Culture

People are different, both physically and mentally, but genetically everyone is very similar. That's been the thought of scientists for decades now. But with population research becoming more and more common, the University of Alberta's Tim Caulfield is concerned that genetic research could awaken racist attitudes.

Just last year Nobel Prize winning geneticist James Watson claimed there are genes responsible for creating differences in human intelligence. These comments made international headlines and Watson later apologized.

WASHINGTON, DC — To prevent global warming, researchers and policymakers are exploring a variety of options to significantly cut the amount of carbon dioxide that reaches the atmosphere. One possible approach involves capturing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide at the source — an electric power plant, for example — and then injecting them underground.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Democratic Party control in Washington could restore lawsuits as an option for workers and consumers now forced to settle disputes through mandatory arbitration that gives employers and businesses an unfair edge, a University of Illinois labor law expert says.

Michael LeRoy predicts a bill sponsored by Democrats that would bar companies from imposing arbitration will likely be approved next year when Democrats take over the White House and add to their majorities in Congress.

WASHINGTON, DC--Construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States is in danger of coming to a standstill, partly due to the high cost of the requirement — whether existing or anticipated — to capture all emissions of carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas. But an MIT analysis suggests an intermediate step that could get construction moving again, allowing the nation to fend off growing electricity shortages using our most-abundant, least-expensive fuel while also reducing emissions.

What makes residents of certain states or countries more likely to consume morealcohol? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, highlevels of individualism lead to more problem drinking.

"We looked at the extent to which consumer levels of individualism (vs.collectivism) were related to their beer and problem alcohol consumption," writeauthors Yinlong Zhang and L.J. Shrum (both University of Texas-San Antonio).

Why not buy that treadmill? You'll be exercising every day, right? A new studyin the Journal of Consumer Research examines why our expectations of ourbehavior so often don't match reality.

Authors Robin J. Tanner (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Kurt A. Carlson(Duke University) uncovered a specific process that they believe contributes tounrealistic optimism. They also suggest a method to encourage consumers tothink more realistically about their future actions.

That unforgettable honeymoon has a special place in your memory—so specialthat you might be reluctant to try to repeat it. A new study in the Journal ofConsumer Research says people tend to treat their memories of previous specialexperiences as assets to be protected.

A research paper, by Dr Stuart Fraser of Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, has found that many Ethnic Minority owned Businesses (EMBs) in the UK struggle to obtain credit in comparison to White owned businesses. Black and Bangladeshi owned businesses are the most likely to be refused credit, facing up to four times as many refusals as white owned businesses.

Government ownership of banks – something unthinkable until very recently for the 'Anglo-Saxon' model of capitalism –- became a reality early in 2008. This was a policy response to an unprecedented global financial crisis, aimed at preventing financial meltdown. It succeeded in doing so, according to Professor Panicos Demetriades, an Economist funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) at the Department of Economics of the University of Leicester.

SANTA MONICA, CA—Important pedestrian safety issues have emerged with the advent of hybrid and electric vehicles. These vehicles are relatively quiet—they do not emit the sounds pedestrians and bicyclists are accustomed to hearing as a vehicle approaches them on the street or at an intersection. In a recent study, human factors/ergonomics researchers examined participants' preferences for sounds that could be added to quiet vehicles to make them easier to detect.