I was going to write a post on an interesting paper about genetic variation in the USA but I’ll save it for another day as I found this gem.
A research group in Hungary have found the time to judge who is the best at drawing animals, cavemen or modern artists. Amazingly they found cavemen won the competition! To be fair, what amazes me is that these people came up with this research in the first place. How and why do they have the time to sift through a thousand images and then do a statistical analysis to find which group had the greatest error?
Nevertheless, I’ve learnt something new today. Apparently four legged animals walk in the following way:
The usual succession of the ground-contacting feet of walking quadrupeds, termed as foot-fall formula, is -LH-LF-RH-RF-, where L/R and H/F mean left/right and hind/fore, respectively.
As an illustration the authors provide this figure, follow the (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 17/12/2012
The title might seem a bit melodramatic, but I’m pretty amazed by some research I found.
In a recent article from Nature Methods a research group have put forward the possibility of generating Neural Stem Cells (NSC’s) from urine.
Ok so for those who don’t understand all of the above, this is pretty big! (hence why it’s in a Nature Journal). Everyone has heard of stem cells and their possibly magical healing abilities, replacing damaged brain/heart/liver (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 11/12/2012
According to a new(ish) study, nice smells make us nice people.
I caught wind of this story (excuse the pun) on the radio the other day and thought I’d do a bit of background to find out what the research is about. I found this article in the Daily Mail, an infamously crap source of science news, but more importantly I located the paper(1).
OK so first off, this has nothing to do with bread! Every news article, radio spot or anything makes mention of bread. The paper only uses it as an example, preferring the phrase ‘ambient odour’ or ‘pleasant scent’. Many would say bread is included in this category, the primary investigator agrees. However this could also include perfumes and many other forms of cooking.
The second point I would like to make is that this paper focuses on what some people would call ‘priming’. This is where your subconscious mind takes in information which then affects your future choices without you realising. This is more or less the way subliminal advertising and product placement works. To be fair, the papers may as well have (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 24/11/2012
A study published in the NEJM last month(1) seems to show a pretty convincing positive trend that those countries who consume more chocolate per capita also receive more Nobel Prizes.
The author of the study, Dr. Franz Messerli, continues to associate this trend with one of the key active ingredients in chocolate (flavonol’s). Flavonol’s have previously been implicated in increased brain performance and brain related anti-ageing effects. OK so I’m willing to accept (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 04/11/2012
There’s a couple of things that I don’t understand about my 8 months off from the blog. The first one is the impossible math concerning followers. During these 8 months I gained 5 followers, but I wrote nothing. The obvious question is how they found and followed the blog, even when no one was writing anything (nevertheless my thanks goes out for the interest). The second, slightly more fun part, is that this technically gives a ratio of (followers:words written) 5:0. Which may as well be ∞:0. By that logic this blog will be most successful if I go on a permanent holiday.
It’s a shame I’m in this for the science then…
Oh damn, someone has spilt some form of red ink on top of conveniently related search phrases…
The other odd thing (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 26/10/2012
First off I just need to say that I’m so happy the animation further down the post worked! I spent 2 days making that (lots of relearning to do!). Other than that I have to apologise for the use of childish drawings.
Anyway, onto the main topic of this post. The other day I saw an advert for a food programme which I am almost certainly going to watch (If it’s any good I might mention something here!). Within the advert there was a clip of a woman exclaiming something like: “You cut your sandwiches with sound?!?!”. Whilst I’m not (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 25/10/2012
So I’ve been busy uploading, drafting and styling the site for the last couple of days (list of uploaded pages at the bottom of this post). I’ve had a vague idea of the structures I’d like to put down and they are finally coming into being! However, I have run into a few issues, questions and controversial problems. So I thought I’d post about it. (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 22/10/2012
How would you define time?
Google defines it as (more…)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 29/01/2012
I’ve added a new poll in the sidebar so people can vote for their favourite sense.
I thought it might be interesting to see which ones people can’t live without. (bear in mind all those who live without some of these senses already)
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 27/01/2012
Myths are a plague upon Science!
Great for Hollywood, especially disaster movies, but a plague for Science!
One of the my pet hates is the myth : “We only use 10% of our brains!”
some of us probably use even less...
Posted by Nick Sarbiscuit on 25/01/2012