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Latest Nicholas Christakis Stories

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2012-01-26 10:05:48

Who´d have thought Facebook was popular in an ancient Tanzania culture? Well it wasn´t, but the people of the Hadza group exhibited many of the “friending” habits familiar to today´s Facebook users, suggesting that social networking patterns were set early in the history of our species. While ancient humans didn´t have the luxury of updating their social status, social networks were indeed an essential part of their livelihood, say authors of a new study,...

2011-11-14 23:35:08

Study finds social networks promote cooperation, discourage selfishness It turns out nice guys can finish first, and David Rand has the evidence to prove it. Rand, a post-doctoral fellow in Harvard's Department of Psychology and a Lecturer in Human Evolutionary Biology, is the lead author of a new paper, which found that dynamic, complex social networks encourage their members to be friendlier and more cooperative, with the possible payoff coming in an expanded social sphere, while...

2010-12-09 07:30:00

NEWTON, Mass., Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- MedNetworks, Inc., the leading developer of social network analytics and technology in health, today announced the formation of a scientific advisory board. The mission of the board is to advance MedNetworks' applications of social network technology to key areas in health care, including population wellness, innovation among physicians and health care institutions, and health in corporations. The chairman of the advisory board is also...

2010-09-15 19:23:07

'Friendship paradox' may help predict spread of infectious disease Your friends are probably more popular than you are. And this "friendship paradox" may help predict the spread of infectious disease. Nicholas Christakis, professor of medicine, medical sociology and sociology at Harvard University, and James Fowler, professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego, used the paradox to study the 2009 flu epidemic among 744 students. The findings,...

2010-08-09 14:58:38

"Love stinks!" the J. Geils band told the world in 1980, and while you can certainly argue whether or not this tender and ineffable spirit of affection has a downside, working hard to find it does. It may even shorten your life. A new study shows that ratios between males and females affect human longevity. Men who reach sexual maturity in a context in which they far outnumber women live, on average, three months less than men whose competition for a mate isn't as stiff. The steeper the...

2010-08-09 08:00:00

NEWTON, Mass., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- MedNetworks, Inc. today launched as a new venture based on the social network analytics research of professor Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University. Christakis is a physician and social scientist internationally renowned for his groundbreaking research on social factors influencing health. MedNetworks has an exclusive license from Harvard University to use the Christakis technology in the healthcare sector. MedNetworks also announced today that it...

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2010-03-08 15:05:00

UC San Diego and Harvard deliver first experimental findings on spread of cooperation in a social network For all those dismayed by scenes of looting in disaster-struck zones, whether Haiti or Chile or elsewhere, take heart: Good acts "“ acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation "“ spread just as easily as bad. And it takes only a handful of individuals to really make a difference. In a study published in the March 8 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National...

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2009-01-27 09:55:00

The way humans make friends and interact with them may be closely linked to genetic variations, according to new research. "The evidence we present here suggests that egocentric properties are significantly heritable in human social networks," said Nicholas Christakis, of Harvard University in Massachusetts, and James Fowler of the University of California San Diego. "Although it may not be surprising that genetic variation influences net work formation, the effects are large enough that it...

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2008-12-05 08:40:00

A smile really is infectious, researchers happily announced on Thursday.The team has conducted a study that shows that the more joyful people you are acquainted with, the larger the chance is that you will be happy."It's extremely important and interesting work," said Daniel Kahneman, an emeritus psychologist and Nobel laureate at Princeton."What we are dealing with is an emotional stampede," added Nicholas Christakis, a professor of medical sociology at Harvard Medical School."There's kind...

2008-12-04 22:00:12

Happiness spreads more robustly -- like a virus -- than unhappiness and seems to have a greater effect than money, U.S. researchers suggest. James Fowler of University of California, San Diego, and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School said happiness spreads far and wide through a social network -- traveling not just the well-known path from one person to another but even to people up to three degrees removed. Christakis and Fowler used data from the Framingham Heart Study to recreate...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'