Category Research

Thumbs Up for Teens.

We don’t yet know why but it seems younger mothers have shorter baby’s. A recent study in New Zealand assessed whether increasing maternal age would be associated with changes in height, body composition, as well as lipid and metabolic profiles in childhood. The age of women having their first child has increased considerably over the past decades. [...]

Japanese Miniatures: Social Kogao Chins

A Japanese company for beauty products has developed masks to reduce the size of your face. The inside of the mask is laced with the metal germanium and generates heat on the skin surface to make you sweat out excess moisture. The existence of this product, no doubt condemned to end up in that unholy [...]

We are the Model Organism

The Incredible Shrinking Man is interested in the scientific culture of model organisms. A model organism is an animal species that is studied to understand particular biological phenomena, with the expectation that discoveries made in the organism model will provide insight into human biology. This research strategy is made possible by the common descent of all living organisms, and [...]

700 Genetic Factors (for now)

Since 2007 researchers of the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium are quickly uncovering the polygenic traits that influence human height.  Recently they analysed data from the genomes of another 253,288 subjects and were able to identify 697 gene variants, the pieces of DNA that vary from person to person, in 424 gene regions as related [...]

The Baby Illusion

Dr. Jordy Kaufman, senior researcher at the The Swinburne BabyLab, asked himself why many parents, after the birth of a second child report that their first child appears to grow suddenly and substantially larger? Is it simply because of the contrast that stems from the comparison of the older child to the new sibling or is there a [...]

Small Fork Interface

Tiny cutlery can function as an effective shrink experience machine. Eating a normal sized meal with a small fork gives its user a real sense of abundance. Not only will the tiny fork interface prolong the time of having a meal, it also functions as a lense to perceive your food differently. Such utensils can [...]

Catch-Up Growth

Catch-up growth is the accelerated growth of an organism following a period of slowed development. Such slowing down is most often the result of environmental influences such as food scarcity, sudden changes in temperature, or other environmental stress factors. After the situation is normalised, growth not only returns but speeds up to compensate for lost [...]

FOXO3a

Recent studies have identified the FOXO3a (Forkhead Box 3a) transcription gene as an important regulator of morphological scaling. It’s a key regulatory gene in a nutrient- and energy-sensing biological pathway (insulin/IGF-1 signalling pathway),that throughout our evolution was conserved from yeast to humans. FOXO3a anticipates food scarcity by slight alterations to its functionality with resultant phenotypic changes including [...]

Microbial Temper Tantrums

In stressful conditions, cells must prevent the initiation of replication and shift their priorities to protective functions. In other words: they must stop division and growth. Experiments in bacteria at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have uncovered the mechanism that translates stress into blocked cell growth. According to molecular biologist Peter Chien stressful conditions causes proteins [...]

7up 7down

Over the years science has put forth innumerable explanations as to why women outlive men. Of all people over 100 years or older 85% are women. Some think it is because men work harder than women. Others suggest it’s because women are more sociable and better at dealing with stress. Another reason given is that men are more [...]