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Risto Hotulainen and colleagues (Helsinki University) examined how attention measured in prolonged over-learned response tasks predicts scientific reasoning and school performance and if high levels of attention have a significant relationship with high level scientific reasoning and school performance. [more...]
 

© Stefan Schurr - Fotolia.com
The more symmetrical the knees, the faster the runner. This is the result of a study by an international group of researchers led by Rutgers University and involving the University of Göttingen. By analyzing the body symmetry of Jamaican elite athletes, the scientists were able to show that knee symmetry and to a lesser degree ankle symmetry are strong predictors of sprinting success. Furthermore, the sprinters’ knees and ankles were much more symmetrical than those of a comparison group. The results were published in PLOS ONE. [more...]
 
November 12, 2014

Calculating evolution

A tree of samples of influenza (HA1) sequences from 5/2006 to end of 2/2007 (see colored sequences) and from 10/2007 to end of 3/2008 (in grey). The algorithm successfully predicts the next sequence. (Dr. Richard Neher / Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology)
For a long time, prognoses forecasting the evolutionary future of organisms were considered mere speculation. An international team of scientists have developed an algorithm that can predict the evolution of asexual organisms such as viruses or cancer cells. The researchers tested the program for the first time on the historical development of the A/H3N2 influenza virus: the algorithm was able to determine the upcoming season’s virus type with good or very good accuracy in most cases. Combining this approach with other methods could further increase the accuracy of the prognoses. The method can even be applied to predict the development of HIV and noroviruses as well as cancer cells. [more...]
 

In-depth interviews conducted according to the rules of the Decision-Oriented Interview (DOI) take account of regularities in human behavior; such interviews are thus more animated, more informative and less stressful for all parties. Usual questions about reasons for behavior (Why? What were the reasons?) require some deliberation on the part of the interviewee, and the consequent answers may have been prepared beforehand and are not very informative. [more...]
 
We're more likely to punish wrongdoing as a third party to a non-violent offense than when we're victimized by it, according to a new study by New York University psychology researchers. The findings, which appear in the journal Nature Communications, may offer insights into how juries differ from plaintiffs in seeking to restore justice. [more...]
 

© matttilda - Fotolia.com
Financial experts do not make higher returns on their own investments than untrained investors, according to research by a Michigan State University business scholar. [more...]
 

© PDU - Fotolia.com
Politics can have unintentional evolutionary consequences that may cause hastily issued policies to cascade into global, multigenerational problems, according to political scientists. [more...]
 

© arsdigital - Fotolia.com
The prevalence of kidney disease is increasing significantly. This is due, on the one hand, to demographic trends – people are becoming older and loss of renal function is a symptom of old age. Yet demographic trends alone do not explain the steep upward trend in chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is frequently a direct sequela of hypertension and diabetes – diseases whose incidence in recent years has increased dramatically and whose incidence cannot be estimated in full due to the large number of unreported cases. These diseases result years later in chronic renal failure, especially when they are insufficiently treated or not treated at all. This means that the increase in CKD may be considered the immediate consequence of the growing number of diabetics and hypertension patients. The discomforting aspect here is that we must fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg. [more...]
 

Israelis' attribution of love and hate to Israelis and Palestinians
What makes human conflict intractable – and how can psychological research resolve historic disagreements? A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences by a team of researchers from The New School for Social Research, Northwestern University and Boston College demonstrates how seemingly unsolvable political and ethnic conflicts are fueled by asymmetrical perceptions of opponents’ motivations – and that these tensions can be relieved by providing financial incentives to better understand what drives an adversary group. [more...]
 

Workers punching in for the graveyard shift may be better off not eating high-iron foods at night so they don't disrupt the circadian clock in their livers. Disrupted circadian clocks, researchers believe, are the reason that shift workers experience higher incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. The body's primary circadian clock, which regulates sleep and eating, is in the brain. But other body tissues also have circadian clocks, including the liver, which regulates blood glucose levels. [more...]
 
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W. Weimar, M.A. Bos, J.J.V. Busschbach (Eds.): Ethical, Legal, and Psychosocial Aspects of Transplantation – Global Issues, Local Solutions
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