Archive | Science

People Are Attracted to the Body Odor of Others with Similar Political Beliefs

By Matthew Hurst via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

By Matthew Hurst via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

A new study reveals that people find the smell of others with similar political opinions to be attractive, suggesting that one of the reasons why so many spouses share similar political views is because they were initially and subconsciously attracted to each other’s body odor.

During the study, 146 participants rated the attractiveness of the body odor of unknown strong liberals and strong conservatives, without ever seeing the individuals whose smells they were evaluating.

“People could not predict the political ideology of others by smell if you asked them, but they differentially found the smell of those who aligned with them more attractive. So I believe smell conveys important information about long-term affinity in political ideology that becomes incorporated into a key component of subconscious attraction,” said Dr. Rose McDermott, lead author of the American Journal of Political Science study.

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Hollywood Must Turn Its Head to Personalized Longevity Science instead of Anti-Aging Pseudoremedies

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I think Konovalenko hits the nail on the head when she says that celebrities are looking for quick solutions, but she fails to understand that that’s precisely why celebs don’t look to “personalized science” for answers. Our society is predicated on a fast, easy, and cheap mentality – a mentality that seems to be perpetuated by Western celebrity culture.

By Maria Konovalenko via The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

This attention-worthy article in The Hollywood Reporter signals that Hollywood people are ready and willing to do something about their longevity. The article mentions hormone replacement therapy, different check-ups and other things available in California, however completely misses 99% of what actually can be done about aging – science.

Why doesn’t the author talk about the work done at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, USC, UCLA and Stanford University?

People are looking for a ready solution, something that they can do today, and mistakenly dismiss science completely, because they think it is too far away for being applied to them.

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The Dangers of Ambien and Other Sleeping Aids

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via AlterNet:

It has been several years since the bloom fell off the rose of Ambien, the blockbuster sleeping pill. Recently, the FDA has warned about Ambien hangovers, sedation and the risk of dangerous driving and recommended lower doses. The FDA warnings came a year after Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and former wife of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was arrested for what was believed to be Ambien-inebriated driving. The arrest came six years after her cousin, former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, son of Sen. Edward Kennedy, was also involved in an apparent Ambien-related traffic mishap.

After Rep. Kennedy’s crash, as stories of more bizarre behavior on the sleeping pill surfaced, Ambien’s manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis, was forced to launch an ad campaign telling people if they were going to take Ambien, to get in bed and stay there. (Or you’ll “break out in handcuffs” as the joke goes.) Reports of driving, eating, sex and other “wakeful” behavior in Ambien blackouts proliferated.

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The Potato That Killed!

Beer and chips by Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Beer and chips by Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A tale of science gone wrong.

via io9:

They thought they had created the perfect potato – but they were wrong. In a dramatic tale of science gone wrong, a killer potato rises from a secret breeding program, intent on killing those who wronged it. Learn about… the Lenape potato!

All right, perhaps the potato wasn’t invested with a sense of revenge. After all, it was only going about its business, and defending itself against those who would destroy it. Mainly insects. All potatoes, and other plants in the same family, like tomatoes, contain different kinds of glycoalkaloids. These give them a distinctive flavor that humans sometimes enjoy, but that insects hate.

One of these glycoalkaloids is solanine. Solanine generally collects in the stems, leaves, and eyes of the potato. A little does no harm, but too much cause cramps, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea.

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Wearable computing and privacy invasions you might want to think about now

Google Glass © Rijans007/Wikimedia Commons, 2013. Via Flickr.

Google Glass © Rijans007/Wikimedia Commons, 2013. Via Flickr.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
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By Tom Foulsham, University of Essex

Are you being recorded? Thanks to the ubiquity of CCTV and camera phones, the answer is more than ever before likely to be “Yes”. Add to this the growth of wearable technology such as Google Glass and people are increasingly exposed to devices that can monitor and record them, whether they realise it or not.

The privacy implications are obvious, but also interesting to psychologists such as myself, are how such invasions of privacy – real or perceived – change the way people behave in everyday life.

My colleagues and I have been examining the ways people change their behaviour when they are being recorded. In a typical psychology experiment, participants are aware that they are being watched, and a range of equipment monitors their responses, from computers and cameras to eye-trackers and electrodes.… Read the rest

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Study shows that running while drunk doesn’t overburden your body

via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

Fancy a beer and a jog?

via Sports.Mic:

For all the reasons that you don’t run on the treadmill after drinking yourself silly, worrying about your performance shouldn’t be among them.

Nine researchers at the Italian Federation of Cardiology have published a study that concludes even if you consume a lot of alcohol before you go running, there will be no impact on your exercise regimen.

According to this recent paper published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicineyour body doesn’t feel any more burdened or exhausted if you run while you’re drunk than it does if you’re just sitting idle. To prove that exercise capacity isn’t significantly affected, the researchers took 10 healthy white men, who were nonhabitual drinkers, for this pilot study and gave them three shots of whiskey. The next step was testing their run.

This was no regular treadmill session; they were made to run to their maximum heart rate.

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Quantum Mechanics Saves Grandfathers From Time Travelers

JD Hancock via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

JD Hancock via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

via Popsci:

Mention time travel at a nerd party, and other guests will immediately respond with a grim conundrum: What happens if a time traveler goes back in time and kills one of his ancestors? This is the “Grandfather Paradox.” In a simulated environment, a team of mathematicians tested the paradox, and made a remarkable discovery: In time travel simulations, at least, history repeats itself.

The Grandfather Paradox makes a mess of time travel. A murderer kills his ancestor, preventing his own birth, thereby preventing the murder, thereby being born, thereby committing the murder, and so on. To observe it, a team of researchers, led by Martin Ringbauer, created a simulation. Instead of firing up a DeLorean to 88 miles an hour, they sent photons through a “closed timelike curve,” or CTC. The photons are paired up so that one follows the other. It works like this:

In their new simulation Ralph, Ringbauer and their colleagues studied Deutsch’s model using interactions between pairs of polarized photons within a quantum system that they argue is mathematically equivalent to a single photon traversing a CTC.
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Scarf and Vest Made with Silk From a Silkworm and Spider Combination

transgenic silk blouse

0.4 Percent Spider Silk, 99.6 Percent Silkworm Silk Yoshihiko Kuwana et al., PLOS One, 2014. CC BY 2.5

via Popsci:

This silk scarf and vest have a nice drape and pretty color, but that’s not why everyone here at Popular Science covets them. No, we’re wishing they were ours because they’re made of super-strong, transgenic spider silk. Functional and good-looking! Our favorite.

The clothes were woven from silk produced by silkworms with a spider gene engineered into them. A mix of spider and silkworm proteins actually emerges from the spinners in the silkworms’ mouths. The resulting hybrid material is made up of less than 1 percent spider proteins, yet it’s 53 percent tougher than regular silk, according to the research team, five scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences and Shinshu University.

Scientists have long known spider-silk proteins are exceptionally strong. Dragline silk, the stuff spiders use to make the spokes of their webs and to dangle creepily from ceilings, is five times stronger than an equal-sized thread of steel would be.

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Laniakea: Our home supercluster

Laniakea is our home supercluster in which the Milky Way lies in the outskirts. This video really puts things into perspective.

via The YouTube page:

Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian.

 

h/t Laughing Squid.

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