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Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

The Consortium for Research About Profanity

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

“Welcome to the Consortium for Research About Profanity,” says the Consortium for Research About Profanity, then pausing ever so slightly before explaining:

“The Consortium for Research About Profanity is a collection of researchers working on understanding how profanity functions in minds, between people, and across societies.”

Who are they? They are a lively bunch:

Why Wild Giant Pandas Frequently Roll in Horse Manure

Monday, December 7th, 2020

The question of the wild giant pandas frequently roll in horse manure is explored in a new study called “Why Wild Giant Pandas Frequently Roll in Horse Manure.”

Why Wild Giant Pandas Frequently Roll in Horse Manure,” Wenliang Zhou, Shilong Yang, Bowen Li, Yonggang Nie, Anna Luo, Guangping Huang, Xuefeng Liu, Ren Lai, and Fuwen Wei, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 7, 2020. The study includes videos of the activity.

The authors, at the Chinese Academy of Science, report:

“In nature, it is extremely rare to observe attraction to fecal matter between wild mammalian species. Horse manure rolling (HMR) behavior described in this study is frequently observed in QIN pandas at low habitat temperature. Based on integrated analysis from climatic data, animal behaviors, and molecular assays, HMR is found as a temperature-, chemical-, and TRPM8-related behavior that may contribute to pandas’ cold tolerance. This study sheds light on how wild animals actively seek and utilize potential chemical resources from their habitat for survival adaptation.”

Word is spreading. Katherine Wu interviewed some scientists about this, for the New York Times, and other reports are proliferating.

The Pee Tape: How Mammals Pee So Expeditiously

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

David Hu, head of the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize-winning urination-duration-research team, has a new animated video explaining that research:

The 2015 Ig Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to Patricia Yang, David Hu, Jonathan Pham, and Jerome Choo, for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).

They explain that research in detail, in the study “Duration of Urination Does Not Change With Body Size,” Patricia J. Yang, Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo, and David L. Hu, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111 no. 33, August 19, 2014, pp. 11932–11937.

Patricia Yang and David Hu, together with additional colleagues, were awarded a second Ig Nobel Prize four years later. The 2019 Ig Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to Patricia Yang, Alexander Lee, Miles Chan, Alynn Martin, Ashley Edwards, Scott Carver, and David Hu, for studying how, and why, wombats make cube-shaped poo.

They explain that research in detail, in the study “How Do Wombats Make Cubed Poo?” Patricia J. Yang, Miles Chan, Scott Carver, and David L. Hu, paper presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Abstract: E19.0000, November 18–20, 2018.

Effects of Cashew Gum and Nanoparticles on Cooled Stallion Semen

Friday, October 9th, 2020

The number of published research studies about the effects of cashew gum and nanoparticles on cooled stallion semen has increased by one, with the arrival of this new study:

Effects of Cashew Gum and Nanoparticles on Cooled Stallion Semen,” Kahynna Cavalcante Loureiro, Isabel Bezerra Lima-Verde, Anders Johannisson, Theodoros Ntallaris, Alessandro Jager, Petr Štěpánek, Marcelo da Costa Mendonça, Patrícia Severino & Jane M. Morrell, Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, vol. 62, no. 31, 2020.

The authors are at the Institute of Technology and Research (ITP), Brazil, Tiradentes University (UNIT), Brazil, the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Czech Republic, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

(Thanks to Silvan Urfer for bringing this to our attention.)

Ministerial Exploration: Ozone Up the Rectum in Brazil

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

The pandemic is inspiring a few individuals to new depths of innovation. The English translation of this headline is: “Minister of Health meets with supporters of ozone use in the rectum against covid-19“. The August 5, 2020 news report appears in the Brazilian magazine CartaCapital:

The article begins by saying: “The interim Minister of Health, General Eduardo Pazuello, met with defenders of the application of ozone in the anus as a way to fight the coronavirus, on Monday 3. The treatment model was suggested by the mayor of Itajaí , in Santa Catarina, Volnei Morastoni (MDB), to help prevent the disease.”

The article finishes up with a bit of recent history: “Although the practice has not been proven effective against covid-19, it is also defended for this purpose in a bill presented on April 1 by federal deputy Paula Belmonte (Cidadania-DF). The PL 1383/2020 authorizes the prescription of ozone therapy as a complementary medical treatment for the coronavirus. Another 2017 project asks for permission to prescribe ozone therapy across the country.”

(Thanks to Ruth Bellinghini for bringing this to our attention.)

Improbable Research