Feb 11, 2009 | 1
Seventy percent of smokers in the U.S. say they want to quit, but studies show that only 2 percent to 3 percent manage to kick the habit each year. Incentives for quitting—avoiding potentially deadly lung cancer and premature wrinkling, saving thousands of dollars annually (in money spent on cigarettes and medical bills stemming from health-related ills), and perhaps even becoming president of the United States—are just not enough, it seems. Could cash succeed where all else failed?
It just might. Researchers report today in the New England Journal of Medicine that smokers were three times more likely to give up cigarettes in return for a few hundred bucks.
Feb 10, 2009 | 1
Do you squander all your dough at the casino? Maybe it's because your DNA is telling you to take risks with your money.
OK, it's not as simplistic as that. But Northwestern University researchers say they've linked two genes with our tendency to be bold or conservative investors, according to their study set to be published tomorrow in PLoS One. The genes regulate the brain's systems of dopamine and serotonin, chemicals important in areas of the brain that are active when we take or shun risk, respectively.
Jan 5, 2009
Wealth may not be the only thing people spread when they fork over funds. Researchers warn that banknotes may be reservoirs for the common flu virus. Researchers report in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology that human influenza viruses can survive on for as long as 17 days.
But here's the good news: just because the flu virus can survive on a banknote does not necessarily mean touching money will put a person at risk for flu infection. What's more: U.S. bills may not be as hospitable to the germs as other currency, as microbiologist Peter Palese of Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggested in National Public Radio's most recent Science Friday broadcast.
Dec 10, 2008 | 6
Seems money trumps health when it comes to losing weight. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association today found that people were more likely to stick to weight-loss programs if they were offered cash incentives. And what about the reward of being thinner and healthier, of dropping pounds to lower one's risk of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and a slew of other obesity-related ails? Didn't hold a candle to the money prize, according to researchers.
Approximately 200 million Americans (two thirds of the population) are fat. That is to say, they are overweight or obese, according to standard body mass index criteria. Worldwide, obesity has become even more prevalent than hunger, and the trend shows no signs of reversing.
Sep 30, 2008 | 17
If you've been blaming reckless men for the collapse of America's leading investment houses and the plunging markets, you may be on to something. High levels of testosterone are correlated with riskier financial behavior, new research suggests.
Men with more of the sex hormone made riskier investments than guys with lower levels, according to a study published online yesterday in Evolution and Human Behavior. Just how much riskier? Those with 33 percent more testosterone than average men invested 10 percent more of their dough.
The findings are based on saliva samples from 98 male Harvard students taken before they played an investment game with $250 in real money. The students with more masculine facial features, such as prominent jaws and cheekbones, also were riskier with their cash, investing 6 percent more of it than their softer-featured peers.
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