Archive for February, 2011

Mean Girls

Posted on February 27th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Mean Girls

Why are men always viewed as the more competitive? You hear stories about men cutting each other’s throat for the only promotion, fighting each other in a pub car park or trying to outdo one other at the urinals (none of which i will admit to having done). Well, one study at least has come out on the side of equality, showing that females are just as competitive, only doing so in a less overt fashion. In the age old style of psychological studies, participants were asked to play a game where they could win money. Three options were give:…

Read more

Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

Posted on February 26th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

A new type of vaccine for pneumonia based on genetically engineered bacteria has been developed, and may help in the fight against many other infectious diseases. The vaccine, which protects against a virulent form of the bacterium Streptococcus pnuemoniae, works by introducing a modified form of the bacterium that produces less pneumolysin – a toxic protein that damages blood vessels in the lungs and interferes with the immune system. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine identified the genetic sequence that codes for the pneumolysin protein and, using computer algorithms, created a modified gene which would decrease the amount…

Read more

Puppy Love

Posted on February 22nd 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Puppy Love

Warning: this post contains scenes of extreme cuteness and adorability. Reader discretion is advised. Scientists have, for the first time, proved systematically that tiny little kittens and puppies are actually cute. It sounds incredibly obvious; even the coldest, stony-hearted grinches out there will melt at the sight of a baby animal looking up at them. But why is this so? What is it that makes us fall in love with these tiny critters? It turns out that these baby animals are cute for much the same reasons that baby humans are. Large, low lying eyes, a big forehead and a…

Read more

Judging a book by its sexy cover

Posted on February 21st 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Judging a book by its sexy cover

Have you ever noticed how beautiful people always seem to be the most popular as well? I’m sure you have, from whatever part of the high school pecking order you happened to find yourself in. Not that it will make the lower echelons of humanity feel any better, but there might be a scientifically sound reason for this. Research, published in the Journal of Psychological Science, has found that more attractive people are viewed as having nicer personalities – based on a number of characteristics – than their more troll-like comrades. Unsurprisingly, the fitties were also studied for longer and…

Read more

Attack From Within

Posted on February 17th 2011 in Fiction with Comments Off on Attack From Within

The sound of the radio was not loud enough to drown out the cries from upstairs. Sophie continued with her routine, putting the shopping away, unloading the dishes; making sure everything was in its rightful place. She paused, just briefly, to adjust the old radio, which seemed to be getting quieter and quieter these days. She still had the whole of the downstairs to vacuum before she could even start dinner and, with a small sigh, crossed into the dimly lit corridor towards the cupboard under the stairs. It took a while for her eyes to adjust to the dark,…

Read more