Researchers Set Up 'Candid Camera' To Test People's Empathy and Altruism

When you see a stranger in some kind of hardship, how do you react? Researchers carried out a rare study in a real-life setting to assess the relationship between empathy and altruism. 

People remain at the beach near two corpses after the collapse of a bicycle track in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images)

When you see a stranger in some kind of hardship, how do you react? What goes through your mind when you consider whether to help this person? Researchers, led by psychologist Richard Bethlehem of the University of Cambridge, carried out a rare study in a real-life setting, and found that your level of empathy is related to your altruism and whether you'd get involved in a stranger's problem.

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Four-strand DNA May Hold the Secret to a Cancer Cure

Most of us have heard of the double helix. But quadruple helix DNA? 

 

A woman with cancer looking into the mirror.

We remember the double helix from science class, that elegant swirl of genes that make up all life on earth. By contrast, quadruple strand DNA sounds like something out of a sci-fi horror movie. Maybe something to do with a cloned monster that gets out and tears up the town, until a small band of plucky heroes take it down. Though it sounds fantastic, we all contain quadruple strand DNA. And it fact, it has been implicated in a real monster. But a plucky band of scientists who discovered it, may unlock its potential for fighting this serious and real disease that potentially, threatens us all. 

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