Peter Arkle

Cancer researchers long have sought to understand what makes a TUMOR switch from dormant to malignant. A new computational model developed in the laboratory of chemistry professor Salvatore Torquato may help provide an answer. Through a series of simulations, researchers generated a diagram that can be used to predict when a tumor will be in a dormant state and when it will proliferate. The model will let scientists test scenarios and may provide insights for early cancer treatments. The findings were published in PLOS ONE in October.

Feeling dissatisfied with your life? It may be related to your age. For those in high-income, English-speaking countries, LIFE SATISFACTION dips around middle age (between 45 and 54) and rises in older age. One reason? Middle age typically is a high point for earnings, so people work more, researchers say. Residents of other regions — such as the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa — are less satisfied at older ages. 

The researchers also found a connection between physical health and general well-being: Poorer health leads to lower ratings of life satisfaction among the elderly, but higher life satisfaction seems to stave off declines in physical health. The study, co-authored by economics and international affairs professor Angus Deaton, was published in The Lancet in November.

Politics always has been divisive in America, but new research shows that PARTISAN ANIMUS may be stronger than racial hostility. Studies by Sean Westwood, a postdoctoral research associate at the Woodrow Wilson School, and Shanto Iyengar, a political scientist at Stanford University, showed that partisanship had a bigger impact than race on how people behave in situations involving race and partisanship. The findings are forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science.

Fewer jobs lead to fewer children, according to a recent study. The results suggest that women who were in their early 20s during the 2008 recession were more likely to POSTPONE HAVING CHILDREN in the short term and to have fewer children in the long term. The findings, by Woodrow Wilson School professor Janet Currie *88 and postdoctoral associate Hannes Schwandt, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in September.

Americans are wary of researchers seeking funding for their work and DISTRUSTFUL OF SCIENTISTS they believe are pushing a specific agenda. That’s the finding of a study by Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology and public affairs, and graduate student Cydney Dupree. Scientists are viewed as competent but not entirely trustworthy, the researchers found. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in September.