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Latest OSS Blog Articles:
Fenugreek and Sotalone
If you have eaten curry, you have probably tasted fenugreek. The seeds of this plant as well as its fresh leaves are commonly used as ingredients in curries. They are added for taste but they also impart a smell that is due to sotalone, a compound that at low concentrations has a distinct maple syrup-like odour. Read More.
Gelotophobia can best be defined as the “potentially debilitating fear of being laughed at.” A person suffering from gelotophobia may hear a stranger’s laugh and believe it is aimed at him or her. In extreme cases the response may be palpitations, breaking out in a sweat, or even violence. Some school shootings have apparently been triggered by classmates having made fun of the shooter. Read More.
The Lorne Trottier 2014 Public Science Symposium: Are We Alone?
How did life originate and are we alone? Perhaps the two most intriguing questions that have puzzled mankind since the dawn of civilization. Countless science fiction stories and movies speak to our infatuation with the possibility of intelligent alien life but so far such accounts remain firmly in the realm of science fiction. But for how long? Read More.
New use for soap?
On my radio show today the story of putting a bar of soap under the sheet to cure leg cramps came up again. When science leaves a void, as it does with the treatment of leg cramps, unconventional therapies rush in to fill it. Just take a bar of soap, some say it has to be Ivory, place it on the mattress under the sheet and ...pleasant dreams! Read More.
Did You Know?
Phocomelia is a birth defect that has been linked to the drug thalidomide. This word derives from the Greek words for “seal” and “limb.” Thalidomide prescribe to preganat women for morning sickness was responsible for about 10,000 cases of terrible birth deformities in the early 1960s. Most of the affected babies were born with stunted arms or legs that looked like seal flippers. Today thalidomide is being used to treat leprosy effectively in South America but in some cases due to improper instruction about birth control new cases of phocomelia have arisen.
For more interesting facts, please make sure to check out our "Did You Know?" section.
Most Recent Science Links:
Fist bumps spread fewer germs than handshakes, study says
Ditching handshakes in favour of more informal fist bumps could help cut down on the spread of bacteria and illnesses, according to a study released on Monday. Read More.
What Makes a Superfood?
Salmon has at times been touted as a cancer preventive. Many nutritionists praise the health benefits of blueberries, kale and cinnamon bark. How does a food get elevated from the grocery aisle to superfood status? One expert, Phil Hagen, a preventive-medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic's Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minn., explains why there is more to food than a name. Read More.
Dr. Frank Arguello’s “atavistic oncology”: Another dubious cancer therapy to be avoided
Not infrequently, I’m asked why it is that I do what I do. Why do I spend so many hours of my free time, both here and at my not-so-super-secret other blog (NSSSOB), to write my detailed analyses of various forms of quackery, analyses of scientific studies, and expressions of my dismay at the infiltration of pseudoscience into medicine, particularly medical academia in a phenomenon I like to call “quackademic medicine”? Read More.
Video: Astrophysicist Victoria Kaspi on Fast Radio Bursts
Astrophysicist and McGill professor Victoria Kaspi Speaks on the discovery of Fast Radio Bust at her McGill office on on Monday July 14, 2014. Her team as replicated the findings of an Australian research team on these new beams of radio waves from the outskirts of the universe. Read More.