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Stem-cell researchers achieved totipotency. Officials denied that dildos hanging from the power lines of Portland, Oregon, presented an imminent threat. Men whose masculinity was threatened by scientists claimed nearly twice as many lifetime sexual partners. An Ohio man was sentenced to two days in jail for petting cougars, and an interdisciplinary team unveiled the Equine Facial Action Coding System, which codes seventeen discrete facial movements in horses. A study of female Finnish twins found that relative preference for masculine faces is largely heritable. A study of German men found that 3.2 percent reported sexual behavior involving prepubescent children but only 0.1 percent reported pedophilia. The more attractive a female statutory rapist, the more leniently she is judged. A study of the soft tissues of Chinese men’s faces found that greater attractiveness derives from features including a large forehead, a small mandible, facial roundness, and general “babyness.” The more complex and stratified a society, the higher the odds that people practice lip-to-lip romantic kissing. Women consider the shape and position of the meatus the least important feature in evaluating the attractiveness of a penis, which researchers hope will succor men with HASRGs (hypospadias-affected surgically repaired genitals). Brief motivational talks in Philadelphia emergency rooms did not help abused women who drink heavily. Alcohol increases straight men’s homophobia toward gay men but not lesbians. Researchers concluded that a major component of dacryphilia, or arousal by tears, is compassion. As Polish college students become more depressed, schadenfreude levels rise and freudenfreude levels fall. Scientists continued to investigate why human hearts cannot heal themselves.

Metrologists recalculated Avogadro’s number, the price of Florida avocados may rise because of laurel wilt, and cat-facing in peaches is increased by vegetation on orchard floors. In the United States, fine weather and pleasant scenery were linked to lower religiousness. Solar events are unlikely to cause terrestrial birth defects. More than eight hundred ultradark galaxies were discovered in the Coma Cluster, and astronomers identified a previously unobserved ring of galaxies that spans 5.6 billion light-years, or 36 degrees in the sky, making it the second-largest structure in the universe, after the Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall, which was first noticed in 2013. Neurosurgeons suggested that General Kutuzov may have bested Napoleon because a thirty-eight-year-old bullet injury to his frontal lobe inspired him to flee Moscow. Decreased gray-matter volume is associated with increased abdominal circumference. Spherical cartoon characters prompt children to eat more junk food. Severely obese British women have a 1 in 677 chance of returning to normal body weight, whereas men have a 1 in 1,290 chance. A University of Birmingham initiative in Guangdong province, CHInese pRimary school children PhYsical activity and DietaRy behAviour chanGe interventiON (CHIRPY DRAGON), found that children cared for primarily by their grandparents are twice as likely to be obese.

Britain’s curlews and cuckoos were threatened by global warming, and its footpaths were encroached on by potatoes and rape. Indigenous Australians were hoarding Vegemite to make moonshine, wombats were dying of mange, and the common Sydney octopus was observed to send its rivals color-coded signals that revealed whether it planned to stand its ground. Black leopards can now be distinguished by their spots. The golden jackal is a wolf. Pink pigeons in England were due to a dyeing Bristol man. South Asian Americans are reluctant to seek end-of-life analgesics. A baby’s first feces can predict long-term cognitive problems. Bacteria that live in the human throat have evolved their shape from bacillar to coccal, human hands are more primitive than chimp hands, and modern humans may experience brain inflammation because of a lack of intestinal worms. Aggressive vaccination reduces measles in the Amish. U.S. Air Force recruits are increasingly succumbing to mumps. Chronic stress in rats can be moderated by electroacupuncture at stomach meridian point 36. Ugandan banded mongooses do not become less selfish with age.

“Cactus Garden at Huntington Gardens,” a photograph by Christine Laptuta. Courtesy the artist and the collections of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, and the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro

“Cactus Garden at Huntington Gardens,” a photograph by Christine Laptuta. Courtesy the artist and the collections of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California, and the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro

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January 2024

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