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Brief and Straightforward Analysis of the Latest Research

Americans Are Having a Lot Less Sex. Why?

Ross Pomeroy - November 23, 2021

Americans had a lot less sex in 2018 compared to 2009, according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. The finding mirrors a downward trend also seen in many other parts of the developed world, including the UK, Australia, Germany, and Japan. Researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University School of Public Health made the discovery by comparing data collected in 2009 and 2018 from participants of the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB). The NSSHB is an ongoing, representative survey of adolescents aged 14-17 and adults...

What 21st Birthday Binge Drinking Does to the Brain

Ross Pomeroy - November 22, 2021

About a quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 admit to occasionally binge drinking, consuming five or more drinks over a span of two hours. And when it comes to binge drinking in America, there may be no bigger event than one's 21st birthday. This is the age when Americans are legally permitted to drink, after all, so newly-minted 21-year-olds often take to the bars eager to show their alcohol imbibing prowess in dangerous fashion. University of Missouri researchers thought this longstanding tradition would be a terrific opportunity to examine the damaging effects of binge...

New Insights Into the Last Plague of Imola

Ross Pomeroy - November 17, 2021

In a new paper published to the journal Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from the University of Ferrara and the University of Oslo has shed new light on the last major plague epidemic to strike Northern Italy. Analyzing remains discovered in four mass graves in the city of Imola and parsing through a previously unpublished register written by the friar Francesco Da Gazzo, who cared for hundreds of plague victims, the team revealed the devastating outcome of the plague on the city's residents. In October of 1629, an outbreak that started in Milan as soldiers returned from the...

Study: Single People Are Much More Physically Active Than Married People

Ross Pomeroy - November 11, 2021

Single people are 70% more likely than married people to meet the World Health Organization's (WHO) physical activity recommendations, according to a survey of 4,460 people living in Poland. The study is published in the journal PeerJ. The WHO urges at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. When adjusting for sex, age, and education, the gap was 40% – still a sizable difference. Researchers Daniel Puciato and Michał Rozpara conducted the study in Wroclaw, Poland's fourth largest City, between 2014 and 2016. Adults aged 18...


Deceleration Training Could Greatly Reduce Sports Injuries

Ross Pomeroy - November 6, 2021

Most American football fans have seen something like this before and grimaced: A running back, sprinting at breakneck speed down the field, makes a swift cut to evade a defender. But when all his momentum suddenly shifts, the rapid change in force proves to be more than the ligaments in the knee of his planting leg can bear. They snap, and the player crumbles to the ground with a season-ending injury. Alistair J. McBurnie, a Sports Science Analyst with Manchester United Football Club and a Post-Graduate Research Student at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom, is undoubtedly more...

A Discarded Tire in the Ocean Is a Hermit Crab Death Machine

Ross Pomeroy - November 1, 2021

In June 2012, when surveying the seabed at a depth of 8 meters in Mutsu Bay, Japan, Hirosaki University biologists Atsushi Sogabe and Kiichi Takatsuji, came across a macabre sight (pictured top): a discarded car tire filled with hundreds of hermit crab shells, some occupied by living inhabitants, but many more damaged and derelict, their occupants apparently long deceased. The duo hypothesized that hermit crabs could climb up the sides of the tire and enter the inner circle, but once there, they could not escape on account of the tire's concave inner wall. Sogabe and Takatsuji tested their...

What Scientists Learned From 'Investigating' 61 Public Bathrooms

Ross Pomeroy - October 20, 2021

Two scientists have made a brave sacrifice in the name of public health. M. C. Jeffrey Lee of National Taichung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan and K. W. Tham of the National University of Singapore thoroughly “investigated” 61 public toilets in Taiwan to identify potential biological hazards. They documented their sanitation adventure in a paper just published to the journal Scientific Reports. As Lee and Tham reminded readers, the flushing toilet is one of the greatest public health advances of all time. However, public bathrooms can spread infectious disease if...

Can the Eyes Reveal Sexual Orientation?

Ross Pomeroy - October 16, 2021

Through our eyes, the world is revealed. But can our eyes also reveal ourselves? In particular, the pupil, the black oval located in the center of the iris that allows light to enter, is governed by the autonomous nervous system, which controls unconscious bodily functions. The pupil's size primarily responds to light, but also to arousal. This quirk led psychologists to wonder whether or not pupil size would correlate with someone's sexual interest. In other words, do a person's pupils dilate more in response to sexual imagery that matches their sexual orientation? Researchers began tepidly...


Humans Had Advanced Fishing Technology 12,000 Years Ago in Israel

Ross Pomeroy - October 8, 2021

Ancient humans living between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago in what is now Northern Israel were using sophisticated hooks, lines, weights, and lures to catch fish, a new analysis published to PLoS ONE reveals. An international team of researchers led by Dr. Antonella Pedergnana at the University of Zurich analyzed a variety of hooks and grooved pebbles found at the Jordan River Dureijat site on the Upper Jordan River in the Hula Valley of Israel. The hooks (pictured above), are made of bone, likely taken from butchered gazelle or fallow deer, and some even have rudimentary barbs to ensure that...

Machine Learning Identifies the Most Important Predictors of Infidelity

Ross Pomeroy - September 30, 2021

Researchers have used a machine learning approach to identify factors that predict someone's likelihood to cheat in a relationship. Their findings were published late August to the Journal of Sex Research. Authors Laura M. Vowels, Matthew J. Vowels, and Kristen P. Mark ran an algorithm through in-depth survey data from 891 participants gathered in 2014. The anonymous questionnaire asked about sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, sexual behaviors, romantic and sexual desires, a range of demographic information, as well as whether or not the participant had had sex with someone other...

Shock Collars May Make Dogs More Pessimistic

Ross Pomeroy - September 27, 2021

In the past few decades, dog trainers have overwhelmingly switched to practicing and recommending reward-based training for dogs rather than aversive training. Rewarding your pooch with treats, toys, or attention when they behave well and denying those things when they don't seems to be more effective and salubrious instead of employing aversive methods like spraying water, yanking on their leash, or using a shock collar to punish unwanted behaviors. Scientific studies are now providing empirical evidence in favor of reward-based training. Complementing those findings is a new study published...

Are Smarter People More Economically Conservative?

Ross Pomeroy - September 25, 2021

The overwhelming majority of social psychologists are liberal, so that could at least partly explain why the field's scientific literature is overflowing with studies linking conservative political views to lower levels of intelligence. "That's just what the data say," psychologists might counter, glossing over the publication bias, p-hacking, and slanted studies that are rife within the discipline. A new meta-analysis published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin might be an inconvenient fact then. Drs. Alexander Jedinger and Axel M. Burger, research scientists at the Leibniz...


Praying Mantises Can't Stand 'Beetle Bombs'

Ross Pomeroy - September 22, 2021

Praying mantises are perhaps the most distinct and fearsome predators of the insect world. Their ambush-style attacks are comparable to those of lions and tigers. But, as a recent study published to PeerJ reveals, despite their size and ferocity, praying mantises fall short when it comes to predating on bombardier beetles. Why? As their name suggests, these beetles have an explosive trick up their sleeves, or rather, their bums. Shinji Sugiura, an associate professor in the School of Agricultural Science at Kobe University in Japan, was well aware of this physiological feat when he conceived...

America's Hidden and Growing Life Expectancy Divide

Ross Pomeroy - September 20, 2021

America is plagued by a couple notable gaps in life expectancy. The rich live much longer than the poor, and European Americans live roughly 3.6 years longer than African Americans. These wealth- and race-based disparities have persisted for decades. But there is a recent and rapidly growing divide in life expectancy: Americans dwelling in urban areas live longer than those dwelling in rural areas. The number of Americans living in rural areas has been declining since 1990, and those who remain tend to live shorter than urbanites. In a new paper published to the International Journal of...

Why Do Mammals Kill Members of Their Own Species?

Ross Pomeroy - August 14, 2021

In January 2016, millions were touched by a viral photo apparently depicting a male kangaroo 'hugging' his mortally injured female companion in front of her young joey, seemingly trying to pick her up off the ground. Photographer Evan Switzer, who captured the image, said, "It was a pretty special thing, he was just mourning the loss of his mate." Dr. Derek Spielman, a senior lecturer in veterinary pathology at the University of Sydney, knew better. Rather than mourning the incapacitated female, the male was likely trying to mate with her. What's more, he had likely caused her injuries in the...

There Are More Than 50 Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

Ross Pomeroy - August 10, 2021

For many people who contract mild, moderate, or severe COVID-19, the disease's effects don't disappear when the infection fades. A systematic review and meta-analysis published Monday to the journal Scientific Reports found that 80% of cases result in at least one long-term symptom. The authors of the report scoured more than 18,000 publications, seeking studies assessing the long-term effects of COVID-19 with at least 100 subjects. They found fifteen studies, which collectively followed 47,910 patients for as long as 110 days post-infection. They then pooled the data to discern the...


Four Findings From a Systematic Review About Beer and Exercise

Ross Pomeroy - July 29, 2021

After a grueling sports match or a brutal workout, there's often nothing more refreshing than a nice cold beer... But what about the drink's intoxicating effects? When the human body requires recovery after strenuous exercise, will downing a beer actually backfire? Patrick B. Wilson, an associate professor in exercise science at Old Dominion University, and Jaison Wynne, a PhD student in the Department of Human Movement Sciences at Old Dominion explored this, and a variety of other questions in the first systematic review of beer's effects on exercise performance, recovery, and adaptation....

Study Suggests Pterosaurs Could Fly Soon After Hatching

Ross Pomeroy - July 23, 2021

A new analysis of hatchling pterosaur fossils finds that the flying reptiles which dominated the skies between 228 and 66 million years ago were likely capable of flight within days or even hours after breaking out of their shells. The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports. Scientists Darren Naish, Mark P. Witton, and Elizabeth Martin‐Silverstone spearheaded the research. The trio analyzed the wing size and forelimb bending strength of embryonic or recently-hatched specimens from the species Pterodaustro guinazui, one of the best known pterosaurs, with over 750 fossils...

Are Some Dogs Geniuses?

Ross Pomeroy - July 8, 2021

Albert Einstein. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marie Curie. Gaia. The first person came up with the general theory of relativity. The second is regarded as perhaps the greatest classical composer of all time. The third is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. The fourth isn't a person at all; it's a dog. All might be considered geniuses. Some individuals are supremely gifted, with abilities that the vast majority of people cannot hope to replicate even after years of dedicated practice – the adolescents who are chess grandmasters, the musicians with perfect pitch,...

A Man Fractured His Penis in a Most Unusual Way

Ross Pomeroy - July 1, 2021

Sometime last year, a 40-year-old man visited a hospital in the United Kingdom with pain and swelling in his penis. While having sex with his partner, the man's erect penis buckled against his partner's perineum and gradually 'deflated'. Doctors suspected that it was fractured, a not-unheard-of risk of lively sexual intercourse. According to a 2020 review of the scientific literature, up to 88.5% of penile fractures occur during sex. Doctors were surprised, however, that the man apparently didn't feel a 'popping' sensation that characteristically accompanies a penile fracture. They ordered an...