Monday, June 26, 2006
Men with more older brothers are more likely to be gay than men with fewer older brothers. This birth-order effect has been known for years, but a Canadian study helps establish it further: the effect remains regardless of how the boys grow up. A seventh son raised by adoptive parents as an only child will still be more likely gay than an only son raised by his own (or adoptive) parents. Interesting.
Is your Starbucks habit draining your bank account and dissolving your stomach lining? Well, according to a Harvard study, having a 45-minute cell phone conversation may have comparable wakeness-inducing effects. Cell phone use seems to increase cortical activity, but this is a pretty basic observation - it may wake you up, it may cause brain tumors, it may have no effect - so at the moment this is just a very funny idea. In other slightly-strange treatments news, it seems that cherry juice may help reduce exercise-related muscle pain. Hmm.
Another study suggests, interestingly, that mice lacking a particular immune system gene, STAT1, do not have the expected severe immune malfunctions and are less susceptible to visceral leishmanaisis. Weird.
Georgia Tech researchers claim to have developed a combustor that will produce way less carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide wastes than traditional ones. Cool!
Also, everyone knows that it is very expensive to live in Moscow and New York. But Abidjan and Lagos?!?!? Funny.