Los Angeles Times

New UCLA institute will study — and spread — kindness

LOS ANGELES - A friendly smile. A food pantry donation. Or, a remarkable act of Los Angeles benevolence - allowing a driver to cut in front of you.

Such acts of kindness have a self-serving upside, too, as science has conclusively shown they also make you healthier.

Now the University of California, Los Angeles, is advancing that science with the Wednesday launch of the world's first interdisciplinary research institute on kindness, which will explore, for instance, how and why being nice to others reduces depression and the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Research by UCLA scientists already has shown that mindfulness and kindness actually alter the behavior of genes, turning down those

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