Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Study Reveals Effects of Driving ‘High’ vs. Driving Drunk PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:40

driving highDriving a car while impaired is never recommended; however, new research suggests that driving while high is significantly less dangerous than driving while drunk. 

According to a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published in an article on Feb. 17 by USA Today, drivers under the influence of marijuana experience a very low percentage of getting in a car accident, compared to drivers under the influence of alcohol.

 The researchers concluded that an individual with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08, the legal limit, was four times as likely to crash in comparison to a sober driver. When evaluating those who were found to be at a BAC level of .15, they were 12 times as likely to crash the vehicle. On the other hand, the subjects found to be high while driving experienced a mere five percent increase in the likelihood of a crash.

Suanne Schaad, Substance Awareness Coordinator, said that there is a correlation between being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol and car accidents.

“Marijuana and alcohol both cause impairments while driving.  If a person is under the influence, their ability to function properly and stay alert has been decreased,” Schaad said.

 “Both put you at higher risk. Period. It is kind of like asking which is a better drug to do, A or B, both can cause you a problem,” Schaad continued.

The study conducted by the NHTSA involved more than 3,000 drivers that crashed their cars over the course of 20 months in Virginia Beach, VA. In assessing the crashes, the police officers determined if those involved were under the influence of any drug at the time of the accident. 

Additionally, 6,000 control drivers, drivers who were not involved in any accidents, were implemented into the study.

An anonymous junior at the University said she has operated a vehicle while under the influence of both drugs and alcohol at different times, and her experiences coincided with the findings.

The Science of Online Dating PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:38

science of online datingIn today’s society, young adults rely heavily on technology in all aspects of life including finding a significant other. 

Dating services such as Zoosk, eHarmony, and Tinder allow people to look for love while conveying only a small amount of personal information. 

Therefore, the details that are revealed are crucial aspects that determine whether or not two people are compatible. 

Information such as username, hobbies, and profile picture are the basis on which an individual is judged. Recently, scientists have begun to study what exactly makes the ideal profile that will attract the most people.

It is common to think that the individual’s picture is the most important feature of a profile; however, recent studies have disproved this theory. 

In a New York Times article titled “The Science of Online Dating,” published on Feb. 16, two friends set out to discover what makes a profile truly appealing. 

Sameer Chaudhry, an internist at the University of North Texas who simply could not seem to find love, proposed the idea to his friend Khalid Khan, a professor of women’s health and clinical epidemiology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. The two sifted through thousands of profiles, taking notes and studying the content of each.

They found that one of the most important features of a profile is the chosen username. This is the first item viewers will see and has a tremendous effect on their overall opinion. 

The researchers discovered that men are most influenced by usernames incorporating physical traits, (beautiful, cutie, etc.), while women preferred usernames that pointed to intellectualism and personality (scholar, cultured, etc.). In addition, they revealed that both sexes had an affinity for usernames that described a playful nature (goodtimes) and avert their attention away from those that display negativity (ughh).

Physical and Emotional Effects of Stress on Students PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 11:30

Stress is an unavoidable part of any college student’s life, but at its worst may cause the severe physical and emotional effects of daily trauma.  

According to a study conducted by the psychology department of New York University, 59.9 percent of college students endure stress higher than the average university student. Despite such a high percentage, very few students may actually seek help for their stress, assuming it will go away on its own.

Dr. Franca Mancini, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University, reveals information on stress induced on University students. 

“In general, people are coming into our office with higher stress levels and nationally, it keeps inching up and up,” said Mancini. “We are well into 60-plus percent of students on campus reporting very high, diagnosable stress levels,” she said. 

Some students have higher stress levels than others, or may feel stressed quicker than their peers. 

Gabriella Leuzzi, a junior biology student who faced severe anxiety and stress her first year at school. “When I was in my freshman year, the stress I endured was pretty unbearable for me.” “There was so much adjusting to be had in all aspects of my life and I didn’t know how to properly manage my time,” she said.

It is common for students to experience a great deal of stress their first year of college, similar to Leuzzi. According to a journal article titled, “Sources of Stress Among College Students,” authors indicate that “College students, especially freshmen, are a group particularly prone to stress.” 

The article states that being away from home for the first time, or adjusting to new people and a new environment, are pressures that can easily take a toll on students.  

Mancini said stress doesn’t discriminate by grade level. “All ages, even grad students, experience stress and come into our offices for help,” she said.  

Study Finds Freshmen Report Feeling Depressed PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 12:20


According to the study “The American Freshman 2014: College Norms,” published in The New York Times on Thursday, Feb. 5, college freshmen are reporting a 3.4 percent increase in depression rates compared to the past five years. 

The survey, conducted by the University of California, canvassed 150,000 students. Five years ago, only 6.1 percent of these students reported feeling frequently depressed. In the past year, that number has risen to 9.5 percent. Additionally, the number of students who feel overwhelmed and stressed due to school work and other commitments has also spiked, rising from 27.1 percent to 34.6 percent.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists several signs and symptoms of depression. These symptoms include insomnia or hypersomnia (having too much sleep), a change in appetite, a loss of interest, and an increase in sadness or crying, among many others. However, according to specialist professor of psychological counseling Gary Handler, this is not always a problem that can be diagnosed. For a diagnosis to be made, the person must be showing at least five of these symptoms within the same two-week period. They must also show a change from the previous level of functioning. 

There are a number of reasons accounting for this increase. According to George Kapalka, Chair of the Department of Psychological Counseling, the increase may have been caused by economic factors. He said, “More may be worried about paying for college, getting a job after graduation, and they may also feel more pressure from parents to do well, as parents may feel more of a financial squeeze when thy pay for their kids’ college education and living expenses.” He also believes that students may become more stressed because they are often working while attending school. 

According to Kapalka, this stress on college students is not “new” – for years, students have been paying more for degrees with no guarantee that they will find a job after graduation. In an attempt to have a better resume, students often find themselves becoming more involved in activities, enrolling in more difficult classes, and applying for more internships.

No More Rotten Apples: Genetically Modified Organisms Spark Debate PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 12:13

fruitsThe United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service approved two varieties of genetically modified (GM) apples, known as Arctic apples, on Feb. 13. As reported by the Rodale Report, the approval of the apples by the USDA and the fact that the government will not require special labeling has garnered further debate about the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Okanagan, a small company in British Columbia, has genetically modified two varieties of apples, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, to prevent browning after the apples have been sliced, according to the New York Times

Patricia Sciscione, a specialist professor of nursing, said, “I really do not understand why we need to have apples that do not turn brown after a certain amount of time. That’s just the normal enzymes in the fruit at work. How will people know that the apple is rotten if it never bruises and turns brown?” 

GMOs are produced by inserting DNA from one species into a different species, typically either to produce a pesticide to destroy insects and other harmful organisms or to help the crops outlive chemicals used to kill weeds, according to Rodale

Katherine Lepis, an adjunct professor of biology, said, “The gene that was inserted into the GM apples is actually an apple gene. They simply inserted an extra copy of a particular gene and the two copies prevent the apple tissue from turning brown after it has been sliced. Normally you would need to put lemon juice or a similar chemical on the apple to prevent this. This is beneficial to places like McDonald’s that sell sliced apples in happy meals and other food service companies.” 

Lepis explained the downside to this new crop, “What turns me off about this particular GM crop is the ability to extend the shelf life of sliced apples. That may sound like a good thing, but I would prefer to know I am eating a freshly sliced apple opposed to one that was sliced a few weeks ago and may look good, but probably doesn’t taste as good as a fresh slice.” Additionally, Lepis said that the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables decreases over time, so this technology will allow for an apple to look fresh that actually isn’t.

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