From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 3-Jul-2008
Species have come and gone at different rates than previously believed
Diversity among the ancestors of such marine creatures as clams, sand dollars and lobsters showed only a modest rise beginning 144 million years ago with no clear trend afterwards, according to an international team of researchers. This contradicts previous work showing dramatic increases beginning 248 million years ago and may shed light on future diversity.
http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=111785&org=NSF&from=news
“One key to the new curve is the Paleobiology Database, (http://paleodb.org/cgi-bin/bridge.pl) housed at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara.”

Public Release: 3-Jul-2008
Social Forces
Prevalence of religious congregations affects mortality rates
LSU associate professor of sociology Troy C. Blanchard recently found that a community’s religious environment — that is, the type of religious congregations within a locale — affects mortality rates, often in a positive manner. These results were published in the June issue of Social Forces, a leading journal in the field of sociology.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/lsu-por070308.php
“In contrast to Catholics and Mainline Protestant congregations, Conservative Protestant churches have a mixed effect on community health. The ‘otherworldly’ character of Conservative Protestantism leads congregations in this tradition to focus on the afterlife. Conservative Protestantism is also a more individualistic faith, one in which the believer’s personal relationship with God is paramount. These types of churches are thought to downplay the importance of using collective action, including human institutions, to improve the world. Communities dominated by Conservative Protestant churches tend to have higher mortality rates.

“However, this finding has an important caveat, because there are different types of Conservative Protestant churches, namely, Fundamentalist, Pentecostal and Evangelical.

“‘We find that a greater presence of Fundamentalist and Pentecostal congregations is associated with higher rates of mortality, but communities with a large number of Evangelical congregations have better health outcomes,’ said Blanchard. ‘Evangelical congregations do a better job of engaging the broader community and promoting social connectedness that is so essential for longer life expectancies. Fundamentalist congregations tend to be more reclusive, and this insularity is linked with higher mortality rates.'”

Public Release: 3-Jul-2008
Precambrian Research
Geologists push back date basins formed, supporting frozen Earth theory
Even in geology, it’s not often a date gets revised by 500 million years. But University of Florida geologists say they have found strong evidence that a half-dozen major basins in India were formed a billion or more years ago, making them at least 500 million years older than commonly thought.
National Science Foundation
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/uof-gpb070308.php

Public Release: 3-Jul-2008
Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Woman aquires new accent after stroke
A woman in southern Ontario is one of the first cases in Canada of a rare neurological syndrome in which a person starts speaking with a different accent, McMaster University researchers report in the July issue of the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-07/mu-wan070308.php
“The woman, referred to here as Rosemary, was recovering from a stroke two years ago, when her family noticed a change in her speech. They asked medical personnel at the Integrated Stroke Unit of Hamilton General Hospital why their mother was suddenly speaking with what sounded like a Newfoundland accent.”

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