Dog Nose-Tip Temperature Dynamics and Distant-Heat Sensing Ability

“Why do dogs have cold noses?” wonder many humans who, most of them, have warmer noses than dogs have. Here are two research studies by Ronald H.H. Kroger and colleagues, that sniffed into the question and may have found some answers. Dog Nose-Tip Distant-Heat Sensing Ability? “Dogs Can Sense Weak Thermal Radiation,” Anna Bálint, Attila […]

Surfer’s ears – and what can be done about them [new study]

“External auditory exostoses, also known as surfer’s ear, are benign tumours of the external auditory canal. They form primarily as a result of environmental factors, including recurrent exposure to cold water (below 19°C) or cold air, with a prevalence in surfers ranging from 38% to 73.5%. The prevalence and severity of exostoses are dependent on […]

A viral-transmission possible-hoax that will leave you with a cold, or just leave you cold

Sometimes it’s almost not worth trying to decide whether something is a hoax or not—whether, to say it in old-fashioned phrasing, it’s nothing to sneeze at. Vaev Tissues seems to fit snugly into this indecisively gooey category. Mandy Oaklander writes about it, whatever it is, in Time magazine: A Mysterious Company Claims to Sell Sneeze-Filled […]

Why don’t ice skaters get swollen hands? An hypothesis

If you were to take part in a prolonged inline roller-skate street journey involving the rhythmic swaying and waving of your outstretched arms in a circular arc, you might end up suffering from oedema (a.k.a. edema). As did Doctor Sody Naimer [pictured] of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Neve Dekalim, Goosh Katif, and Ben-Gurion University […]

Towards robotic goosebumps

“Although there have been many researches on artificial haptic-sensory skin and discussions of materials for facial expression, we can find few trials related to expressions on surface of robots.” Explain a research team from Dr. Tomoko Yonezawa’s lab at Kansai University Osaka, Japan, prompting them to become one of the first teams  worldwide (perhaps the first) […]

Podcast#21: Objects found in people’s rectums

“In subsequent years, as consumer confidence soared, so, too, did the purchasing of goods that would find their way into people’s rectums.” Hidden objects — of many kinds — turn up  in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. Click on the “Venetian blinds” icon — at the lower right corner here — to select whichever week’s episode you want […]

Dr. Science and her team look at zinc and colds

Dr. Science, et al., have just published a new medical study: “Zinc for the treatment of the common cold: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” Michelle Science, Jennie Johnstone, Daniel E. Roth, Gordon Guyatt, Mark Loeb, Canadian Medical Association Journal, epub May 7, 2012. Dr. Science, at the Hospital for Sick Children, […]

Kissing and the Common Cold?

Valentine’s Day always brings the question “Can you catch a cold by kissing?” A 1984 experiment gave this answer: “Casual social encounters or kisses between infected and susceptible individuals are probably unlikely to result in the transmission of rhinoviruses.” Here’s kissing data from the experiment. The citation and further quotations appear below it.