Discovered: Definitive proof that the IQ gene exists, women are the moral sex, America has the world's saltiest food and the right way to respond to an earthquake.
- The IQ gene is real. The controversial "intelligence gene" is a real thing, researchers have found. "This is a really exciting discovery: that a single letter change leads to a bigger brain," explains researcher Paul Thompson. "We found fairly unequivocal proof supporting a genetic link to brain function and intelligence. For the first time, we have watertight evidence of how these genes affect the brain. This supplies us with new leads on how to mediate their impact," he continues. But, Considering the possible social Darwinist implications, the idea that biology might determine smarts can be a scary fact, for some. And now it is a fact. [UCLA]
- Women are the moral sex. At least when it come to decision making, women do things with others in mind. Men don't. "Women prefer to make their decisions based on how it impacts others – which tends to produce better decisions – while men have a more individual approach and are more self-interested," explains researcher Roger Steare. He makes a pretty big leap here when it comes to the study's implications. "What this shows is that when it comes to work men have to grow up, put their ego to one side and show some humility and compassion – qualities they all too often have in their personal lives but put to one side when they walk into the office," he continues. [Telegraph]
- Surprise: America has the world's saltiest fast food. Not all fast food is salted equally, which is an interesting-ish finding all on its own. We say ish, because fast food restaurants would be the types of places to have the smarts to salt foods to cultural standards. But this same research finds that American fast-food is packaged with even more salt than anywhere else in the world. Though, at least one of America's favorite fried-food spots is working to change things. "Sodium reductions will continue across the menu and by 2015, we will reduce sodium an average of 15 percent across our national menu of food choices," a McDonald's spokesperson told Reuters. [CMAJ]
- The right way to respond to an earthquake. Considering the Earth is falling apart, this might prove useful information as climate change causes more natural disasters, like earthquakes. The Christchurch quake that hit last February 2011 did it right, given its particular situation. "The health response to the Christchurch earthquake was unique because the city had only one hospital with an emergency department (which was compromised by earthquake damage). The hospital activated well developed and practised internal and external incident plans and the response of other non-acute hospitals and primary care facilities was critical to ensuring an effective and timely response," explains researcher Michael Ardagh. Overall, it seems that teamwork makes for the best response. "An integrated approach is needed, in which primary care providers, non-acute hospitals, and acute hospitals are prepared to provide care for masses of injured people," write the researchers. [The Lancet]
Image via Shutterstock by Ioannis Pantzi.