Findings — From the January 2018 issue

Findings

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Psychopathy may be an evolutionary complement to altruism in that it allows one group member to sacrifice another for the greater good. People who feel they are disadvantaged are likelier to support populism and to exhibit national narcissism. Narcissism among US college students was found to have declined between the 1990s and the 2010s. The returns of hedge fund managers who exhibit psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism are 1 percent lower than their peers’. In Italy, for every 1 percent increase in the number of unmarried female immigrants, an additional 5 percent of marriages fail. Heterosexual bromances may threaten straight marriage. Nearly half of American young adults act conspicuously heterosexual to counteract perceived doubts about their being straight. Scientists suggested that mass whole-genome sequencing may reveal humans who were created by parthenogenesis. Breastfeeding increases maternal attachment later in childhood, even when maternal neuroticism is controlled for. The placenta is not a superfood.

Researchers investigated Taiwanese nurses’ taboo against eating pineapple, and the Jolly Fat hypothesis was found to hold true among middle-aged Korean women. Psychological, plant, and noetic scientists claimed that seeds hydrated with commercially bottled water on which Buddhist monks had focused their intentions became more sensitive to blue light. Chanel scientists concluded that a woman whose lips contrast with her face will appear younger. Men who were allowed unlimited time to sniff odor samples from women’s left armpits did not find the smells more or less attractive in correlation with their HLA genes. Neuroscientists reported success in stabilizing the heads of women being stimulated to orgasm by their partners while in MRI scanners. Dr. Knut Drewing explained why unseen holes feel larger when probed with a tongue than with a finger. Chinese-Canadian children trained to differentiate black people’s faces exhibit less racial bias. German researchers hypothesized that psychogenic autobiographical amnesia protects subjects by “offering the mechanism to exit a life situation which appears to them unmanageable or adverse.” Descriptions of children being sexually abused elicit lower moral-outrage activation in the brains of pedophiles. Autistic boys are likelier than non-autistic boys to enjoy Schoenberg and Albinoni. Modern life may be withering the hippocampus.

A new city of gloomy octopuses was discovered off the coast of Australia, and octopuses were walking out of the sea and dying in Wales. Captive orcas’ teeth are poorly cared for and are often ground down when the whales chew steel and concrete out of boredom and anxiety. Corals eat plastic not because it looks like prey but because it is delicious. Pumping the stomachs of hundreds of live and alert Southern alligators revealed a diet rich in sharks. Woods Hole biologists using unmanned hexacopters analyzed the microbiome of humpback whale blow. Swedish farmers worried that wild boar, who have become increasingly radioactive since Chernobyl, will stop being hunted by humans and become too populous. Anthrax was suspected in a massive hippo die-off in Namibia. Rescued circus lions were being poached in South Africa. All but two of the chicks in a colony of 36,000 Adélie penguins at Dumont d’Urville died. Entomologists warned of an “ecological Armageddon” after summer populations of flying insects were found to have fallen by more than 80 percent in the past quarter century. Humans are killing all the oldest fish in the sea

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