Batting away pesticide use

Agriculture is a costly business. You need seeds to plant, fertilizer to make it grow and machinery to harvest. Unfortunately, we grow most of this food in big, exposed landscapes providing an delicious buffet for billions of insects. It is no surprise, therefore, that pesticide is one of the biggest expenses for British farmers (£720 […]

Watching porn is good for you – if you’re a cricket

Any crickets reading this – you’re in luck. Scientists have shown that hearing other crickets making sexual noises while growing up have a stronger immune system than those who were reared in silence. It seems a strange, almost coincidental, correlation – between an internal, biochemical process (immunity) and an external, social cue (sexual signalling). However, […]

Down in the dumps

If you men out there have just broken up with your girlfriend, you will probably hear the platitude “time is the greatest healer”. Given enough time you will be able to forget that old flame and move on to someone better. Science has, unfortunately, shown this to be nothing but empty words. According to the Journal […]

She’s quite a dish

I love it when science demonstrates something that is bloomin’ obvious to the rest of us. In the journal of Evolutionary Psychology, researchers have published a study showing that men are significantly more likely to pay for a meal when their female companion was attractive. The scientists showed pictures of women to 245 men, and […]

I, Robot, am disgusted.

Being touched by a sexy nurse is one of the most common fantasies (not admitting anything personally here) – but how would you feel if your object of affection was a robot? Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology found that volunteers were happy to be touched by a robot nurse, if under the impression they […]

Nurturing Nature

Animal behaviour is a subject that has always fascinated me. At first glance, the actions of animals seems so familiar, obvious to the point of not being noteworthy. They eat when they are hungry, they run when danger is present, and they get down to it when, you know, they want to. What I find […]

Deep voices and shallow personalities

Why is it that Barry White is seen as a quivering mass of concentrated sexiness, yet poor Joe Pasquale is resigned to the shallow end of the genetic swimming pool? Well, new research, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, has shown that men with deep and manly voices are more likely to be judged as […]

Mean Girls

Why are men always viewed as the more competitive? You hear stories about men cutting each other’s throat for the only promotion, fighting each other in a pub car park or trying to outdo one other at the urinals (none of which I will admit to having done). Well, one study at least has come […]

Puppy love

Warning: this post contains scenes of extreme cuteness and adorability. Reader discretion is advised. Scientists have, for the first time, proved systematically that tiny little kittens and puppies are actually cute. It sounds incredibly obvious; even the coldest, stony-hearted grinches out there will melt at the sight of a baby animal looking up at them. […]

Judging a book by its sexy cover

Have you ever noticed how beautiful people always seem to be the most popular as well? I’m sure you have, from whatever part of the high school pecking order you happened to find yourself in. Not that it will make the lower echelons of humanity feel any better, but there might be a scientifically sound […]

Neural clues to anxiety disorders

Fear is one of the most primitive emotions, having evolved deep in evolutionary history to make sure our ancestors stayed away from bigger, toothier or more poisonous animals. There is a very good reason why some of the most common fears around the world concern snakes and spiders, animals that, if given the chance, could […]

Unpopularity contest

To the consternation of all downtrodden geeks, dweebs, sissies, melvins, Imperial students and nerds out there, those bullies who made your schooldays less than pleasant were probably more popular than you were. Research from the American Sociological Review has shown that, far from being thuggish, sociopathic bastards, they actually have an intricate network of friends. […]

Copycats

Apart from a few eccentric Germans, being eaten is probably the last thing any of us would ever like to have happen to us. The same is true throughout the rest of the animal kingdom, of course, with millions of adaptations evolving to help prevent such an occurrence happening. Many of these adaptations are pretty […]

Butterflies in your stomach

The thought of climate change may leave you with a sinking feeling in your stomach, what with rising sea levels and increasing extinction rates. Research published recently in PLoS has suggested a novel way of helping the planet, although it is unlikely to help the situation in your stomach. Eating insects can, apparently, reduce our […]