News Mash: Too little too late, when it comes to biological programming?


This is excellent…

BREAKING NEWS: Science will program your biology away from diseases!

(CNN)By the early 2020s, we will have the means to program our biology away from disease and aging.

Up until recently, health and medicine was basically a hit or miss affair. We would discover interventions such as drugs that had benefits, but also many side effects. Until recently, we did not have the means to actually design interventions on computers.

All of that has now changed, and will dramatically change clinical practice by the early 2020s.

…[Read More]


Kinda sucks…

The fact that the programming probably will NOT be soon enough.

You know, considering:

(Reuters) New H7N9 bird flu resists drugs without losing ability to spread ~By Kate Kelland

Scientists have found that a mutation in a new strain of bird flu infecting people in China can render it resistant to a key first-line treatment drug without limiting its ability to spread in mammals.

The discovery means that unlike seasonal flu strains, which often become less transmissible when they develop resistance to drugs like Roche’s Tamiflu, the new H7N9 bird flu does not lose any of its spreading potential with drug resistance.

While this does not make H7N9 any more likely to develop into a human pandemic, researchers said it means doctors should be prudent in their use of anti-viral medicines to treat H7N9 cases, and consider using drugs other than Tamiflu, such as GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza, where possible.

…[Read More]

Foiled again.

Isn’t that how it always works though?

When it comes to a battle between man and Mother Nature…

Mother Nature?

Always wins.

Dang & blast!

missed it by that much [Source]

And we were so close too.

News Mash: Humans are not the smartest in the animal kingdom…But who is?


I work in a field (criminal justice/law enforcement), which everyday proves THIS (below) statement true on so many different levels:

Humans are not smarter than animals.

No. Freaking. Kidding me with that statement!


[via physorg]Humans not smarter than animals, just different, experts say

Humans have been deceiving themselves for thousands of years that they’re smarter than the rest of the animal kingdom, despite growing evidence to the contrary, according to University of Adelaide experts in evolutionary Smartbiology.

“For millennia, all kinds of authorities – from religion to eminent scholars – have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue that they are the smartest in the ,” says Dr Arthur Saniotis, Visiting Research Fellow with the University’s School of Medical Sciences.

“However, science tells us that can have cognitive faculties that are superior to beings.”

He says the belief that humans have superior intelligence harks back to the Agricultural Revolution some 10,000 years ago when people began producing cereals and domesticating animals. This gained momentum with the development of organised religion, which viewed human beings as the top species in creation.

“The belief of human cognitive superiority became entrenched in human philosophy and sciences. Even Aristotle, probably the most influential of all thinkers, argued that humans were superior to other animals due to our exclusive ability to reason,” Dr Saniotis says.

While animal rights began to rise in prominence during the 19th century, the drive of the Industrial Revolution forestalled any gains made in the awareness of other animals.

Professor Maciej Henneberg, a professor of anthropological and comparative anatomy from the School of Medical Sciences, says animals often possess different abilities that are misunderstood by humans.

“The fact that they may not understand us, while we do not understand them, does not mean our ‘intelligences’ are at different levels, they are just of different kinds. When a foreigner tries to communicate with us using an imperfect, broken, version of our language, our impression is that they are not very intelligent. But the reality is quite different,” Professor Henneberg says.

…[Read More]

And if you are smart enough…

And yes, well HONEST enough, to acknowledge the above article to be true?

One must then ask themselves…

Just WHICH animal could be considered the superior brain on the planet?

Huh, well…

Guess it depends on who you ask?

[via io9]What animal do you think might be as smart as a human? ~Annalee Newitz

Crows and ravens use tools, while octopuses seem to communicate by changing the color patterns on their skin. Many apes have learned to use sign language, and can have rudimentary conversations with their human companions. And then there are the social insects, like ants, who may be dumb as individuals but as colonies are able to farm, build cities, and wage wars. Plus there are many more.

…[Read More]

News Mash – Spiders can dissolve you and are a force of evil!!!

For the most part?

Spiders scary me.

Of course, people tell me all the time how my fear of spiders is SO irrational.

Might I give you?

Exhibit A:

[via DailyMail] Woman’s ear turns black and DISSOLVES after being bitten by a spider – and has to be rebuilt using validatedcartilage from her ribs

  • The Dutch woman, 22, was bitten by a Mediterranean recluse spider in Italy
  • Part of her ear was liquefied by the venom and the skin and cartilage died
  • This is the first evidence the spiders’ venom can destroy cartilage
  • The dead tissue had to be cut away before her ear could be rebuilt

By Emma Innes

A Dutch woman’s ear turned black after she was bitten by a poisonous spider in Italy.

Part of the 22-year-old’s ear was liquefied by the Mediterranean recluse spider’s venom and the skin and cartilage died.

The woman’s experience is thought to be the first evidence that recluse spider venom can destroy cartilage.

The patient’s health problems began when she woke up with a painful ear one morning, LiveScience reports.

Her ear swelled up so, unaware she had been bitten by a spider, she visited a local hospital where she was given antihistamine.

Despite this treatment, the swelling and pain failed to subside.

By the time she returned to the Netherlands, part of her ear had turned back indicating the cells had died.

The woman sought medical help and doctors realised she had been bitten by a Mediterranean recluse spider as the creature’s venom is known to kill skin.

However, Dr Marieke van Wijk, a plastic surgeon involved in the patient’s care, explained this was the first time doctors had seen the spiders’ venom destroy cartilage as well as skin.

The spiders’ venom kills cells using a complex mixture of chemicals which break down proteins and there is no drug treatment that is known to be effective.

As a result, Dr van Wijk and her colleagues were forced to remove the dead tissue from the woman’s ear and then rebuild it using cartilage from her ribs.

…[Read More]

It freaking DISSOLVED her ear.

Did you see that part?


And as if THAT wasn’t enough?

Might I present all you ‘Spiders Are EVIL’ nay-Sayers with this next bit of proof:

“…Find your envy and hatred…”


And mixed with a little bit of blood, what do those horrible things make?

Spiders, people…

They make SPIDERS!



News Mash: The end of antibiotics is nigh & boy, is wildlife ticked off about it!

Health crisis?

Most definitely!

What do I mean by that?

Oh, just that the CDC has declared that, “We’ve reached the end of antibiotics”…


*shakes head sadly*

[via DailyMail] ‘We’ve reached the end of antibiotics’: Top CDC expert declares that ‘miracle drugs’ that have saved millions are no match against ‘superbugs’ because people have overmedicated themselves ~By Snejana Farberov

A high-ranking official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared in an interview with PBS that the age of antibiotics has come to an end.

‘For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about “The end of antibiotics, question mark?”‘ said Dr Arjun Srinivasan. ‘Well, now I would say you can change the title to “The end of antibiotics, period.”’

The associate director of the CDC sat down with Frontline over the summer for a lengthy interview about the growing problem of antibacterial resistance.

Srinivasan, who is also featured in a Frontline report called ‘Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria,’ which aired Tuesday, said that both humans and livestock have been overmedicated to such a degree that bacteria are now resistant to antibiotics.

‘We’re in the post-antibiotic era,’ he said. ‘There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t.’.

…[Read More]

Scary thought that.

And sad thing is?

We are not the only species suffering due to the human races overuse of unneeded medications:

[via Scientific American]Flying the Coop: Antibiotic Resistance Spreads to Birds, Other Wildlife ~By Lindsey Konkel

WORCESTER, Mass. – One afternoon last winter, Julie Ellis unfurled a long, white tarp under a stand of trees near Coes Pond where hundreds of crows roost. Her mission: to collect as much bird poop as possible.

Back in the laboratory, Ellis’ colleagues combed through the feces. Testing its bacteria, they discovered something unusual – genes that make the crows resistant to antibiotics.

Drug-resistant infections are a fast-growing threat to human health, due largely to overuse of antibiotics in human medicine and livestock production, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 2 million people each year in the United States alone are sickened by infections resistant to drugs.

Now new research, including the crow poop study conducted in four states, provides evidence that antibiotic resistance has spread beyond hospitals and farms to wildlife.

Some experts worry that contaminating wildlife with such genes may hasten the spread of drug resistance. Nevertheless, the consequences for human health remain poorly understood.

“We’ve documented human-derived drug resistance where it shouldn’t be – in wildlife and the environment. But we know very little about how this may impact public health. There just isn’t that smoking gun,” said Ellis, a research scientist at Tufts University’s veterinary school.

In addition to crows, resistance genes have been detected in gulls, houseflies, moths, foxes, frogs, sharks and whales, as well as in sand and coastal water samples from California and Washington.

The spread to wildlife is “an indicator of the wide-reaching scale of the problem. Microbes connect the planet,” said Lance Price, a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University.

“The danger is that we enter a post-antibiotic era in which even our last-line drugs won’t work and routine infections become life-threatening,” he said.

…[Read More]

Just like us…

Isn’t it?

Humans just ruins it for everybody.

Very much why we can’t have nice things.


Dystopia [Source]

News Mash: Why people love to be scared…Except when it comes to bugs!

The article below NAILS it.

When it comes to horror?

People DO love “excitement even if it comes from a negative source”.

What can a horror fan say, but…

We are NOT big fans of dull:

[via MedicalDaily] Why Do We Watch Horror Films? Some Want To Understand Archetypal Fears While Others Crave horrorThe Psychological Ride ~By

“The horror genre addresses our archetypal fears,” Patterson said in a statement. “You can see throughout history how each generation has defined ‘horror,’ and it turns largely on the idea that something outside of our understanding threatening us.”

A class that Patterson is teaching this semester, “Horror in Literature in Film,” explores how horror relates to the fears of the population during time period in which it was created. For example, post-9/11 films were largely centered on the theme of torture-as-horror, which he says could have been a way for people to comprehend the tragedy. Zombie films may have become popular due to the outbreaks of influenza and the threat of biological warfare, all of which threaten whole populations.

Horror Films Give Viewers A Psychological Ride

But love for the horror genre may be more psychological. In a 2007 study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, participants were asked to watch clips of horror films while they rated their emotions. The study authors found that although all participants expressed similar levels of fear at the end of the clips, those who reported being horror movie lovers expressed more happiness than those who were horror movie haters.

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“In the real world, people simultaneously can experience both happiness and sadness, exhilaration and anxiety,” study author Joel Cohen, a professor of marketing and anthropology at the University of Florida, told LiveScience. He says that people enjoy excitement, even if it’s from a negative source, “otherwise, things could be pretty dull.”

…[Read More]


We are talking about bugs.

because although they DO induce excitement?

It’s from a source we…

Do. Not. WANT!

[via PopSci]Get That &%$@ Thing Away From Me: Why Humans Hate Bugs ~By Brooke Borel

In the book, you unpack why we both fear insects and feel disgust towards them. Why do you think these are the main emotional responses that people have to insects?

I think it is a two-fold answer. One, I think evolution has set us up over millions of years of contact with insects and small scurry things for these creatures to draw our attention. And so I think we are evolutionary primed to be keenly aware of insects in our proximity.

But then, once they have our attention, how we respond to them I think is largely a matter of cultural influence. And of course, in the modern world we have very little experience with positive encounters with insects. Culture overlays our evolutionary tendencies. You could think of our fear and disgust of insects of being as a conspiracy of evolution and culture. And that is the state of the human mind at this point in our history.

Over half of the world’s 7-billion-and-counting people now live in cities, and that figure is projected to grow. How has this move toward urban environments impacted our relationship with insects?

I think now that we’ve moved into urban environments where close quarters and hygiene are at a premium, we find that the vast majority of our interactions with insects are negative in that they are the things that are invading our homes and our private spaces—our kitchens and bedrooms. It’s things like bed bugs and cockroaches and houseflies. Our encounters are most often with these undesirable creatures that are feeding off of the refuse of urban life.

In more rural settings there is a greater diversity of insects, there are encounters with the more classically appealing insects—butterflies and whatnot. But as we move into urban environments I think our encounters become very truncated, in some ways matching our encounters with other animals. We encounter pigeons and rats more often than elk and moose in urban environments.

…[Read More]

So, yes…

In this instance?

When confronted with the possibility of excitement or dull? [Source]


Most people, I’m sure…

Would take dull ANY time, comparatively speaking.

YIKES [Source]

News Mash: Time traveling sea lion nabs easy meal!

Some people…

(i.e. boring poopy heads)

Scoff at the idea of time travel.

Some fool, they…


Cause if you think time travel…

(i.e. you’re a boring poopy head)

ISN’T possible?

Watch this sea lion make a fool of you:

Sneaky sea lion steals fish out of fisherman's hands [Source]

See how it travels through time relative to the doofus, standing still on the boat…

Holding dinner, just WAITING to be snagged?


The sea lion time traveling?

nailed it [Source]

News Mash: Suffering from depression, anxiety or stress? You’ve got two choices…

It’s a SAD fact…

That with winter & all the approaching holidays?

People get depressed, anxious & bombarded with stress.

Lucky for you…

Some very ingenious (i.e. crazy as Hecate!) people have come up with ways to deal with you stress.

[via Yahoo News]De-stresssss with an Indonesian snake massage ~By Sam Reeves

Jakarta (AFP) – Lying on a massage table at a spa in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Feri Tilukay closed his eyes and smiled blissfully as three enormous snakes slithered all over him.

He is one of a small band of customers brave enough to try the “snake massage”, where the gentle hands of a professionally trained masseuse are swapped for the cold, scaly skin of six-foot (1.8-metre) pythons.

“It is a very unique sensation,” Tilukay, 31, told AFP, as the snakes slid over him during a recent session, adding the treatment “gives you an adrenaline rush”.

Dressed only in a pair of shorts, he seemed completely relaxed as three reptiles named Jasmine, Muscle and Brown got to work on him.

They draped themselves over his neck, rolled around on his stomach and back and occasionally arched their necks and stuck out their forked tongues.

…[Read More]

Though some ways?


Are far better than others:

[via ABCNews]Anxiety In Your Head Could Come From Your Gut ~By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMESprobiotics

Dr. James Greenblatt, a Boston-area psychiatrist, had a puzzling case: a teenager arrived in his office with severe obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and an array of digestive problems.

“Mary’s parents had been running around for many years and she’d had a poor response to medicine,” said Greenblatt, founder of Comprehensive Psychiatric Resources Inc. in Waltham, Mass. “When a patient doesn’t respond, that’s a red flag.”

Greenblatt first did a simple urine test for the metabolite HPHPA, the chemical byproduct of the clostridia bacteria, and found that it was elevated. He put her on a course of high-powered probiotics to boost her good bacteria, followed by antibiotics, and her levels began to “dramatically” go down, he said.

After six months, Mary’s symptoms began to disappear. And by a year, they were gone. Today, three years later, Mary is a senior in high school and has no sign of either mental disorder.

Read about the ins and outs of gut bacteria.

Greenblatt does not practice alternative medicine; his expertise is in psychopharmacology and he is a clinical faculty member at Tufts Medical School.

“I start with integrative medicine, but I have my prescription pad right by my side,” he told

Greenblatt, like many others, are beginning to recognize the power of healthy gut bacteria. The average adult carries up to five pounds of bacteria — trillions of microbes — in their digestive tract alone.

A recent study in the journal Science showed that thin and fat people have different bacteria — a discovery that could lead to weight-loss programs. Doctors have also been using fecal transplants to seniors when their gastrointestinal health is compromised in nursing home living.

And now, scientists think there may be a link between what’s in your gut and what’s in your head, suggesting that bacteria may play a role in disorders such as anxiety, schizophrenia and autism. In some patients, the strep bacterium has been linked to OCD in a condition known as PANDAS.

…[Read More]

Probiotics, people…


A simple solution, to a very SAD mental state.

And, you know…

A lot less creepy than thinking having snakes slither all over your body will improve your mood.


News Mash: Robot beats human at rock-paper-scissors? Just chew it off, man!

No big surprise here…

Not a fan of spiders at ALL.

With that said, I must say…

I find this incredibly disturbing:

[via LiveScience] Watch a Spider Amputate its Own Leg ~By Douglas Main

You know how it is. You’ve just killed a delicious wasp and are preparing to feast when, all of a sudden, you feel the pangs of venom rushing up your leg. So you bite it off.

Or such was probably the case for a humble European garden spider filmed by Tim Edwards, an editor at BBC Earth, in his garden. Edwards notice that after wrapping up the wasp, the spider changed its behavior and appeared to stroke and bite one of its legs, before it fell off shortly later, according to the BBC.

Watch the video at the BBC.

…[Read More]

Can’t say I can think of anything…

Which would inspire a human to chew off one of their own limbs.


Amend that.

I couldn’t think of anything that would inspire a human to chew off one of their own limbs…

Until now:

[via]Janken (rock-paper-scissors) robot with 100% winning rate (human-machine cooperation system)

In this research we develop a janken (rock-paper-scissors) robot with 100% winning rate as one example of human-machine cooperation systems. Human being plays one of rock, paper and scissors at the timing of one, two, three. According to the timing, the robot hand plays one of three kinds so as to beat the human being.

pathetic attempt, human [Source]

Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized. The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognizes one of rock, paper and scissors based on the shape of the human hand. After that, the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms.

…[Read More]

To be beaten by an arm of our future Robot Overlords, with 100% accuracy?



Just chew it off, dude…

It’s obviously doing NOTHING for ya.


News Mash: The Craziest Multi-Tool ever made needed for the Poecilotheria rajaei? Yup.

Alight, Mother Nature…

I see how you are.

Create a “face-sized” (and yes, it’s described EXACTLY that way) spider?

Not funny at ALL:

[via Listverse]10 Awesome Species We Just Discovered ~by Michael Stoke

For the squeamish, or even remotely arachnophobic, the jungles of Sri Lanka are most likely already on your list of places to avoid. Recently, another large addition was added to the list of reasons why. A newly discovered tarantula species, Poecilotheria rajaei, is described as “face-sized,” measuring about 20 centimeters (8 in) across.


Redefining creepy, the tarantula is remarkable for the grey and yellow stripes along its legs and body. The giant spiders prefer established old trees, but have recently moved into old and abandoned buildings because of deforestation. During the effort to identify the new species, a police detective was employed to locate the creatures, many of which were found inside a local hospital.

[Read More – See All 10 awesome Species We Just Discovered HERE!]

But that’s OK…

Luckily humans are a scary species.

And we can often create things just as pocket-sized…

And lethal:

[via Wired]The Craziest Multi-Tool Ever Made Kills in 100 Different Ways ~By Liz Stinson

This multi-bladed folding knife was made in Germany around 1880. Image: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

can kill the Poecilotheria rajaei

Most Swiss Army knives could be pressed into service as a weapon. They have a pocket knife and a corkscrew with a decently sharp end. Even that nail file could do some damage if you really wanted it to. But all of that stuff starts to look pretty innocent—cute even!—when placed next to the multi-tool gadget you see above. Just take a moment to appreciate its absurd complexity. This amped-up Swiss Army-style knife has 100 functions, which is a demure way to say there are 100 very scary looking blades of different varieties packed into its 10-inch handle. Oh, and did you notice the fully-functioning .22-caliber pin-shot revolver tucked in between the shears and dagger? This is, simply put, the most badass Swiss Army knife ever created.

…[Read More]




Definitely not as scary.

News Mash: Never forget how important kissing is to your relationship!

Though it seems far less the focus in today’s rampant, oversexualized views of dating…


Makes a far greater impact on your relationship…

Than you could ever possibly think.

[via ScienceBlog] Kissing helps us find the right partner – and keep them

What’s in a kiss? A study by Oxford University researchers suggests kissing helps us size up potential partners and, once in a relationship, may be a way of getting a partner to stick around.

‘Kissing in human sexual relationships is incredibly prevalent in various forms across just about every society and culture,’ said Rafael Wlodarski, the DPhil student who carried out the research in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. ‘Kissing is seen in our closest primate relatives, chimps and bonobos, but it is much less intense and less commonly used.

‘So here’s a human courtship behaviour which is incredibly widespread and common and, in extent, is quite unique. And we are still not exactly sure why it is so widespread or what purpose it serves.’

To understand more, Rafael Wlodarski and Professor Robin Dunbar set up an online questionnaire in which over 900 adults answered questions about the importance of kissing in both short-term and long-term relationships.

Rafael Wlodarski explained: ‘There are three main theories about the role that kissing plays in sexual relationships: that it somehow helps assess the genetic quality of potential mates; that it is used to increase arousal (to initiate sex for example); and that it is useful in keeping relationships together. We wanted to see which of these theories held up under closer scrutiny.’

The researchers report their findings in two papers, one in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior and the second in the journal Human Nature. They were funded by the European Research Council.

The survey responses showed that women rated kissing as generally more important in relationships than men. Furthermore, men and women who rated themselves as being attractive, or who tended to have more short-term relationships and casual encounters, also rated kissing as being more important.

…[Read More]


What am I saying here?

Simply this.

Kiss. More.

Cause relationships?


They’re hard.

And kissing the one your are with?

Can only help you.

is not a kiss [Source]


News Mash: So, spiders have personalities? Sure… EVIL ones.

Gotta love Scientists…

And their blatant attempt at making spiders?

Less scary and more personable.

Prepare yourself for…


[via DailyMail]Spiders have PERSONALITIES too: Arachnids found to have character traits ranging from ‘timid’ to ‘aggressive’

  • U.S. researchers found a spider’s personality not only determines the creature’s well-being, but contributes to the success of failure of its society
  • University of Pittsburgh biologists established three colonies in Tennessee with docile and aggressive couples of spiders
  • The docile colony thrived at once but lacked aggressive spiders to defend it, acting like an immune system and died out before the end of the study

By Sarah Griffiths

A large house spider might seem like a thoughtless killing machine, but a team of biologists claim arachnids have distinct personalities.

While some individuals might be aggressive, other arachnids could be naturally ‘timid’ and docile’,the researchers said.

They studied social grass spiders and found that a spider’s personality not only determines the creature’s survival, but contributes to the success of failure of its society.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, led by Jonathan Pruitt, found the spiders could be timid or aggressive and prone to sexual cannibalism.

While most spiders live solitary lives and territorial of their webs, a handful of species live in social groups where females share the upkeep of the web as well as jobs like raising their young and defending their home from intruders.

The study, which took six years and was published in journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, in July, examined sociable grass spiders.

…[Read More]


Scientists should have known this attempt would NEVER work.

Cause, uh–Hello!!!!–spiders have 8 hairy legs, fangs that inject you with venom, so they can drink out your insides and have a bunch of beady, soulless eyes.

You just can’t fix all that wrong, by saying, “Oh, but they have great personalities!”

That’s what my BFF told me, regarding the last blind date she fixed me up on?


And it didn’t improve, on well, that THING either.


Spiders, no matter how Science tries to pitch them, regarding their “personalities”?

Will always be scary.


Sure they have personalities, but if their personalities are evil…

And I say “evil” for the simple fact that they are apparently trying to kill you, by sabotaging your Toyota, & triggering your airbag to PUNCH you in the face:

[via Wired]Happy Arachtober! There Are Spiders in Your Car! ~ Gwen PearsonUp next

Ah, the smells and sights of fall. Crisp leaves, pumpkin spice flavored everything, and … spiders. Spiders everywhere. This massive car recall from Toyota left out one important detail: SPIDERS.

“Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. … announced it will conduct a voluntary safety recall of approximately 803,000 2012-2013 vehicles… In the involved vehicles, water from the air conditioning condenser unit housing could leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit … In some instances, the air bag(s) could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy.”

Cindy Knight, Toyota’s media contact for recalls, patiently let me pester her with spider questions this afternoon. It’s clear that an as-yet unnamed species of spider found some air conditioning drainage tubes to be an ideal place to spin a web. That makes sense to me, as a spider-watcher: It’s warm under a car, it’s dark, it’s damp — it’s the perfect spider habitat.

Those webs caused a drain blockage, and a resulting leak is blamed for shorts causing three airbag misfires and 35 warning light activations. Toyota preemptively issued a recall when the arachnid issue was discovered. Sadly, although understandably, Toyota seems more focused on fixing the electrical short than actually collecting and identifying the spider species responsible.

…[Read More]

Evil personalities endears nothing to…



Stop trying to improve upon the reputation of spiders, Science.

It’s just not going to happen.



Never-ever, never,never, ever-never-ever.



News Mash: Apes & dogs experience human-like emotions?

When it comes to emotion…

Just how unique are humans compared to some of the other animals in the animal kingdom?

NOT News:

Science has recently discovered that apes manage their emotions in a very human-like way.

[via Science Blog]Young apes manage emotions like humans

Researchers studying young bonobos in an African sanctuary have discovered striking similarities between the emotional development of the bonobos and that of children, suggesting these great apes regulate their emotions in a human-like way. This is important to human evolutionary history because it shows the socio-emotional framework commonly applied to children works equally well for apes. Using this framework, researchers can test predictions of great ape behavior and, as in the case of this study, confirm humans and apes share many aspects of emotional functioning.

Zanna Clay, PhD, and Frans de Waal, PhD, of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, conducted the study at a bonobo sanctuary near Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The results are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Detailed video analysis of daily social life at the sanctuary allowed Clay and de Waal to measure how bonobos handle their own emotions as well as how they react to the emotions of others. They found the two were related in that bonobos that recovered quickly and easily from their own emotional upheavals, such as after losing a fight, showed more empathy for their fellow great apes. Clay notes those bonobos more often gave body comfort (kissing, embracing, touching) to those in distress.

The bonobo (Pan paniscus), one of our closest primate relatives, is as genetically similar to humans as is the chimpanzee. The bonobo is widely considered the most empathic great ape, a conclusion brain research supports. “This makes the species an ideal candidate for psychological comparisons,” says de Waal. “Any fundamental similarity between humans and bonobos probably traces back to their last common ancestor, which lived around six million years ago,” he continues.

…[Read More]

Shocked, right?



See if THIS (below) news rocks you species superiority ideals.


Dogs too…

Experience very human like emotions.

[via DailyMail]Dogs have FEELINGS too! Neuroscientist reveals research that our canine friends have emotions just like us

  • Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, says dogs use the same area of the brain as humans do to feel
  • Berns’ research is the result of months of MRI scans on dogs who are not sedated but trained to sit perfectly still in the machine
  • The results show that dogs use the caudate nucleus part of the brain when responding to humans they know
  • It is the same part of the brain humans use in the anticipation of things we enjoy, like food, love and money
  • Berns says this shows that dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child
  • He says this should change the way we perceive dogs and how we treat them

By Marie-louise Olson

A professor of neuroeconomics at a university in Georgia has discovered that dogs have emotion, just like humans.

Gregory Berns, a professor of neuroeconomics at Emory University, Atlanta, who has been testing the results of MRI scans on his dog’s brain, has discovered that our canine friends use the same part of the brain as humans to ‘feel’.

His initial goal was to determine how dogs’ brains work and what they think of humans, according to the New York Times.

By looking directly at their brains and bypassing the constraints of behaviourism, MRIs can tell humans about dogs’ internal states.

People usually do not enjoy MRI scans and you have to hold completely still during the procedure.

In conventional veterinary practice, animals are put under anaesthetic so they don’t move during a scan.

‘But that means they can’t study their brain functions, at least, not anything interesting like perception or emotion,’ says Berns.

He started training his own dog, Callie, a skinny black terrier mix from the southern Appalachians, to go into the MRI simulator he had built in his living room.

With the help of his friend, Mark Spivak, a dog trainer, the dog learned to place her head in a custom-fitted chin rest and hold rock-still for up to 30 seconds.

After months of training and some trial-and-error at the real MRI scanner, they were rewarded with the first maps of brain activity and managed to determine which parts of her brain distinguished the scents of familiar and unfamiliar dogs and humans.

He found there was a striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus.

The caudate sits between the brainstem and the cortex and is rich in dopamine receptors.

In humans, the caudate plays a key role in the anticipation of things we enjoy, like food, love and money, according to Berns.

In dogs, the research found that activity in the caudate increased in response to hand signals indicating food.

The caudate also activated to the smells of familiar humans. And in preliminary tests, it activated to the return of an owner who had momentarily stepped out of view.

…[Read More]

It should be noted?


For obvious reason?

Were not included in this study.

tantrum cat [Source]


News Mash: Did you know this about your behaviors, emotions & your DNA!

Science tells us so many different, interesting things…

Does it not?

For instance…

Did you know?

Science now tells us that your hereditary DNA does not control ones behavior:

[via Discover Magazine]Child Behaviour: Not In Their Genes? ~By Neuroskeptic

A paper just published reports that there are: No Genetic Influence for Childhood Behavior Problems From DNA Analysis

This is pretty big.

Using a powerful approach called GCTA, King’s College London researchers Maciej Trzaskowski and colleagues found no evidence that genetics can explain differences in children’s behavioural and conduct difficulties.

First some background. ‘Missing heritability‘ refers to the fact that genetics has mostly failed to find common genetic variants that are associated with ‘complex traits’ like personality, mental disorer and intelligence.

This is surprising because these traits are largely heritable – meaning that they run in families, and that identical twins (with all their DNA in common) tend to be more similar than non-identical ones (with only half). But if they’re heritable then, by definition, there must be genes behind that.

But with a few minor exceptions, over a decade of studies drew blanks. Hence the heritability is missing in our DNA, unaccounted for.

Yet geneticists finally struck gold – or seemed to – with a new technique called genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA). Instead of looking at each variant individually, GCTA quantifies how genetically similar any two people are as a whole.

GCTA has shown that the more genetically similar people are, the more similar they tend to be in terms of complex traits. Hooray – the missing heritability is… well, it’s still missing, but at least we know it’s out there, in small pieces scattered across the genome.

But this good news only applies to some complex traits, according to Trzaskowski et al. It doesn’t hold for child behaviour.

In the TEDS sample of British twins, the authors conducted a simultaneous twin and GCTA study. During childhood these twins were assessed for IQ, height, weight, and a range of ‘behaviour problems’ including symptoms of autism, hyperactivity, psychopathy, conduct disorder and more.

The results of the twin study said that all of the traits were moderately heritable (roughly 0.5 on the scale of 0 to 1).

But while GCTA confirmed a large genetic influence on the intelligence traits, height and weight, it found no genetic influence on the behaviour measures…

[Read More]

Science subsequently then tells us?

What DNA does control, however…

How we feel about it?

[via Medical Daily]Could DNA Affect Your Marriage? ‘Happy Hormone’ Gene May Predict Wedded Bliss -By

The secret ingredient to a happy marriage is not only communication, openness, and moral support, but also a code that can solidify and fortify a relationship for years to come, according to a recent study. The findings suggest that the length of the “happy hormone” gene variant, 5-HTTLPR, may predict a couple’s chances of achieving life-long marital bliss.

Researchers from the University of California Berkeley and Northwestern University sought to investigate if the length of the “happy hormone” gene determined wedded bliss in 156 couples, middle-aged and older, who were followed since 1989 for more than 20 years.

The researchers examined the gene, 5-HTTLPR, which regulates serotonin. The “happy hormone” has the ability to stabilize moods, prevent depression, and make a person feel happy. There are two variants of 5-HTTLPR genes — long and short — that are inherited from a person’s parents. In the study, these genes were used as a predictor of how much a person’s emotions affect his or her relationships.

The participants provided DNA samples that were used to match their genotypes with their levels of martial satisfaction and the emotional level of their interactions. Facial expressions, body language, and discussion topics among spouses were analyzed in the researchers’ lab.

Seventeen percent of the spouses were found to have two short 5-HTTLPR alleles. The researchers noted a strong correlation between the emotional tone of conversations and how the couples felt about marriage. The participants with two short variants of 5-HTTLPR were most unhappy in their marriages when there was a lot of negative emotion, such as anger and contempt. However, these couples with the short variants of the gene were most happy when there was positive emotion, such as humor and affection.

…[Read More]


When it comes to the ‘nature vs nurture’ debate?

Looks like each side…

Scored a point a piece.

*stands clapping* (a non-DNA inspired action)

I just love when everything is all balanced… (a DNA inspired response)

Don’t you?

balance [Source]

News Mash: It’s flying spiders vs giant hornets. Which is scarier? Oh… Depends.

Are you scared of bugs?

If you are…

These days it is NOT good to be you (i.e. me).

Question is…

What do YOU find more terrifying?




Well, just…


THIS (below) is the most freaking, scariest story I have read in AWHILE:

[via CBSLocal]Migrating Spiders Sailing Through North Texas Skies ~Bud Gillett

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Thousands of North Texans are asking, “What are those long, silky strings floating in the air?”  Turns out they’re the webs of spiders in their annual migration to better hunting grounds, and surprising a lot of people.

“I thought it was weird; I’d never seen it before,” said Myrna Olivas, who first noticed it driving in her car; then later as she dropped her son off at school.  “It just landed on my head and it left again,” she said adding, “It’s just a big stripe of spider web.  I couldn’t recognize it until I got it closer to me.”

The natural phenomenon was first noticed early Wednesday morning.

They’re called “ballooning” or “floating” webs made by young, migrating spiders.  “There’s some that produce a ball like a balloon, and there’s some they call tent spiders because they create almost like a triangle,” according to Texas A&M Agrilife horticulturist Patrick Dickinson.

They were strung across North Texas in trees or on lamp posts, even on a surveillance camera atop Dallas City Hall.  Car dealers washed them off their prize offerings.

Not everyone thought them merely a weird nuisance, according to Dickinson.  “Some people did not know what it was and were scared to go outside of their homes…”

…[Read More]


Could just be my arachnophobia freaking me out a bit.

Totally possible

And yes…

Maybe ‘flying’ spiders are not as scary as THIS (below) goodness:

[via The Extinction Protocol]28 killed, hundred injured by swarms of giant hornets in China

September 26, 2013CHINA – Twenty-eight people have died and hundreds have been injured in a wave of attacks by giant hornets in central China, according to reports. Victims described being chased for hundreds of meters by the creatures and stung as many as 200 times. Most of the attacks in the past three months were in remote, rural, wooded areas in southern Shaanxi, the province’s China Business newspaper reported. In the city of Ankang alone, 18 people have died from the stings, health official Zhou Yuanhong told Associated Press. People in the cities of Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been injured. The insects’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure. An official from Ankang’s disease control centre urged people to seek medical help if they received more than 10 stings, and warned that emergency treatment was required for those stung more than 30 times. One woman in her 50s said she had spent almost a month in hospital and was still incontinent after receiving more than 200 stings. A man from her village died of kidney failure.
The hornet attacks are a recurring problem in the area from May to as late as November. According to Ankang police, 36 people died in the city and 715 were injured by the creatures between 2002 and 2005. But Zhou said the issue had been particularly severe this year, possibly because of weather changes. Experts have suggested in the past that warmer temperatures in the area have led to hornets breeding more successfully, that laborers have been moving deeper into areas where they may disturb nests, and that the insects are sensitive to chemicals found in food and cosmetics. Li Jiuzhou, deputy director of the Shaanxi Bee and Wasp Industry Association, said that hundreds or even thousands of hornets could live in a single nest. They attack humans only if disturbed, he added. But they are carnivorous and can quickly destroy bee colonies. Ankang’s fire service has removed over 300 hornet nests this summer, but experts said that the problem was unlikely to end entirely until the temperature drops. Wang Zhengcai, an official from one of the affected villages, said authorities had warned people to be careful if they enter the woods. Local authorities have also promised to help patients pay for the treatment, because of the heavy cost for the rural poor. The culprit appears to be the Asian giant hornet or Vespa mandarinia, which grows up to 5cm long with a 6mm sting, although the area is also home to the smaller Asian hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax. –The Guardian

…[Read More]

Because there have been no deaths (unlike the story above), where the ‘flying’ spiders have been a direct result?

But still…

A fly spider invasion?

Gotta admit, arachnophobia or no?

It ranks kinda up there.


hornet vs flying spiders

News Mash: How about some blood worm protein with your needed H2O? Ew.

There is very little it CAN’T do to improve your health…


It’s Mother Nature’s TRUE elixir of life…

ALL life.

[via Examiner]The Health Benefits Of Water

Aqua. Water. H2O. Whatever you call it this elixir of life is one of our body’s most valuable friends. It’s no wonder, since 60% of your body is made up of the stuff, that the health benefits of this commonplace liquid are many and varied. Adults lose almost 12 cups water from their bodies every day though soles of their feet, through breathing, sweating, and, of course, urination. Though the 8 by 8 rule (that’s eight glasses of water, eight ounces a day) is usually adequate, an athletic person can need up to 2/3 ounce per pound which is 14 8-ounce glasses a day for a 160-pound person. Read on to get to know some of the other reasons keeping your water intake up can lead to a healthier you.

Great For The Skin
Your skin, also known as the largest organ in your body, is comprised of tons of cells, and those cells are mostly made up of water. Your skin and its cells hold in fluids, so we don’t lose them. When we don’t get enough water, or are dehydrated, our skin can turn dry and wrinkled. Though it does reach the skin last, drinking water and applying a moisturizer right after a shower, helps lock in the body’s natural moisture. Many cultures, such as those in Eastern Europe, also have long-established traditions, like bathhouses or steam rooms to help detoxify and tighten skin using water.

Keeping Muscles Strong
Muscle cells need to maintain a correct balance of electrolytes and fluids, and when this balance is upset the electrolytes can wither, causing muscle fatigue. When you exercise, it is very important to maintain a correct intake of water and fluids. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you should drink 17 ounces of fluid two hours before you exercise. During exercise, they advise to drink regularly throughout the time you are exerting yourself in order to replace all those fluids lost though sweating

Get That Weight Down
Drinking water can help people lose weight for a number of reasons. One reason is that choosing water (at zero calories) over calorie-rich beverage like soda or coffee with sugar added can cut down on the total calories consumed each day. Drinking water can also reduce hunger, as studies have shown that drinking a couple of glasses 20 minutes before a meal can make us feel more full.

…[Read More – See More health Benefits HERE!]



Your water has been infested with blood worms.

[Yes, I said…Blood. Worms!]

Then probably not so much:

[via The Verge] Blood worms infest Oklahoma town’s tap water ~By Katie Drummondwould you like some protein with that

There’s something in the water — and it isn’t an ice cube. Residents of one small Oklahoma town are being ordered to sip exclusively bottled water, after tiny red blood worms started popping up in drinking glasses earlier this week.

The outbreak in Colcord, OK, has all but shut down the community, home to around 800 people. Schools are closed, convenience stores can’t serve fountain sodas, and residents have been instructed not to cook or brush their teeth using tap water. Bathing, fortunately, is still deemed acceptable by local health authorities.

Blood worms — actually the larvae of the midge fly — are typically small, maxing out at around half-an-inch in length. They’re known to pop up in the southeastern United States, though not often in municipal water supplies, and are also sold freeze-dried as fish food. Blood worms tend to thrive in low-oxygen or heavily polluted water, where they burrow inside mud. And unfortunately for officials in Colcord, the buggers are also extremely resilient. “The chlorine won’t kill them, the bleach won’t kill them,” Cody Gibby, the town’s water commissioner, told a local TV network. “You can take the worms out of the filter system and put them in a straight cup of bleach and leave them in there for about four hours, and they still won’t die.”

…[Read More]

Note to self:

Drink more water…


I make sure my water is not infested with blood worms.

As a life lesson to go by, I have to say?

That’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

What do YOU think?