Vital Statistics

April 26, 2010

The size of the dating pool affects partner choice

A new study indicates that the traits people search for in potential partners may depend on the size of the dating pool. According to psychologists at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, people are more likely to focus on physical characteristics when scanning the crowd for potential dates. In part, this is because physical features do not require a lot of time to asses. The opposite is true in smaller groups where people are more likely to hone in on personality characteristics.

Chemistry of ocean changing rapidly

According to a report from the National Research Council, due to the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere the ocean’s chemistry is changing faster that it has in at least 800,000 years.  The report discusses the declining pH levels, which raises concerns about the effects this chemistry change will have on fish, coral reefs, and other sea life.

Is indoor tanning addictive?

According to a new study published in the Archives of Dermatology, about one third of college students who use tanning beds on a regular basis could be classified as addicted, based on the same criteria that is used to diagnose substance abuse addiction. It was also found that those who frequent tanning beds reported greater alcohol and marijuana use, as well as having more symptoms of anxiety.

Study finds students are dependent upon social media

New research out of University of Maryland challenged 200 students to abstain from using media for 24 hours, and then to blog about the experience. Students who participated in the challenged suffered from symptoms of withdrawal, using terms such as, “anxious, antsy, and jittery”. Students also seemed to suffer from emotional anxiety, saying they felt alone and secluded. Participants wrote about 110,000 words on their experience, according to the press release this is equal to about a 400-page novel.

Tanning beds as harmful as smoking

July 31, 2009

New research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that tanning beds are even more dangerous than previously thought. The IARC has moved tanning beds from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to the highest cancer risk category, calling them “carcinogenic to humans”. They will join other Group 1 hazards including cigarettes, asbestos, and arsenic.

This past June, scientists from several different countries met to analyze 20 studies that linked tanning beds and skin cancer. After examining the data, the IARC has found tanning beds can increase the risk of developing skin cancer by 75%, especially if use begins before the age of 30. The IARC also discovered evidence that links tanning beds with melanoma of the eye.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of young women who have been diagnosed with melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer. According to WebMD:

“[IARC’s Vincent] Cogliano said studies conducted over the past decade provide an ‘an abundance of evidence’ that tanning bed use has played a role in this rise, along with direct sun exposure.”

With the release of these results, the World Health Organization hopes to persuade governments to regulate the use of tanning beds, as well as restrict their use to those who are 18 and over.

The report is published in the August issue of Lancet Oncology.


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