“We report on radio-controlled insect biobots by directing the flight of Manduca sexta through neuromuscular activation. Early metamorphosis insertion technology was used to implant metal wire probes into the insect brain and thorax tissue. Inserted probes were adopted by the developing tissue as a result of the metamorphic growth. Read More
A knightly stroll, with treadmill and respiration mask
Medieval knighthood was physically grueling work: Jousting with massive lances. Charging into battle. Jogging on a treadmill in a full suit of armor. You know how it is.
It’s no surprise that beneath their shining armor, knights shimmered with sweat. Running around in up to 110 pounds of armor, or even advancing at a stately walk, would take a whole lot of effort. But, a team of scientists wondered, just how exhausting was it?
“This study explored how domestic cats perform in a horizontal string-pulling task to determine whether they understand this case of physical causality. Fifteen cats were tested on their ability to retrieve an unreachable food treat in three different set-ups: (a) a single baited string, (b) two parallel strings where only one was baited and (c) two crossed strings where only one was baited. Read More
“To examine perceptions of design professionals, this study was designed to examine possible gender-bias based on job title and description and whether there is a relationship between the two perceptions. Read More
“Sometimes pregnant women take it on themselves to hasten labor to alleviate the discomforts of pregnancy. This study sought to identify how frequently women attempt to induce labor through nonprescribed methods, and what factors are associated with the use of such methods. Surveys were distributed to postpartum women who had delivered at a Midwestern academic hospital. Women were asked what methods they had used to induce labor on their own, where they heard about these methods, and whether they had discussed it with their physician. Read More
Some people like to say that men are always ready (and eager) for sex. Whether or not that’s true for humans, Stanford University researchers have recently learned that it is the case for certain male fish. Downtrodden male African cichlids, whose reproductive systems are so suppressed that biologists thought the fish couldn’t produce sperm, can successfully spawn within hours of rising to power, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Like many other animal species, a single leader—the biggest, baddest male—runs each group of African cichlids. This alpha male, which often sports vibrant blue scales, monopolizes the females and beats down other, weaker males in the community. (High school, anyone?) Because of this sexual exclusion, subordinate males suffer a noticeable pallor, decreased levels of reproductive hormones, and severely shrunken testes. Essentially, the fish trade sperm production for growth spurts, in hopes of someday overtaking the alpha male. Why waste energy making sperm if you can’t use it, right?
“Background: Controversy remains about whether early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise (the Ben Franklin hypothesis), or healthy, wealthy and dead (the James Thurber hypothesis).
Methods: As part of the Determinants of Myocardial Infarction Onset Study, we determined through personal interviews the bedtimes and wake times of 949 men admitted to hospital with acute myocardial infarction. Participants reported their educational attainment and zip code of residence, from which local median income was estimated. We followed participants for mortality for a mean of 3.7 years. We defined early-to-bed and early-to-rise respectively as a bedtime before 11 pm and wake time before 6:30 am. Read More
It’s CMAJ week on NCBI ROFL! All this week we’ll be featuring articles from the Canadian Medical Association Journal’s holiday issues. Enjoy!
“Objective: To determine whether the “cool” or circumcervical placement of the stethoscope when not in use is as efficacious as the traditional placement in terms of transfer time to the functional position.
Methods: Measurement of time taken by 100 health care professionals in each group to transfer stethoscope to functional position.
Several years ago, researchers in (you guessed it) Japan put together a reasonable facsimile of the human vocal apparatus in an attempt to help hearing-impairing people learn to better modulate their voices. The details of how this process works can be perused here, but we’d just like to treat you to a trailer of this creepy little puppy in action, moaning the nursery rhyme “Kagome, Kagome,” before some major film studio options it for a B-grade horror flick. Titles, anyone?
“We describe the off-label use of a recreational device (the Super Soaker Max-D 5000) in the alleviation of a socially emergent ear condition.
A 45-year-old male complained of a profound reduction in his left ear acuity while staying at an island cottage in rural Ontario. His hearing loss was reducing his ability to hear his newborn son cry in the middle of the night, requiring his wife to carry out all late-night child care. As a result, correction of the problem was considered urgent.