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Today in research: linking stockbrokers with psychopath tendencies, examining whether all parents have a favorite, which seafood helps prevent strokes and everyone has a different Advil routine.

  • So, the 'stockbrokers as psychopaths' link seems to have legs. A week ago, we noticed a Time Heathland post on new research finding that 1 in 25 business leaders have the same character traits as psychopaths according to one new survey using a standard psychopathy checklist. Today, Der Speigel reported on a similar study by Swiss researchers examining egotism in stockbrokers. It arrived at the same headline-ready conclusion. The stockbroker study's co-author clarified findings to Der Speigel, but still gave quite a revealing quote: "Naturally one can't characterize the traders as deranged...But for example, they behaved more egotistically and were more willing to take risks than a group of psychopaths who took the same test." [Time Healthland, Der Speigel via Daily Intel]
  • It's a bit misleading to say that ALL parents prefer one child over another. That's the case that The New York Times's Lisa Belkin makes in her effective take down of Time magazine's buzzy (and pay walled) cover story. The article, headlined as "the Science of Favoritism," doesn't ground itself enough research to plausibly make that claim, she writes. Belkin finds one 2005 study in the Time story finding 65 percent of mothers and 70 percent of fathers exhibited a preference. Which seems a bit thin to hang a cover story on. [The New York Times]
  • The cost of treating cancer is skyrocketing and there isn't a clear way to solve the problem. In the broadest sense, that's the lesson we took away from the BBC News take on a new research report from "leading experts" from around the world, who are cautioning about ineffective expensive treatments. The report offers two potential solutions, both of which (to our untrained eye) don't seem that appealing: "The report says solutions fall into two categories: reducing the cost of services or reducing the number of people using them." [BBC News]
  • If your seafood habits are more varied than just 'Fish and Chips,' you're in luck.  Outside of the fried batter and grease meals, eating fish was linked by a very large meta-analysis (i.e. a review of prior research) to a better likelihood of avoiding a terrible stroke. If you want to do the math even further, Reuters breaks down the numbers from the research: "Eating three extra servings of fish each week was linked to a six-percent drop in stroke risk, which translates to one fewer stroke among a hundred people eating extra fish over a lifetime." Fish sandwiches, also unfortunately, don't help reduce a stroke risk. [Reuters Health]
  • Everyone has a different Advil routine, and that's just fine. There is no best way or perfect amount of ibuprofen to take for your killer headache, confirms a meta-analysis conducted by University of Oxford scientists. And, unsurprisingly, it found that "Certain pain medications which worked to relieve pain for certain individuals were barely noticeable for others," relayed NPR, which quoted the lead author of the study giving very "if at first you don't succeed..." advice to finding the right painkiller. [NPR - Health Shots]

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