Science & Society

Who volunteers to have sex in a laboratory?

I was struck by this question when reading about an experimental study of ideal sexual positions for men with back pain.

For the purpose of the research, couples were filmed using motion capture and infra-red technology while they had sex.

The researchers were in a separate booth where they could hear, but not see, the participants. Electrodes were used to record muscle activity in certain parts of the body, to get an idea of force.


In politics, all parties have their own 'fact-checking' and supposedly non-partisan organizations debunking each other, so they can't really be trusted. But in science true neutral fact-checking is actually possible.

Consumer driven food trends are nothing new.

“Organics”, gluten-free, and more recently buying “local” have all captured consumers, encouraging supermarkets around the globe and in Australia to respond.

But the next emerging European food trend that may have the biggest impact on what we buy each week is “ugly food”.

Not every member of a social network is human. We are being watched, even played with by giants such as Facebook which openly admitted running social experiments.


America has the luxury of being able to dash from one culture war to another, primarily because we are a wealthy country with plenty of food and medicine and energy, providing ample opportunity for people who have never lacked for any of those to be opposed to science related to food, medicine and energy, while others can claim pollution is our friend or worry about abstract ideas like the conflict between science and religion.
How much of feeling healthy is subjective? 

People today feel less healthy than ever, even though people live far longer far better than ever in history, according to a new paper. The reason they feel less healthy, and thus demand more medical treatment, is because of the decline in subjective health - people used to go to the doctor when they needed it - and expectations of more and more egalitarian "good" health. Because of the increased demand for zero health defects, there are demands for more doctors and more expansion and the cycle continues.

The result: In the Western world, 25 years of runaway expansion of the medical system has actually led to people feeling less healthy over time.
Last Friday and Saturday, the 2015 Synopsys Sac STEM Fair was held at Folsom High School.

I moved here from the football town of Pittsburgh and one thing everyone in football fandom knows about football towns is that for 8 or more days during football season, the parking lots at stadiums are jam-packed with "tailgating" fans, even if they don't have tickets to the actual game. Tailgating is named such because in its earliest form it was just driving a truck up before the game and putting down the tailgate and sitting on it and having a refreshment. Then it became about bringing a grill and cooking some food, then suddenly it became a football event in itself.

Reverse aging drugs discovered. (March 2015).  "A new class of anti-aging drugs has been identified in a study by a team from The Scripps Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic.

Countless blogs share stories about everything from potty training to preschool struggles while Facebook posts and Tweets are overrun with kids playing dress up, having meltdowns and dancing to the likes of Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

Today's University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health concludes that "sharenting" is here to stay, with more than half of mothers and one-third of fathers discussing child health and parenting on social media and nearly three quarters of parents saying social media makes them feel less alone.

But how far is too far when it comes to crossing the boundaries between public and private life?