Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Science Facts

By Kristy McCaffrey

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth have published a study that women wearing high heels are more attractive to men than women who don’t. High heels require a slightly adjusted way of walking, one that involves shorter steps and more hip movement, giving women a more feminine gait.

Mice permanently lose their fear of felines following infection with a parasite that cats carry. The brazen behavior carries on long after the infection clears.

Snow leopards have low levels of genetic diversity, nearly half that of the other big cat species. Low genetic diversity can be a sign that a species is headed toward extinction.

Physical order produces healthy choices, generosity, and conventionality, whereas disorder produces creativity.

Researchers have known for decades that if you cool liquid helium just a few degrees below its boiling point of -452 degrees Fahrenheit (-269 degrees Celsius) it will suddenly be able to do things that other fluids can't, like dribble through molecule-thin cracks, climb up and over the sides of a dish, and remain motionless when its container is spun.

Identical twins aren't completely the same, and it's not due to differences in nurturing. Geneticist Carl Bruder of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his colleagues closely compared the genomes of 19 sets of identical adult twins. In some cases, one twin's DNA differed from the other's at various points on their genomes. At these sites of genetic divergenct, one bore a different number of copies of the same gene, a genetic state called copy number variants.

When feeding, leeches use their suckers to attach to their hosts, releasing an anesthetic, which helps prevent them from being detected as well as serving as an anticoagulant, which prompts continued bleeding.

A 20-ounce bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 16 sugar cubes.

The scientists who discovered sucralose (now sold as Splenda) were originally trying to create an insecticide. An assistant thought he had been instructed to "taste" a compound he'd only been asked to "test."

Sugars are the building blocks of carbohydrates, the most abundant type of organic molecules in living things.

Researchers at Queen Mary University and Imperial College London report that exposing solar cells to pop music makes them convert sunlight into electricity up to 50 percent more efficiently. Solar cells, expensive to produce, create up to 40 percent more electricity while listening to the higher pitches found in pop and rock music. Similar test conducted with classical music, typically of darker tones than pop, did not yield the same beneficial effects.

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