Category: Research

Young Mum Factor

November 22, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

To mediate the effects of global warming the Soay sheep on the island of Hirta in Scotland responded by becoming smaller, as many other species of animals are. In the case of Soay sheep the specific reason for a decrease in size is what professor…

Environmental Stress Hypothesis

November 10, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

In the past 4.000.000 years, human evolution is broadly characterised by a trend of increasing body mass and stature associated with changes in behaviour, diet, cognition, and demographic expansion. The past 2.000.000 years have seen an increase in estimated body size among most Homo species from an…

Social Canines

October 1, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Basically it was women who made us human. A female desire for less macho behaviour in male great apes and consequently a greater capacity for collaboration allowed enabled our evolution, and the directional female choice for men with smaller canine teeth led the way. Canine…

Human-sized Penguin

July 20, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Global warming is causing many species of animals to shrink. That is why we’re intrigued by this counter-intuitive RESEARCH on prehistoric giant penguins. Most penguin species today are small to average sized flightless birds that live in the colder regions of the southern hemisphere. They…

Shrinking Human Clickbait?

June 16, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Hmmm, interesting. In the context of what seems to be the promotion of a new book on mammals, professor Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh lists several all too well-known examples related to the phenomenon of shrinking as a survival mechanism when temperatures rise…

Reduced Brackets (Outgrowing Eames)

June 14, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

Ray and Charles Eames first introduced the Eames Lounge Chair (670) and Ottoman (671) in 1956, a time when people were considerably smaller than they are now. Some fifty years later, sales of the chair declined because its potential customers had become taller. Since we…

A Small Advantage

May 30, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

According to research of the University of Southampton the body mass of mammals will shrink by 25% over the next century, as creatures large and small will seek to adapt to environmental changes brought on by extensive habitat loss and other stressors as a result…

Lancelot’s Pony

January 22, 2022 By arne hendriks Off

The importance of the horse for social, cultural, and economic life in the Middle Ages made them a research focus for both historians and archaeologists. A recent paper in the International Journal of osteoarcheology presents a dataset of English horse bones from 171 unique archaeological…

Small Amazonians

November 27, 2021 By arne hendriks Off

Birds are sensitive indicators of environmental change. A recent study of understory birds of the Amazon rainforest over a timespan of 40 years and 77 species shows again that most birds are adapting to the current drastic environmental changes by becoming smaller. By zooming in…

The Peruvian Variant

May 30, 2020 By arne hendriks Off

Nearly 4,000 common variations in DNA are known to affect stature. Each variant nudges your height up, or down, with one millimeter or so. But now researchers have identified the single largest genetic contributor to human height known to date. The sensational findings of the…

Thumbs Up for Teens.

March 15, 2016 By arne hendriks 0

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…

Japanese Miniatures: Social Kogao Chins

April 21, 2015 By arne hendriks 0

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…

We are the Model Organism

April 3, 2015 By arne hendriks 0

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…

2000+ Genetic Factors

December 9, 2014 By arne hendriks 1

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…

The Baby Illusion

September 16, 2014 By arne hendriks 0

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…

Small Fork Interface

July 11, 2014 By arne hendriks 0

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…

Catch-Up Growth

July 8, 2014 By arne hendriks 2

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…

FOXO3a

June 20, 2014 By arne hendriks 0

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…

Microbial Temper Tantrums

March 22, 2014 By arne hendriks 0

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.…

7up 7down

November 5, 2013 By arne hendriks 1

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…