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Karen Kaplan
Works at Los Angeles Times
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Karen Kaplan

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I dare you not to yawn while reading this story (especially if you're a woman). But not because it's boring. Indeed, it's fascinating.
Italian scientists who documented humans interacting in everyday situations have found that women are more susceptible to catching the urge to yawn from others than men are.
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What makes a brain look like a brain? An experiment with a 3-D printer reveals it's not biology, it's physics. Be sure to watch the video to see this "brain" model go from smooth to wrinkly.
By 3D-printing a fake gel brain and watching it “grow,” scientists at Harvard University have discovered how the human cortex develops its creepy, classic folds.
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Could better mental health be a side benefit of bariatric surgery? A meta-analysis in JAMA suggests this may be the case, at least for some patients. It doesn't establish a causal link but the association is intriguing.
For some severely obese patients, a new study hints that bariatric surgery might potentially do good for both body and mind. Patients seeking and undergoing such weight-loss procedures were more likely to suffer from depression and binge-eating than the general population -- but those with depression often saw their mental health improve after surgery, a new UCLA-led paper shows.
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If you need some help figuring out how to eat in a way that meets the new Dietary Guidelines, check out this handy sheet. An entire day's worth of meals (including snacks) still comes under the recommended limits for sugar, sodium and saturated fat.
<p>The federal government's new dietary guidelines give Americans the go-ahead to eat cholesterol-rich foods like eggs and drink up to five cups of coffee a day. They also emphasize the value of eating more foods that come from plants, including fruits, vegetables and legumes.</p> <p>In addition, the guidelines set limits on certain nutrients that have been shown to contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic ailments. For i...
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If it feels like you're seeing double at the playground lately, you probably are. New data from the CDC shows that the twinning rate in the U.S. hit a record high in 2014. However, the total number of twins born in 2014 was slightly lower than the all-time high, set in 2007.
They say good things come in pairs, and that’s increasingly true for American babies, new government data show.
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Dr. Julian Bailes played a key role in helping Dr. Bennet Omalu persuade the NFL -- and the public -- that repeated blows to the head could cause serious long-term health problems. (Alec Baldwin plays Bailes in the new movie "Concucssion.") Yet Bailes still recommends football, and let his own sons play. Here's why.
It’s been 10 years since Dr. Julian Bailes placed his fateful phone call to Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who discovered a disease he named “chronic traumatic encephalopathy” in the brains of deceased football players. At the time, Omalu was under assault from physicians on the National Football...
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Karen Kaplan

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One apparent benefit of vaginal birth is that the baby (or babies) get to meet the helpful bacteria that live in the birth canal. A new study tests whether babies delivered via C-section can get some of those benefits with a bacterial bath after birth. Initial results are promising, researchers say.
Are babies that are born by caesarean section at a disadvantage when it comes to future health risks? And can doctors do anything about it?
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The Natural History Museum in Los Angeles is calling all citizen-scientists to help them take a census of snails. Yup, SNAILS!
It's hard for most people to get psyched about snails. They're slimy. Their bodies bear a strong resemblance to phlegm. And our encounters with them often involve cursing the damage they do to our gardens.
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The experts who said screening mammograms work best when women get them less often are back, and they've reiterated their controversial advice. They've also presented a ton of scientific evidence to explain why their guidance makes sense. If you don't like it, they want you to respond with  medical evidence, not political rhetoric. Politics has no place in medicine, they say.
The experts who sparked a passionate debate over the value of mammograms as a tool to screen for breast cancer are doubling down on the recommendations that earned them the ire of cancer groups, women’s groups and a large contingent in Congress.
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Federal health officials say we should all get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. But 44% of single moms miss that target. So do 38% of single dads. Some pretty interesting statistics here.
Who are the most sleep-deprived people in America? Federal researchers say the answer is clear: single mothers.
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After a patient overdoses on prescription painkillers you'd think doctors would hesitate to order up a refill. Yet a new study finds that 91% of patients who had an overdose bad enough to require hospitalization or a visit to the emergency room could still get prescriptions for opioid drugs. What's more, 70% of the doctors writing these prescriptions after an overdose were the same doctors who wrote them before the overdose. In other words, the patients didn't need to switch doctors to keep getting the drugs.
Even after overdosing on opioid medications, more than nine out of 10 patients continued to get prescriptions for the powerful painkillers, according to a new study. As a result, some went on to suffer another overdose.
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Conventional wisdom holds that if IVF doesn't work after three or four attempts at embryo transfer, it likely never will. So many patients give up. But this comprehensive study challenges that idea. The study authors find that the cumulative odds of having a successful birth keep rising through up to NINE rounds of IVF.
Too many women give up on in vitro fertilization too soon, a new study suggests.
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In her circles
34 people
Have her in circles
721 people
Andrew Blankstein's profile photo
yifan wang's profile photo
bob brown's profile photo
gerardo mena's profile photo
Ania Maken's profile photo
Ange Didier's profile photo
Lee BokSeong's profile photo
Jackie Fans Channel's profile photo
Indranil Ballav's profile photo
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Science journalist
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  • Los Angeles Times
    Editor for Science & Medicine, present
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Editor for Science & Medicine at the Los Angeles Times. Many of my posts appear on Booster Shots and Science Now.
Education
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Economics
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Political Science
  • Columbia University
    Journalism
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Karen Kaplan's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Welcome to Elephant Heart Jewelry - Beautiful Hand-Made Necklaces, Earri...
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Welcome to Elephant Heart Jewelry. Our newly enhanced website features over 120 beautiful, hand-made necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

A window to the brain? It's here, says UC Riverside team
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Engineers fashion a zirconium based window pane and use it to optically scan a mouse's brain.

Ostrich necks provide clues to how sauropod dinosaurs moved, ate
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How did sauropod dinosaurs move their heads? When they stood, were their super-long necks stretched up high to the treetops like a giraffe's

Ants make tough choices better when working in groups, study says
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Our society often touts teamwork, but when faced with an easy task, groups may actually perform worse than individuals – at least when the g

Addiction expert weighs in on Mayor Bob Filner's therapy plan
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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, 70, announced Friday that he will enter a “behavioral counseling clinic” on Aug. 5 to deal with issues relating

Tall women have higher cancer risk; are smoking, drinking to blame?
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The taller a postmenopausal woman is, the greater risk she faces of developing cancer, according to a new study.

Ramadan fast survival guide will help you stay fit and healthy
www.latimes.com

We're about halfway through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan . This is the time of year when an estimated 1.6 million Muslims worldwide abs

You may be safer living in the city than the country, study finds
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Want to keep your family safe? Then raise your kids in the city.

Are doctors passing the buck on healthcare costs?
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Physicians are concerned about skyrocketing healthcare costs -- but most don't think they have "major responsibility" for reducing those cos

Another way TV is harmful to kids: By falling on them
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The nation's pediatricians keep saying that television can be harmful for babies and toddlers, but this time, they mean it literally. A new

Teens inhaling blow-gun darts
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Don’t run with scissors, and don’t inhale homemade blow-gun darts.

Cassini takes inter-planetary portrait. What happens next?
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So you’ve waved at Saturn and had your picture taken by Cassini from nearly 900 million miles away. Now what?

It's time to 'Wave at Saturn' and smile for an interplanetary portrait
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It’s time to get ready for your not-so-close-up. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on the far side of Saturn will snap a long-distance portrait of E

Why do cigarettes and booze go together? Stress may be the key
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Just in time for the summer cocktail season, there's a research finding that offers a new recipe for excessive alcohol consumption. Let's ca

Evolution not as unpredictable as thought, study says
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Say you could hop into a DeLorean and travel back to when life on Earth began. Would fish migrate from water to land? Would the dinosaurs go

Avoiding estrogen therapy proved deadly for nearly 50,000: study
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Hormone replacement therapy has plummeted among U.S. women since the Women’s Health Initiative cut short its Estrogen Plus Progestin Trial i

Attempt to steer McDonald's diners toward smaller meals backfires
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You might think that customers buying their lunch at McDonald’s would order meals with fewer calories if someone handed them a slip of paper

Dinosaurs had teeth to spare -- lots of them
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Dinosaurs almost bankrupted the tooth fairy. New research shows that the lumbering plant-eaters called sauropods produced new teeth as often

Scientists may have found the source of all the gold in the universe
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Astronomers panning the heavens for glints of gamma-ray bursts have struck gold. No, really. They found gold – so much of it, in fact, that

Florida man awakens in Palm Springs ER speaking only Swedish. Why?
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It's a story that is captivating people on both sides of the Atlantic.