Sci Snippets

Sci Snippets are short stories, facts, or interesting tidbits about science and scientists. Imagine the start of each Sci Snippet is me excitedly saying “want to hear about something awesome?”

What’s been going on?

It's been a while since I've been able to blog. I have lots of reasons, but one of the big ones is that I've been writing and editing for some other sites! In mid-January, I wrote an article for the ISBER News Blog (ISBER stands for the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories - the premiere biobanking society in the world). The article entitled "Have you joined the ISBER social network? Facebook!" is all ...
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Sci Snippet – Do iPhones kill people?

Look at this graph. It's incredible! As iPhone sales increase from 2007 to 2010, so did the number of deaths caused by people falling down the stairs. They even increased at the same rate. It's crazy - iPhones cause people to die falling down the stairs!! For this and other hilarious graphs of silly correlations see How obviously ridiculous this is. Most people could logically deduce that just because iPhone sales and deaths from ...
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Sci Snippet – How are homeopathetic “drugs” made?

I was inspired by SciBabe (FB page here) who is all about debunking pseudoscience and raging against the idiocracy of everything from anti-vaxxers to homeopathic remedies. She has eaten a "lethal dose" of homeopathic pills (video here) in an effort to prove that there are no active ingredients in these sugar pills to actually kill you. By Wikidudeman (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsLet's look at the "science" of how homeopathic drugs are made ...
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Sci Snippet – The bug that causes ulcers

Everyone can understand that bacteria can cause a disease through infection. Bacterial infections can cause huge inflammatory responses known as sepsis or result in a cut getting infected. But a bacterial infection causing ulcers? That seems weird. H. Pylori under an electron microscope This is a crazy story, but resulted in the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. In the 1980s, Dr. Barry Marshall found that the bacteria H. Pylori is often found in ...
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Sci Snippet – How long from eating to pooping?

Based on my two posts about poop (Facts about Poop and Fecal Transplant), I received a great question about how long it actually takes for food to pass through the gut? Although I posted my answer in the comments and on Facebook, here is the answer with a few more details in case you didn't see it. Thanks to North Shore Colonics for the image The actual time from mouth to pooping depends on a ...
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