NCBI ROFL: Will this research untangle scientific mysteries? I'm a frayed knot!

By ncbi rofl | January 20, 2011 7:00 pm

Knot-tying habits, tier handedness, and experience.

“Previous research concerning tier handedness, experience and the configuration of simple, habitual knots has been scant and conflicting. Survey data were collected from 21 disparate groups comprising 562 respondents in total. Regardless of experience, respondents tied both Granny and Reef Knots. Dextral tying was dominated by S knots. Left-handers tied Z knots more frequently than right-handers. However, the frequency of S and Z knots relative to tier hand dominance, which is not binary, occurred on a continuum. Averaging all survey tasks, more than 70% of knots tied by dextrals were S, whereas only 56% of those tied by sinistrals were S. These percentages varied somewhat according to specific tying tasks and the number of working ends. Furthermore, tiers’ shoelace and parcel knots were not always identical, and a ranked pattern in parcel and shoelace knots was revealed. The examination of habitual knots could benefit criminal investigations.”

Bonus figure:

Photo: flickr/theogeo

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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