My picks from ScienceDaily

Children As Young As Preschoolers Tend To Follow Majority Opinion:

When we are faced with a decision, and we’re not sure what to do, usually we’ll just go with the majority opinion. When do we begin adopting this strategy of “following the crowd”? In a new report in Psychological Science psychologists Kathleen H. Corriveau, Maria Fusaro, and Paul L. Harris of Harvard University describe experiments suggesting that this tendency starts very early on, around preschool age.

Your Looks, Creditworthiness May Go Hand In Hand, At Least In The Eyes Of Some Lenders:

New research suggests that a person’s appearance may play a role in whether they are deemed trustworthy by financial lenders. The study is summarized in a working paper by Jefferson Duarte at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management and Stephan Siegel and Lance Young, both of the University of Washington.

Kiwifruit: Curious Chromosomes Of A Curious Fruit:

Incipient sex chromosomes have been found in New Zealand’s eponymous export, the kiwifruit. Researchers have mapped the kiwifruit genome and pin-pointed the sex-determining locus.

Optimistic Worms Are Ready For Rapid Recovery, Biologists Find:

For the tiny soil-dwelling nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, life is usually a situation of feast or famine. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that this worm has evolved a surprisingly optimistic genetic strategy to cope with these disparate conditions–one that could eventually point the way to new treatments for a host of human diseases caused by parasitic worms.

Tiny Brain Region Key To Fear Of Rivals And Predators:

Mice lose their fear of territorial rivals when a tiny piece of their brain is neutralized, a new study reports. The study adds to evidence that primal fear responses do not depend on the amygdala – long a favored region of fear researchers – but on an obscure corner of the primeval brain.

‘The Unexpected Outcome’ Is A Key To Human Learning:

The human brain’s sensitivity to unexpected outcomes plays a fundamental role in the ability to adapt and learn new behaviors, according to a new study by a team of psychologists and neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania.

One Virus Particle Is Enough To Cause Infectious Disease:

Can exposure to a single virus particle lead to infection or disease? Until now, solid proof has been lacking. Experimental research with insect larvae at Wageningen University and Simon Fraser University in Canada has shown that one virus particle is theoretically enough to cause infection and subsequent disease.

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