Archive for the ‘Human Interest’ Category

Sans Forgetica font May Help You Remember What You Read

We’re all used to skimming past the boring parts of a reading assignment or a web article. But when researchers from RMIT University in Australia printed information in a weird, hard-to-read font, they found that people were more likely to remember what they read. There’s a sweet spot, their experiments suggest: If the font is […]

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

You might think folks would be less willing to pull the plug on a happy chatty bot begging to stay powered up, but you’d be wrong, much to the relief of us cold-hearted cynics. And this is all according to a study recently published in PLOS ONE. For this investigation, psychology academics in Germany rounded […]

Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’

The New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success, with 78% of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their work-life balance, an increase of 24 percentage points. Two-hundred-and-forty staff at Perpetual Guardian, a company which manages trusts, wills and estate planning, trialled a […]

Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin

New research shows that the processes involved in hair, fur, and feather growth are remarkably similar to the way scales grow on fish—a finding that points to a single, ancient origin of these protective coverings. When our very early ancestors transitioned from sea to land some 385 million years ago, they brought their armor-like scales […]

Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems 

A new clinical trial published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine has found evidence that low doses of two existing drugs can boost the immune system of an elderly person, helping it fight common deadly infections, including the flu, with seemingly little to no side effects. The trial, run by scientists at the pharmaceutical company Novartis, […]

First 3D colour X-ray of a human using CERN technology

What if, instead of a black and white X-ray picture, a doctor of a cancer patient had access to colour images identifying the tissues being scanned? This colour X-ray imaging technique could produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses. This is now a reality, thanks to a […]

Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population

In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population—an interpretation that is not standing the test of time. The story of human […]

EU asks you to tell them if you want Daylight Savings Time

Objective of the consultation Following a number of requests from citizens, from the European Parliament, and from certain EU Member States, the Commission has decided to investigate the functioning of the current EU summertime arrangements and to assess whether or not they should be changed. In this context, the Commission is interested in gathering the […]

Versius Robot allows keyhole surgery to be performed with 1/2 hour training instead of 80 sessions

It is the most exacting of surgical skills: tying a knot deep inside a patient’s abdomen, pivoting long graspers through keyhole incisions with no direct view of the thread. Trainee surgeons typically require 60 to 80 hours of practice, but in a mock-up operating theatre outside Cambridge, a non-medic with just a few hours of […]

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

Open plan offices don’t deliver their promised benefits of more face-to-face collaboration and instead make us misanthropic recluses and more likely to use electronic communications tools. So says a new article in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, by Harvard academics Ethan S. Bernstein, Stephen Turban. The pair studied two Fortune 500 companies […]

More on how social media hacks brains to addict users

In a followup to How programmers addict you to social media, games and your mobile phone Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’ He explained that when Facebook was being developed the objective was: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” It was this mindset […]

Could electrically stimulating criminals’ brains prevent crime?

A new study by a team of international researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Nanyang Technological University suggests that electrically stimulating the prefrontal cortex can reduce the desire to carry out violent antisocial acts by over 50 percent. The research, while undeniably compelling, raises a whole host of confronting ethical questions, not just over […]

How programmers addict you to social media, games and your mobile phone

If you look at the current climate, the largest companies are the ones that hook you into their channel, whether it is a game, a website, shopping or social media. Quite a lot of research has been done in to how much time we spend watching TV and looking at our mobiles, showing differing numbers, […]

Stanford brainiacs say they can predict Reddit raids

A study [PDF] based on observations from 36,000 subreddit communities has found that online dust-ups can be predicted, and the people most likely to cause them can be identified. “Our analysis revealed a number of important trends related to conflict on Reddit, with general implications for intercommunity conflict on the web.” Among the takeaways were […]

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.

The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can maximize return on many kinds of investment. […] The distribution of wealth follows a well-known pattern sometimes called an 80:20 rule: 80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 […]

What Is Ultra-Processed Food?

We eat a lot of ultra-processed food, and these foods tend to be sugary and not so great for us. But the problem isn’t necessarily the fact that they’re ultra-processed. This is a weird and arguably unfair way to categorize foods, so let’s take a look at what “ultra-processed” really means. This terminology comes from […]

Why hiring the ‘best’ people produces the least creative results

Yet the fallacy of meritocracy persists. Corporations, non-profits, governments, universities and even preschools test, score and hire the ‘best’. This all but guarantees not creating the best team. Ranking people by common criteria produces homogeneity. And when biases creep in, it results in people who look like those making the decisions. That’s not likely to […]

Cheddar Man: Britains’ first men were black. And so were Europes’.

New research into ancient DNA extracted from the skeleton has helped scientists to build a portrait of Cheddar Man and his life in Mesolithic Britain.The biggest surprise, perhaps, is that some of the earliest modern human inhabitants of Britain may not have looked the way you might expect.Dr Tom Booth is a postdoctoral researcher working […]

Why People Dislike Really Smart Leaders

Intelligence makes for better leaders—from undergraduates to executives to presidents—according to multiple studies. It certainly makes sense that handling a market shift or legislative logjam requires cognitive oomph. But new research on leadership suggests that, at a certain point, having a higher IQ stops helping and starts hurting. […] The researchers looked at 379 male […]

Computer program that tries to determine if you reoffend is racist, wrong and been in use since 2000.

One widely used criminal risk assessment tool, Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS; Northpointe, which rebranded itself to “equivant” in January 2017), has been used to assess more than 1 million offenders since it was developed in 1998. The recidivism prediction component of COMPAS—the recidivism risk scale—has been in use since 2000. This […]

What people hate and love at differing ages, visualised

Exploring over 30 million feelings towards 3,000+ topics. Source: 10 Things Everyone Hates About You

The Evolution of Trust

an interactive guide to the game theory of why & how we trust each other Source: The Evolution of Trust Very clear and well illustrated

Older Adults’ Forgetfulness Tied To non syncing Brain Rhythms In Sleep

During deep sleep, older people have less coordination between two brain waves that are important to saving new memories, a team reports in the journal Neuron. To find out, Walker and a team of scientists had 20 young adults learn 120 pairs of words. “Then we put electrodes on their head and we had them […]

Empirical evidence on how to interrogate: build rapport, not conflict

The Alisons, husband and wife, have done something no scholars of interrogation have been able to do before. Working in close cooperation with the police, who allowed them access to more than 1,000 hours of tapes, they have observed and analysed hundreds of real-world interviews with terrorists suspected of serious crimes. No researcher in the […]

Paltering: lying by using the truth

There are three types of lies: omission, where someone holds out on the facts; commission, where someone states facts that are untrue; and paltering, where someone uses true facts to mislead you. It’s not always easy to detect, but there are a few telltale signs. A recent study, published in the Journal of Personality and […]

 
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