Culture

What makes a great leader? Traits that we look for typically include a sense of power, great negotiating skills and lots of charisma. However, a recent study suggests that it is not just an outgoing personality and great communication skills that determine who is chosen as leader of a group. Previous research has implicated that there is a gender bias when selecting leaders; preference for a male versus female leader may depend on the specific situation that a group finds itself in. Psychologists Mark Van Vugt and Brian R.

It has been shown (and probably experienced by all of us) that performing worse than our peers on a particular task results in negative self-esteem and poorer subsequent performance on the same task. How people respond when their peers perform better than they do has been studied in a variety of age groups and it turns out that preschoolers have thicker skin than adults do! Previous research has shown that preschoolers (4-5 year old children) maintain positive self-evaluations and high levels of performance even when they see that their peers have out-performed them.

Scientists are on the hunt for evidence of antimatter - matter's arch nemesis – left over from the very early Universe. New results using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory suggest the search may have just become even more difficult.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's one of the coldest and most remote areas on Earth, but the Arctic region has long held great strategic interest for a number of nations. Now, a Florida State University researcher is leading an international team that is working to produce one of the most comprehensive histories to date of the northernmost part of the world from the late 19th century to the present.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an end a period of about a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas were essentially stable, according to a team led by MIT researchers.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Newspaper endorsements for presidential candidates can influence voting decisions, according to new research by two Brown University economists. In a working paper, Brian Knight and graduate student Chun Fang Chiang demonstrate that voters are more likely to support the recommended candidate following the publication of an endorsement, but any degree of influence depends on the credibility of the paper's pick.

Oct. 29, 2008

Like something from a horror movie, the swarm of bacteria ripples purposefully toward their prey, devours it and moves on.

Researchers at the University of Iowa are studying this behavior in Myxococcus xanthus (M. xanthus), a bacterium commonly found in soil, which preys on other bacteria.

Philadelphia, PA – October 29, 2008 – A new study in the RAND Journal of Economics examined how quickly households change their electricity use when prices rise and fall rapidly. Results show that when electricity prices increase, the average household rapidly reduces its electricity use. However, when electricity prices then decrease, household energy use returns to previous levels.

Taking up bowling or tennis is an excellent way to stay fit. But if you're not careful, you might find that these amateur sports can have unexpected long-term health risks.

Philadelphia, PA – October 29, 2008 – For decades, Israelis have sought to teach Arabs and Muslims that the existence of a Jewish state was a permanent fact of life. Israelis have thought that once Arab and Muslim belief in the state's permanence could be established, then Israel could reach out to its enemies with sensible rational compromises to achieve peace and stability in the region. In a new article in the journal Middle East Policy, Ian S. Lustick shows that Israelis have largely abandoned the hope of "teaching" the Arabs to accept Israel.

Chemistry researchers at The University of Warwick and the John Innes Centre, have found a novel signalling molecule that could be a key that will open up hundreds of new antibiotics unlocking them from the DNA of the Streptomyces family of bacteria.

At best the NHS might expect no real growth in funding from 2011, warns John Appleby, Chief Economist at The King's Fund, on bmj.com today.

Lower or capped NHS spending together with the health impacts of unemployment and deprivation caused by the credit crisis and looming recession could rock the health service in the future, he explains.

Currently, inflation is high and will reduce the spending power of the NHS—every 1% increase will cost the health service around £380 million.

A new study shows counties can boost voters' trust in elections by making an investment in the human side of elections by recruiting new poll workers.

The findings come from a study by Kent State University's Ryan L. Claassen, who collaborated with Brigham Young University researchers Quin Monson, Kelly Patterson and David Magleby, to conduct exit polling following the 2006 midterm election in Ohio's Franklin and Summit counties.

Children and adolescents who abuse alcohol or are sexually active are more likely to take methamphetamines (MA), also known as 'meth' or 'speed'. Research published today in the open access journal BMC Pediatrics reveals the risk factors associated with MA use, in both low-risk children (those who don't take drugs) and high-risk children (those who have taken other drugs or who have ever attended juvenile detention centres).

Washington, D.C.— Researchers at the Carnegie Institution have developed a new technique for improving the properties of diamonds—not only adding sparkle to gemstones, but also simplifying the process of making high-quality diamond for scalpel blades, electronic components, even quantum computers. The results are published in the October 27-31 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.