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Firing someone? Do it on Friday because they would have the weekend off anyway and they are less likely to show up after two days with a rifle. Some things don't change.

But the 'Friday Effect' for publicly traded companies has diminished with the advent of instant news so they have little to gain from saving bad news until Fridays on the assumption that traders are distracted by the approaching weekend, says economist Leon Zolotoy in his research, for which he will be awarded a PhD at Tilburg University in the Netherlands on 25 June.

Zolotoy researched how international stock markets react to new information. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was introduced in July 2002, partly as a result of the corporate scandals involving Global Crossing, WorldCom, Enron and Tyco. The Act’s strict disclosure requirements were designed to restore investors’ and analysts’ confidence in the stock market.

Since September 11, U.S. politicians have repeatedly reminded us that the journalists in the Arab world are biased against America and the West. A new study in the July 2008 issue of International Journal of Press/Politics says that is not the case.

To provide a snapshot of journalists' attitudes and to create a benchmark for future studies, the researchers surveyed 601 mainstream professional Arab journalists with the goal of understanding how they view both their profession and the events they cover. (1)

While still subject to censorship, Arab journalists have growing aspirations for independence fed by their access to more than 300 free-to-air Arab satellite channels and the rise of blogging on the internet.

Several huge active submarine volcanoes, spreading ridges and rift zones have been discovered northeast of Fiji by a team of Australian and American scientists aboard the Marine National Facility Research Vessel, Southern Surveyor.

On the hunt for subsea volcanic and hot-spring activity, the team of geologists located the volcanoes while mapping previously uncharted areas. Using high-tech multi-beam sonar mapping equipment, digital images of the seafloor revealed the formerly unknown features.

The summits of two of the volcanoes, named 'Dugong', and 'Lobster', are dominated by large calderas at depths of 1100 and 1500 metres.

Are senior doctors who help drug companies sell their drugs independent experts or just drug representatives in disguise, asks Ray Moynihan from the University of Newcastle in Australia, in this week's BMJ.

Pharmaceutical companies regularly sponsor leading specialists with "generous fees to peddle influence" and promote drugs to the profession and the public, writes Moynihan.

Drug companies will pay influential doctors up to $400 an hour to act as key opinion leaders, and some doctors earn more than $25 000 a year in advisory fees.

Radiation is dangerous. In high doses it is certainly lethal and chronic exposure is linked to the development of cancer. That's why we have bomb shelters and canned food.

But what if a short-term controlled exposure to a low dose of radiation were good for our health? Don Luckey, emeritus professor at the University of Missouri, claims just that in the International Journal of Low Radiation.

Luckey was also the nutrition consultant for NASA's Apollo 11 to 17 moon missions and has spent the last several years developing the concept of improving health through exposure to low-dose radiation.

To mark the launch of the Pet Health Information website (, a nationwide search for 'it shouldn't happen to a pet' anecdotes to highlight the lack of awareness of pet health issues amongst owners has revealed some howlers.