I’ve been busy producing videos and you can check out the latest ones over on my YouTube Channel!
An international team of scientists have found that a mutant form of Anthrax is coming for you and your family. So you probably should have sex with that cute co-worker and/or feel instant regret for all the things you’ve haven’t done…like having sex with that cute co-worker.
Or at least that was the subtext of their study.
An international team of scientists have found that there is a messed up new strain of Anthrax on the loose in Africa and it’s killed more than half of the dead chimps on the Ivory coast.
And the bad news doesn’t stop there, the sad team also found that it’s killing other animals too.
“To our surprise, almost 40 percent of all animal deaths in Taï National Park we investigated were attributable to anthrax,” says virologist Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann from the Ivorian Animal Health Institute.
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium B. anthracis. You may remember it because it was popular in the early 2000’s when terror groups sent it around the US in the post. Luckily for us, just like man-buns, the trend didn’t last long so we didn’t have to hear about a small group of wankers on the news for any more than a couple of months.
So, I guess it’s time to scream into the air “why God, WHYYYYYYYY?!!!!!!!!!”.
The scientists examined bones from 20 different species that had been collected from a forest in Africa for over 26 years. They detected the anthrax pathogen in 81 of the 204 carcases and in 26 of the 75 bones they sampled.
Hunting and deforestation of the region had already brought chimps to the brink of extinction and diseases like Anthrax and Ebola could be the nail in the coffin for the chimps.
Computer simulations, performed by the friend zoned members of the team, showed that anthrax could wipe out the Taï Forest’s population of roughly 400 chimps within the next 150 years.
Protecting the chimpanzees will be difficult – can’t we just take them into our homes and allow them to serve us tea like we used to?
The standard Anthrax vaccine protects against B. cereus; the team vaccinated about 100 animals in 2012 and 2013 and is now monitoring them. But researchers can only reach the few animals that have been habituated to humans. And protection may only last a year, so the chimps would require regular shots. “Vaccinating them too often is a problem since they get shy and they tend to rip your face and hands off,” Leendertz says.
The team think that what the monkeys eat may be playing an important role in spreading the disease.
One candidate is carrion flies. Leendertz’s team found traces of B. cereus DNA in 17 flies; if they help spread the disease, that might explain how some monkey species that only live in trees become infected. The team found the pathogen’s DNA in 12 out of 103 flies living in the canopy.
There are other more important questions to be answered here: Are humans somehow protected from infection? How far has this pathogen spread? And why shouldn’t I go on a looting spree?
Human infections with the new strain of anthrax bacterium have so far not been reported. But the probability that it also poses a threat to humans, just like Bacillus anthracis, is high, since both types are related.
In light of this new study, I encourage you to move to Alaska, join the camo wearing preppers movement, buy a gun and some freeze dried food.
The less than optimistic research has been reported in Nature.
Virtual reality is the future. It offers people the ability to be completely immersed in another world and, obviously, part of that future is looking like a massive twat and masturbating with something more expensive than a real doll:
Besides using it to please the devil, scientists from the University of Barcelona (rating of 4.2 on Facebook) have used virtual reality to create out-of-body experiences and found that it reduces the fear of death. They report their findings in PLOS one.
A Near-Death Experience (NDE) is a state of consciousness where you leave your body and realise how out of shape you are, it occurs during clinical death—typically following the cardiac arrest that happens when you decide to do something about having to buy reinforced toilet seats.
Characteristics of NDEs can vary widely, but generally include the perception of moving through a tunnel, bright lights, meeting spiritual beings, a panoramic life review, euphoria, and an out-of-body experience – just like smoking DMT.
The high-tech-wank scientists took 32 female volunteers over the age of 18 and used VR to elicit the “full body ownership illusion”. That means making the volunteer believe that the virtual representation of their body was actually theirs. They did this by placing small vibrators on their arms and legs to provide physical feedback on what was happening visually.
Another 16 women, who were used as a control group, experienced a similar virtual reality simulation except they did not experience an out-of-body experience while the headset was on. After the virtual reality experience had finished, the volunteers were given a questionnaire and a hug.
Check out this video to see how it was done:
The group that had the out of body experience felt a greater disownership towards their virtual body compared to the control group. Fear of death in the experimental group was found to be lower than in the control group. This is in line with previous reports that naturally occurring out-of-body experiences are often associated with enhanced belief in life after death.
The research is “implicit evidence that it is possible to separate consciousness from the body, which may have the impact of changing attitudes towards death” says lead researcher Mel Slater, “vibrators were sourced ethically” she added.
In the future, the researchers want to simulate near-death experiences to really scare the shit out of people.
Smoking marijuana or, as it is more commonly known, Pot, Weed, Grass, 420, Ganga, Dope, Herb, Joint, Blunt, Cannabis, Reefer, Mary Jane, Buds, Stinkweed, Nuggets, Chronic, Gangster, Skunk and Wacky Backy, is cool.
You don’t need science to tell you that.
Although there’s lots of evidence that smoking weed makes you really hungry and everyone knows you’re high, there’s actually no evidence from peer-reviewed studies to back up the relaxing effects reported by most of the cannabis enthusiast community or, as they preferred to be called, jazz musicians.
Researchers, at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Chicago (where Carl Sagan was educated – I guess this explains the weed connection) report that low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, does reduce stress. In higher doses, like those required to start feeling empathy for the dog not having a comfortable place to sit, actually increased anxiety when performing particular tasks.
Instead of rolling a phat one on the back of their lab book, the participants were given tablets containing the active component, THC. The drug dealer research team took 42 (I guess 420 would have been too many) volunteers and got some of them a little bit high (7.5 milligrams of THC), others a little higher (12.5 milligrams) and, to a third group, they gave a placebo (big, fat zero milligrams of THC). Imagine the disappointment you’d have if you received the placebo after telling your mates you are getting high for science…probably like the time you bought parsley from a street dealer in Camden, London…or, you know, something like that.The researchers selected people who had smoked weed in the past but weren’t regular users.
The researchers selected people who had smoked weed in the past but weren’t regular users. A person rejected from the study, Mr Dogg, said: “aw shit”.
Once the volunteers were appropriately inebriated, they were put through a series of stress-inducing tasks and had their blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormone (cortisol) levels measured. They also had the hungry participants to fill out a form to measure their psychological responses to getting high in public. The tasks included having to prepare for 10 minutes and then undergo a mock interview with one of the researchers. In another scenario, they were given a five digit number and asked to subtract 13 continuously for five minutes or until they forgot why they were there – whichever came first.
The participants who received 7.5 milligrams of THC reported less stress after the psychosocial test than those given a placebo, and their stress levels dissipated faster after the test. Participants who received 12.5 milligrams of THC before the two tasks reported greater negative mood before and throughout the task, and were more likely to rate the psychosocial task as “challenging” and “threatening” beforehand. Participants who received the higher dose also had more pauses during the mock interview compared to those in the placebo group, presumably to eat something.
There were no significant differences in participants’ blood pressure, heart rate or cortisol levels — before, during or after the doses or the tasks – so, just like masturbating before the invention of smartphones, it was all in the mind.
The lead researcher, Emma Childs said “it’s really fun to get people high and freak them the fuck out, I can’t believe that this study was funded”, she added, “next, we’ll be making them dab and telling them it’s a strain that never wears off.”
- Dose-related effects of delta-9-THC on emotional responses to acute psychosocial stress
- Low-dose THC can relieve stress; more does just the opposite
This week, I have teamed up with content partner, Espresso Science, to give you two different perspectives on the same science story.
Now that I’m over 30, I can’t even stand up without having to hold on to a wall to brace for the inevitable head rush.
On the other end of the scale, Sherpas are the motherfuckers of high altitude living. Scientists from the ever so dapper Cambridge University have finally worked out that their ability to use oxygen more efficiently is what makes them so damn good at climbing up our biggest thing,
Roberto Esquivel Cabrera’s penis Mount Everest.
I really have no idea who would want to climb up Mount Everest, it sounds dangerous and nothing like sitting inside watching TV. It feels to me like, somewhere along the line, a drunken dare has got out of hand.
Two hundred and ninety-eight explorers, desperate to say they have conquered Everest, have died since 1922. The most recent one (at the time of writing) was only nine days ago; they fell into a 200 m crevasse. The ascent is so dangerous that there’s even a section called ‘the death zone’.
Even if Brad Pitt‘s money was to ask me: “Hey, Andy, some friends and I are heading to the death zone this weekend to take some excellent drugs and draw each other, wanna come?” My reply would be a simple, but firm,”Fuck off”.
The things that kill people up there? Mainly avalanches and symptoms related to being in freezing temperatures at high altitudes. Out bodies suck at being high up. Sherpas, on the other hand, are really good at it and hold a load of the world records for most number of summits.
Sherpas are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, the Himalayas. Generations of Sherpas have lived at high altitudes so it stands to reason then, that they would have evolved to be awesome at high altitude climbing in the same way you are good at putting on weight for a food-scarce winter that will never come.
They found that mitochondria (the energy centres in the cell) were much more efficient in Sherpas than they were in Europeans. Not only that, the Sherpa’s mitochondria were much better at metabolising sugars rather than fat. Fat requires much more oxygen during metabolism, an element that becomes increasingly scarce at high altitudes, so it makes sense that the Sherpas have evolved not to use it as a fuel source often as us fatty-pumbas. The researchers attributed some of the Sherpas’ altitude advantages to a gene variation in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor A (PPARA) gene, which favours glucose over fat for generating energy.
In the future, the scientists hope that the findings could lead to a better way of treating hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in emergency room situations.
To be honest, I’ll only be happy when they come up with a way to stop me from seeing stars every time I stand up to go grab something from the fridge.
Is there anything more fulfilling than seeing two grown men lovingly embrace each other then get a little bit embarrassed?
I think not.
The relationship between same-sex, straight-identifying males is becoming increasingly emotionally intimate thanks to the leftist agenda sweeping across the nation. To get to the no-homo bottom of it, researchers from the University of Winchester, in the UK, have performed the first ever study of heterosexual men’s understanding and experiences of bromance, outside of how it’s portrayed in films. The researchers asked 30 men about their views and bromance activities and found that young men were socially encouraged to enjoy deep emotional and physically intimate friendships. They report their findings in the journal Sex Roles.
As an aside, I couldn’t believe it when I read that the University of Winchester’s chancellor is Alan Titmarsh, that’s right, the celebrity TV gardener. For those of you who don’t know who this conservative, lazy eyed, frogman is, he was on the telly in the 90’s and inspired everyone in the UK to build a deck. His rise to power, from mucky TV gardener to chancellor, is only surpassed by Trump’s recent ascent – perhaps Alan gave him the courage?
Anyway, to answer the ever-changing question of “how much touching is too much between straight men, who aren’t in the same rugby team?”, The deck-installing researchers found 30 undergraduate sporty-type students who identified as ‘straight’ or ‘mostly straight’ and asked them some pervy questions. I’m assuming that ‘mostly straight’ is someone who mainly dates women but doesn’t mind getting some uncovered penis in and around their mouth every now and again.
Happy to be corrected.
Lead researcher, Stefan Robinson said, “I asked the questions and gave them the option to hug me in between each one”.
Among the 20 set questions, probing whether they had participated in secret sharing, bed sharing and kissing, they asked the 30 male students:
Can you tell me what a bromance is? define it for me?
Tell me about being nude with your bromance
Tell me about threesomes, have or would you do one with your bromance? Are there limits to what one can do sexually with a bromance?
Are there limits to what one can do sexually with a bromance?
Their voyeuristic conclusions were simple. A decline in homophobic attitudes has significant positive implications for any flourishing bromance. Participating in a bromance improves mental health and social well-being because it is a safe space for men to talk about sensitive issues and for safe emotional disclosure.
The main limitation of the study was that it only asked young self-identifying straight white males who are doing a sports degree – potentially a biggie!
Go out there my ‘straight’ or ‘mostly straight’ identifying male readers and bromance the shit out of someone; it’s good for you! Just don’t be weird about it.
- The Bromance: Undergraduate Male Friendships and the Expansion of Contemporary Homosocial Boundaries
- Bromances flourish thanks to changing anti-gay sentiments
This event is almost sold out! They only have a few tickets left for Tuesday the 16th!
Go here to get your ticket NOW, motherfuckers…https://pintofscience.com.au/event/toxic
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in women. It’s probably because evolution is playing a cruel trick on them by placing all of the body’s dirty bits within bacteria’s commuting distance. UTIs can be caused by having sex and wearing luminous g-strings but, despite what your mum told you, not necessarily by wiping back to front.
Unfortunately, 25 – 30% of women who show up at the GP with UTI symptoms, are not given any treatment because their test for UTI has come back negative. Research from Belgium (the place with beer, chocolate, waffles and french fries with mayonnaise) used a fancy test that showed almost all of the women with urinary complaints, but negative test results, actually have a bacterial infection. They report their urine adventure in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.
Once diagnosed, UTIs are fairly easy to treat. By scoffing the appropriate antibiotics and throwing the g-strings into the Salvo’s collection bin, you can kiss goodbye to the urge to wee all the time. In the past, women who had the symptoms of UTI but negative UTI test results were often diagnosed with “urethral syndrome” and some doctors said was psychosomatic. Really.
The flemish scientists took the mid-stream urine (the bit between the sigh of relief and wishing it would hurry up) and tested it for the presence of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. They tested the mid-stream urine of 220 women with symptoms and 86 women that didn’t have any symptoms and compared the outcomes.
Once the pee had been carefully directed towards, into and all over a sample container, it was tested for the presence of bacteria. Alongside the standard tests for UTIs, the researchers also used a technique called quantitative polymerase chain reaction, or qPCR. Apart from sounding like a home shopping channel, qPCR looks for the DNA that comes from the UTI bacteria and is way more sensitive than the standard tests.
Among the women with UTI symptoms, standard testing detected bacteria in 80.9% of urine samples. But the qPCR test found that 95.9% of samples contained Escherichia coli and 8.6% had Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Combining the results of both tests, the researchers found infections in 98.2% of women with symptoms.
In other words, if you be burning on urination you better start taking that medication.
In the women without symptoms, standard testing picked up Escherichia coli in 10.5% of samples and qPCR picked up E. coli in 11.6%. They did this bit to show that the findings in the symptomatic group were not caused by the detection of contamination due to the higher sensitivity of qPCR.
The clinical recommendations from the study are simple: if non-pregnant women consult their GP about UTI symptoms the diagnosis of a UTI can be accepted without further investigations and can be treated. Instead of spending time and energy to prove an uncomplicated UTI, doctors can rely on a diagnosis based on the typical symptoms and focus on acknowledging and managing the patient’s complaints – such as how long they had to wait in the waiting room.
You’ll never guess what! I’m on Patreon.
For as little as $1 a month you can support me, Andy, your friend and secret crush, to write science news and avoid sadness.
- Symptoms of cystitis probably caused by bacterial infection, even when tests are negative
- Women with symptoms of a urinary tract infection but a negative urine culture: PCR-based quantification of Escherichia coli suggests infection in most cases
I have always tried to stay up to date with the latest trends in genital hygiene, and vaginal douching is one that I have been conflicted about.
Sure, I’m all for a super clean vagina but I worry about two things. Firstly, doctors actually recommend that women don’t douche their vagina. It changes the balance of bacteria and can cause the growth of harmful bacteria leading to a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. As a 1973 commercial once said, “our oven is as self-cleaning as a vagina”, so it’s best to let it clean itself.
Secondly, as douching becomes more popular among teens, the number of plastic douches embarrassingly tossed from cars, while they speed down the motorway, increases. We can all agree that the only acceptable thing to be thrown out of cars on the motorway is a bag of vomit.
Douches are typically made from polyethylene. Polyethylene is a plastic that accounts for about 40% of the worldwide demand for plastics, and douches, probably, make up most of that demand.
Fear not, my clean as a whistle friends, scientists from the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (CSIC), Spain, and the University of Cambridge’s Department of Biochemistry, have found a caterpillar that can break down polyethylene and cover up your earth-hating habits.
Dr Bertocchini, the supervising researcher, accidently stumbled upon the discovery when she was removing pest wax moth caterpillars from her hobby beehive. Placing them in a plastic bag she noticed that the caterpillars seemed to be eating the bag and holes started to appear.
Bertocchini said: “it was fucking unbelievable”. She added, “I went from hating them to realising they’ll get me loads of media attention”.
The team then did a timed experiment by placing the wax moth caterpillars into a Marks & Spencer plastic bag and monitoring the by-products and holes produced. Also, it goes to show that if you can get a job at the University of Cambridge you can afford to do all of your shopping at Marks & Spencer, not just at Christmas like most of the UK’s families.
After 40 minutes, holes started to appear in the bag and, after 12 hours, the hungry caterpillars had eaten through 92 mg of the plastic. This worked out to be a rate of 2.2 holes per worm per hour (unit not in the International System of Units, yet). This is over 1000 times faster than the rate achieved by bacterial breakdown of plastic.
The future direction for the research is to find the chemical that is responsible for breaking down the plastic and isolating the enzyme responsible for its creation.
As pointed out by the leftist dictator, Waleed Aly, there’s a huge amount of plastic circulating in the ocean. Bertocchini said: “fitting the caterpillars with life jackets is not a viable solution and please don’t include it in your waste of time blog”.
I’m so sorry that I’m even asking: fancy becoming a patron on Patreon?
Despite what most social media science news publications will lead you to believe, science doesn’t, and shouldn’t, always have an end application. In that way, it’s similar to the trend of stretching out ear lobes or, for that matter, any body modification that leaves your dear old granny nauseous.
Take a recent discovery from Harvard University (home of the sexually harassing football team): the creation of “time crystals”. Just that name alone makes me imagine a glowing, angular rod of awesomeness which, when slipped into the rectum, has the ability to manipulate time and transport you back to when you didn’t care about interest rates. The reality, however, is that the applications of time crystals are currently unknown. So, if it doesn’t cure cancer or make your smartphone better, why has it been published in the super fancy journal, Nature?
Reading the peer-reviewed paper (here) to find out, is about as useful as a magician with no palms.
“We observe long-lived temporal correlations, experimentally identify the phase boundary and find that the temporal order is protected by strong interactions. This order is remarkably stable to perturbations, even in the presence of slow thermalization.”
What the fuck is going on? It’s like it was written by a person who hasn’t had any intimate contact with actual humans, due to a sexual attraction to anime characters. I guess that makes sense…
Time crystals are a new form of matter that, until now, have only existed in theory.
In normal crystals, atoms are arranged in repeating and predictable patterns. In the common crystal example, table salt, there’s a neat structure of sodium and chlorine atoms repeated over and over again. In time crystals, the structure of the atoms operates in relation to time rather than in relation to space. (stay with me…I understand that your brain has just decided it’s not worth reading on)
The time crystals, created by the Harvard scientists, were small diamonds which had been treated so that loads of impurities were present in the crystal structure. Within each of these impurities, there are electrons. The electrons in the impurities have a property which is known as spin – either up spin or down spin.
The electron’s spin direction reacts to microwave pulses by flipping 180 degrees. Typically, we’d expect an electron’s spin to change with each pulse, but in the case of the time crystals, the spin changes after two or three pulses, not every time you microwave it. In other words, this structure responds to time, not just external forces.
After a load of microwave pulses, the spins could start to get out of sync and become randomly orientated. In the time crystal, however, the interactions between the impurities keeps all of the electrons spinning in the same direction.
So, I guess that’s cool but what about applications? Does it cure cancer or make smartphones better?
No. The anime bothering scientists don’t really know what the applications are yet, but to make themselves sound more sciency, they included the words “quantum” and “computing” so other researchers would take them seriously.
The lead researcher Mikhail D. Lukin said: “I haven’t got time to explain my research to you for your stupid blog”.
- Observation of discrete time-crystalline order in a disordered dipolar many-body system
- Creating time crystals
Support with site by becoming a supporter on Patreon!
It seems like everything we own is now rechargeable: phones, lights, watches, and internet connected dildos. To facilitate our sexy, cordless existence, all of these devices need a battery. The problem is that the batteries used for our strangulation-proof-life become degraded by frequent recharging. The sort of frequent recharging required during an all-night, swipe right binge on tinder so you can confidently look your mum in the eye and say that you are trying to find someone.
The vascular structures created by the scientists are similar to those you’d find on the back of leaves, in circulatory systems and, even though the scientists don’t explicitly mention it in their paper, on the top of willies so big they have their own soul.
In a first of its kind demonstration, the superficial-dorsal-vein-loving-scientists use what is known as Murray’s Law to inspire material design. Murry’s Law is basically a formula to explain how natural systems minimise resistance in vessels. It all starts with a big vessel which has “daughter” branches that are smaller in diameter.
In the case of a willy, the superficial dorsal vein is the main pathway which then branches off into smaller and smaller veins. This hierarchal structure ensures the hard working willy gets all of the nutrients it needs in a super efficient way.
The blue-vein-imitating-scientists created their Murry material by allowing zinc-oxide nanoparticles to self-arrange through a simple layer by layer evaporation process. By changing the solvent and temperature used for the evaporation of different layers, the “rear of the year” scientists were able to change the size of the pores created by the nanoparticles.
Prof Bao-Lian Su, who holds a number of positions: as a life member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Wuhan University of Technology in China and at the University of Namur in Belgium because he hates spending time with his family said,
“sometimes all the inspiration you need is right under your nose…or between your knees and nipples to be exact”
When used in a battery, the zinc oxide Murray material had a reversible capacity 25 times higher than that of a state-of-art graphite Li-ion battery electrode. The bio-inspired ZnO Murray network, with its vascular network of pores, delivered ultra-high capacities and rate capabilities, along with long-life cycling stability.
The branching nature of the pores also reduces the stresses in these electrodes during the charge/discharge processes, improving their structural stability and resulting in a longer lifetime for energy storage devices.
The team envisions that the same willy inspired structures could be used effectively in material designs for energy and environmental applications and promise that their next paper will mention where they really got the inspiration from.
I will never run adverts so I’d love for you to buy me a coffee:
- Bio-inspired Murray materials for mass transfer and activity
- Leaf vein structure could hold key to extending battery life
Being told “you have skin cancer” is pretty rubbish. It’s up there with “your brother and I have been shagging on your favorite Egyptian cotton sheets” and “please get out of the swimming pool, I think you have just shit yourself”. Skin cancer is a really aggressive form of cancer which, if left untreated, can spread really quickly. Scientists from The University of Iowa (rating of 4.8 on Facebook) watched and modeled how skin cancer grows so they could identify a drug to stop it as well as over-enthusiastic tongue movements stop a kiss.
In Australia, melanoma is the third most common cancer and is followed closely by facebook invites for Candy Crush Saga and Farmville. Biology professor David Soll (aka slippery D) and his team used really fancy 3-D reconstruction software to work out how both breast tissue cancer cells and melanoma cells form tumors. The team watched cells under a microscope and used the software to create a 3D representation of what was happening. Slippery D said, “I have to stop the PhD students from using the computer for playing online poker”.
To look at the difference between the normal cells and cancerous cells, they first modeled the movements of normal healthy cells and it looked like this:
One of the tests showed a single cell moving three times its diameter to join with a small cancerous cluster in just four hours. In another instance, within 72 hours, 24 individual melanoma cells or small clusters of cells had combined into one large cancerous clot.
One important finding was that the skin cancer cells acted in a similar way to breast cancer cells, sending out cables to reel in other cells and clusters. It means that a drug that stops breast cancers from joining together can also stop skin cancers from doing the same thing.
One way of combatting cancer is to use chemicals that attach to the outside of the cell and tell the body to attack it, like sticking a “kick me” sign on its back. Slippery D’s science buddies looked at a load of the “kick me” chemicals before finding two that worked and stopped the tumor from growing, he said, “can you stop calling me? I have no idea why anyone would want to read your blog”.
Support Andy Matter and buy new designs at the shop:
- Paper: Melanoma cells undergo aggressive coalescence in a 3D Matrigel model that is repressed by anti-CD44
- UI researchers document how melanoma tumors form
This week, the Canadian government announced that it is drafting some really boring paperwork to allow something that is anything but boring: the legalisation of recreational marijuana. The legislation is to be passed before 1 July 2018, which means Canadians have plenty of time to increase their tolerance before the arrival of the types of edibles that’ll make them consider composing some jazz.
The good news is people who love to get high won’t have to pretend they’re injured or ill to get hold of the icky sticky, like they do in places with medical marijuana laws.
Once you have smoked all of the devil’s lettuce and finally found where you left the lighter, you’ll probably get quite hungry. The problem is, it’s all too easy to stuff your disgustingly dry mouth with chocolate, Doritos and cheese based goodies. Even though they taste as amazing as a wizards taint, they’re not real good for you. Surely, there’s a way to push your colon to the limits while also being healthy…
Researchers from Monash University (4.2 stars on Facebook) and CSIRO (unrated on Facebook), in Melbourne, have found the ultimate munchy health food. They report in Nature immunology that they have found a diet that will protect you against type 1 diabetes (that’s not the type of diabetes caused by being a fatty-fat-fat).
Type 1 diabetes is caused when your immune system has a “bit of a domestic” with the cells that create insulin; the chemical that controls your blood sugar levels.
The stoner loving researchers found that some starches from fruits and vegetables resist digestion, while in the stomach, and pass through to the large bowel and poop shoot. Here, they are broken down by bacteria into chemicals called acetate and butyrate which, together, acted as a superhero team and stopped the immune system from attacking the insulin-producing cells.
The researchers only looked at the role of these chemicals in mice, but I’m pretty sure that you could eat those mice and obtain their protection against diabetes. Dr Marino, the lead researcher for the paper said “are you fucking crazy. Do not eat mice” and that “it would be irresponsible to suggest such a thing on your blog, no matter how unpopular you claim it is”.
Unfortunately, it’s not just a case of eating more fruit, veg or laboratory mice. Here’s Dr Carly Rosewarne (via twitter) to explain how it works:
Next on the list for the research team is to investigate the diet’s effect on obesity and other inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, food allergies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease…
…fucking over achievers.
- The paper: Gut microbial metabolites limit the frequency of autoimmune T cells and protect against type 1 diabetes
Did you know that we have a mother effin’ SHOP? Support Andy Matter and buy T-Shirts and PPoP Merch!
Or, you can buy me a coffee to say thanks:
Accidental or not, once hot, fresh jizzum comes into contact with a lady egg you have a good chance of changing your life, forever. The good news is that having children is not only shitty nappies and sleepless nights. Scientists from the meatball scoffing country, The Kingdom of Sweden, have reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health that parenthood is associated with a longer life and it doesn’t depend on whether you have boys or girls.
Previous studies have shown that parents live longer. What is unclear, however, is why you’d live longer when there’s someone, who’s half you, strutting around like they own the place.
The first conclusion of the study was this: the risk of death rose with increasing age! Oh. My. Fucking. God. That’s right folks, you heard it here first, the older you are the more likely you are of dying.
Unmarried men with children had the biggest benefit over their childless counterparts. The IKEA-building researchers suspect that unmarried men would be relying more on their children than a partner as they grow older. In other words, the social support they receive is an important factor in keeping them alive.
Unlike the results of previous studies, the krona spending scientists found no correlation between the sex of the child(ren) and how long the parent lives.
Overall, the total difference in life expectancy between those with and without children may be as much (or as little) as two years. Although, the research doesn’t tell you if those are good years or the years where you’re fighting to stay out of the nursing home while pretending you didn’t fall down the stairs.
Think back to when you were 14 years old. Did you know someone who was such a twat that you decided to never speak to them again? Well, if it’s been a long time, it may be worth reigniting the friendship.
A new study, from the University of Edinburgh (home of the “posh Scottish accent“, but that’s like saying the “soberest member of Black Sabbath“) found that someone’s personality can change dramatically – particularly later in life.
Up until now, it has been thought that once someone is a miserable bastard, they’re always a miserable bastard, grinding to a halt any lively conversation with a long list of things they don’t like. The haggis munching team puts that commonly held belief to bed in a recent paper published in Psychology and Aging.
The kilt-wearing scientists used data from a mental health survey conducted on school students in 1947 and contacted the participants again, in 2017, to ask them to fill out another survey. This is what the home of the “posh Scottish accent” looked like in 1947:
The six characteristics were combined into one metric called dependability, but included these things:
- Self-confidence – Answer this: Are you the best motherfucker, ever?
- Perseverance – Choose between: Follow your dreams or eat a big bag of Doritos while watching Netflix.
- Stability of moods – Answer this: has anyone ever called you a “psycho?”
- Conscientiousness – Answer this: would you able to organise a bukake world record attempt?
- Originality – Make a hat from something around you.
- The desire to learn – Did you make a shit hat? Would you be interested in learning how to make it better?
At 77 years old, the group was asked again to rate themselves on the six characteristics, and nominate a close friend or family member to do the same – I know exactly who I WOULDN’T choose, Leo Garcia. Of the 1208 questionnaires filled out in 1947, only 174 people agreed to participate in 2012 as some had died and some had very little desire to learn any more about personality stability (personality burn, ouch).
The braveheart reenacting scientists concluded that a person’s personality characteristics in later life were not closely related to the same traits in early life.
The limitations of the study were that it only contained a small sample of people, the limited personality characteristics, chosen in 1945, were not a good way of measuring a personality, and the study only measured two points in time – not saggy and saggy. In the future, they’ll need to include an age where the skin is starting to be affected by gravity, but in low light conditions, you can get away with it.
The next step is to repeat the experiment with current 14-year-olds and requestion them in 2080 when the world looks like this:
This week, I have teamed up with Espresso Science to give you a different perspective on the same science story.
Humans love to keep animals locked up for our enjoyment, we call them “pets” because “strokes” makes your uptight auntie feel uncomfortable. Keeping pets for entertainment means that they have to be enslaved in our homes for the entirety of their cute lives. While locked in your house, they are subjected to your questionable taste in music, the smell that you can’t get rid of from your genitals and, according to scientists from Stockholm University, they’re also exposed to the dangerous chemical leaching out of your cheap-arse furniture.
You know, the sort of furniture that you said you’d never buy because it was made in a Chinese sweatshop, but quickly let your ethics slip when the Ikea opened up in town. You disgust me.
The retardant chemicals can leach out of your furniture and have been found to be health hazards and fuck up your hormones n shit. The chemicals can leach from the products for many years after production, in the same way, hatred can leach from your parents even though they have been divorced for years. They even have scary names with numbers (like the rapper, Andre 3000):
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), decabromobiphenyl (BB-209), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP), OH-PBDEs) and organochlorines (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 1,1-bis(4,4′-dichlorodiphenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (4,4′-DDT), 1,1-bis(4,4′-dichlorodiphenyl)-2,2-dichloroethene (4,4′-DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), pentachlorophenol (PCP).
By taking blood samples from a number of cats and collecting dust from around their homes, Jana Weiss and team found that the harmful retardant chemicals were found in both. She said “Everything in our home is out to kill us and all the things we love”.
Not happy with the level of hysteria generated by the study, the researchers said that the chemicals may also affect our children and cause them to grow breasts and go bald. Weiss added, “It’ll be like sharing your home with Danny DeVito”. This makes the 30 members of the Danny DeVito fan club very happy.
The study concluded that dust was a major route for exposure to the toxic chemicals found in furniture and electronics.
- J. Norrgran Engdahl, A. Bignert, B. Jones, I. Athanassiadis, Å. Bergman, J. M. Weiss. Cats’ Internal Exposure to Selected Brominated Flame Retardants and Organochlorines Correlated to House Dust and Cat Food. Environmental Science & Technology, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05025
- High levels of chemicals found in indoor cats
Even your favourite teacher loves doing drugs. Drugs are one of the cornerstones of life along with food, sex and using internet explorer to download chrome or firefox.
If someone’s love of drugs becomes an obsession it can completely alter the reward system in the brain and lead to long-lasting behavioral changes that make them a junkie. In other words: the brain learns that drugs are fun and wants to do them more and more. In the worst cases of addiction, addicts even stop correcting someone’s online grammar in favour of doing more drugs.
Scientists at the University of British Columbia report in Nature Neuroscience that they have genetically engineered a mouse that would leave Charlie Sheen’s parties at a reasonable hour because it doesn’t become addicted to cocaine.
The finding adds to the evidence that drug addiction is more a matter of genetics and brain chemistry than just someone saying “fuck it” and taking drugs to impress their friends and piss off their parents.
Despite having access to a big bowl of cocaine and working in the academic environment it was also found that none of the researchers became addicted to cocaine. Probably the more surprising conclusion.
In a moment of accidental honesty, the researchers stated that they were trying to create the biggest rodent drug fiend EVER by engineering the mouse to have higher levels of a protein that strengthens the signals between cells in the brain.
By strengthening the signals in the brain the researchers were hoping to increase the rodents reward response to cocaine but actually managed to decrease it. In other words, their experiment went wrong – but wrong enough to be able to publish it in a fancy journal – lucky them.
Watch the mice here:
This study revealed the importance of brain chemistry on addiction, and it could lead to greater confidence in predicting who is more vulnerable to drug abuse, helping them before they take that first smooth, life destroying hit.
- Fergil Mills, Andrea K Globa, Shuai Liu, Catherine M Cowan, Mahsan Mobasser, Anthony G Phillips, Stephanie L Borgland, Shernaz X Bamji. Cadherins mediate cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity and behavioral conditioning. Nature Neuroscience, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nn.4503
YOU LOOK FABULOUS DARLING! And a little bit like an android…
Bandaged faces and leaky wounds are one side effect of facial cosmetic surgery. Now researchers from Australia (Oi, Oi, Oi) have found one side effect that doesn’t make your friends throw up in their mouths – increased job satisfaction.
Fear not you ugly fuckers. This week, researchers from the University of Melbourne have found that, following facial surgery, ugly-in-the-face-region people had more self esteem and experienced higher levels of job satisfaction, both in the short and long term.
The world we live in is a horrible place. We judge people on their looks and we shout across the street to them: “Hey, you! You look like a melted bag of used waxing strips!”
As people grow old, wrinkly and see-through, they may start to feel down about how they look. Whilst others have always looked like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit all the branches on the way down.
Confidence is an important part of attacking the day with your head held high and is the boost you need to high five a barista like in an advert made by a shit advertising company.
Researchers analysed responses from 121 adults who had recently undergone facial surgery. Unfortunately, because some people didn’t answer the questions properly the study ended up with a sample size of 106.
Proving that people can be both stupid and ugly simultaneously.
Researchers Alicia Kalus and Christina Cregan, from the Faculty of Business and Economics, said “some of the participants looked surprised” and they were unsure whether that was due to the surgery.
In the future, researchers hope that objective processes for selection and promotion will help break the attractiveness bias found in the study.
“If workplaces reward talent and effort, women and girls may come to rely less on the traditional emphasis on beauty as a basis for self-esteem.” Ms Kalus says.
- Kalus, A. R. and Cregan, C. (2017), Cosmetic facial surgery: the influence of self-esteem on job satisfaction and burnout. Asia Pac J Hum Resour. doi:10.1111/1744-7941.12137
Dissatisfied people from every part of the globe are rejoicing as two teams of researchers have identified how to put the flavour back into two important aspects of life – tomatoes and sex.
Although this week has been a fucking nightmare for the free world, two teams of researchers have tried to bring a little bit of happiness back into people’s lives. Thank you, science, thank you.
As my dear old granny used to say:
“…life is not worth living unless each day contains a rip-roaring orgasm and mouthwatering food”
She was such a wise woman, and explains why grandad’s hips were the first thing to go. RIP Gran.
In our first incidence of happiness, a person by the name of Denise Tieman was eating a tomato and thought to herself “this is a bit shit, I wonder if I can make it better?” Luckily, Denise was a scientist with all of the right skills and decided to do something about it. Good on ya, Denise!
Dr Tieman and her team of clever foodies, from the University of Florida, decided that achieving the perfect tomato would require identification of the important flavour factors that have been lost.
In a study published in the really fancy journal Science, the tomato team found that modern tomatoes lack sufficient sugars and smelly chemicals. These are very important in achieving a better flavour. These sugars and smelly chemicals had been lost due to years of breeding without paying attention to how the tomatoes tasted.
Because breeding takes time, and the tomato team is studying five or more genes, the changes from their latest study may take three to four years to produce flavour in new tomatoes.
While you are waiting for science to actually live up to its promises, our second study may help you fill time more productively:
In our second incidence of improved happiness – scientists have finally worked out what women want in the bedroom department – and we are not just talking 1500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. Although, I’m sure that would be nice too.
In a selection of 159 Swiss women, 61% of them were having sex and thinking to themselves “this is a bit shit, I wonder if I can make it better?”.
A study wanted to find out exactly how the dissatisfied majority wanted to make things better and, more specifically, looked at the attitudes towards sexuality-boosting medication.
The study found that the dissatisfied women wanted to use the pill to increase orgasm frequency and intensity and sexual desire. They wanted a pill that would take about an hour to get them going and not many wanted the pill to have an effect in less than 15 minutes. Once again, evidence that there’s a global conspiracy to manipulate partners into giving massages – “Just give me a massage while we wait for the sexy-pill to kick in. I’ve put a towel on the bed already”
As an interesting comparison between the two papers, while it takes twenty people to work out how to make a tomato not taste like shit, it only takes two people to find out what women want. Apparently, you just have to ask them – fancy that.
Also, this is what happens if you type tomato sex into Youtube. Magnets or stop motion? I can’t decide.
- A chemical genetic roadmap to improved tomato flavor. Science, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1556
- What Women Want—An Explorative Study on Women’s Attitudes Toward Sexuality Boosting Medication in a Sample of Swiss Women, The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.12.238.
Are you a powerful vice-chancellor just looking for a little down time whilst satisfying your urge for industry engagement? Do you feel the need to be treated like shit whilst wearing your university-branded gimp mask? Perhaps, you are into a little bit of needle play? Well, now you can satisfy all of your darkest desires in an industry-focused, sciency way.
Dominatrix from the global S&M industry are spanking each other with joy with the announcement of research from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology which highlights the fabrication of a fuck load of needles embedded into an easy to apply dermal patch.
Gone are the days of forcefully applying needles individually to scrota or areolae. 50 needles are now able to be applied to any part of the body in one foul swoop of mistresses’ open palm – who’s been a naughty slave?
Even though the researchers state that the penetration depth of the needles is not deep enough to reach nerves, the words “comfortable” and “unobtrusive” do not come to mind when looking at it and we can see that the patch clearly has other plans for the vice-chancellor’s perineum:
“I’m fed up of all of my friends talking about tiny pricks…”
In addition to providing a new way to deliver pain to bad slaves, the patch may also have application in the delivery of drugs, extraction of physiological signals for fitness monitoring devices, extracting body fluids for real-time monitoring of glucose, pH level and other diagnostic markers, as well as skin treatments in cosmetics and bioelectric treatments and anything else that came to mind.
Future work will look at the appropriate way to prepare people for application of the patch because “just 50 little scratches” has a less than calming effect on the patient.
- Flexible and Stretchable Microneedle Patches with Integrated Rigid Stainless Steel Microneedles for Transdermal Biointerfacing
- Skin patch with microneedles proves effective alternative to injections
Check out my Shop – it’s excellent.
Last night, people in Sydney, the UK, and US were disappointed to find out they would not be treated to a much anticipated astronomical display of a supermoon. The non-circular path of the moon as it passes around the earth, combined with its full phase, meant that it was supposed to be the perfect night to go out, be romantic and moonlit and shit. However, the weather didn’t hold up and clouds filled the sky the same way fake happiness fills the heart of a Christian minister.
Josh, a 26-year-old plumber, said “the weather’s fucked, mate”.
Instead of witnessing a supermoon, the crowd was forced to return home, finish a two-day old bottle of wine and treat themselves to some mutual masturbation while sitting on “the old towels”. You know, the towels that are too good to chuck away but scratchy enough not to give to guests.
Today, in another expectation-smashing event, it was revealed that scientists, from the cereal grain inspired institution, Rice University, discovered that an atom-thick material being eyed for making the future awesome, is fucked.
The material is molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2). It was touted as being a main component of some future gadgets such as flexible/wearable electronics, next-generation solar cells, and fancy, really expensive TV’s. The biggest problem with MoSe2 is that even the slightest flaw in the atomic structure, as small as one missing atom, can initiate catastrophic cracking when the material is bent. So, despite the hype, it’s back to the drawing board for this material.
Watch what happens to MoSe2 in the video below:
Given the bad news, transition-lens-wearing scientists who work with this MoSe2 are encouraged to follow the lead of Sydneysiders. That is, leave work early, finish off a bottle of wine and participate in activities that you wouldn’t want your dad/mum to do to your mum/dad.
- Yingchao Yang, Xing Li, Minru Wen, Emily Hacopian, Weibing Chen, Yongji Gong, Jing Zhang, Bo Li, Wu Zhou, Pulickel M. Ajayan, Qing Chen, Ting Zhu, Jun Lou. Brittle Fracture of 2D MoSe2. Advanced Materials, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201604201
Support Andy Matter and feel good without having to clean yourself up.