The Science of Caffeine, Ignobels, and Your Own Personal Microbe Cloud

I haven’t written much recently as the beginning of the semester is always a crazy time.  However, I thought I would share a few of my favorite science related media.

The first is the “Science of Caffeine”, a short video produced by the American Chemical Society on how we metabolize caffeine and how it elicits its effects.  I could use a cup of coffee right now!

The second is a short NPR audio news clip describing how scientists have found that everyone has their own personal microbe cloud spewing forth into the space around them.

Wherever You Go, Your Personal Cloud Of Microbes Follows

Remember Pig-Pen? The little kid from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons who walked around in a cloud of dirt? Well, the human body does spew a cloud, but instead of dirt it contains millions of microorganisms. “It turns out that that kid is all of us,” says James Meadow, a microbial ecologist who led research about the microbes shadowing us during postdoctoral work at the University of Oregon.

The last one for today is a BBC article on the 2015 Ignobels.  The Ignobels are awards for improbable scientific research.  My favorite 2015 Ig award is that a physics team from Georgia Tech found that there is a “Universal Urination Duration.” Basically, all animals large and small urinate in an average of 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).

‘Universal urination duration’ wins Ig Nobel prize – BBC News

From the section Science & Environment A study showing that nearly all mammals take the same amount of time to urinate has been awarded one of the 2015 Ig Nobel prizes at Harvard University. These spoof Nobels for “improbable research” are in their 25th year.

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