Interesting research

Scientific American, February: Money is an incentive to work hard, but it also promotes selfish behavior. Those conclusions may not be surprising, but psychologists at the University of Minnesota recently found that merely thinking of money makes people less likely to give help to others. The researchers got people to think about money by showing them words related to money, having them handle play money, or revealing a poster with pictures of money on it.

Hooray for science

Nature reports that scientists at the University of Minnesota have experimentally verified that it’s just as easy to swim in a pool full of syrup as it is to swim in a pool full of water. Cussler and Gettelfinger took more than 300 kilograms of guar gum, an edible thickening agent found in salad dressings, ice cream and shampoo, and dumped it into a 25-metre swimming pool, creating a gloopy liquid twice as thick as water.