Alison Pearce Stevens' Articles
- Stress and anxiety can lead to serious mental and behavioral problems. Identifying stressors can help people cope with anxiety. Even better, viewing stress as a strength can tone down anxious feelings and boost productivity.
- Plastic in the ocean is a growing problem. New research finds that corals may eat tiny bits of plastic, prompting new concerns about the health of living reefs.
- Scientists have suspected that rotational forces in the brain may underlie concussions. A new study used athletic mouthguards containing sensors. Data on head movements during collisions suggest that a twisting of the brain may underlie mild brain injuries, including concussion.
- Figuring out how the brain makes sense of what we read isn’t easy. So scientists enlisted the magical world of Harry Potter. It allowed experts to predict with great accuracy which brain areas would be active in a given part of the story.
- Most people think that air pollution poses the biggest risk to our lungs. In fact, pollution hits the brain too, sometimes by traveling a direct route — through our noses. These tiny pollutants can harm IQ and more.
- Discarded food wastes can turn city spaces into food courts for disease-carrying rats and pigeons. But a new study shows tiny cleanup crews — especially pavement ants — are doing their best to eliminate such wastes. This, in turn, makes cities less attractive to bigger pests.
- Drug-resistant bacteria can cause persistent infections. A new study finds these germs fight drugs in different ways. And they can swap various compounds, increasing their neighbors’ chances of overcoming the drugs meant to kill them.
- We are the dominant force of change on Earth. Some experts propose naming our current time period the ‘Anthropocene’ to reflect our impact.
- Species are dying off at such a rapid rate — faster than at any other time in human existence — that many resources on which we depend may disappear.
- Teens often show poor judgment in decision-making. Scientists have long blamed this on the fact that their brains are still developing. A new study offers another explanation: distractions form rewarding behaviors — ones that persist even after the reward itself has disappeared.