

The study of five stalagmites in Roaring Cave north of Ullapool in north-west Scotland is the first to use a compilation of cave measurements to track changes in a climate phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation.

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Toxoplasma infection permanently shifts balance in cat and mouse game

A mouse infected with the Toxoplasma parasite loses its fear of cats, which is good for both the parasite and the cat. The cat gets an easy meal, while the parasite gets into the cat's intestinal system, the only place it can sexually reproduce and complete its cycle of infection. CREDIT Wendy Ingram, UC Berkeley

A mouse infected with the Toxoplasma parasite loses its fear of cats, which is good for both the parasite and the cat. The cat gets an easy meal, while the parasite gets into the cat’s intestinal system, the only place it can sexually reproduce and complete its cycle of infection.
CREDIT
Wendy Ingram, UC Berkeley

The Toxoplasma parasite can be deadly, causing spontaneous abortion in pregnant women or killing immune-compromised patients, but it has even stranger effects in mice.

Infected mice lose their fear of cats, which is good for both cats and the parasite, because the cat gets an easy meal and the parasite gets into the cat’s intestinal track, the only place it can sexually reproduce and continue its cycle of infection.

New research by graduate student Wendy Ingram at the University of California, Berkeley, reveals a scary twist to this scenario: the parasite’s effect seem to be permanent. The fearless behavior in mice persists long after the mouse recovers from the flu-like symptoms of toxoplasmosis, and for months after the parasitic infection is cleared from the body, according to research published today (Sept. 18) in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Can phone data detect real-time unemployment?

If you leave your job, chances are your pattern of cellphone use will also change. Without a commute or workspace, it stands to reason, most people will make a higher portion of their calls from home -- and they might make fewer calls, too.

Toxoplasmosis: The strain explains severity of infection

Providing clues into why the severity of a common parasitic infection can vary greatly from person to person, a new Johns Hopkins study shows that each one of three strains of the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii sets off a unique reaction in the nerve cells it invades.