Archive for: May, 2013

Growing old with NF-kB

May 13 2013 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

Sci is at SciAm blogs today talking about a new study on aging. Specifically, the discovery of a new role for the protein NF-kB. Less NF-kB? Longer lived mice. What does this mean and where does it go? Head over and check it out.

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Friday Weird Science: Are Boobs Better Braless?

May 10 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science

I'm sure many of you saw the news going around a few weeks ago. Bras make breasts sag!! The French debate the bra! Etc etc. Of course, I immediately wanted to blog it! I mean, bras! Boobs! That's Friday Weird Science material!

And so I set out looking for the study. Until I realized...there was no study. This is an example of what we like to call "science by press release". However flawed one may feel about the peer-review system in academia*, it's definitely important that SOMEONE be able to see the data and find the potential flaws (or, possibly, back you up in how awesome your science is) that are making the study sag (as it were). The science we are about to talk about? Has not been published yet. It is preliminary. The lead author has in fact been bemused by all the media attention (dude, you study boobs, you didn't think we'd just walk BY, did you?), and has stated that he's withholding final judgement until the paper is out.

Rouillon told Reuters that his unpublished work is still in the early stages and he is hesitant about giving one-size-fits-all advice to women, despite the media circus.

But it is not required that science pass peer review before its reported on (heck, there would be no scientific reporting at science conferences if that was the case). So while the science reported may well be...full-figured enough to pass muster, until they DO report it, it's good to keep in mind that it's preliminary.  This means that we only have bits and pieces of the data, and so drawing any conclusions is going to be premature. It's a good idea to keep in mind, honestly, that all science will probably be replaced by better science over time, but stuff that isn't out yet (and on which we have no real details), deserves extra fish-eye.

So. Eyes up here, friends.

Discount labels are seen in a lingerie shop on the eve of the winter sales in Nice

(Source)

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At Slate: Psychology is WEIRD

May 08 2013 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

It's a big day around the Scicurious Environs. Sci is at Slate today talking about WEIRD psychology studies. By which I mean those in Western, Education, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic Societies...and those mostly made of up college students. How does this impact the field of psychology? And how does it impact the way people look at things like how they lost their virginity? Head over t0 Slate and check it out!

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Scicurious...unmasked!

May 08 2013 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Sci is at SciAm blogs today talking about...well...who am I? I think it's time you all found out. Head over and check it out!

IMG_0452

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The Lovely Voice of Daisy Buchanan

May 06 2013 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

"...but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget"

- The Great Gastby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sci is at SciAm Blogs today, talking about voices. What makes a voice attractive to a man or a woman? What makes it one of those voices that you will never forget, that attract you so much? Head over and check it out!

One response so far

Friday Weird Science: Fatty Feces or Gassy Guano?

May 03 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science

Does your poop float? Does it sink? Do you have floaters and sinkers depending on the day?

Maybe you're one of those people that never looks to see.

Nah, don't lie. You look.

So if you have looked, surely you've wondered...what makes poop FLOAT? I seem to recall asking my mother this once as a kid and she told me it was fiber and that fiber floats. Since I have now found out that, chemically, that's a dirty lie (she didn't know, so it wasn't intentional, and she always has promoted a high fiber diet), I continued to wonder...why does some poop float while other poop sinks?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. As it were.

bristol stool chart
(Source. You know that you will now be looking at and rating all your poop. It's unavoidable.)

Levitt and Duane. "Floating Stools - Flautus vs Fat" New England Journal of Medicine, 1973.

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