Daily Rounds: Obama On Research; Breastfeeding Online; Magic Mushrooms; Garth Brooks Defeats Hospital

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Obama boosts science in state of the union address (Nature newsblog) - "President Barack Obama’s 65-minute State of the Union address last night touched on themes and issues that were expected, calling for measures to revitalize the economy and urging that the very wealthy pay higher tax rates — a minimum of 30% for those with more than $1 million in income. But it also included multiple references to subjects near to scientists’ hearts. Here is a sampling of points in the speech that touched on science, medical research, education, energy and the environment." (Nature newsblog)

When breast isn't best: Outcry over comic's post (The New York Times) -"Two months after she gave birth to twins, Ahna Tessler was feeling confined in her Manhattan apartment and in need of artistic expression. So on Jan. 14 Ms. Tessler, a comedian who lives on the Upper West Side, did what came naturally: she recorded a humorous skit that incorporated her routine of breast-feeding her babies, Madelyn and Elliot, and tried to post the video on the online comedy site Funny or Die. But a few hours after uploading the video, Ms. Tessler discovered that it had not been published — and that all of her previous Funny or Die videos had been taken down, and her account with the site had been suspended. When she asked Funny or Die for an explanation, she was told “the breast-feeding video” was the cause." (The New York Times)

Your brain on psilocybin might be less depressed (NPR-Shots) - "Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies. The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational." (NPR)

Oklahoma hospital must pay $1M to Garth Brooks (The Boston Globe) - "An Oklahoma hospital that failed to build a women's health center in honor of Garth Brooks' late mother must pay the country singer $1 million, a jury has ruled. Jurors on Tuesday evening ruled that the hospital must return Brooks' $500,000 donation plus pay him $500,000 in punitive damages. The decision came in Brooks' breach-of-contract lawsuit against Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon." (AP via The Boston Globe)

Brown fat, triggered by cold or exercise, may yield a key to weight control (The New York Times) - "Fat people have less than thin people. Older people have less than younger people. Men have less than younger women. It is brown fat, actually brown in color, and its great appeal is that it burns calories like a furnace. A new study finds that one form of it, which is turned on when people get cold, sucks fat out of the rest of the body to fuel itself. Another new study finds that a second form of brown fat can be created from ordinary white fat by exercise." (The New York Times)

This program aired on January 25, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.