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Is Sport Making a Perfect Body? Peak Performance and a Underweight Body – a Double-Edged Sword?

Reading about sports usually means reading about how good it is for you. Regular exercise is beneficial for one's health: exercise strengthens your self-esteem and your well-being, it reduces the risk of heart disease and so on. Hence, elite athletes have to be very healthy. How does an eating disorder come about in elite sports athletes. At first glance, it may seem confusing. In reality, infections and disorders in elite athletes are an issue.

Rafts in our cells

Lipids are vital components of the membrane that envelopes each living cell and include such substances as fats, oils, and waxes. Lipid composition of a cell membrane can change dramatically at different stages of development of the whole organism or even that of a single cell.

The Strangeness of Water

Normal water is characterized by being one of the fluids with anomalous behaviour. On the other hand, possibly thanks to its anomalies, it is a basic substance for life. Recent research results show that the structural change of water on the nanoscale could explain its macroscopic anomalies.

Interpreting History through Changes in Herbal Landscape

The practice of using wild plants for medicinal purposes is rare in Old Europe, but it is still present in Eastern Europe today. Interestingly, just over a century ago, when the rural population of Estonia had poor access to medical help, plants were an irreplaceable means of dealing with diseases. Estonians used about 1/3 of their locally growing plants for healing and disease prevention.

Understanding the evolution of a birdbrain’s mind

A New Caledonian crow sits in a tree and breaks off a twig. It shapes this twig into a tool by removing smaller twigs and finally probes this twig into a crevice of a tree trunk to retrieve a maggot. At the same time, a common raven sits in a tree but, rather than creating a tool, it watches the other ravens nearby with the intention of pilfering their food caches. The other ravens, in turn, trick and deceive their competitors to secure their hoards by considering exactly what the other ravens can and cannot see. A grey parrot neither uses tools nor caches food, but can learn human words and become knowledgeable about language. Eventually, it may be able to answer questions and articulate its own food requests, most famously demonstrated by Alex, the renowned grey parrot of Irene Pepperberg.

Ancient Methods for Judging and Using Testimony Still Valuable Today

In today’s electronic world of twitter and tweets, RSS feeds and the torrent of electronic information that flows through the Internet, how do we know which information to trust? A theory of argument by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle shows how we can evaluate the trustworthiness of information in the everyday business of reasoning and making decisions

New Wind Prospecting System

The Faculty of Physics of the University of Barcelona has developed an innovative wind prospecting system designed to being used especially in marine environments. The project is based on a hot air balloon which has a module with meteorological sensors and other positioning systems which allow knowing at all times wind strength and direction, regardless of the position of the balloon

Parents of “Test Tube” Babies: Super Moms and Dads?

The discovery of in vitro fertilization (IVF) at the end of the 1970s introduced a fundamental change in the way in which new family members can be created. Currently, more than two-hundred thousand children are conceived through IVF or other similar techniques every year. With more and more couples using IVF to conceive, it has become increasingly important to understand if and how families’ wellbeing is affected by the use of these techniques.

Two eyes with wings

Researchers at the University of Vienna are working with pigeons to understand how, with a brain only about 1/1000th the size of ours, they sometimes outperform their human observers in the speed at which they can identify such things as people or trees in photographs. This is essential for gaining insight into the way in which perception and cognition in our own species have evolved.