This Week in Research News: A Quiz
How well did you follow the news of academic research and big ideas this week? Find out.
November 16, 2012
A professor of public health at the University of Sydney argued this week that governments should require citizens to obtain a license for what dangerous, currently unlicensed product?
Professor Simon Chapman argues that smokers should be required to obtain a smart swipecard license to buy tobacco. “There could be three grades of license: one to 10 cigarettes per day, 11-20 and 21-50. The more cigarettes a licensee opted for, the higher the fee,” Chapman says. The "carrot" portion of his argument? If you kicked the habit, you'd get your license fee back.
Studies show that thoughts of our own mortality often lead us to cling more strongly to our own cultures, but in a new study this effect almost vanished when people were asked to imagine what?
Images from family life
The consequences of climate change
The study featured two sets of respondents—56 American college students and 100 Palestinian citizens of Israel. Those who were asked to consider their own mortality and either a sense of "perceived common humanity" or the effects of climate change were more likely to support peaceful coexistence, suggesting, as the reported said, that "keeping people mindful of shared global threats might facilitate a more peaceful world."
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported recently on research from the University of Winnipeg that suggests we spend money faster if it is what?
In five different studies, researchers found that people tend to spend worn bills faster to get rid of them, but that when people are watching, they like to pull out crisp, clean ones to show off. "People want to rid themselves of worn bills because they are disgusted by the contamination from others, whereas people put a premium on crisp currency because they take pride in owning bills that can be spent around others,” writes researcher Fabrizio Di Muro.
Meditation is usually thought of as a practice of healthy, well-off white people and Asians. But newly published research suggests it can work wonders for what group?
African-Americans with heart disease
A study that followed 201 African-Americans for an average of five years found those who meditated regularly were 48 percent less likely to die, have a heart attack, or suffer a stroke, compared to those participating in a health-education program.
Scientific American reports that a study by Chinese researchers has found that what tend to linger—even over years?
Low-level radiation waves
The study, in which people were exposed to slides of a man breaking into a car and a girl's wallet being stolen, found that false memories created by manipulating the descriptions of the events were remembered just as clearly as were accurate memories when respondents were tested 1.5 years later. At a time when misinformation (from rumors of Jeff Goldblum's death to doctored images of Hurricane Sandy's destruction) runs rampant online, this could have long-lasting effects.
Though it's located just 600 feet from Newark Bay on a peninsula that was directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy, Midtown Community School has been able to keep its lights on because of what?
A good relationship with a group of very influential New Jerseyans
Storm windows made from transparent aluminum
No, this Bayonne, New Jersey school isn't connected to the mob. (And transparent aluminum is an invention of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.) The school operates a 232-kilowatt photovoltaic system that runs independent from the grid. And it wasn't the only bright spot for solar power in the wake of the storm.
A new study from Harvard University found that teens were more likely to have behaved violently toward peers, mates, or children in their families if they what?
Drank a lot of soda
Watched the videos of boy band One Direction
Played graphic videogames
While One Direction may be pimping Islam on your daughters, the real correlation here was with soda. Specifically, teens who had reported drinking five or more cans of non-diet soda in the last week were more likely to report violent behavior.
Joel Smith is a web producer at Pacific Standard. His previous work includes seven years as a staff writer and media editor at the Pacific Northwest Inlander, the alternative weekly in Spokane, Washington.