Beneficial bird deaths? Clap for the man. No wait for weight. Disco astronomy.

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: Best interests at heart? — Feedback is fascinated by the final eight words in this statement: “Disadvantages include the competitive element associated with racing, which creates a strong incentive to kill birds where this is not in […]

“Big Men” in leadership roles [new study]

How does body weight and size affect the perceived persuasiveness of ‘leaders’ (when the ‘leader’ is a man) ? This question has recently been examined by three professors from the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, US. Professor Kevin Kniffin and Professor Vicki  Bogan, along with faculty colleague Professor David Just (also now at […]

Which individuals become fatter when they practice exercise? (study)

Professor Jean-Frédéric Brun of the Service Central de Physiologie Clinique, Centre d’Exploration et de Réadaptation des Anomalies du Métabolisme Musculaire (CERAMM), Montpellier, France, has spent almost half of his life writing research or tutorial papers which deal with exercise, fuel metabolism assessment in vivo, and hemorheology. He has recently investigated a paradox which has, surprisingly, […]

Weight-lifting enhances museum exhibit appreciation (study)

Attn. museum curators! If you were to ask your visitors to lift heavy weights whilst looking at exhibits, would their esthetic pleasure and appreciative comprehension increase? A recent study, published in frontiers in Psychology suggests that ‘Weight lifting can facilitate appreciative comprehension for museum exhibits’.  A research team from Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, asked 42 […]

Thigh Gaps

Considering the relatively high level of media interest in the so-called ‘Thigh Gap’ phenomenon over the last few years, it’s perhaps surprising that very few scientific researchers appear to have looked into it. Improbable has managed to find only one experimental study, undertaken by Khyati Maheshkumar Ganatra of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at […]

The experiment where they purposely made poop glow in the dark

Investigator Kirk Maxey introduced us to this research by saying: “For those with fetishes, we can add multi-colors….” He gives details, including the image reproduced here, on his blog, which begins thus: Lose Weight…and your poop will glow in the dark too! Sean Davies had a problem to solve: If you genetically modify enteric bacteria to make them more […]