Uk News The strangest experiments in science and the ingenious researchers who come up with them United Kingdom news

PremierLeague-News.Com - Scientific studies that can seem baffling to the public often have important motivations and require lots of creativity

Uk News The strangest experiments in science and the ingenious researchers who come up with them United Kingdom news

PremierLeague-News.Com - Scientific studies that can seem baffling to the public often have important motivations and require lots of creativity

Uk News  The strangest experiments in science and the ingenious researchers who come up with them United Kingdom news
14 May 2021 - 10:30

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! From the ancient medical practice of drilling holes in patients’ skulls, to testing out Class A drugs on spiders in the 90s, scientists have always been willing to try some strange things in the name of research.Even today, experiments still manage to surprise us – not for their findings, necessarily, but because of their curious subjects or methods. To think of ideas that are new, ethical, feasible – and will offer useful results – requires creative thinking from researchers.Sometimes they involve bravery. Look at the 15 French volunteers who emerged from a cave last month after spending 40 days inside with no clocks, electricity supply or ways of contacting the outside world – studying human responses to losing sense of time and space.i's guide to helping the planet in your everyday life Email address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription.Often they involve animals. Seeking to learn about the conceptual understanding of pigs, researchers from Purdue University in the US revealed earlier this year that four of the creatures had been trained to play video games using a joystick and appeared to enjoy it.It may sound wacky but this was a significant experiment into animal intelligence and “should give us pause as to what else they are capable of learning,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Candace Croney.Occasionally, they involve the public. Last week, researchers published the results of a “citizen science” experiment into why cats like sitting in boxes, even fake ones. Called “If I fits, I sits”, it found that cats were more likely to sit inside 2D shapes that give the illusion of a square – thanks to the help of 30 cat owners who followed instructions and filmed their pets.Designing and conducting experiments with animals can involve the biggest ethical questions. In 2019, we learned that mosquitos don’t like dubstep music, after a team of researchers played the Skrillex song “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” on repeat to a cage full of hungry mosquitos. Despite not having eaten for 12 hours, the loud noises seemed to put the pests off from feasting on the unlucky hamster that also shared a cage with them.Members of the team taking part in the “Deep Time” study gather in the Lombrives Cave in Ussat les Bains, France (Photo: AP/Bruno Mazodier)Science can also demand personal sacrifice. Conducting a study into pain measurement, social insect biologist Professor Michael Smith offered himself up as bait for a swarm of angry honey bees, allowing himself to be stung in 25 different places over his body. The most painful parts? “Nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft,” Professor Smith concluded.Thankfully, few scientists die as a result of their endeavours these days, though history is full of examples. The chemist Carl Scheele, who discovered oxygen and many other elements, would often smell and taste the substances he worked on – leading to his death in 1786 after gradually poisoning himself. It was Marie Curie’s study of radiation that resulted in her fatal leukaemia in 1934.

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. Inspired by a popular story among archaeologists about an Inuit man left to fend for himself in the Arctic, Dr Eren wanted to test out the theory that human waste, when frozen, could be shaped into a tool sharp enough to cut through flesh.“It was something I’d always wondered about,” he tells i. “One day I texted my research partner and just said: ‘Hey, I’ve got a great idea for our next paper… do you remember that Inuit story?’ She replied: ‘Oh my god…’.”And so, in 2019, Dr Eren began his knife-moulding experiment. He adopted an Arctic diet – high protein, minimal veg – for eight days so that he could produce the most authentic materials required for the experiment. “It was very depressing. There’s a lot of shame involved when you’re just pooping into a bag to cut your own samples,” he admits. His colleague and study co-author, Dr Michelle Bebber, did the same but while maintaining a Western diet to compare the outcomes. “Replication in science is important,” he explains.The world’s least hygienic knife (Photo: Metin Eren)After storing the samples in dry ice at -50C, the pair set about crafting the knives. For a while, Dr Eren felt hopeful. “I thought, I’m going to cut some flesh with my own crap – that’s amazing!” The outcome was a classic myth-buster, however. “When we started to cut the meat, it wouldn’t slice,” says Eren. “We concluded that the story probably didn’t happen.”Chris Hunt, a biological and environmental sciences professor at Liverpool Hope University, is well versed in the strange behaviours undertaken in the name of science. His own research once led him to buy a plane ticket home from Iraq for the Neanderthal woman he had uncovered during an archaeological dig, and he has spent “a lot of time gathering bat poo” to understand pollen deposition.“Most scientists simply follow the logic of their interest,” he says, “and sometimes this tips over into things that an outsider would find very peculiar.”Dr Eren says that experiments like his knife moulding might seem silly at first but have deeper meanings. “There are so many unsupported stories in archaeology, but unsupported stories can be used to support negative narratives, racist narratives,” he says. “Evidence and fact checking is vital.”

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