Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Scientist who uplifted a frog did not support the Chinese brassiere

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

News reports say that Andre Geim (who won an Ig Nobel physics prize for using magnets to levitate a frog, and then won a Nobel physics prize for discovering how to obtain and study the virtually-two-dimensional form of carbon known as “graphene“) — discovered that a Chinese brassiere manufacturer is falsely claiming that he, Andre Geim, endorsed the power of their brassieres.

The Times report begins:

Busted! Makers of miracle bra faked support of Nobel winner Sir Andre Geim

Graphene scientists are used to dealing with exciting claims. The material’s superconductivity could revolutionise electronics and its super-strength could transform aircraft construction. Few industries appear safe from disruption.

Even so Andre Geim, who won a Nobel prize for its discovery, was surprised to hear graphene underwear could renew sexual vigour and enlarge breasts. He was particularly surprised because, when he read about the claims, they were endorsed by one Professor Andre Geim, from the University of Manchester….. Shengquan insists underwear made of graphene boosts breast size and sex lives….

The South China Morning Post carries this headline on its report:

‘I’m not advertising underwear’: UK Nobel laureate in ‘fake claims’ row with Chinese firm

(Thanks to Davide Castelvecchi for bringing this to our attention.)

NOTE: So far as we are aware, the Shengquan bra is not connected in any way with the Emergency Bra (a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.), whose inventor, Elena Bodnar, was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for public health….

Forensic Comparison: Sex With Animals vs Human-Butt-Fisting

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

The traditional method of literary analysis known as “Compare and Contrast” gets a workout in this newly published medical study:

Similar mechanisms of traumatic rectal injuries in patients who had anal sex with animals to those who were butt-fisted by human sexual partner,” Damian Jacob Sendler, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 51, 2017, 69e73.

The author, at the University of Lublin Medical School, Lublin, Poland, reports;

“Among zoophiles, the mode of harm occurs through blood-engorged, interlocked penis that causes tissue lacerations upon retraction from an anus. In people experimenting with fisting, repetitive stretching within anal canal and of external sphincter causes the internal injuries. The mode of physical stimulation explains the extent of injuries in fisters vs. zoophiles: in fisting, the pressure applied by hand is controllable proximally around and within anal sphincter, while penetration by the animal penis is unpredictable and occurs within the proximal anal canal. Forensically, the findings presented in this article describe a significant mechanism of injury in fisters versus passive zoophiles. These descriptions may aid in clinically differentiating pleasurable and pathological rectal stimulation.”

Here’s additional detail from the study:

(Thanks to Ivan Oransky for bringing this to our attention.)

Why Use Dinosaur Poop to Repair Sheep Bones?

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Roy Bloebaum used fossilized dinosaur poop to repair sheep bones. The repair of bones can be an intricate undertaking. Dr. Bloebaum (and colleagues!) hoped to demonstrate how easy it can be to make iffy assumptions. They chose dinosaur feces fossil material to attract attention that could then be focused on certain intellectual aspects of bone repair. They describe this, in technical language, in a newly published study:

Transcortical or intracondylar? Which model is accurate for predicting biomaterial attachment in total joint replacement?” Roy D. Bloebaum [pictured here], Nicole T. Abdo, Aaron A. Hofmann, Richard T. Epperson, Raymond E. Olsen, and Ornusa Chalayon, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B, epub 2017. They authors, at the Bone & Joint Research Laboratory, DVA SLC HCS, Salt Lake City, Utah, and the University of Utah, report:

Despite four decades of research on material and porous coatings intended for cementless fixation in total joint replacement (TJR), aseptic mechanical loosening unrelated to particulate disease remains a concern….

Porous-coated commercially pure titanium implants (Ti-Coat) were from Thortex Inc., Portland Oregon and were used as the material to test the hypothesis (control). Commercially pure titanium has been shown to provide successful attachment clinically in TJR. Coprolite implants, from David Gillette with Utah State University, commonly known as petrified dinosaur poop (Dino), were used to establish a dramatic understanding that even this unique material (which would never be used in TJR) might demonstrate that bone could hypothetically bridge a 500 mm gap at the transcortical location, but possibly not at the weight-bearing intracondylar location….

In conclusion, the results of this investigation emphasize that biomaterial scientists, manufacturers, investigators, and orthopedic surgeons should be aware of the inferior healing properties of cancellous [the inner, spongily-structured, portion of] bone as compared to cortical [the outer, more-compactly-structured portion of] bone and how these results suggest a false-positive nature of the transcortical model in TJR. The results showed that even petrified dinosaur feces could be mechanically stable in the transcortical model.

Here are further details from the study:

(Thank to Donald W. Howie for bringing this to our attention.)

“Good Vibrations: A Novel Method for Sexing Turtles” [research study]

Monday, July 24th, 2017

citVibrators can be used, in a stimulating way, to study the sex of turtles. This study tells how.

Good Vibrations: A Novel Method for Sexing Turtles,” Donald T. McKnight, Hunter J. Howell, Ethan C. Hollender, and Day B. Ligon, Acta Herpetologica, vol. 12, no. 1, 2017, pp. 117-121. The authors, at Missouri State University, James Cook University, and Towson University, report:

“While most species of turtle exhibit secondary sexual dimorphisms that can be used to reliably infer sex, there are some species that are very difficult to sex, and even within many dimorphic species, it is not uncommon to encounter individuals that appear to exhibit both male and female secondary sex characteristics. Therefore, we tested the novel method of using a vibrator to sex turtles by stimulating male turtles to evert their penises. We tested this method on males of four species (three families) with known sexual dimorphisms: spiny softshell turtles (Apalone spinifera; n = 14), western chicken turtles (Deirochelys reticularia miaria; n = 17), Mississippi mud turtles (Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis; n = 10), and common musk turtles (Sternotherus odoratus; n = 9). The method accurately sexed 100% of A. spinifera, 64.7% of D. r. miaria, 80.0% of K. s. hippocrepis, and 55.6% of S. odoratus.”

Sternotherus odoratus, which remains difficult to sex, is also known as the “stinkpot turtle.”

NOTE: One form of vibrator is called a “rabbit vibrator.” It is not the specific kind of vibrator that was used in the study. Nor was the so-called “tame little turtle shape vibrator.”

BONUS: A performance, by humans, of the song “Good Vibrations”:

UPDATE: Jason Bittel has further details, in the Washington Post: “This $10 sex toy is helping scientists study turtles

“Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture” research celebrated in Greece

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture” — the study that earned the 2002 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize — is given a keen appreciation, lavishly illustrated, in Athens magazine, in Greek. The study itself was published in the journal Nature, which featured it on the cover of their February 5, 1976 issue.

The study’s author, Chris McManus, is a professor of psychology and medical education, at University College London. McManus also is founding editor of the research journal Laterality.