Q.1 Is it possible to use one’s tongue as a subatomic particle detector?
Q.2 If so, would that be a good idea?

A growing body of scientific studies have examined the implications of finger length ratios. But until recently up to 50% of humanoid distal appendages may have been largely overlooked – for what of toe-length ratios?

Progress towards rectifying this digital imbalance has been made with a recent study from the Department of Psychology, Penn State University, Harrisburg, US. Professor Marissa Harrison has published one of the very few studies to investigate :
The scholarly journal Parallax (vol. 16, no.3, 2010) is a special edition on the subject of ‘YES!’.

Gary Peters, who is Professor of Critical and Cultural Theory at York St. John University, UK, is guest-editor for the issue, and is also author of one of the key papers 'Yes, No, Don't know'

The first scientific study to employ real-time magnetic resonance imaging  (RT) MRI to obtain midsagittal vocal tract sequential image data from a total of 5 soprano singers was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, November 2010 (Express Letters pp. EL335-EL341)

A study in BMJ's Christmas issue, which spares no effort in its annual attempt to see who in science media rewrites press releases without even reading them, has determined why Rudolph, the famous extra reindeer of Santa we will not show here due to little desire to pay royalties, has a red nose.

Rudolph's nose is red because it is richly supplied with red blood cells which help to protect it from freezing and to regulate brain temperature. This superior "nasal microcirculation" is essential for pulling Santa Claus's sleigh under extreme temperatures, says the BMJ study.

Dogs can sniff out Clostridium difficile, the infective agent that is responsible for many of the dreaded "hospital acquired infections", in stool samples and even in the air surrounding patients in hospital with a very high degree of accuracy, finds a study in the Christmas issue published on today.

Yes, dogs can smell a superbug infection in poop. Can you smell a rat at BMJ this Christmas?

The findings, they write in one of this year's spoofs, support previous studies of dogs detecting various types of cancer and could have great potential for screening hospital wards to help prevent C. difficile outbreaks, say the researchers.

Opinions of the tooth fairy as kind and giving may need to be revised following "mounting reports of less child-friendly activity", according to a paper published in the BMJ's Christmas edition which is sure to fool mainstream media editors who are used to scare journalism and miracle vegetable of the week stories and may want to mix it up a little. 

Researchers from across London, they write, have become concerned following misdemeanors of the mythical character and a worrying trend in malpractice. One boy in particular became extremely distressed because the tooth fairy "had put a tooth in his left ear" after he left it under his pillow.

 An investigation turned out he was right

It has been said that a fully developed mathematical formula is one of the shortest possible ways to describe a physical phenomenon. Some phenomena, however, are so complex that their mathematical description can be dauntingly large. Take for example the formula to describe the aerial motion of a boomerang

A recent article pointed out a radical conclusion published in the British Medical Journal that reducing dietary fat intake could lead to weight loss and reduced BMI.

Obviously such radical results will need to be verified and peer-reviewed, but it is expected that additional studies will show that increased sleep will make you feel less tired.  Exercise will tend to promote fitness, and eating will make you feel less hungry.

Ain't science grand!

Published by IBO (Institute of the Bloody Obvious)

For badminton players: “The centre piece of the game is no doubt a shuttlecock which is made of either natural feathers or synthetic rubber with an open conical shape.”

But perhaps some are left wondering which is best from an aerodynamic point of view – a feathered ‘bird’ or a rubber one?

“Although a series of studies on aerodynamic behaviour of spherical and ellipsoidal balls have been reported in the open literature, scant information is available in the public domain about the aerodynamic behaviour of badminton shuttlecocks.”