Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Links

Does studying lead to poorer food choices?
Take 165 undergraduate students and enroll them in a study you tell them is about memory and where as part of their reward for inclusion, they'll be given a snack. Ask half of them to memorize a 2 digit number and the other half a 7 digit number and once they've memorized their numbers ask them to go into a second room where they are faced with their snack choice - either a piece of chocolate cake or a cup of fruit salad. [...] 63% of the students who were trying to remember the 7 digit number chose the cake compared with only 42% of those trying to remember the 2 digit number.
Interesting result, but I'm not entirely convinced of the explanation.

British doctors transplant trachea grown from stem cells
It is the first time a child has received an organ transplant created with stem cells and the second time that surgeons have injected the stem cells immediately before implanting the windpipe. In a previous operation the cells were allowed to grow onto the windpipe in the laboratory for some months before the organ was implanted.
If they successfully fully regrow the windpipe in situ that is definitely pretty cool.

The Great American Pizza Map
[T]oday's map should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, isn't the comparison between the number of user generated references to "pizza", "guns" or "strip club" an obvious one to make? Perhaps not, but we're doing it anyway.
The map is colour coded based on user-generated Google Maps placemarks for those three terms. Lots of strip clubs marked in the Vegas area. Go figure.

On the animal research experience
So he had spent the day chopping the heads off of something like 90 mice that he had raised for a couple of years. And you have to remember, Billy was a graduate student. That meant that most likely, these mice were his only friends.
This is an interesting collection of stories describing the complex issue of of animal research.