Findings — From the July 2013 issue

Findings

At Vanderbilt University, where researchers debuted a smartphone app that locates snipers, a boneless girl was helped to grow bones. “My goodness,” said her doctor. “To go from no bones to bones.” It was determined that clinicians express less empathy with fat patients and that the brain can differentiate joyous laughter from mocking laughter and ticklish laughter. Female brown-headed cowbirds whose song-control systems were chemically lesioned became undiscriminating about the propriety of males’ songs. The sensory neurons of birds were found to contain “mysterious” microscopic iron balls. Tightening the grip on the delivery organ causes precocious sperm release in plants. NASA drew a penis on Mars. Highway construction through Iceland’s Gálgahraun lava fields was delayed over concerns that it would disrupt a gathering place of elves. Gray reef sharks are driven into the deep by the full moon and coaxed to the surface by the new moon. White-lipped peccaries were observed eating fish from anoxic ponds. The Justinianic Plague was caused by Y. pestis. An anthropologist who tried walking like Australopithecus sediba reported sore feet. Equine surgeons warned against the thermographic diagnosis of lameness in a drafty room.

NFL players who have been arrested and charged are generally a bargain, and police officials in the Indian state of Bihar estimated that roughly 50 percent of reported rapes are due to women’s lack of choice about defecating in public. Dutch doctors found that pedophiles harbor negative associations around sex with adult women and that there is no “slippery slope” risk with the Groningen Protocol’s standards for infant euthanasia. Fathers who wanted children spend more time interacting with their teenagers. The children of overprotective parents are likelier to be bullied. Bacteroides bacteria make babies grow slower. Childless women are likelier to experience breast pain while running marathons, and loving mothers keep harshly punished Mexican-American children from becoming antisocial. Elementary-school girls become embarrassed about eating unwieldy fruits in front of their peers. Archaeologists at Jamestown found the remains of a fourteen-year-old girl whose brain was eaten by starving colonists in 1609. Fruit-fly larvae raised as cannibals have more teeth.

Inhabitants of Welsh mining villages were becoming bidialectal and Welsh babies who sweat in fright at noises and robots are at lower risk of becoming aggressive toddlers. Snowdonian ewes lambed prematurely, and wild Carneddau ponies were declared a unique breed in need of protection. Herridge’s and Broom copses near Pangbourne were to be sprayed aerially in an attempt to control toxic caterpillars of the oak processionary moth. King Arthur Pendragon threatened nonviolent direct action to protest the display of human remains at Stonehenge. George III was not mad but was maniacal. Fourteen whales in the Firth of Forth were followed from Fidra to the Lamb and then to Fife. On the western coast of Italy were found one hundred dead and possibly measly dolphins. London Zoo sought a mate for its two “gorgeously ugly” male Mangarahara cichlids after another male killed the last known existing female by attempting to mate with her in Berlin. A dog’s water bowl set fire to a California house. Connecticut environmental officials confiscated at least 200 gallons of one man’s urine. An Arizona man’s chronically runny nose turned out to be caused by a leak in his brain. “Brooop!” said the man.

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