September 19, 2013

Men With Wide Faces
Last year, two management professors at the University of California, Riverside found that men with wider faces were more likely to cheat and lie for financial gain. Now, their latest study finds that the selfishness of wide-faced men is a self-fulfilling social prophesy: People perceive men with wider faces as more aggressive and less trustworthy, so they act more selfishly toward them, eliciting selfish behavior in return, the researchers say. (Shaunacy Ferro, Popular Science)

Introducing Calico
Can Google, the technology giant best known for search and free email, tackle aging? The Mountain View, California-based company is planning to launch Calico, a new firm that will attempt to solve some of health care’s most vexing problems. One of the independent venture’s major initiatives will be significantly expanding human lifespan. Arthur Levinson, the former chief of biotech pioneer Genentech, is an investor in Calico and will serve as its CEO. (TIME)

The War on Aging
Aubrey de Grey: Google‘s announcement about their new venture to extend human life, Calico, is not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. (TIME)

More on Video Games and Violence
Precisely why sitting at a console and smiting virtual enemies should translate into real-life aggressiveness (as opposed to, say, being cathartic) has never been definitively established. In a timely new paper, one of the leading researchers in this field—psychologist Tobias Greitemeyer of the University of Innsbruck in Austria—presents evidence of one likely mechanism. “Performing intense acts of violence during video game play appears to serve as a standard that influences comparative evaluation,” he writes in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. (Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard)

The Other 10 Most Important Questions in Science
Marcelo Gleiser: Last week I presented my take on 10 of the 20 most important questions in science, a list at the heart of a book by Mun Keat Looi, Hayley Birch, and Colin Stuart titled The Big Questions in Science: The Quest to Solve the Great Unknowns. It was published in the U.K. last week. I will run through the rest of their list, which touches on some of the more interesting scientific questions out there, both basic and applied. (13.7: Cosmos and Culture, NPR)

Category: Field Notes

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