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Seriously, Science?

For some reason the "don't chew your food" diet never really took off...

By Seriously Science | September 1, 2014 6:00 am

There have been loads of strange diet fads over the years, some with more scientific support than others. But in terms of crazy, the “diet” suggested by this study from 1986 takes the cake! Basically, the researchers had volunteers eat the same meal twice, once with chewing and once without. They then tested their blood sugar. Turns out that the blood sugar levels were more stable when the subjects swallowed the food without chewing, effectively turning high glycemic foods into lower glycemi …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: analysis taken too far, eat me


Cristobal Whirls Toward Iceland

By Tom Yulsman | September 1, 2014 12:25 am

As I’m writing this on Sunday night (Aug. 31), the cyclone formerly known as Hurricane Cristobal is taking dead aim on Iceland.

You can see it whirling off Iceland’s coast in the image above, captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite on Saturday. No longer a hurricane, it is, in the parlance of meteorology, an “extra-tropical cyclone” — a whirling dervish of a storm that has moved far north from its origins in the tropics.

To get even more technical, Cristobal may be what’s known as a “warm  …


The Replication Crisis: Response to Lieberman

By Neuroskeptic | August 31, 2014 3:57 pm

In a long and interesting article over at Edge, social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman discusses (amongst other things) the ‘replication crisis’ in his field. Much of what he says will be of interest to regular readers of this blog.

Lieberman notes that there has been a lot of controversy over ‘embodied cognition’ and social priming research. For instance,
There are studies suggesting that washing your hands can affect your sense of being moral or immoral, and so on. These studies are v …

Body Horrors

Heroin’s Anthrax Problem

By Rebecca Kreston | August 30, 2014 12:59 pm

This may come as a total shock, but pure forms of illicit drugs can be hard to come by. Certain controlled substances are frequently adulterated, if not outright contaminated, by products that range from the household to the industrial to the pharmaceutical. Of course, some substances are more easily, frequently, and profitably adulterated than others: cocaine purchased on the retail level is on average 31%, well, not cocaine, while the purity of heroin on the street is even lower, resting arou …


Getting Droned On Greenland's Ice Sheet

By Tom Yulsman | August 30, 2014 12:54 pm

If you’re as fascinated by the science of our planet as I am, you’ve probably seen all sorts of imagery of the world’s frozen places, including dramatic photos of summer meltwater coursing across the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

And now, for a new and thoroughly spectacular perspective, check out the video above. Shot from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) — more commonly known these days as a drone — it shows ephemeral rivers of meltwa …


The Myth Of "Roid Rage"?

By Neuroskeptic | August 30, 2014 7:12 am

Are men who inject testosterone and other anabolic steroids at risk of entering a violent “roid rage”?

Many people think so. Whenever a professional athlete commits a violent crime, it’s not long before someone suggests that steroids may have been involved. The most recent example of this is the case of Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver. The steroid theory has emerged as an explanation for why he violently assaulted his girlfriend and then went on the run, e.g. here.

But the whole “ro …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: law, mental health, papers, select, Top Posts

Citizen Science Salon

Crowdsourcing Synthetic Biology

By Arvind Suresh | August 29, 2014 2:13 pm

At first glance, the terms ‘synthetic’ and ‘biology’ seem like parts that wouldn’t quite fit with each other. Ironically though, not only do they fit together, but creating and putting parts together is what synthetic biology is all about. Except in this case, the parts aren’t made out of steel or plastic that are manufactured in a factory. The parts are made out of DNA, RNA and proteins. Building blocks that make up living things. Synthetic biology, as defined by the Synthetic B …


The Crux

Like GPS? Thank Relativity

By C. Renée James | August 29, 2014 1:42 pm

In 1971—16 years after Einstein’s death—the definitive experiment to test Einstein’s relativity was finally carried out. It required not a rocket launch but eight round-the-world plane tickets that cost the United States Naval Observatory, funded by taxpayers, a total of $7,600.

The brainchild of Joseph Hafele (Washington University in St. Louis) and Richard Keating (United States Naval Observatory) were “Mr. Clocks,” passengers on four round-the-world flights. (Since the Mr. Clocks w …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, Technology, Top Posts


Laughter Is OK Medicine, Unless It Kills You

By Elizabeth Preston | August 29, 2014 8:42 am

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everybody! But be careful not to enjoy yourself too much. (This post on the dangers of laughter first appeared in December 2013.)

Careful with the bedside banter, doctors. Before you put on your best Patch Adams impression, you might want to consider whether your attempts at humor will ease your patient’s discomfort or give him a protruding hernia.

That’s the conclusion of a review paper in the Christmas issue of BMJ that asks the jolly question of whethe …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: disease, exercise, language, medicine, top posts

Seriously, Science?

Flashback Friday: Science proves right-handers are jocks, left-handers are nerds, and ambidextrous people love making pot holders.

By Seriously Science | August 29, 2014 6:00 am

What does your handedness say about you? Well, according to this study, it can predict what you like to do in your free time. Although the scientists didn’t determine whether one’s handedness was a cause or a result of one’s hobby preferences, it’s pretty clear that common stereotypes seem to hold out… at least when it comes to lefties and righties, and their free-time activities!

Handedness and hobby preference.
“The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship betwee …


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