Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Talking points: drawn to abstinence, body and soul and working-class students

Renderings of former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln’s life mask appear on a 3-D online viewer launched by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery

Associated Press


The miracle of magnetism could help heavy smokers quit or cut down, a study from Israel's Ben-Gurion University suggests. The Guardian reports that the study recruited 115 volunteers who smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day and divided them into three groups. Two groups received varying doses of magnetic pulses to their every day for three weeks, while the third believed they were receiving the treatment but received no magnetic pulses. In the group that received high-frequency pulses, more than half quit following the three-week experiment and over a third were still abstaining six months later.


Story continues below advertisement

Depression not only takes a toll on the mind, it may also ravage the body by speeding up the aging process. From the L.A. Times we learn that researchers in California and the Netherlands have found a direct connection between major depressive disorders and accelerated cellular aging. The study focused on the white blood cells of more than 2,400 Dutch participants. Those with clinical depression had shorter telomeres than healthy people. Telomeres are DNA strands that cap the tips of chromosomes within a cell. Whenever a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter and they eventually reach a point where the cell itself shuts down. "The most severely and chronically depressed patients had the shortest telomeres," said study author Josine Verhoeven.


The class system is alive and well when it comes to young people's choices of university. According to The Guardian, a recent paper revealed that students with parents in professional or managerial jobs are three times more likely than working-class students to attend an elite university such as Oxford or Harvard. Researchers found that 27 per cent of the difference in admissions between social classes was not academic in Britain. "This suggests there are significant numbers of working-class children who, even though they have the academic ability to attend, choose to enter a non-selective institution instead," said study author John Jerrim.


The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry about work.

Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨