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University of Warwick economists say they can calculate the true value of  political lobbyists in American politics - quantifying the 'it is not what you know, but who you know' adage.


Researchers have announced discovery of a species of animal related to crabs, lobsters and shrimps that is new to science.


Clinical trials are obviously important.  The results influence what drugs are approved by regulatory bodies, which can have a billion-dollar impact on companies.

Clinical trials have always been sponsored by industry - there has never been a meaningful  government-controlled research effort toward drug creation - but they have increasingly come under fire, due to claims that an industry sponsor can influence results and how they are reported to present their company and products in a better light.


It's not disputed that long necked sauropod dinosaurs were the largest land animals ever to walk the Earth, but why they got so large is a debate.

Was it the nature of the food they ate?  While that was considered, skepticism remained.  But a group of researchers now argues that the plant ecologists from South Africa who suggested a plant food cause for big dinosaurs were onto something; but scientists confused two different issues in thinking about this problem; namely how much energy is in the plant with how much nitrogen is in the plant – the South African ideas were based on nitrogen content not the total energy in the plant food. 

Drs. David Wilkinson and Graeme Ruxton of  
Liverpool John Moores University


Why do people think that a $25 flu shot is more likely to still have them getting the flu than a $125 flu shot?

It isn't that they think a $25 flu shot is less effective, it's that they worried they had a greater need for it because the cost is low.  Yes, the flu is perceived as more of a threat from an illness because the vaccine is cheap and not that some company is just charging a lot more when they can.


Emotion can help us recognize words more quickly, just like the context of a sentence can. But a new paper about the role of emotion in word recognition memory says we do not remember emotionally intoned speech as accurately as neutral speech - and if we do remember the words, they have acquired an emotional value.

Words spoken with a sad voice are more negative. In anger, sadness, exhilaration or fear, speech takes on an urgency that is lacking from its normal even-tempered form - louder or softer, more hurried or delayed, etc. This emotional speech immediately captures a listener's attention and so Annett Schirmer and colleagues from the National University of Singapore looked at whether emotion has a lasting effect on word memory.