The 2 faced hug drug

It turns out the love hormone oxytocin is two-faced. Oxytocin has long been known as the warm, fuzzy hormone that promotes feelings of love, social bonding and well-being. It's even being tested as an anti-anxiety drug. But new Northwestern Medicine® research shows oxytocin also can cause emotional pain, an entirely new, darker identity for the hormone.

To savor the flavor, perform a short ritual first

Birthday celebrations often follow a formula, including off-key singing, making a birthday wish while blowing out candles, and the ceremonial cutting of the birthday cake. New research suggests that this ritual not only makes the experience more memorable, but might also improve the taste of the cake.

Researchers can track your facial expressions

Software which tracks facial expressions can accurately assess the emotions of students engaged in interactive online learning and predict the effectiveness of online tutoring sessions.

Now data miners can predict where you’ll be, even in 2 years.

Would you like to know how crowded your drive to the beach will be in three weeks? Or where your ex will be on a Friday night next month so that you can avoid him? Fast Company reports.

Adam Sadilek, formerly of Microsoft, now a researcher at Google, and John Krumm, a principal researcher at Microsoft, were inspired by the question of predicting where people would be in the future and even led off with the query, “Where are you going to be 285 days from now at 2PM?” in their their paper, Far Out: Predicting Long-Term Human Mobility.

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What’s your appendix really for?

It has long been regarded as a potentially troublesome, redundant organ, but American researchers say they have discovered the true function of the appendix, writes Barbara Miller

Migration for more money does not bring more happiness

Do migrants from Eastern European countries become happier once they have settled in Western Europe? A University of Leicester sociologist has investigated this question -- and the answer might make potential migrants think twice before packing their bags. Most migrants were no happier after migration -- and migrants from Poland were significantly less happy.

Links for stories with Tony Delroy July 13

Cultural products have evolutionary roots

Epic battles, whirlwind romances, family feuds, heroic attempts to save the lives of strangers: these are stories guaranteed to grace the silver screen. According to new research from Concordia University, that’s not lazy scriptwriting, that’s evolutionary consumerism.

Marketing professor Gad Saad says evolution has hard-wired humans to be naturally drawn toward a specific set of universal narratives within cultural products. His new article in the Journal of Consumer Psychology shows that little in consumer behaviour can be fully understood without the guiding light of evolution.

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