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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Science News

I apparently haven't done enough kissing in my life. According to this article, kissing has a benefit from and evolutionary biology perspective. A woman will likely catch a man's particular variety of cytomeglovirus (CMV), which is good, because most of the time it's a relatively harmless virus, but can be dangerous if you catch it during pregnancy. According to my latest blood donation, I'm still negative for CMV, a virus that nearly everyone has. This makes my blood suitable for newborns, so the Stanford Blood Center calls me usually about 7 weeks and 6 days after my last donation to see if I'd like to come in the next day.

But all the kissing in the world won't significantly improve your odds that your partner will stay with you if you've got a major illness. Turns out, in that case, one in five men will ditch their partner. Those odds are enough to get a girl to consider a lesbian lifestyle, because less than 3% of women leave their partner after a major illness is diagnosed. That's ugly news.

Ahem.

Moving on to cheerier news! If you want to improve your creativity, you've got to get both halves of your brain talking to each other. The good news is that it's easier than you might think: thirty seconds of moving your eyes from right to left is enough. Wacky, eh?

And finally, that man in the white suit must be safe and trustworthy right? Turns out, we're a bit pre-programmed by our brains to associate darkness and black with filth and contagion. The predisposition to nosh on clean snow over the nasty skanky dirty stuff actually seems to spill out in other ways as well, with rather some rather uncomfortable implications for racial prejudice. Further research here is definitely required. I for one would be very interested to see how this same test plays out in China and in equatorial climates.

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