Category: WTF?

NCBI ROFL: When the mafia does science.

By ncbi rofl | April 25, 2013 12:00 pm

Photo: flickr/A.Sparrow

What happens to a body buried in cement? How long does it take to decompose? In this study, the (Italian) scientists set out to answer these questions using (what else? ) piglet corpses. Don’t worry, the authors assure us that they died of “natural causes”…

Burial of piglet carcasses in cement: a study of macroscopic and microscopic alterations on an animal model.

“Scarce experimental data exist describing postmortem effects of burial in cement. The scanty literature presents several case reports, but no experimental study. To perform a pilot study, the following experimental system was designed: 4 piglet corpses, who died of natural causes, were encased in concrete. After 1, 2, 3, and 6 months, a block was opened, and autopsy and microscopic analyses were performed. Read More


NCBI ROFL: Phase 1: Build an army of remote-controlled turtles. Phase 2: ? Phase 3: Take over the world!

By ncbi rofl | April 22, 2013 12:00 pm

Photo: flickr/Ollie Crafoord

Do you have tasks that need doing but can’t afford to buy a robot? Look no further! Remote-controlled turtles can do your bidding, from… um … swimming in shallow waters? to … uh … walking really slowly on the land? Look, the point is that these scientists figured out how to make turtles do what they want simply by attaching a movable blinder to the turtle’s shell. This apparatus allows the scientists to control the turtles’ movements by activating their instinct to avoid obstacles (see it in action in the movie clip below). Turtle army!

Remote Guidance of Untrained Turtles by Controlling Voluntary Instinct Behavior

“Recently, several studies have been carried out on the direct control of behavior in insects and other lower animals in order to apply these behaviors to the performance of specialized tasks in an attempt to find more efficient means of carrying out these tasks than artificial intelligence agents. While most of the current methods cause involuntary behavior in animals by electronically stimulating the corresponding brain area or muscle, we show that, in turtles, it is also possible to control certain types of behavior, such as movement trajectory, by evoking an appropriate voluntary instinctive behavior. Read More


NCBI ROFL: Left-handed people avoid using exact numbers.

By ncbi rofl | April 10, 2013 12:00 pm

If you’re ever engineering a nuclear power plant with a lefty, beware: apparently, the same features of their brain that make them left-handed might also make them avoid using exact numbers.  Even more surprising, just having a left-handed relative makes people more prone to rounding. Maybe this is why the Romans didn’t trust them, and “sinister” comes from the Latin word for “on the left side.”

Familial Sinistrals Avoid Exact Numbers

“We report data from an internet questionnaire of sixty number trivia. Participants were asked for the number of cups in their house, the number of cities they know and 58 other quantities. We compare the answers of familial sinistrals – individuals who are left-handed themselves or have a left-handed close blood-relative – with those of pure familial dextrals – right-handed individuals who reported only having right-handed close blood-relatives. We show that familial sinistrals use rounder numbers than pure familial dextrals in the survey responses. Read More

NCBI ROFL: On how an astronaut is like a fetus.

By ncbi rofl | March 7, 2013 1:00 pm

You know when you come up with a really really good analogy, and you try to explain it to someone, and the more you say about it, the more you realize how awesome it is, until you look up and your friend has that WTF look? Well, here are a few definitions to help you through this abstract:

Intrauterine- within the uterus.
Hypoxic- not having enough oxygen.
Hyperoxic- having too much oxygen.
Parturition- birthing.

Good luck, and God speed.

Interplanetary space flight compared with fetal/neonatal motor strategy: Theoretical and practical implications.

“The condition of simulated or real manned spaceflight, i.e. thermally comfortable microgravitation (G∼0), is very similar to the intrauterine immersion to the amniotic fluid. Domination of fast muscle fibers and phasic movements forms the fetal strategy to survive in heating, strongly hypoxic, albeit normal for fetus, immersion. In adults, the adaptive response separately to microgravitation, heat stress and hypoxia also shifts muscle fiber properties to faster values. That allows to speculate about specific motor strategy induced by micro-or hypogravitation (fetal/microgravitation, or FM-strategy). After birth the newborn is subjected to a combined ‘sensory attack’ of Earth gravitation, cooler ambient temperature and normoxia which is actually hyperoxic for fetus. Read More

NCBI ROFL: Scientific abstract or action movie sequence?

By ncbi rofl | February 7, 2013 12:00 pm

Collision victim travels for “seven kilometres” on top of the car that hit him.

“CASE REPORT: A 26-year-old man, after a drinking binge, drove into a tram building site and collided with a track-grinding machine which left a fist-size hole in his windscreen. He then hit a construction worker who was catapulted onto the car roof. Read More


NCBI ROFL: Epileptic seizures evoked by the Rubik’s cube.

By ncbi rofl | January 29, 2013 3:00 pm

“The magic cube,invented by the Hungarian architect Erno Rubik, is a three dimensional puzzle requiring the restoring of the scrambled coloured pieces of a 3x3x3 cube to their proper positions. We report on a patient whose seizures were precipitated predominantly and consistently when playing with the Rubik’s cube. Read More


NCBI ROFL: How is a woman’s breast like a pork roast? (hint: it involves pimento olives).

By ncbi rofl | December 14, 2012 7:00 pm

Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy for surgical residents: evaluation of a phantom model.

Ultrasound is increasingly used by surgeons for evaluation of breast lesions. While surgical residents have sufficient exposure to breast surgery, many lack exposure to office-based procedures, such as ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. A phantom model was created to teach surgical residents basic breast ultrasound and biopsy skills and to evaluate the resident’s response when incorporated into the curriculum.
The model was created using a pork roast and 10 variably-sized pimento olives. Twenty-four surgical residents were given a brief introduction to breast ultrasound followed by up to 5 minutes to ultrasound the model and note the embedded lesions. The number and location of lesions found and the time spent per resident were recorded. Residents were then introduced to the vacuum-assisted core biopsy system and observed performing ultrasound-guided biopsies. Pre- and postsession evaluations were completed by all residents. Scatterplot regression models were used for data analysis. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: NCBI ROFL, scientist...or perv?, WTF?

NCBI ROFL: That’s a lot of acronyms (ALOA).

By ncbi rofl | December 13, 2012 7:00 pm

Why e-Return Services Fail: A Psychological Contract Violation Approach.

“Abstract This study elucidates why and how e-return services (e-RS) fail, representing a preliminary attempt to explain the critical role of psychological contract violation (PCV) and explore its antecedents and outcomes in e-RS research. Read More


NCBI ROFL: Irrelevant events affect voters’ evaluations of government performance.

By ncbi rofl | October 24, 2012 7:00 pm

“Does information irrelevant to government performance affect voting behavior? If so, how does this help us understand the mechanisms underlying voters’ retrospective assessments of candidates’ performance in office? To precisely test for the effects of irrelevant information, we explore the electoral impact of local college football games just before an election, irrelevant events that government has nothing to do with and for which no government response would be expected. Read More

NCBI ROFL: Pull my finger! Then snap it off, cut off the tip, and stab it!

By ncbi rofl | October 17, 2012 7:00 pm

Pulling the finger off disrupts agency, embodiment and peripersonal space.

“For this experiment a visual illusion was created in which the participant’s finger looked and felt as though it was being stretched to twice its normal length until it snapped and the tip came off. It was then stabbed with virtual weapons while skin conductance was measured. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: feelings shmeelings, NCBI ROFL, WTF?

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