26 October 2012

Science-y things you may have missed

In this edition of links to interesting items I've collected this week, we bring you mostly science-related things. In no special order ...

The Bristlecone Pine is an amazing tree which can live for thousands of years. It chronicles climate change past and it looks as if it may be showing the way into climate change to come.

So what are you actually running scared of? Biologist Rob Dunn is always good value and here he looks at how our "fight or flight" mechanism is still running from nasty, big predators.

Still on biology here are a series of amazing microscopy photos of creepy crawlies. Preferably not for mealtime or just before bed, but the images are so brilliant!

We all get earworms. No, not more bugs! I mean that song or tune which loops endlessly in your head despite distractions. Now psychologists are trying to understand why.

Psychologists again! It seems they've concluded that what we've always been told is true: that men and women can't be "just friends". OK, guilty as charged, sometimes — though I'm far from sure it is true of all my opposite sex friendships.

There have been several articles recently about the age of puberty having fallen over the last 100 years in both boys and girls. Do scientists really not understand why? How about better nutrition and hormones in meat? I bet they account for a large percentage of the change. But OK it will be hard to prove.

Finally on the basis of some meta-studies some scientists have come to the conclusion that premenstrual syndrome is probably a myth. Probably true for some women, but I find it hard to believe it's all in the mind. I think a lot of people will need a lot of convincing.

May your weekend run smoothly!

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