The prohibition against mobile phones in hospitals may do more harm than good, a new report reveals. Medical facilities prohibit cell phone use, but some doctors already use them. And it turns out they reduce medical errors because communication is more timely, a new study finds. Mobile phones rarely cause electronic magnetic interference, Yale School of Medicine researchers reported today. The study is published in the February issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia . It was based on 4,018 responses from attendees at the 2003 meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Of those who responded, 65 percent reported using pagers as their primary mode of communications, and of those, 40 percent reported delays in communications. Of the 17 percent of respondents who said they used cell phones, only 31 percent reported delays. No word how the patients involved in all those delays fared. But some good news: Study leader Keith Ruskin, associate professor in … [Read more...] about Why Cell Phones Should be Allowed in Hospitals
At the mercy of natural selection since the dawn of life, our ancestors adapted, mated and died, passing on tiny genetic mutations that eventually made humans what we are today. But evolution isn't bound strictly to genes anymore, a new study suggests. Instead, human culture may be driving evolution faster than genetic mutations can work. In this conception, evolution no longer requires genetic mutations that confer a survival advantage being passed on and becoming widespread. Instead, learned behaviors passed on through culture are the "mutations" that provide survival advantages. This so-called cultural evolution may now shape humanity's fate more strongly than natural selection, the researchers argue. "When a virus attacks a species, it typically becomes immune to that virus through genetic evolution," study co-author Zach Wood, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine, told Live Science. Such evolution works slowly, … [Read more...] about Humans might be making genetic evolution obsolete
From slitted eyebrows to fake eyelashes, alterations to hair around the eyes have become important ways to express personal style. But brows and lashes are more than just decorations. So why do humans have eyebrows and eyelashes? The main purpose of both is to protect the eyes, said Dr. Stephanie Marioneaux, the clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Their goal is to be another layer of protection for the actual eyeball against whatever it is — whether it's liquid, whether it's solid, whether it's dust, whether it's bugs or insects." Related: Why do people get 'bags' under their eyes? The eyebrows protect the eyes from substances, like sweat, dandruff and rain, that tumble down the face, Marioneuax told Live Science. They may catch or absorb the material, or their angle may direct it to the side of the face, away from the eyes. The eyebrows serve a few other functions. For one, eyebrows are crucial for facial expression and … [Read more...] about Why do we have eyebrows and eyelashes?
Humans are the oddballs of the mammalian class. Hippos and naked mole rats aside, nearly every other mammal has fur covering its body. Humans are practically naked, besides the hair on our heads. So why are people mostly hairless apart from our head hair? First, it's crucial to understand why mammals have fur in the first place, said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Fur keeps animals warm when it's cold at night and protects them from the sun during the day. Human ancestors were able to lose most of their body hair because they had the unique ability to compensate with fire, shelter and clothing. That explains why our human ancestors could survive without most of their hair, but not why it disappeared over time. Hairlessness must have given humans some sort of evolutionary advantage. There are three main theories about what the advantage could have been, Pagel told Live Science. Related: Fur, wool, hair: … [Read more...] about Why do we grow more hair on our heads than on our bodies?
The most oft-quoted average rate of human hair growth is 6 inches (15 centimeters) per year. However, the majority of studies measuring the rate of hair growth didn't take into account the race of study participants. It's known, for instance, that Caucasian hair differs from Asian and African hair in several ways, e.g., density (how closely hair strands are packed together) and the angle of hair growth. A 2005 study in the journal International Journal of Dermatology also found a difference among races in the rate of hair growth. For example, Asian hair grows the fastest, while African hair grows the slowest. Related: Fur, wool, hair: What's the difference? The average hair growth rate of Asian female participants was nearly 6 inches per year. Comparatively, African female participants' hair grew 4 inches (10 cm) per year, while Caucasian female participants' hair grew a little more than 5 inches (13 cm) per year. The hair growth rate of the male participants … [Read more...] about How fast does hair grow?