Chemicals in lavender and tea tree oil appear to be hormone disruptors

A new study lends further evidence to a suspected link between abnormal breast growth in young boys — called prepubertal gynecomastia — and regular exposure to lavender or tea tree oil, by finding that key chemicals in these common plant-derived oils act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The study results will be presented Monday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago.

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Human Quirks 

How would the brain process alien music?

What might alien music sound like? Would it be structured hierarchically as our music is with verses and a chorus? Would we even be able to appreciate it? Vincent Cheung, a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, thinks the answer would be yes, assuming it was predicated on local and non-local dependencies. His research published this week in Scientific Reports explains what exactly that means.

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Can pursuing happiness make you unhappy?

People generally like to feel happy, but achieving a state of happiness takes time and effort. Researchers have now found that people who pursue happiness often feel like they do not have enough time in the day, and this paradoxically makes them feel unhappy. Aekyoung Kim of Rutgers University in the US and Sam Maglio of the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada have investigated this effect in a study in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, which is published by Springer and is an official journal of the Psychonomic Society.

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