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Biotech

Parasites Makes Us Dumber or Sexier 240

odie_q writes "It has long been known that the Toxoplasma gondii parasite alters its host's behavior, but now it seems the way it alters it depends on the sex of the host. From the article: 'A common parasite can increase a women's attractiveness to the opposite sex but also make men more stupid, an Australian researcher says ... Infected men have lower IQs, achieve a lower level of education and have shorter attention spans. They are also more likely to break rules and take risks, be more independent, more anti-social, suspicious, jealous and morose, and are deemed less attractive to women. On the other hand, infected women tend to be more outgoing, friendly, more promiscuous, and are considered more attractive to men compared with non-infected controls.'"
Christmas Cheer

Evidence That Good Moods Prevent Colds 200

duguk writes in with another reason to keep happy over Christmas. A new scientific study suggests that people who frequently experience positive emotions are less likely to catch colds. Psychologist Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University interviewed 193 healthy adults daily for two weeks and recorded the positive and negative emotions they had experienced each day. The researchers then exposed the volunteers to a cold or a flu virus. Those with "generally positive outlooks" reported fewer cold symptoms. From the article: "'We need to take more seriously the possibility that a positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk,' Cohen says... Although a positive emotional style bore no relation to whether participants became infected, it protected against the emergence of cold symptoms. For instance, among people infected by the influenza virus... 28 percent who often reported positive emotions developed coughs, congestion, and other cold symptoms, as compared with... 41 percent who rarely reported positive emotions."
Nintendo

Wiimote Straps Result in Class Action Suit 812

Kotaku reports the news that problems with breaking Wiimote straps has resulted in a class action lawsuit against Nintendo. From the press release about the suit: "Green Welling LLP filed a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of the owners of the Nintendo Wii against Nintendo of America, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The class action lawsuit arose as result of the defective nature of the Nintendo Wii. In particular, the Nintendo Wii game console includes a remote and a wrist strap for the remote. Owners of the Nintendo Wii reported that when they used the Nintendo remote and wrist strap, as instructed by the material that accompanied the Wii console, the wrist strap broke and caused the remote to leave the user's hand. Nintendo's failure to include a remote that is free from defects is in breach of Nintendo's own product warranty."
Privacy

MPAA Kills California Anti-Pretexting Bill 299

IAmTheDave writes "A California anti-pretexting bill that got unanimous support in the state senate with a vote of 30-0 was struck down after heavy last-minute lobbying by the MPAA. The bill aimed to make deceptive 'pretexting' (lying) to gain personal information on another person illegal. The MPAA told legislators 'We need to pose as someone other than who we are to stop illegal downloading,' and thus killed the bill when it came up for a final vote. California passed a much narrower bill that 'bans the use of deceit to obtain telephone calling records, and nothing else.' In a final 'think of the children' bid, the Califonia Association of Licensed Investigators also opposed the bill, saying it needed to be able to use pretexting to help find missing children, among other things."

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