Investment fears: How does the need for closure increase risk?

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:48pm
Logic would dictate that consumers receiving new market information would jump at the chance to adjust their investments accordingly. In practice, however, many people associate change with loss of control. They crave the idea of permanence or closure to such an extent that they would rather freeze decisions in place even if, ironically, this puts them more at risk, according to a new study.
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Twist on evolutionary theory could help explain racism and other forms of prejudice

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:48pm
Psychology, biology, and mathematics have come together to show that the occurrence of altruism and spite -- helping or harming others at a cost to oneself -- depends on similarity not just between two interacting individuals but also to the rest of their neighbors.
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Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:48pm
The global industrial sector accounts for more than half of the total energy used every year. Now scientists are inventing a new artificial photosynthetic system that could one day reduce industry's dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy by powering part of the sector with solar energy and bacteria. The system converts light and carbon dioxide into building blocks for plastics, pharmaceuticals and fuels -- all without electricity.
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Can cheap wine taste great? Brain imaging and marketing placebo effects

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:48pm
When consumers taste cheap wine and rate it highly because they believe it is expensive, is it because prejudice has blinded them to the actual taste, or has prejudice actually changed their brain function, causing them to experience the cheap wine in the same physical way as the expensive wine? Research has shown that preconceived beliefs may create a placebo effect so strong that the actual chemistry of the brain changes.
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Giving to charity: Feeling love means doing more for distant strangers

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:48pm
Marketers often use positive emotions such as hope, pride, love, and compassion interchangeably to encourage people to donate to charitable causes. But these distinct emotions can lead to different results, and love alone has the power to inspire giving to those with whom the giver has no connection, according to a new study.
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How does a honeybee queen avoid inbreeding in her colony?

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:48pm
Recombination, or crossing-over, occurs when sperm and egg cells are formed and segments of each chromosome pair are interchanged. This process plays an crucial role in the maintenance of genetic variation. Biologists have studied recombination in honeybees. The extreme recombination rates found in this species seem to be crucial for their survival.
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Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

Slashdot - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:20pm
HughPickens.com writes: The Telegraph reports that as the Vatican forges an alliance with the UN to tackle climate change, skeptics accuse Pope Francis of being deeply ill-informed about global warming. The Pope discussed climate change with Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, who then opened a one-day Vatican conference called "The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development". Organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, SDSN and Religions for Peace, the goal of the conference is to help strengthen the global consensus on the importance of climate change in the context of sustainable development. But a group of British and American skeptics say the Pope is being fed "mistaken" advice from the UN and that he should stick to speaking out on matters of morality and theology rather than getting involved in the climate change debate. "The Pope has great moral authority but he's not an authority on climate science. He's a learned man but the IPCC has got it wrong," says Jim Lakely of the Heartland Institute, a conservative American pressure group partly funded by billionaire industrialists who question climate change. "The Pope would make a grave mistake if he put his moral authority behind scientists saying that climate change is a threat to the world. Many scientists have concluded that human activity is a minor player. The Earth has been warming since the end of the last Ice Age." It was the first time the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago and has been described by the New York Times as "the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism," has traveled to Rome to try to influence a pope. "The sideshow envisioned by these organizations will not detract from the deep concern that Pope Francis has for the truth and how it relates to the environment," says Dr. Bernard Brady, Professor and Chair of the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas. "Pope Francis will probably follow his predecessor, Benedict XVI, recognizing the interrelatedness of climate change with other moral issues and calling for persons, organizations, communities, nations, and indeed the global community, to reconsider established patterns of behavior."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Shrinking budget? Consumers choose less variety when investing or shopping

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:11pm
When consumer budgets grow or shrink, how do spending habits change? A common view is that people with a budget will spend their money on the same number of products, even when their previous budget was lower or higher. But in order to keep their favorite items, consumers whose budgets have shrunk to a particular amount will opt for less variety than someone whose budget has increased to that same amount, according to a new study.
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Stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma: New data did not change conclusion

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:11pm
After an update search, reviewers were able to include further studies in the assessment. The evidence base remained insufficient, however, and results of large studies remain unpublished.
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Drug resistant bacteria common for nursing home residents with dementia

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
One in five nursing home residents with advanced dementia harbor strains of drug-resistant bacteria and more than 10 percent of the drug-resistant bacteria are resistant to four or more antibiotic classes, new research has found.
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Medical education: Guiding professional identity to prevent burnout

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Medical educators and students, through new articles, discuss how guided reflection, coursework and mentoring can foster the 'professional identity formation' process needed for doctors to become and remain committed, ethical, and humanist physicians during a career with many challenges and stresses.
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Enron becomes unlikely data source for computer science researchers

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Computer science researchers have turned to unlikely sources -- including Enron -- for assembling huge collections of spreadsheets that can be used to study how people use this software. The goal is for the data to facilitate research to make spreadsheets more useful.
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Making robots more human: Wearable sensors read human facial expressions

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Most people are naturally adept at reading facial expressions -- from smiling and frowning to brow-furrowing and eye-rolling -- to tell what others are feeling. Now scientists have developed ultra-sensitive, wearable sensors that can do the same thing. Their technology could help robot developers make their machines more human.
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New study reveals socioeconomic changes in America's neighborhoods over time

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Researchers uncover the areas in the United States that best weathered the recessions and the housing bubble crisis of the 2000s. Among other things, the study found that neighborhoods that started out in the 2000s with high numbers of vacancies improved in socioeconomic status over time, as well as neighborhoods that drew growing numbers of immigrants.
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Chromosome-folding theory shows promise

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Biophysicists are working toward an energy-landscape theory for chromosomes. The theory could help scientists understand the genomic roots of gene regulation, DNA replication and cell differentiation.
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Study advances new tool in the fight against invasive species

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Asian carp. Burmese python. Hemlock woolly adelgid. These are just some of the most destructive pests and the world's worst invasive species that raise the hackles of fisherman, farmers, and wildlife managers everywhere they invade. But how do they establish themselves and take over non-native species so effectively and efficiently? Knowing answers to these questions could help experts manage and control invasive species.
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Erosion, landslides and monsoon across the Himalayas

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Scientists from Nepal, Switzerland and Germany were able to show how erosion processes caused by the monsoon are mirrored in the sediment load of a river crossing the Himalayas.
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Cytokine may play major role in multiple sclerosis

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:10pm
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by immune cells that activate a cascade of chemicals in the brain, attacking and degrading the insulation that keeps neuronal signals moving. These chemicals, called cytokines, drive the inflammation in the brain, attracting more immune cells, and causing the debilitating disease marked by loss of neurological function. Researchers have now discovered the role of a major cytokine in multiple sclerosis that could be a target for new therapy against the disease.
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Gamblers are more impulsive and 'see patterns' where there are none

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:09pm
Gamblers are more impulsive and "see" more illusory patterns where there are none, a new study finds. Pathological gamblers "see" patterns in things that are actually quite random and not really there, to such a degree that they are quite willing to impulsively bet good money on such illusory nonrandomness.
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Economic instability could contribute to low fertility rates, finds new research

Science Daily - Wed, 29/04/2015 - 2:09pm
Environmental factors like economic downturn and high mortality rates could contribute to changing fertility desires, new research finds. The number of women in the United States who are childless is at an all-time high, and this research suggests it may be due to the country's economic downturn.
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