She's not afraid of snakes or spiders. Haunted houses and makes-your-blood-run-cold horror flicks have no effect. Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," but she's not afraid of fear, either. A rare genetic disease has wiped out her amygdala-the fear center of her brain-and nothing, not even being held up at knife-point, scares her anymore.
University of Iowa researcher Justin Feinstein and his team studied the 44-year-old mother of three, whom they refer to simply as "SM" in a study published this week in the journal Current Biology.
"To provoke fear in SM, we exposed her to live snakes and spiders, took her on a tour of a haunted house, and showed her emotionally evocative films. On no occasion did SM exhibit fear, and she never endorsed feeling more than minimal levels of fear," the researchers wrote. They also asked her to rate her sense of fear in questionnaires and evaluated traumatic incidents in her past, and still, "SM repeatedly
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, Dec 17, 2010 9:27 PM EST
She's not afraid of snakes or spiders. Haunted houses and makes-your-blood-run-cold horror flicks have no effect. Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," but she's not afraid of fear, either. A rare genetic disease has wiped out her amygdala-the fear center of her brain-and nothing, not even being held up at knife-point, scares her anymore.Read More »from What would you do if you weren't afraid of anything?
Some people work out much more often than we do. Which means that, when we travel without our workout clothes, it's no big deal, but for them? According to one daily runner, "it's life altering."Read More »from Would you borrow used workout gear?
Starting next week, road warriors who can't cope without their workout but can't remember to pack their togs (or can't bear to bring dirty stuff back with them) can borrow some if they stay at a Westin hotel. The catch: Someone else used it first.
The hotel says that the loaner work-out clothes (Capri pants, a sports bra, shirt, socks and shoes for women, and a shirt, shorts, socks and shoes for men) will be washed the same way that the hotel washes their linens and towels-in super-hot water-and the inner soles of the shoes will be replaced between guests.
But still, the ick factor remains high. It's bad enough to have to wipe a stranger's sweat off of a machine in the gym before you use it; what do you do when you're wearing their workout clothes?
Maybe it depends on the work out.
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Tue, Dec 14, 2010 9:37 PM EST
It seems more likely that we'll have a woman in the White House before we see one in a major leadership position at Exxon Mobile Corp., Sears, or Costco. Studies released this week show that while two-thirds of the companies in the Fortune 500 have at least one woman in a leadership position, more than 25 percent those companies-including those three-don't have any female executive officers at all.Read More »from No girls allowed? A quarter of Fortune 500 companies have no female execs
"This is our fifth report where the annual change in female leadership remained flat," Ilene Lang, president and chief executive Catalyst, a non-profit focused on inclusiveness in the workplace and advancement for women, said in a press release.
According to the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Board Directors and the 2010 Catalyst Census: Fortune 500 Women Executive Officers and Top Earners, women held 15.7 percent of board seats in 2010 (a very slight gain over the 15.2 percent they held last year) and 14.4 percent of Executive Officer Positions, up form 13.5 percent in 2009. But
We're drinking more, gaining weight, catching STDs, and ignoring routine screenings. We're quitting smoking and getting mammograms-which is great, but still, instead of getting healthier, women in America are facing massive health-related setbacks, according to data from the National Women's Law Center and Oregon Health and Science University.Read More »from Study: Women are unhealthier than ever
In "Making the Grade on Women's Health: A National and State-by-State Report Card," this year's report showed that more women are obese, diabetic, and suffering from hypertension than they were in 2007, when the last report card was released. But that's not all: More women are testing positive for chlamydia (which can lead to infertility), fewer are being checked for ovarian cancer, and more are admitting that they've had five or more drinks in one go within the last month.
"The takeaway message is that we're really not where we should be," Dr. Michelle Berlin, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Oregon Health and Science
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, Dec 10, 2010 11:24 PM EST
This Monday, President Barack Obama will sign into law a bill that most democrats are lauding as a way to combat both childhood hunger and address nutrition-based obesity issues, and many republicans have decried as another example of Nanny State interference and out-of-control government spending.Read More »from New bill will fight childhood obesity and hunger at the same time
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is intended to improve the quality of food sold in school vending machines, a la carte lunch lines, and cafeterias and offer access to healthier, more-nutritious food options for the nearly 17 million children who are currently in "food-insecure" homes, meaning that they often have to skip meals because their families don't have enough food.
"This is a comprehensive and significant investment in nutrition for our nation's youngsters," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a press conference on Friday. "It will allow us to combat childhood obesity and address hunger."
The bill, part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative,
Everybody is giving relationship advice these days - NFL players, Top Chefs, The Bachelorette stars, even your priest. Inspired by a Huff Post piece on the nine kinds of women men fall in love with (and how to make yourself one of them), we decided to comb through all the dating advice we could find and take a closer look at the 10 most-common tips. The verdict? There's no way you can do all of these things and succeed. Take a look:Read More »from 10 impossible-to-follow dating tips
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Tue, Dec 7, 2010 11:42 PM EST
Bristol Palin may not be the greatest role model when it comes to teens and sex, but she's right about body image.Read More »from Kathy Griffin vs. Bristol Palin: One fat joke too far?
After comedian Kathy Griffin targeted the 20-year-old mom during the VH1 Divas salute to the troops this weekend, Bristol Palin shot back: "I hope people didn't have to pay money to hear her negativity and criticisms."
"She's the only contestant in the history of the show to actually gain weight," Griffin said during the show, referring to Palin's performance on "Dancing With the Stars." The audience booed, but Griffin -- who also strutted the stage wearing a skimpy bikini and joked that she was showing off her "starvation body" -- kept going. "No, come on, come on. She gained like 30 pounds a week, I swear to God, it was fantastic," Griffin said.
"She's like the white Precious," she added, comparing Palin to the 350-pound character in last year's hit Lee Daniels' movie.
"The audience's reaction to this comedian spoke volumes, and the decent people I know would
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Mon, Dec 6, 2010 10:24 PM EST
Worried about office politics? Now there's another trap to watch out for: Successful people are more likely help those who seem jealous of them, in order to avoid being targeted by malicious coworkers.Read More »from More mind games at work? Successful people are nicest to those who dislike them
Turns out that there are two different kinds of envy: benign and malicious. In a study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Niels van de Ven of Tilburg University and his colleagues, Marcel Zeelenberg and Rik Pieters, found that people with benign envy "were motivated to improve themselves, to do better so they could be more like the person they envied." But those suffering from malicious envy are the ones who may be out to get you -- and the ones people are more careful to kiss up to.
The theory holds true outside of the office as well. In experiments, van de Ven and his colleagues told subjects that they would receive a reward of five euros; some were told they had won the cash prize because they had done well on a test, others
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Fri, Dec 3, 2010 7:09 PM EST
It might be nice to forget about the parts of our past that make us cringe: the horrible ex, that awful week at work, the things that you don't want to admit you lived through.Read More »from Should doctors be able to erase our worst memories?
But there's a serious side to the wishful thinking: With suicide rates among war veterans double and triple that of the general population, researchers are looking for ways to combat more serious mental health issues, like post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent report out of Johns Hopkins University (published in Science magazine) shows that it may be possible to erase traumatic memories entirely.
Some types of behavioral therapy, like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), can help patients target and eliminate the distress associated with trauma -- but the memory can return because it hasn't actually been erased. This new research focuses on removing certain proteins that form in brain's fear center, which could eliminate the memory completely. Richard L. Huganir, professor and chair of
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Thu, Dec 2, 2010 9:09 PM EST
Imagine having to choose: Watch your child to suffer through endless, intense seizures -- or let surgeons remove half her brain.Read More »from What happens when doctors remove half of a child's brain?
That's what the Verdecchia family of Portland, Oregon, faced. Their 2-year-old daughter, Katie, had been diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome when she was about a month old. "She had no Corpus Collosum, seizures, enlarged ventricles, abnormal brain formation, and cysts in her brain where matter should be," her mom wrote on her blog, Katie's Conquest. "We took the news surprisingly well."
By July, her seizures were getting more varied and more intense, and by September, things had gotten even worse. "For 24 hours straight, the right side of her brain was firing in silent seizures," her mother wrote. Katie's neurologist was concerned that the constant seizures on the right side of her brain would lead to seizure activity on the left side as well; she already didn't use the left side of her body much -- it's controlled by the right side of the brain -- and didn't