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Decades of research reveals very little difference between male and female brains

academictimes.com
  • Analysing data from three decades worth of MRI scans and postmortem brain tissue studies, scientists find no repeatable differences between male and female brains.
  • The average male has a 11% larger brain, but that doesn’t mean their brains work any better - only that the average male is bigger than the average female.
  • That’s pretty much the only reliable difference, as the sample size keeps growing bigger, any other differences prove to be statistically unreliable.
  • What this means is that we don’t have male or female brains, we just have brains - just like we have the same lungs, kidneys, or hearts.
  • The researchers didn’t look into biochemical / hormonal differences, which are speculated to be the cause of behavioral sex differences.

When should you end a conversation? Probably sooner than you think

sciencemag.org
  • In a conversation-based experiment with 252 strangers, researchers found that only in 2% cases both participants were happy with how long they talked.
  • It’s probably because we hide our true intentions for fear of being rude, even though we’d like to end a conversation early.
  • There was a big disconnect between what people wanted, and what they thought their conversation partners wanted.
  • This suggests that we’re really bad at guessing what other people want.
  • These findings show that we know very little about how conversations work, so it’s a great area for researchers to explore.

'Invisible killer': fossil fuels caused 8.7m deaths globally in 2018, research finds

theguardian.com
  • Pollution from burning fossil fuels killed 1 in 5 of all the people that died in 2018.
  • By region, in the US and Europe it was 1 in 10 people, in eastern Asia 1 in 3, and it was the lowest in Africa and Southern America.
  • These numbers are larger than the death toll of smoking tobacco and malaria combined.
  • Air pollution is an invisible killer, but study authors were still shocked at how big this problem is.
  • Experts see this is a call to urgency, and suggest that the process of going carbon-neutral should be sped up.

Big name corporations more likely to commit fraud

news.wsu.edu
  • Researchers analyzed 250 US public corporations involved in securities fraud between 2005-2013, and compared them to a uninvolved sample.
  • The analysis showed that prestigious, big name companies are more likely to commit financial fraud, manipulate number and markets, lie to investors and the SEC.
  • Companies with Fortune 500 status were 4 times more likely to be involved in fraud compared to the no-fraud sample.
  • [Personal note - it’s good that scientists are uncovering basic facts that every 1st-grader knows, heh heh]

The public’s perception of the harms of magic mushrooms is in line with science — but not with the law

psypost.org
  • Psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, is considered by people to be less dangerous than alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.
  • However, the group was recruited among followers of drug-use related websites and social media pages, so it’s not representative of all people.
  • Those who have used magic mushrooms reported it to be the least dangerous substance compared to prescription painkillers, tobacco, alcohol, cocaine and more.
  • But the laws show a completely different picture, with psilocybin generally classified as a harmful drug.
  • New studies show therapeutic benefits, and decriminalization slowly spreads to different countries, lawmakers should realize that psilocybin can be beneficial.

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