Today in Research: Big Tobacco Is Worse Than You Thought; More

More

Today in research: a big day for scientist humor, Big Tobacco remains the bad guy, an arctic ice shelf oversight, and a brain-numbing task.

  • Big Tobacco: still very much the bad guy. "Tobacco companies knew for decades that cigarette smoke was radioactive and potentially carcinogenic but kept that information from the public, according to a new study," USA Today reports. That is both outrageous and sadly unsurprising. The UCLA researchers behind the study were somehow able to analyze "previously unexamined industry documents" and found that Polonium-210 (radioactive particles) had been identified by the industry since the early '60s. When asked about the findings by ABC News, a Philip Morris spokesperson dismissed them by seeming to suggest they were old news. [USA Today, ABC News]
  • MMNMM. What's the middle letter? Now do it again. The findings of this brain research study from a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science confirms a truism that you knew already: people who want to learn from their mistakes do better. That's good, but what we found interesting about the study was how the researchers came to this conclusion. They had participants do a mind-numbingly easy task of  identifying "the middle letter of a five-letter series like 'MMMMM' or 'NNMNN'" over and over and tracked their brains electrical activity when they made a mistake -- a task that looks bit headache-inducing. [Association for Psychological Science]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Jump to comments
Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In