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Double pregnancies, megatides, dinosaur reconstructions, and other cool science things. November 9, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“While instances of superfetation in humans are incredibly rare, this case was even more so because it ultimately involved two different sets of genetic parents due to the surrogacy.

About half of people – 85% of women and 25% of men, for an average of 55% of the total population – don’t have spontaneous desire as their dominant desire style. Can this settle, once and for all, the question of whether or not responsive desire is just as normal as spontaneous desire?”

Tides in [the Bay of Fundy area] reach a peak of around 16 m (50′) — the height of a 5-storey building. This is many times higher than typical tides on the rest of the Atlantic coast! The huge tides expose the sea bottom and shape the coastline.”

“Saint Catherine’s Monastery, a sacred Christian site nestled in the shadow of Mount Sinai, is home to one of the world’s oldest continuously used libraries. [Now,] a team of researchers is using new technology to uncover texts that were erased and written over by the monks who lived and worked at the monastery.” Including whole lost languages.

NecroSearch’s members have achieved a level of success unmatched anywhere in the world; they are so respected that even their unsuccessful searches are deemed significant. Or, as the prosecutor explained to me, ‘If you want to search for a body in a certain place, and those people don’t find it, that means a body probably isn’t there.'”

“Most serious paleoart bases itself on the detailed findings of paleontologists, who can work for weeks or even years compiling the most accurate descriptions of ancient life they can, based on fossil remains. But Kosemen says that many dinosaur illustrations should take more cues from animals living today. Our world is full of unique animals that have squat fatty bodies, with all kinds of soft tissue features that are unlikely to have survived in fossils, such as pouches, wattles, or skin flaps.”

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Cool research: lead in your dandruff, dino-chicken mutants, reverse corporate espionage, and more June 7, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Lead came from his glassware, his tap water, the paint on the laboratory walls, the desks, the dust in the air, his skin, his clothes, his hair, even motes of wayward dandruff. If Patterson wanted to get accurate results, he had little choice but to become the world’s most obsessive neat freak.” The lifelong research that helped us get the Clean Air Act.

“García-Trabanino started a fellowship at the Rosales hospital as a young doctor in 1998, and what he encountered resembled a scene from a battlefield. He had expected to be treating heart disease, neurological patients, eye problems—the full gamut of medical conditions. Instead all he encountered were men dying—sometimes slowly, but usually quickly—from kidney failure.” Global warming has invented a new form of kidney disease.

“We didn’t set out trying to prove anything, but rather compile real data. We framed it as a census rather than a study. So we Googled our way to 8,000 screenplays and matched each character’s lines to an actor. From there, we compiled the number of words spoken by male and female characters across roughly 2,000 films, arguably the largest undertaking of script analysis, ever.

“After noticing that a client was treating him like crap while his email signature was accidentally set to my name, we came up with an experiment. We switched signatures for a week. Nothing changed, except that our clients read me as male and Marty as female. I had one of the easiest weeks of my professional life. He… didn’t.”

“For now Bhullar has no plans, or ethical approval, to hatch the snouted chickens. But he believes they would have been able to survive ‘just fine’.” We made dino-mutant embryos!

“We hear a lot about the spy-movie kind of corporate espionage. I’d love to read a study of reverse corporate espionage, where companies forget their own secrets and employees have to unofficially get them back. I’m convinced it happens more than you’d think.” Within a few decades, this petrochemical company lost the knowledge of how one of their plants worked. Whoops?