Findings — From the December 2011 issue

Findings

A Journal of Human Lactation study of 666 Spanish women correlated the number of months a child spends breast-feeding with the length of the mother’s education, a study in PAIN found that people perceive less pain in the suffering of those they dislike, and doctors in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International urged the adoption of triple-target treatment for anal incontinence. Biologists inventoried 43,381 previously unknown viruses. “First you have to see the forest before you can pick out a particular tree to work on,” explained one of the authors of “Raw Sewage Harbors Diverse Viral Populations.” The U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory invited the public to rename its Very Large Array of telescopes. Astronomers were urged to reduce their carbon footprints and gout patients to wear appropriate shoes. Columbus may have caused the Little Ice Age.

Bolder bluegill sunfish are likelier to be caught in open water, whereas shy ones are caught near the rocks. Easily embarrassed humans, though not the morbidly ashamed, are seen as more trustworthy and are more often monogamous. Adults whose brains lack the paracingulate sulcus are much worse at keeping track of reality, and the fatalistic are less likely to avail of free colorectal-cancer screenings. Dutch doctors have better odds of securing organ donation if they first wait briefly, in accordance with the Hersendoodprotocol, before they discuss donation with the next of kin of
catastrophic-brain-injury victims. Research into the spread of selfishness through human history found that egalitarian societies have more difficulty expanding in times of crisis than societies in which the poor suffer disproportionately. In Britain, where one sixth of cell phones were infected with fecal bacteria and gonorrhea was becoming drug-resistant, scientists noted an uncoupling of the brain’s “hate circuit” in 92 percent of depressed Chinese. Canadian psychologists concluded that “moral disengagement” leads to workplace rumormongering and collegial sabotage. Psychopathic Canadian murderers, when describing their crimes, more frequently use conjunctions and employ the past tense than do their non-psychopathic counterparts. Racially ambiguous janitors are more likely to be seen as black. The nose smells what it expects.

Researchers, in developing the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, found that hostile sexism and benevolent sexism are often mutually reinforcing, while University of Kansas psychologists suggested that the poor economy was driving U.S. men to cheat on their wives. Extramarital affairs increase a man’s risk of a broken penis. Stolen bases are overrated. The bereaved may die of a broken heart. Male crickets will give their lives for their partners. Belgian scientists found that piranhas bark when upset. “We both visited the hospital,” said one of the scientists. “Sandie’s finger was nearly cut in half.” The team hoped next to discover whether piranhas bark when amorous. Laryngeal descent may have loudened the mating bellows of male koalas. Humboldt penguins sniff their kin to avoid inbreeding, and pebble theft was observed among Adélie penguins. Goats may cause lung cancer. Scientists identified the genes responsible for the kangaroo’s hop and the zebra’s stripes and confirmed the existence of triple and quadruple rainbows.

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