3D Printing Opens a Window Into the Body (Slideshow)

3D printing has many uses in healthcare. You can create a perfect model of a patient’s heart, lung, liver or other organ with input from CT and MRI imaging. 3D models can replicate both the inside and outside of an organ. Transparent materials reveal the vasculature and other hidden structures.

Red wine gives you the worst hangovers, according to science

Generally, downing a few glasses of wine — any wine — will cause a splitting headache in anyone the next morning.


But which wine causes the worst hangover? Some swear that sugary rosés make them feel the worst, others that red wine is just too heavy to handle.

In an effort to help you avoid another torturous morning after, Professor Steve Allsop from the National Drug Research Institute in Perth, Australia, looked into it.

white wine

According to him, lighter colored wines are the way to go.

Professor Allsop explained to ABC that the intensity of a hangover is ultimately tied to the amount of congeners in the wine you’re drinking. Congeners are a  toxic byproduct of the fermenting process, and are what make you feel awful the next day.

The darker the wine, the more congeners it has, as these also determine alcohol’s color and flavor.  Therefore, dark-colored reds will make you feel the worst, followed by the slightly lighter rosé, with white wine being the least detrimental.

It’s important to note that congeners are not the tell-all for gauging a potential hangover. There are obviously other components to consider, including the speed at which and amount of vino you imbibe, as well as how fast your body is able to metabolize alcohol.

Regardless, sipping on a chilled glass of white wine is a safe way to lessen the chances of waking up feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.

 The people who need very little sleep

Is it true that some people need only a few hours of sleep? Helen Thomson talks to a woman whose genes might hint at how we all could survive on less shuteye.

What would you do if you had 60 days of extra free time a year? Ask Abby Ross, a retired psychologist from Miami, Florida, a “short-sleeper”. She needs only four hours sleep a night, so has a lot of spare time to fill while the rest of the world is in the land of nod.

Some people just need less. Do you? (Credit: Getty Images)

“It’s wonderful to have so many hours in my day – I feel like I can live two lives,” she says.

Short-sleepers like Ross never feel lethargic, nor do they ever sleep in. They wake early normally around four or five o’clock raring to get on with their day. Margaret Thatcher may have been one – she famously said she needed just four hours a night, whereas Mariah Carey claims she needs 15.

What makes some people fantastically efficient sleepers, while others spend half their day snoozing? And can we change our sleeping pattern to make it more efficient?

 In 2009, a woman came into Ying-Hui Fu’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, complaining that she always woke up too early. At first, Fu thought the woman was an extreme morning lark a person who goes to bed early and wakes early. However, the woman explained that she actually went to bed around midnight and woke at 4am feeling completely alert. It was the same for several members of her family, she said.

She went to bed around midnight and woke at 4am feeling completely alert

Fu and her colleagues compared the genome of different family members. They discovered a tiny mutation in a gene called DEC2that was present in those who were short-sleepers, but not in members of the family who had normal length sleep, nor in 250 unrelated volunteers.

When the team bred mice to express this same mutation, the rodents also slept less but performed just as well as regular mice when given physical and cognitive tasks.

Getting too little sleep normally has a significant impact on health, quality of life and life expectancy. It can cause depression, weight gain and put you at greater risk of stroke and diabetes. “Sleep is so important, if you sleep well you can avoid many diseases, even dementia,” says Fu. “If you deprive someone of just two hours sleep a day, their cognitive functions become significantly impaired almost immediately.”

Why sleep is so important is still a bit of a mystery

But why sleep is so important is still a bit of a mystery. The general consensus is that the brain needs sleep to do some housekeeping and general maintenance, since it doesn’t get much downtime during the day. While we sleep, the brain can repair cellular damage, remove toxins that accumulate during the day, boost flagging energy supplies and lay down memories.

 “Clearly people with the DEC2 mutation can do the same cleaning up process in a shorter period of time – they are just more efficient than the rest of us at sleeping,” says Fu. “But how are they doing that? That’s the key question.”

Since discovering the DEC2 mutation, a lot of people have come forward claiming to only sleep a few hours a day, says Fu. Most of these had insomnia, she says. “We’re not focusing on those people who have sleeping issues that make them sleep less, we wanted to focus on people who sleep for a few hours and feel great.”

I always feel great when I wake up – Abby Ross

A positive outlook is common among all of the short-sleepers that Fu has studied. “Anecdotally,” she says, “they are all very energetic, very optimistic. It’s very common for them to feel like they want to cram as much into life as they can, but we’re not sure how or whether this is related to their mutations.”

Ross would seem to fit that mould. “I always feel great when I wake up,” she says. She has been living on four to five hours sleep every day for as long as she can remember.

“Those hours in the morning – around five o’clock – are just fabulous. It’s so peaceful and quiet and you can get so much done. I wish more shops were open at that time, but I can shop online, or I can read – oh there’s so much to read in this world! Or I can go out and exercise before anyone else is up, or talk to people in other time zones.”

Her short sleeping patterns allowed her to complete university in two and a half years, as well as affording her time to learn lots of new skills. For example, just three weeks after giving birth to her first son, Ross decided to use one of her early mornings to attempt to run around the block. It took her 10 minutes. The following day she did it again, running a little further. She slowly increased the time she ran, finally completing not one, but 37 marathons – one a month over three years – plus several ultramarathons. “I can get up and do my exercise before anyone else is up and then it’s done, out of the way,” she says.

 As a child, Ross remembers spending very early mornings with her dad, another short-sleeper. “Our early mornings gave us such a special time together,” she says. Now, if she ever oversleeps – which she says has only ever happened a handful of times, her husband thinks she’s dead. “I just don’t lay in, I’d feel terrible if I did,” she says.

Take a shortcut

Fu has subsequently sequenced the genomes of several other families who fit the criteria of short-sleepers. They’re only just beginning to understand the gene mutations that lead to this talent, but in principle, she says, it might one day be possible to enable short sleeping in others.

The most effective way to improve your sleep is to fix your wake-up time in the morning

Until then, are there any shortcuts to a more efficient night’s sleep for the rest of us? Neil Stanley, an independent sleep consultant, says yes: “The most effective way to improve your sleep is to fix your wake-up time in the morning.”

Stanley says that when your body gets used to the time it needs to wake up, it can use the time it has to sleep as efficiently as possible. “Studies show that your body prepares to wake up one and a half hours prior to actually waking up. Your body craves regularity, so if you chop and change your sleep pattern, your body hasn’t got a clue when it should prepare to wake up or not.”

You could also do yourself a favour by ignoring society’s views on sleep, he says. “There’s this social view that short sleeping is a good thing and should be encouraged – we’re always hauling out the example of Margaret Thatcher and top CEOs who don’t need much sleep. In fact, the amount of sleep you need is genetically determined as much as your height or shoe size. Some people need very little sleep, others need 11 or 12 hours to feel their best.”

Stanley says that a lot of people with sleep issues actually don’t have any problem sleeping, instead they have an expectation that they need to sleep for a certain amount of time. “If we could all figure out what kind of sleeper we are, and live our life accordingly, that would make a huge difference to our quality of life,” he says.

Black holes are ‘doors’ to another world, scientists say.

You probably wouldn’t be able to survive the passage through the door, say the experts – likely ending up stretched out and ‘spaghettified’


Black holes are doors to other parts of the universe, according to a new study. But you wouldn’t ever get to come back.

Anyone who managed to get through one of the mysterious doors would end up “spaghettified”, and stretched out like a long strand of pasta, according to the research. They’d get squished back down to size once they reached the other side, but it’s unlikely they’d be alive to see it.

Previously, scientists have held that all matter inside of a black hole is destroyed and so there would be no way of ever actually making it through. But the new research suggests that it could act as a doorway or a tunnel – as in a sci-fi story.

Black holes are places where matter has been squashed to such a density by gravity that the normal laws of physics break down.

The new theory rejects the view that at the centre of a black hole spacetime curves to an infinite point known as a “singularity” and all matter is destroyed.

Instead, it proposes that the heart of the simplest type of electrically charged, non-rotating black hole, is a very small spherical surface. This acts as a “wormhole” – a doorway or tunnel through the fabric of spacetime of the kind seen in countless sci-fi stories.

In the movie Interstellar, a team of astronauts travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity.

Dr Gonzalo Olmo, from the University of Valencia in Spain, said: “Our theory naturally resolves several problems in the interpretation of electrically-charged black holes.

“In the first instance, we resolve the problem of the singularity, since there is a door at the centre of the black hole, the wormhole, through which space and time can continue.”

The wormhole predicted by the scientists’ equations is smaller than an atomic nucleus, but gets bigger as more electrical charge is stored in the black hole.

A hypothetical traveller entering the black hole could be stretched thin enough to fit through the wormhole, like a strand of cotton threaded through the eye of a needle.

The new model also gets round the need for “exotic” energy or matter to create a wormhole.

According to Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, a wormhole can only appear in the presence of matter with highly unusual properties, possessing negative energy, pressure or density. Such “exotic matter” has never been observed.

“In our theory, the wormhole appears out of ordinary matter and energy, such as an electric field,” said Dr Olmo.

2.6 million dead bees delivered to EPA headquarters in protest.

“In the five years since I started keeping bees, I’ve seen many hives killed by pesticides,” said James Cook, a Minnesota-based beekeeper who has been driving the truck across the country since last Monday. “If some fundamental things don’t change, it’s going to be really hard for beekeepers to adapt to the environment around us.”

Activists  and beekeepers delivered over 4 million signatures urging an immediate ban on bee-killing pesticides.

We are in the middle of a mass genocide of bees.  Over 40% of all beehives are lost every year and the culprit seems to be neonicatinoid pesticides.  The EPA began assessing the danger of the four types of neonicatinoids in 2015.  In January the agency acknowledged that imidacloprid could indeed harm bees, but we have yet to hear official statements about the other three.

“Given the facts we have at hand about the links between neonics and bee die-offs, officials should move boldly and swiftly to stop any and all uses of these dangerous chemicals,” said Anna Aurilio, the director of the Washington, DC, office of Environment America.


Anna Aurilio, the director of the Washington, DC, office of Environment America. 

Farmers, beekeepers and food advocates met with officials from the EPA, members of Congress and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wrapping up their Keep the Hives Alive Tour.  They delivered letters from nearly 200 businesses and organizations supporting sustainable agriculture and taking action on neonicatinoid pesticides.

“The science is clear and convincing. To be truly effective, we need a nationwide policy to protect our pollinators before the crisis gets completely out of control,” said Del. Anne Healey, sponsor of Maryland’s Pollinator Protection Act, the first bill passed in the U.S. to eliminate consumer use of neonics.


“What’s happening today to pollinators is no different than what happened 50 years ago with the collapse of the osprey, bald eagle and other bird and aquatic animal populations due to the use of DDT,” said Scott Nash, CEO of Mom’s Organic Market. “If we allow the chemical agribusiness industry to continue these short-sighted practices, food costs will increase as food supplies diminish.

US agency lifts ban on funding human–animal hybrids 

Since September 2015, researchers have been banned from receiving funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for adding human stem cells to animal embryos, creating blends called chimaeras. But a proposal by the NIH released on 4 August would lift the funding moratorium, except for certain situations. It would also set up a panel to review the ethics and oversight of grant applications.

The new rules shorten the developmental window during which human cells can be introduced into non-human primate embryos, disallowing it before the stage of development in which the central nervous system begins to form. This is intended to limit the number of human cells that would make up the chimaera’s brain. They also prohibit breeding animals that contain human cells, so as to prevent a human-like embryo from growing in a non-human womb or the birth of an animal that is more humanized than its parents.

Any grant applications that fall into a grey area would undergo a panel review. “It would be an extra set of eyes to make sure we’re not triggering any animal-welfare issues,” says Carrie Wolinetz, associate director for science policy at the NIH in Washington DC. The panel will pay particular attention to applications involving primates, mammals at very early stages of development or those in which human cells could affect an animal’s brain. Past a certain point of development, rodent embryos with human cells that could affect brain development are exempt from panel review, says Wolinetz. This is because NIH’s scientific advisers think that the rodent brain is substantially different from ours and would not become human-like.

Chimaeras are a growing area of research. Currently, researchers use them to study early embryonic development and to create animal models of human diseases. But one major goal is to engineer animals to grow human organs. The organs could later be harvested from the adult animal and used for transplantation into a patient.

Unlike in the United States, it is illegal to perform such research without approval in the United Kingdom, even with private funding. Laws introduced in the United Kingdom in January mandate extra reviews of proposals involving certain types of chimaeras, including ones that would have a human appearance or features such as faces or hands.

Mixed reviews

Reactions from researchers have been mixed. Steven Goldman, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester in New York, says that the 2015 moratorium was overkill and is relieved that it will now be lifted. The new guidelines, he says, are “more intelligent from the standpoint of where the science is”.

But Ali Brivanlou, a developmental biologist at the Rockefeller University in New York City says that the NIH proposal focuses on the wrong aspects of the issue. Rather than restricting the timing of modification, he says, there should be more focus on limiting the percentage of the animal that ends up being human.

“On a positive note, it’s amazing that this is going on,” he says, because there are many related questions and ethical issues that should be debated publicly.

Françoise Baylis, a bioethicist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, thinks that the new rules leave many questions unanswered. Currently, there are only two types of research subject, human and non-human, and there are clear distinctions on how to treat them. With chimaeras, researchers risk creating a third category for which there are no research guidelines, she says. “We just tend to say we’ll treat them like non-human animals, as if nothing happened,” Baylis says.

The NIH rules and other countries’ laws focus on cognition as the important factor for limiting chimaera research. But that is not necessarily the best way to determine how humanized animals should be categorized because it can be subjective, Baylis says. For instance, people who are cognitively impaired are still treated as human subjects in research, whereas very intelligent primates are not.

These are the kinds of questions that the oversight panel will discuss when reviewing specific grant applications, says Wolinetz. The panel will give recommendations to the scientific grant reviewers, which could include suggestions such as not allowing certain types of chimaeras to be brought to term, or monitoring an adult chimaera’s behaviour before continuing the experiment. “There are no hard and fast lines,” she says. “There’s going to be some on-the-job learning.”

Weirdest, Most Unsual Deaths Ever

Death is inevitable. There’s no escaping it. It can arrive in the strangest ways possible. Don’t believe us? These 25 weirdest deaths will leave you wide-eyed with disbelief.

1. The Mayor of Betterton, Monica Meyer was checking her town’s sewage tanks. She accidently fell in and drowned in more than 15 feet of human waste. What a sh*tty way to die.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Unsplash

2. The Queen of Siam (now called Thailand), Sunanda Kumariratana, drowned when her boat collapsed. There were a lot of people present when the accident happened but nobody saved her because they were forbidden to touch her.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Unsplash

3. Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov, a Russian woman woke up to find herself lying in a coffin, at her own funeral after she had been wrongly declared dead. She was so shocked, she actually died.

25 Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Flickr/AndyRothwell

4. Hans Steininger, the man with the longest beard in 1567, died after tripping on his own beard while escaping a fire in his town.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Tomcairnsphotography

5. Basil Brown was such a fitness freak, he drank a gallon of carrot juice in a single day thinking it will make him healthy. But, it killed him.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© hungryforchange (dot) tv

6. Chrysippus of Soli, a Greek philosopher died of laughter overdose after watching a donkey trying to eat figs.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© ThinkstockGetty

7. Maria Pantazopoulos, a newly wed bride from Montreal fell into a river and died during her wedding photoshoot.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Unsplash

8. Greg Austin Gingrich was pretending to fall from the Grand Canyon. He lost his balance and actually fell off.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© flickr/Moyan Brenn

9. In 1958, actor Gareth Jones was performing live in a play where his character was supposed to have a heart attack. He actually died of heart attack during the play. The whole cast improvised around the event and finished the play.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© flickr/Hernán Piñera

10. It was during a gun safety class when Brian J. Parry shot himself accidentaly.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Unsplash

11. During the World Sauna Championship in Finland, Vladimir Ladyhensky died after spending six minutes in a sauna.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Flickr/Hotel Arthur

12. British racing driver Alan Stacey lost control and crashed himself to death during the Belgian Grand Prix after a bird flew into his face.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind
© Facebook

13. In 1982, a man called David Grundman was practising close range shots at a Saguaro Cactus. After a few shots, a heavy branch fell off the 26 feet tall cactus and crushed him to death.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Wikimedia

14. In 2013, a Brazillian man called Joao Maria de Souza died after a 1.5 tonne cow crashed through his roof and fell on him as he slept.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© ThinkStockGetty

15. Surinder Singh Bajwa, the Deputy Mayor of Delhi, fell off a balcony trying to shoo away monkeys in 2007.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Unsplash

16. Frank Hayes, a jockey, won a race in New York even after dying. Here’s how – he died of a heart attack mid way but since he was still mounted on the saddle, his horse made him win by crossing the finish line first!

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Shutterstock

17. While trying to prove that the glass used in the windows of a certain office was unbreakable during a case, lawyer Garry Hoy threw himself against the window. Even though the glass did not break, it came out of the frame and he fell from the 24th floor and died.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Flickr/Rodrigo Paredes

18. The owner of a wool mill, Paul G. Thomas fell inside one of his machines and died after getting suffocated in 800 yards of wool.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© flickr/fiomaha

19. During the Dance Fever of 1518 in Strasbourg that lasted for over a month, a lot of people died dancing continuously for no reason.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© ThinkStockGetty

20. In 1771, the King Of Sweden, Adolf Fredril died after eating lobster, caviar, sauerkrat, cabbage soup, smokerherring, champagne and more than a dozen servings of his favourite dessert Selma.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Facebook

21. William Martinez was having an extramarital threesome with a man and a woman when he died.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© ThinkStockGetty

22. Danny Vanzandt died of ‘spontaneous combustion’. His body just caught fire.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Facebook

23. In 2008, an Irish woman was reported to have died after having sex with a dog. It is said she was allergic to dogs.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Unsplash

24. In 1814, a brewery burst in London and caused the London Beer Flood. Over 3500 barrels of beer flew down the streets killing 8 people.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Ontariobeers

25. Tycho Brahe, a Danish nobleman, refused to use the restroom while attending a banquet because it was considered impolite to leave before finishing your meal. He developed urinary complications and couldn’t pee after that. He passed away ten days later.

Weirdest, Most Unusual Deaths Ever In The History Of Mankind

© Shutterstock

Photo: © Unsplash (Main Image)

Io has a unique collapsing atmosphere.

Jupiter’s closest moon, Io, has an atmosphere that collapses when it is eclipsed by the gas giant.
An artist’s interpretation of Io’s collapsing atmosphere when in Jupiter’s shadow

As one of the four Galilean moons, Io has played an important role in Astronomy since its discovery in 1610. It is the fourth largest moon in the solar system while also being the most geologically active, but a new study may add a new and interesting aspect to this moon.

Using the the Gemini North telescope and its instrument the Texas Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph (TEXES), a group of scientists documented unique atmospheric changes on Io. They found that Io’s thin atmosphere, which is mostly sulfur dioxide gas vented from volcanoes, collapses and freezes onto the surface when shaded by Jupiter. The results are published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets.

“This research is the first time scientists have observed this phenomenon directly, improving our understanding of this geologically active moon,” says Constantine Tsang, lead author and senior research scientist at Southwest Research Institute’s (SwRI) Space Science and Engineering Division, in a press release.

Once temperatures on the moon drop below -235 degrees Fahrenheit during an eclipse, Io’s atmosphere appears to “deflate.” These eclipses occur fairly frequently; two hours of every Io “year” (it orbits Jupiter once every 1.7 Earth days) it is eclipsed. Most of the sulfur dioxide gas in the atmosphere settles to the moon’s surface as frost during a full eclipse. Once the moon warms from sunlight, the atmosphere redevelops.

“This confirms that Io’s atmosphere is in a constant state of collapse and repair, and shows that a large fraction of the atmosphere is supported by sublimation of sulfur dioxide ice,” says John Spencer, a SwRI scientist who also participated in the study. “Though Io’s hyperactive volcanoes are the ultimate source of the sulfur dioxide, sunlight controls the atmospheric pressure on a daily basis by controlling the temperature of the ice on the surface. We’ve long suspected this, but can finally watch it happen.”

This is the first time there have been direct observations of Io’s atmosphere in eclipse as it is very difficult to observe the atmosphere in the darkness of Jupiter’s shadow. Thanks to the specific capabilities of the TEXES instrument, this breakthrough was possible. The instrument measures the heat radiation emanating from the atmosphere not the sunlight, therefore Gemini was able to pick up the faint heat signatures of Io’s collapsing atmosphere.


The observations occurred over a two night stretch back in November of 2013 when Io was more than 675 million kilometers (420 million miles) from the Earth. Io was observed while moving in and out of Jupiter’s shadow for a period of about 40 minutes before and after each eclipse.


NASA’s Juno spacecraft, currently in orbit around Jupiter, may shed some light on how the phenomenon affects the planet.

“Io spews out gases that eventually fill the Jupiter system, ultimately seeding some of the auroral features seen at Jupiter’s poles,” says Tsang in a press release. “Understanding how these emissions from Io are controlled will help paint a better picture of the Jupiter system.”

Olympics | Together We Can Change The World | IOC


Why many people don’t talk about traumatic event in their life.

People who experience trauma often don’t discuss it until long after the incident has occurred. A lack of empathy is part of the reason.

People who experience trauma often don’t discuss it until long after the incident has occurred. A lack of empathy is part of the reason.

When longtime former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed suit July 6 for sexual harassment against the network’s former boss, Roger Ailes, the public response was less than kind. There wereexpressed disbelief and rebuttals that she was fabricating her story in retaliation for being fired.

Many asked: If it was so bad, why didn’t she come forward earlier?

As a trauma psychologist, I know her behavior was consistent with many women who experience various forms of sexual assault. Many women don’t tell anyone for a long time, if ever. And they typically don’t report these experiences publicly or to authority figures like the police.

People should remember that this type of delay is normal when they experience or hear about traumatic events. That applies to sexual assault, harassment and many other traumatic events.

Affirmation is comforting, blaming is not

When something bad happens, from an argument with a loved one to a flat tire or an unfavorable review at work or school, many of us want to reach out and tell someone we love. We look to them for confirmation of our perspective and occasionally for help in problem-solving. We particularly like it when that person tells us this was a crummy event and we’re not to blame for its occurrence.

But after traumatic events, such as physical or sexual assault, domestic violence or combat, that threaten to rob us of our dignity and spirit, people typically don’t tell others. In fact, many trauma survivors either never speak to anyone about what happened to them or wait a very long time to do so. The reasons for this are multi-fold and likely include shame, perceived stigma of being a “victim,” past negative disclosure experiences and fears of being blamed or told that the event was somehow their fault. And when it comes to reporting sexual harassment, women fear for their jobs, promotions or placements.

This is demonstrated in the findings from a nationally representative survey of women on trauma and mental health, in which more than a quarter who had been raped as children never told anyone before disclosing it in the research interview. In fact, almost 50 percent of women who had been raped did not disclose their sexual assault for at least five years afterwards.

For some, talking about their trauma is an initial step toward healing. But for others, sharing an experience and then having the response be negative can harm recovery. It can shut them down and lock the psychological vault, if not for forever, then at least for a long time. Directly experiencing terrorist events like those in Nice or shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge can have a similar effect.

I had the pleasure of working with World War II former prisoners of war years ago. One told me that shortly after his release from captivity, an acquaintance asked him, “Why’d you surrender to the Germans?”

This seemed like an accusation to the former POW, a threat to his judgment and behavior. It resulted in years of silence and solitude for him.

Nearly five decades later, this incredible man who had so bravely fought for our country sat in group therapy. He was visibly shaken and screamed, “I should’ve said, ‘You would’ve gone too, if you had a German luger pointed at your head.’”

‘I know just how you feel!’ – not so much

Sadly, insensitive responses to traumatic disclosure are common. My patients tell that me that frequently the first words out of people’s mouths are statements like, “Oh, that’s no big deal,” or “It’s in the past, leave it there,” or “Did that really happen?” or “Eh, get over it.”

Of course, it’s not just what people say that can make a disclosure experience harmful. Nonverbal messages such as poor eye contact, disapproving body postures and physical distance are also impediments to disclosure. They, too, can thwart recovery.

In addition to verbal and nonverbal messages we receive from others, there are other barriers to disclosure. For example, children who experienced various forms of abuse, including physical, sexual or emotional, or who experienced neglect or witnessed domestic violence report shame, fear of losing social support and uncertainty as to how and to whom to disclose their experiences.

Most children reported that they preferred to disclose such traumas to parents or siblings as opposed to professionals, but many did not have family members with loving ears and hearts. And if an abuser was a family member, this presented the victim with even higher hurdles in finding a person to disclose to as well as to the receptivity and reception they’d receive.

For members of the Armed Forces returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, having a positive attitude toward disclosure was the most powerful predictor of positive psychological growth. Veterans willing to discuss their traumas were far more likely to eventually work through their experiences than those who refused to share. This reinforces what the field of trauma studies has known for a long time, that there are physical and mental health benefits to supportive disclosure of trauma, even if these events had previously been disclosed.

Listening: a sign of love and understanding

One of our tasks as researchers is to determine what makes up a supportive response to trauma disclosure and then teach family members and friends how to provide such a response to those in need. Is there a way to script a response that is both genuine and effective when faced with a friend or family member disclosing an awful event?

In an innovative study design, psychologists at the University of Oregon examined the impact ofskills training on responses to disclosures of maltreatment. Over 100 pairs of friends were randomly assigned to a role (discloser or listener) and a condition (experimental or control).

The disclosers were asked to tell their friend about a time in which they felt mistreated by someone close to them, someone with whom they trusted, cared for, depended upon. The listeners in the experimental condition were coached on evidence-based ways to verbally and nonverbally support their friend. These included things like refrain from changing the topic, allow for silence, focus on the other person’s experience and not your own, and point out their strengths.

Listeners who received this short, easy-to-administer intervention exhibited significantly fewer unsupportive behaviors than listeners in the control condition.

Talking about a specific trauma isn’t easy, whether we’re on the sharing or on the receiving end. To not disclose or not to be supportive to those disclosing is likely bad for our well-being and unhealthy for our families and communities.