Student - February 9, 2017


When girls are five years old they still picture a brilliant person as someone of their own sex. One year later they attribute smartness primarily to boys. This has been revealed by scientists from Princeton University among other institutions. So stereotyping starts from a shockingly young age, conclude the scientists. Unless it’s the wisdom of youth of course.


Bacteria can make us altruistic, Israeli scientists at the University of Tel Aviv have demonstrated with a model study. Doing a good deed for someone else leads to physical contact, according to the researchers, and therefore to the possibility of transfer of bacteria. That benefits ‘altruistic microbes’ which can then spread further. And that is what it’s all about in the struggle for survival. So altruism is just cleverly packaged egoism. So far it is just a model and there is no empirical evidence.


Feeling low and a bit depressed? Sit up straight. People with symptoms of depression become more enthusiastic and energetic when they have to sit upright, whether voluntarily or not, say researchers from the University of Auckland. But they do warn that good posture is not a treatment.


About two in every 100 people have mirror touch synaesthesia: They feel what others are feeling when they see it. This was discovered by researchers at the University of Delaware. The test they used is simple: watch a video in which someone is touched on the palm of the hand. If you feel that touch too, you’ve got MST. Nice if it’s a case of being tickled. But people with MST feel other people’s pain as well.