Links – May 5, 2011

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Before I get to the links, here are some things that have been going on lately:

– My post not too long ago on the efficacy of cortisol supplement during exposure therapy for specific phobias was picked by Jason as one of his ResearchBlogging Editor’s Selections last week.

– Razib and Zach have invited me to contribute at Brown Pundits. I’m not really sure what I’m going to talk about over there yet, but I accepted the offer.

I already mentioned it, but I have a guest post at the LabSpaces guest blog Dangerous Experiments on caloric intake and hypoadiponectinemia. My last guest post was on circumcision and cervical cancer at the Scientific American guest blog.

Physiology

How peppermint may cool that irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is thought to be caused by permanent agitation of enteric nerves (nerves in the gastrointestinal tract) that become oversensitive to inflammation, often occurring after an infection such as a bout of gastroenteritis (caused by “stomach flu” or food poisoning). Menthol from peppermint and other “cooling” compounds may be able to soothe the bowels and alleviate some of the symptoms of IBS. I think I may have already known this on a subconscious level, since I tend to suck on peppermints when I’m feeling anxious (anxiety and stress are major triggers of IBS).

Superfetation: Pregnant while already pregnant. On the Scientific American Guest Blog, a discussion of the unlikely factors that must happen in concert for a woman to get pregnant again when she’s already got a half-done bun in her oven.

Other Biology

How do you ID a dead Osama? Christie Wilcox explains the DNA analysis process that may have been used to confirm Bin Laden’s identity. See also 23andMe’s post on the topic.

Nature’s Living Tape Recorders May Be Telling Us Secrets. Superb lyrebirds are superb mimics of any sound you can imagine. Be sure to watch the embedded video.

Other Stuff

How to Boost Interest in Space: Talk About Poop. Yeah, I mean, look. I’ve seen enough space movies to know that peeing in space has to be pretty tightly controlled, otherwise you’ve got a big ol’ mess (and, actually, I’ve never heard anyone address the issue of women trying to urinate in space; that’s gotta be more difficult). BUT WHAT ABOUT POOPING?!

Mythbusting Princess Leia’s Hair. As if you needed to be told that Leia’s hair defied the laws of physics.

I Liked The Royal Wedding (And It’s Okay If You Did Too). What kind of power does the monarchy really have?

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