Stress, Spite, and the Holidays

The holidays seem to add a burden that pushes people over the edge.

Richard Gallagher(rgallagher@the-scientist.com)
Dec 19, 2004

"The holidays seem to add a burden that pushes people over the edge. The biggest problem is domestic violence. Family disputes seem to erupt over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Everything from family members in a physical fight, to murders, or ADW [assault with deadly weapon] calls soar around this time."1

Nothing today attracts attention like bad news. Holiday stress has become as much part of the season as joy, and naturally the sharp businessperson is turning a buck. You can give your loved one a stress-busting chorale CD that "offers a concoction of joy to soothe the soul," or for the more extreme case how about a gift of an anger-management workshop?

So it seems like a good time to ask how biology might lend a hand by providing insight into (and, perchance, improvement in) human behavior. As life scientists look from molecular to systems biology for their...

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