Category Archives: Science News

How Science Helps Men Manscape

Whether men should manscape or not is an interesting question. But in any case, it’s clear that the process of manscaping has been made vastly easier by science, and specifically electric razors. 🙂

A great example of electric razors made specifically for manscaping is Manscaped, a company that was featured on shark tank and has since done a lot of growing. Their product is reasonably well known now, and has been fairly well received. Now imagine if you had to use ordinary razors as people would 200 years ago for such a task. Thank goodness for scientific advancements!

If you’d like to learn about Manscaped, it’s recommended that you have a read through this review of Manscaped. The author there brought and tried out the Manscaped razor as well as asked other men about their experience with the product. The review says that it’s a good product, BUT you still have to be careful and take your time with it.

If you’d like to learn more about how to shave in general, rather than just manscaping specifically, see Gilette’s article: How to Shave Your Face.

Bovine tuberculosis bacteria can survive in amoebas in soil and dung

Bovine tuberculosis bacteria can survive and even grow within small, single-celled organisms that can be found in the soil or in the dung itself according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey and the University of Geneva.

These single-celled organisms, known as amoebas, would have always been ideal habitats for this bacterium, so much so that it seems to have wanted to grow under these conditions. Over time the bacterium itself has progressed and evolved to infect large animals, including cattle, and to cause bovine tuberculosis.

The bacterium analyzed by researchers is Mycobacterium bovis, a bacterium that can cause bovine tuberculosis. The discovery was made through laboratory experiments: the researchers injected this bacterium into amoebas called Dictyostelium discoideum. Unlike other bacteria, which were digested and generally used as food sources, with Mycobacterium bovis these amoebas seemed to provide them with a kind of habitat. The bacterium not only remained unharmed but continued to survive for days.

Furthermore, researchers noted that the bacteria, once inside the amoebas, used particular genes that they usually use to avoid being killed by the immune cells of the large animals they infect. They used these genes to avoid being digested by amoebas. Inside amoebas, the bacterium, although slower, continued to grow and could replicate even at temperatures of 25° centigrade, which surprised researchers as it was believed that the bovine tuberculosis bacterium could only reproduce at temperatures of at least 37° centigrade.

These discoveries could perhaps help to combat bovine tuberculosis, a disease that infects cattle and can therefore represent a major problem for the whole livestock sector.

Fast walking can help memory as it makes caffeine

Physical activity can be very useful for developing or maintaining memory capacity and, according to a team of researchers who carried out a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, even 20 minutes of fast walking can be as beneficial to memory capacity as a cup of coffee in the morning.

The same study shows that abstinence from caffeine, a type of abstinence that in some people can also cause headaches, fatigue or irritability, can be reduced with exercises such as fast walking or aerobic exercise.

Researchers have analyzed the effects of movement on so-called “working memory,” i.e. the brain’s ability to store information and manipulate it when needed, which is the basis of memory itself and is essential for multiple brain functions.

Several studies have shown the ability of caffeine to improve or maintain working memory at a certain level, as well as other studies have shown that exercise can improve different aspects of cognition related to the same memory.

This study shows more specifically that even a 20-minute fast walk, for example on a treadmill, can have the same beneficial effects as a cup of coffee with results that can be considered equivalent for both regular caffeine users and non-regular consumers.

According to Anisa Morava, who carried out the study together with Matthew Fagan and Harry Prapavessis, from the University of West Ontario, “Healthy people who drink two cups of coffee a day are generally OK in the sense that this will not adversely affect most physiological functions. However, for special populations, caffeine consumption can be problematic and should be limited or reduced.”

Animal carcasses very important for ecosystems according to a new study

The remains and carcasses of dead animals play an important role in many ecosystems and do so for long periods of time. This is confirmed by a new study conducted by researchers at the German Centre for Integrated Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the University of Groningen who, in a study published in PLOS ONE, explain how carcasses are useful not only as a source of food for other animals, as one might think, but also because they serve as important nutrients for plants, which in turn are very important for virtually every ecosystem.

Researchers have analyzed these characteristics in a nature reserve in the Netherlands, Oostvaardersplassen, which is considered one of the largest wetlands in Europe. In particular, they analyzed how the carcasses of dead deer can have an important impact on the local ecosystem, particularly on biodiversity. They found that dead animal carcasses mainly benefit insects such as flies or other land insects known to be carrion hungry. However, they also found that the remains of dead animals also promote plant growth in the long term because they leave important nutrients in the soil.

For example, they noted that the wild thistle (Carduus crispus, also known as frizzy thistle), a herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family, grows five times closer to carcasses than in other places. This, in turn, leads to an increase in biodiversity in a chain process, e.g. herbivorous insects feeding on plants, their predators and predators of predators, etc.

The fact is that the researchers, as Roel van Klink, one of the scientists involved in the study, explains, did not expect such significant effects of carcasses on the entire food chain, effects that continue even months after death. These results shed new light on the importance, which was already known, of the remains of dead animals, often not considered to be as important as dead vegetation in terms of resources for ecosystems.

It is a sort of “social taboo,” as Chris Smit of the University of Groningen explains, according to whom for someone, perhaps even unconsciously, it is almost a pity to underline the value of a dead animal for an ecosystem.

In any case, this study makes us reflect on the increasingly pressing laws, imposed also in the European Union, which make it increasingly difficult to leave the carcass of a large dead animal in the place where it died within nature reserves. These regulations should perhaps not always be applied, given the results of this study.

Rising sea levels could trigger strong inland migration in the US

Several times it has been reported that several coastal areas of the United States will also suffer from sea level rise and now a new study, conducted by researchers from the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, seems to certify it. According to the researchers, the rise in sea levels could cause real inland mass migrations by the populations of coastal areas that would pour into inland cities.

Published in PLOS ONE, the study used the technique of machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence algorithm, to calculate the migration patterns that would result from sea-level rise along the U.S. coast. The results show that the impacts would literally spread throughout the country and that not only the populations on the coast, which will naturally be those directly subject to the effects, such as floods, will suffer, but also the populations of inland areas given the strong migratory flows that would be triggered.

By doing some calculations, researchers have come to the conclusion that at least 13 million people would be forced to move from coastal areas to inland areas by the year 2100. This flow will bring about very important changes for several cities in terms of population increase or decrease. Adverse effects would include those related to the economy, with more competition for jobs, higher house prices and generally greater pressure on infrastructure.

“Our results indicate that everyone should be concerned about rising sea levels, whether they live on the coast or not. This is a global impact problem,” says Bistra Dilkina, one of the researchers involved in the study. The researchers have also calculated that the main destination for climate migrants on the southeast coast will also be Houston, Dallas and especially Austin, a city that should see a sharp increase in population. Several counties around Los Angeles are also expected to see many of their inhabitants leaving to live in safer inland destinations.