Bite mark vagueness; Dr. Lean and Dr. Stout; Duck-swan mutual dining; Knitting

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has five segments. Here are bits of each of them: Biting biting remarks — …Bite-mark analysis hoo-ha, so far, mostly applies to identifying human biters. Mostly, but not entirely. Enter a new paper called “Forensic determination of shark species as predators and scavengers of sea turtles in […]

Envenomations by Rattlesnakes Thought to Be Dead, Then and Now

Old rattlesnake research gains new bite, with the news reports of a man who decapitated a rattlesnake, and then was bitten by the detorsoed snake head [“Texas Man’s Near-Fatal Lesson: A Decapitated Snake Can Still Bite” — New York Times]. The most pertinently focussed study was published almost 20 years ago: “Envenomations by Rattlesnakes Thought to […]

Towards standard measurement scales for crispy, crackly and crunchy foods

Those involved in the field of ‘Texture Studies’ (with regard to food) often find a need to measure and categorize crispness, crackliness and crunchiness of various foodstuffs (* see example below). For such measurements to be meaningful, however, the methods and terms need to be accurately defined first. In 2008 considerable steps towards definitions of […]

Advertisements for desserts – should they include bite marks?

Those in the business of marketing desserts might be interested in new research from Donya Shabgard at the University of Manitoba, US, who has investigated, possibly for the first time, the influence of an advertisement’s dessert portrayal on consumer perceptions of desirability. Specifically, should advertisements show desserts with a bite taken out of them or […]

Cat Bites and Human Depression [The Data Miners’ Tale]

This study presents a cheery attempt to see if cat bites lead to human depression (or maybe vice versa): “Describing the Relationship between Cat Bites and Human Depression Using Data from an Electronic Health Record,” David A. Hanauer [pictured here], Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa S. Seyfried, PLoS One. 2013 Aug 1;8(8):e70585. (Thanks to Constanza Villalba for […]