Fact of Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths by Scientific American Editors

By Scientific American Editors

Truth or Fiction: technological know-how Tackles fifty eight renowned Myths via the Editors of clinical American

Did NASA rather spend thousands making a pen that might write in area? Is chocolate toxic to canines? Does rigidity reason grey hair? those questions are only a pattern of the city lore investigated during this e-book, truth or Fiction: technological know-how Tackles fifty eight renowned Myths. Drawing from medical American’s “Fact or Fiction” and “Strange yet actual” columns, we’ve chosen fifty eight of the main fantastic, attention-grabbing, beneficial and simply undeniable wacky subject matters faced through our writers through the years. every one short article uncovers the reality in the back of daily mythology, beginning with part One, “In the Animal Kingdom,” the place we study a few of the extra outlandish claims approximately our fellow earthly population, similar to no matter if elephants rather be mindful every little thing and even if a cockroach can stay with no its head. different sections disguise replica, the surroundings, know-how and private and psychological wellbeing and fitness. whereas the solutions to a couple questions, reminiscent of even if bogs relatively do flush within the other way south of the Equator, could in simple terms serve to elevate your Trivial Pursuit wisdom, others, resembling no matter if to pee on a jellyfish sting or wake a sleepwalker, could turn out to be useful. even supposing this e-book represents a fragment of circulating folks knowledge and concrete mythology, we are hoping that it’s an stress-free fraction and that it encourages you to do a little debunking your self.

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That's the kind of fast-tracking or exclusionary learning, which we used to think only human beings and the talking apes—the ones taught language—could use," Coren says. '" --Originally published: Scientific American Online June 10, 2009. Squid Can Fly by Ferris Jabr Marine biologist Silvia Maciá was boating on the north coast of Jamaica in the summer of 2001 when she noticed something soar out of the sea. At first she thought it was a member of the flying fish family—a group of marine fish that escape predators by breaking the water's surface at great speed and gliding through the air on unusually large pectoral fins.

But that's both sexes and just seems to be a property of the yellow pigments. So this is different. " Whether that badge acts as an aphrodisiac or merely a prerequisite identifier remains unclear. "I don't know how you distinguish between the two. Because if they identify [another spider] as the wrong species, this is obviously not going to be very aphrodisiacal," Land explains. " Even if the presence of UV had no effect on C. umbratica courtship, and even if the spiders were unified in their UV-induced signaling—that is, if both sexes reflected UV or both fluoresced green under UV—the species would still be in elite company: "Ultraviolet reflectance is not particularly common in animals," says Thomas Cronin, a vision researcher and professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Decapitating roaches deprives their bodies of hormones from glands in their heads that control maturation, helping researchers investigate metamorphosis and reproduction. And studies of bodiless roach heads shed light on how their neurons work. Plus, it provides just one more testament to the cockroach's enviable endurance. --Originally published: Scientific American Online March 15, 2007. UV Light Puts Spiders "in the Mood" by John Matson Ultraviolet (UV) light—the band of electromagnetic radiation nestled between visible light and x-rays—seems to cast a particularly amorous glow on the animal world.

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