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February 19, 2014  (San Diego’s East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.



Crocodiles can climb trees (alligators, too!) (Reuter)

Most people entering crocodile territory keep a wary eye out on water and land, but research suggests they need to look up.

Science Confirms: Internet Trolls Really Are Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Sadistic (Slate)

the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves.

Study: Arctic getting darker, making Earth warmer (UT San Diego)

The Arctic isn't nearly as bright and white as it used to be because of more ice melting in the ocean, and that's turning out to be a global problem, a new study says.

Trading water for fuel is fracking crazy (Eco Report)

It would be difficult to live without oil and gas. But it would be impossible to live without water. Yet, in our mad rush to extract and sell every drop of gas and oil as quickly as possible, we’re trading precious water for fossil fuels. A recent report, “Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Stress”, shows the severity of the problem.

Jet stream may be changing (BBC)

New research suggests that the main system that helps determine the weather over Northern Europe and North America may be changing.

Snowy owls invade 'south'; cold affects waterfowl (UT San Diego)

Reports from tens of thousands of bird-counting volunteers show a southern invasion of Arctic-dwelling snowy owls has spread to 25 states, and frigid cold is causing unusual movements of waterfowl.



The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean (NPR)

Two recent studies add to the growing evidence that consuming dairy fat may actually fend off weight gain. Experts say it may be time to revisit the assumption that when it comes to dairy, fat-free is always best.

The genetics of being a daredevil (New York Times)

Watching participants in slopestyle and half-pipe skiing and snowboarding flip, curl, cartwheel and otherwise contort themselves in the air during the Winter Olympics competition, many of us have probably wondered not only how the athletes managed to perform such feats but also why. Helpfully, a recent study of the genetics of risk-taking intimates that their behavior may be motivated, at least in part, by their DNA.

Sexually Transmitted Food Poisoning? A Fish Toxin Could Be To Blame (NPR)

 Tropical fish, like red snapper and grouper, can accumulate one of the most poisonous toxins on Earth. People who eat those fish could get ciguatera, an illness with strange neurological effects, such as painful intercourse. And doctors say there's a chance it spreads through sex.

IVF Baby Boom: Births From Fertility Procedures Hit New High (NPR)

Doctors performed more in vitro fertilization procedures and delivered more IVF babies in 2012 than ever before, researchers reported Monday. The rate of multiple births has declined, however, as couples have chosen to use fewer embryos during IVF.

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