Thursday, April 7, 2011

Editor's Selections: Pigs' Blood, Yawning, Sexy Clothes, and (Home)Buyer's Remorse

New and notable this week on

  • The next time you light up, you may be smoking pigs' blood. Hadas Shema of Science Blogging in Theory and Practice looks at the way research can be sensationalized to sway public opinion.
  • Domesticated dogs do it. I know my cats do it. And apparently, chimps do it too. What exactly do they do? Well, yawn, of course. Jason Goldman of The Thoughtful Animal explores empathy and contagious yawning in chimp communities.
  • Menstruation is often treated as a handy scapegoat for emotional fluctuations in women. While hormonal variations linked to menses can influence behavior, can these variations also make women buy sexier clothes? (Yes, I'm serious.) Kate Clancy of Context and Variation dissects a study on the connection between sexual competition and ovulation, encouraging readers to think critically about the data they are presented with.
  • Homes often retain traces of their previous owners. For non-smokers purchasing the home of a cigarette smoker, however, these traces may be detrimental to their health. Dirk Hanson of Addiction Inbox reports that the former homes of cigarette smokers retain elevated levels of nicotine in the air and dust for extended periods after the home had been sold. This may be something new buyers may want to consider in their home selection process.
I'll be back next Thursday with more selections from the social sciences!

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