Why it's easy to get people to go bad

Washington D. C, Feb 19 : When it comes to convincing good people to do bad things, it is quite easy and now, a new study has provided new evidence that might help to explain why it is so.

According to the new work by researchers at University College London and Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, when someone gives us an order, we actually feel less responsible for our actions and their painful consequences.

Patrick Haggard said, "Maybe some basic feeling of responsibility really is reduced when we are coerced into doing something. People often claim reduced responsibility because they were 'only obeying orders.' But are they just saying that to avoid punishment or do orders really change the basic experience of responsibility?"

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Neanderthals had sex with modern humans much earlier: Study

New York: Before early modern humans migrated 'out of Africa' to spread across the world, they started having sex with the Neanderthals some 100,000 years ago and not 47,000-65,000 years ago as previously thought.

Using several different methods of DNA analysis, an international research team found strong evidence of an interbreeding event between the Neanderthals and modern humans that occurred tens of thousands of years earlier than any other such event previously documented.

More specifically, they provide the first genetic evidence of a scenario in which early modern humans left the African continent and mixed with archaic (now-extinct) members of the human family prior to the migration "out of Africa" of the ancestors of present-day non-Africans, less than 65,000 years ago.

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We maybe closing in on dark matter

Washington D.C, Feb 14 - A new research suggests that dark matter scientists are on the brink of discovering the elusive particles.

Researchers are using analysis of deep space observations together with experiments far underground to hunt for dark matter, an elusive material which, together with dark energy, is thought to account for about 95 per cent of the universe.

Scientists will tell a public symposium in Washington, DC how current theories and experiment point to the existence of dark matter, but how it is little understood by scientists.

Its discovery would be a fundamental development in understanding the physical universe, a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will hear.

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Here`s why people `catch` smiles, frowns like flu

Washington D. C, Feb 12 : Smiles and frowns are usually contagious - they tend to wind up on everyone's face and now, a new research has revealed why.

Growing evidence shows that an instinct for facial mimicry allows us to empathize with and even experience other people's feelings. If we can't mirror another person's face, it limits our ability to read and properly react to their expressions.

In their paper, University of Wisconsin's Paula Niedenthal and Adrienne Wood and colleagues describe how people in social situations simulate others' facial expressions to create emotional responses in themselves.

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Now, world's most accurate clock ever

Washington D. C, Feb 11 : A team of physicists in Germany has built the most accurate timepiece on Earth, achieving unprecedented levels of accuracy with a new atomic clock.

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far.

As early as 1981, Hans Dehmelt, who was to be awarded a Nobel Prize later, had already developed the basic notions of how to use an ion kept in a high-frequency trap to build a clock which could attain the then unbelievably low relative measurement uncertainty in the range of 1E-18.

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4 relationship patterns that determine if you'll get hitched

Washington D. C, Feb 11 : With a new study finding four distinct patterns of commitment, predicting the fate of a relationship has become easier.

University of Illinois's Brian Ogolsky said that the four types of dating couples that they found included the dramatic couple, the conflict-ridden couple, the socially involved couple and the partner-focused couple.

The researchers developed these categories after studying graphs created by 376 dating couples in their mid-twenties. Over a nine-month period, participants tracked how committed they were to marrying their partner and why. Ogolsky asked participants to explain their reasoning when their commitment level had gone up or down.

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Why you likelier to skimp on V-Day gift

Washington D. C, Feb 11 : On Valentine's Day, cupid is going to bring love and your lover may bring an inferior gift, but don't despair as according to a new study, people tend to skimp on their V-Day gifts only if they really feel close to their partner.

The University of Chicago study found that if a store is offering a free gift with a slightly inferior box of chocolates, you are more likely to go for it instead of the best chocolates in the store.

In the study, Professor Ayelet Fishbach, University of Florida's Yanping Tu and University of Chicago's Alex Shaw found that people are more likely to take from a close other than a distant other.

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Hidden galaxies discovered in our backyard

Washington D. C, Feb 10 : A galactic hide and seek game has come to an end with a team of astronomers discovering hundreds of hidden galaxies behind our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Using CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope equipped with an innovative receiver, an international team of scientists were able to see through the stars and dust of the Milky Way, into a previously unexplored region of space, just 250 million light years from Earth.

The discovery may help to explain the Great Attractor region, which appears to be drawing the Milky Way and hundreds of thousands of other galaxies towards it with a gravitational force equivalent to a million billion Suns.

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`Innate teaching skills` component of human nature

Washington D. C., Feb. 9 : A new study has revealed that innate teaching skills are an unknown part of human nature.

Lead researcher and Washington State University anthropologist Barry Hewlett has found that teaching in formal education is a way different than the way it used to prevail in small-scale groups that he had worked with.

However, cognitive psychologists and evolutionary biologists suggested that this teaching is universal. Hewlett was particularly intrigued by the thinking of cognitive psychologists like Gyorgy Gergely of Central European University.

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Short flashes of light can prevent jet lag

Washington D. C., Feb. 9 : A new study has revealed that exposing people to short flashes of light while they are sleeping could be a fast and efficient method of preventing jet lag.

Jamie Zeitzer from the Stanford University School of Medicine said that this could be a new way of adjusting much more quickly to time changes than other methods in use today.

Researchers led by Zeitzer have been working on developing an optimal technique for using light exposure to help people adjust more quickly to changes in their sleep cycles.

Current light-therapy treatments for sleep disturbances include sitting in front of bright lights for hours at a time during the day, which allows you to transition your body clock to a new time zone in small steps prior to taking a trip.

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`Healthy` workforce boost firm`s stock market performance

Washington D. C, Feb 8 : Firms with healthy workforces appear to have a competitive edge in the stock market, according to a recent study.

The South African study compared the stock market performance of ten of the healthiest companies in South Africa to the market at large. Nine different investment scenarios were tested and in all nine scenarios, the healthy companies outperformed the Johannesburg Stock Exchange All Share Index.

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Worst greenhouse gas-emitters least affected by climate change

Washington D. C, Feb 8 : The case of global climate change seems to resemble that of non-smokers getting cancer from second-hand smoke as a new study suggests that countries emitting the least amount of gasses ironically suffer the most and vice versa.

The University of Queensland and WCS study shows a dramatic global mismatch between nations producing the most greenhouse gases and the ones most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The study shows that the highest emitting countries are ironically the least vulnerable to climate change effects such as increased frequency of natural disasters, changing habitats, human health impacts, and industry stress.

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`Driving retirement` puts older adults at health risk

Washington D. C, Feb 7 : Families should rethink about seniors' decision of giving up driving as a new study suggests that older adults, who keep driving, are healthier than their non-driving counterparts.

The Columbia University researchers reviewed 16 studies that examined the health and well-being of older adults after they stopped driving and concluded that not being able to drive nearly doubles the risk of developing symptoms of depression in older adults.

The team also noted that stopping driving, also known as "driver cessation," may lead to faster declines in physical and mental health function and increased risk of death.

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Saving sight with physics of perfect pancake

Washington D. C., Feb. 6 : According to a new study, physics behind pancakes could improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

Researchers from University College London have found that the appearance of pancakes depends on how water escapes the batter mix during the cooking process and this varies with the thickness of the batter and process will not help in making perfect pancakes but will also gives important insights into how flexible sheets, like those found in human eyes, interact with flowing vapour and liquids.

Co-author Ian Eames of UCL said that the variations in texture and patterns in pancakes result from differences in how water escapes the batter during cooking and that this is largely dependent on the thickness and spread of the batter.

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Newly-found tarantula is Johnny Cash's spider namesake

Washington D. C, Feb 5 : Meet the fist-sized tarantula with fearsome fangs that has been named in honour of the western music legend Johnny Cash.

Some 14 new tarantula species have been found in the US after a decade-long search, in which scientists looked at 3,000 specimens.

While these charismatic spiders have captured the attention of people around the world, and have been made famous by Hollywood, little was actually known about them. The new descriptions nearly double the number of species known from the region. Biologists at Auburn University and Millsaps College have described these hairy, large-bodied spiders.

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