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Stephen Juan

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Can leaving a baby to 'cry it out' cause brain damage?

Also in this week's column: The Minamata disaster - 50 years on Is there any evolutionary advantage in snoring? What is deep vein thrombosis? Can leaving a baby to 'cry it out' cause brain damage? Asked by Christine Koch of Strathfield, NSW Australia Research suggests that allowing a baby to "cry it out" can cause brain …
Stephen Juan, 14 Jul 2006
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Is Friday the 13th bad for your health?

Also in this week's column: What colour is the most sexually attractive? Is heart rate correlated with birth order? Cross-cultural dispatches from the gender wars Is Friday the 13th bad for your health? Asked by Tanya Applegate of Ithaca, New York Superstitions have existed since humans became humans. Research backing such …
Stephen Juan, 07 Jul 2006
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Cross-cultural dispatches from the gender wars

Also in this week's column: Is Friday the 13th bad for your health? What colour is the most sexually attractive? Is heart rate correlated with birth order? Cross-cultural dispatches from the gender wars 1. Among the Native American Navajo, cultural tradition assigns gender to the rain. Male rain is the brief, drenching, …
Stephen Juan, 07 Jul 2006
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Is heart rate correlated with birth order?

Also in this week's column: Is Friday the 13th bad for your health? What colour is the most sexually attractive? Cross-cultural dispatches from the gender wars Is heart rate correlated with birth order? Asked by Lotti Otunnu of Lagos, Nigeria Those who continue to believe that heart rate is correlated with birth order may …
Stephen Juan, 07 Jul 2006
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What colour is the most sexually attractive?

Also in this week's column: Is Friday the 13th bad for your health? Is heart rate correlated with birth order? Cross-cultural dispatches from the gender wars What colour is the most sexually attractive? Asked by Nicci Vallencia of Denver, Colorado There is much behavioural science research showing the most popular skin …
Stephen Juan, 07 Jul 2006
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Can a corpse burp?

Also in this week's column: Can you get Tetanus from a rusty nail? Why do babies blink less often than adults? Can a corpse burp? CAN A CORPSE BURP? Asked by Gail Akami of Birmingham, United Kingdom No, if one means "burp" in the usual sense of the belch of a living human. "Corpse burping" confusion may come from one of …
Stephen Juan, 30 Jun 2006
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Why do babies blink less often than adults?

Also in this week's column: Can you get Tetanus from a rusty nail? Can a corpse burp? Why do babies blink less often than adults? Asked by Cade Stevens of Nashville, Tennessee Babies blink less often than adults. In normal circumstances, newborns blink at the rate of less than two times per minute. In childhood, the blink …
Stephen Juan, 30 Jun 2006
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Can you get Tetanus from a rusty nail?

Also in this week's column: Why do babies blink less often than adults? Can a corpse burp? Can you get Tetanus from a rusty nail? Asked by Belinda Smith of Columbus, Ohio Whether it is rusty or not, any object that punctures or damages the skin can lead to tetanus. According to Dr Andrew Lloyd, an infectious disease …
Stephen Juan, 30 Jun 2006
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Why are opera singers fat?

Also in this week's column: Why can't we agree on the names for phobias? What makes a wound stop bleeding? Why don't humans molt? Why are opera singers fat? Asked by Kelly Reed of Indianapolis, Indiana There are several theories attempting to explain why opera singers are often pleasingly plump. One holds that a large …
Stephen Juan, 23 Jun 2006
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Why don't humans molt?

Also in this week's column: Why are opera singers fat? Why can't we agree on the names for phobias? What makes a wound stop bleeding? Why don't humans molt? Asked by Lisa Blumfield, age 10, of New York City Most people think birds molt and humans don't. That's because birds have feathers and humans have hairs. But humans do …
Stephen Juan, 23 Jun 2006
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What makes a wound stop bleeding?

Also in this week's column: Why are opera singers fat? Why can't we agree on the names for phobias? Why don't humans molt? What makes a wound stop bleeding? Asked by Alicia Rauzok of Greensboro, North Carolina A wound stops bleeding due to the process of clot formation called coagulation. Coagulation is from the Latin …
Stephen Juan, 23 Jun 2006
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Why can't we agree on the names for phobias?

Also in this week's column: What makes a wound stop bleeding? Why are opera singers fat? Why don't humans molt? Why can't we agree on the names for phobias? Asked by Anka Saarinen of Helsinki, Finland The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association is the main …
Stephen Juan, 23 Jun 2006
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Do lie detector tests really work?

Also in this week's column: What is a Chinese restaurant headache? Is long life related to where you live? What cultures don't share Western economic values? Do lie detector tests really work? Asked by Lisa Burnham of East London A lie-detector test or machine is a popular, but inaccurate term for the instrument that …
Stephen Juan, 16 Jun 2006
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What cultures don't share Western economic values?

Also in this week's column: Do lie detector tests really work? What is a Chinese restaurant headache? Is long life related to where you live? What cultures don't share Western economic values? Asked by Kelly O'Connor of Hartford, Connecticut There are many traditional cultures where people do not share the Western economic …
Stephen Juan, 16 Jun 2006
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Is long life related to where you live?

Also in this week's column: Do lie detector tests really work? What is a Chinese restaurant headache? What cultures don't share Western economic values? Is long life related to where you live? It is a myth that it is common to live to be 120 or more in some parts of the world. The facts do not support stories of communities …
Stephen Juan, 16 Jun 2006
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What is a Chinese restaurant headache?

Also in this week's column: Do lie detector tests really work? Is long life related to where you live? What cultures don't share Western economic values? What is a Chinese restaurant headache? This is the unfortunate name for one of the symptoms of the allergic reaction to monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG can induce a …
Stephen Juan, 16 Jun 2006
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What's this 'scotomisation' in The Da Vinci Code?

Also in this week's column: What lies within: Life in the human body What happened to haemophiliacs before blood supplies were safe? Is the brain-sex theory founded in fact? What's this "scotomisation" in the The Da Vinci Code? Asked by Rita Hamblyn of New York City In the current blockbuster film, The Da Vinci Code, there …
Stephen Juan, 09 Jun 2006
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Is the brain-sex theory founded in fact?

Also in this week's column: What's this 'scotomisation' in The Da Vinci Code? What lies within What happened to haemophiliacs before blood supplies were safe? Is the brain-sex theory founded in fact? Asked by Kath Kennedy of Liverpool, United Kingdom In the controversial area of brain-sex theory and the quest for proof of " …
Stephen Juan, 09 Jun 2006
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What happened to haemophiliacs before blood supplies were safe?

Also in this week's column: What's this 'scotomisation' in The Da Vinci Code? What lies within Is the brain-sex theory founded in fact? What happened to haemophiliacs before blood supplies were safe? Asked by Alicia Rauzok of Greensboro, North Carolina According to the National Haemophilia Foundation in New York City, …
Stephen Juan, 09 Jun 2006
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What lies within

Also in this week's column: What's this 'scotomisation' in The Da Vinci Code? What happened to haemophiliacs before blood supplies were safe? Is the brain-sex theory founded in fact? What lies within The inside of the human body is alive with life - microscopic life of all kinds. There are at least 200 species of creatures …
Stephen Juan, 09 Jun 2006
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Whatever happened to the gay gene?

Also in this week's column: What lies without: Life on the human body What are tag questions? What's happened to whistling? Whatever happened to the gay gene? Asked by Alex Walsh of St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK Is homosexuality caused by genetic or environmental factors? Is there a "gay gene"? This debate is well into its …
Stephen Juan, 02 Jun 2006
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What are tag questions?

Also in this week's column: Whatever happened to the gay gene? What lies without: Life on the human body What's happened to whistling? What are tag questions? We know that "um", "er", and "ah" are called fillers and are used in conversations to keep the listener listening while the speaker searches for the next meaningful …
Stephen Juan, 02 Jun 2006
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What lies without

Also in this week's column: Whatever happened to the gay gene? What's happened to whistling? What are tag questions? What lies without: Life on the human body The skin of the human body is alive with life - microscopic life of all kinds. In his classic work, Life on Man (1969), Theodor Rosebury estimates that there are 10m …
Stephen Juan, 02 Jun 2006
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What's happened to whistling?

Also in this week's column: Whatever happened to the gay gene? What lies without: Life on the human body What are tag questions? What's happened to whistling? Why do humans whistle? Whistling is the uttering of a clear sound by blowing or drawing air through puckered lips. "Whistling" is from the Old English hwistlian and …
Stephen Juan, 02 Jun 2006
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How long does it take the body to...

Part one Also in this week's column: How long does it take the body to...(Part two) Do our ears grow longer with age? Do we still remove the appendix as often as we used to? Part One: How long does it take the body to... It takes time for everything, including what happens in the human body. Fingerprints form six to eight weeks …
Stephen Juan, 26 May 2006
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Do we still remove the appendix as often as we used to?

Also in this week's column: Part One: How long does it take the body to... Part Two: How long does it take the body to... Do our ears grow longer with age? Do we still remove the appendix as often as we used to? Asked by Peter Fletcher of Sydney, Australia Dr Dean Edell, the famous physician on US radio and television, once …
Stephen Juan, 26 May 2006
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Do our ears grow longer with age?

Also in this week's column: Part One: How long does it take the body to... Part Two: How long does it take the body to... Do we still remove the appendix as often as we used to? Do our ears grow longer with age? Asked by Judith Berry of Staffordshire, United Kingdom As we see others age or as we see ourselves age, we often …
Stephen Juan, 26 May 2006
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How long does it take the body to...

Part two Also in this week's column: How long does it take the body to...(Part one) Do our ears grow longer with age? Do we still remove the appendix as often as we used to? Part Two: How long does it take the body to... It takes time for everything, including what happens in the human body. On average, nerve regeneration takes four …
Stephen Juan, 26 May 2006
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What are chromosome abnormalities and how often do they occur?

Also in this week's column: What is the difference between a chromosome and a gene? Which comes first: imagination or fantasy, and what's the difference between the two? What are chromosome abnormalities and how often do they occur? Asked by Lynn Davis of Casper, Wyoming Each of our chromosomes has a specific and proper …
Stephen Juan, 19 May 2006
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What is the difference between a chromosome and a gene?

Also in this week's column: What are chromosome abnormalities and how often do they occur? Which comes first: imagination or fantasy, and what's the difference between the two? What is the difference between a chromosome and a gene? Asked by Lynn Davis of Casper, Wyoming This topic gets very complicated very quickly. Here's …
Stephen Juan, 19 May 2006
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Which comes first: imagination or fantasy?

Also in this week's column: What are chromosome abnormalities and how often do they occur? What is the difference between a chromosome and a gene? Which comes first: imagination or fantasy? Asked by Mike Valentine of Fort Mill, South Carolina The word "imagination" comes from the Latin word imaginare and means "to form an …
Stephen Juan, 19 May 2006
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What was wrong with the 'bubble boy'?

Asked by Jenny Fredericks of Toronto Bubble Boy (2001) is a romantic comedy film in which a young man named Jimmy (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is born without an immune system and must therefore live his entire life within his bedroom inside a plastic bubble. The problem is he falls in love with Chloe (played by Marley Shelton …
Stephen Juan, 15 May 2006
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Can I cause another person to dream?

Studies show that you can bring about a dream in another person. One way is by holding an open bottle of perfume under the sleeper's nose. Another is by whistling. A third way is by blowing air across the sleeper's face with a fan. Someone else can also affect the content of a sleeper’s dream. For example, turning on a light …
Stephen Juan, 14 May 2006
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Is it true my body is not entirely alive?

So you think you’re all alive? Think again. As strange as it may seem, the human body is not entirely "alive". A small part of us is not alive, never has been, and never will be. Ironically, what's not alive is vital to what is. Ninety-six per cent of the human body is alive. This part is composed of living, "organic elements" …
Stephen Juan, 13 May 2006
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What's the best way to improve the human body?

We humans would look considerably different - both inside and out - if evolution had designed the human body to work better and last longer. Dr S Jay Olshansky of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois in Chicago and two other researchers recently speculated in Scientific American that a human "better …
Stephen Juan, 12 May 2006
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Why do I get eye strain?

Maybe grandma wasn't right. Experts now contend that reading in the dark probably has no long-term damaging effects on the eyes. But eyes become more tired in poor light since they have to work harder to discriminate letters, colors, and objects. So it’s a good idea to work and play in plenty of light, especially as one gets …
Stephen Juan, 11 May 2006
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Why doesn't my belly button heal over?

Human navel gazing probably started with the Neanderthals 50,000 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. Our belly button does not heal over because there is nothing between it and our stomach except a few thin layers of skin. The belly button is merely scar tissue of the umbilical cord where the cord has detached following birth. …
Stephen Juan, 10 May 2006
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Do pheromones work in human sexual attraction?

Asked by Lisa McMillan of East London, United Kingdom This question never seems to go away. Most scientists would say that there is little evidence that humans rely very much upon pheromones as a sexual attractant. Pheromones are special chemicals produced by animals that serve to direct behavior, including sexual behavior. In …
Stephen Juan, 09 May 2006
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Why we are not naked even in the womb

Desmond Morris, the great English biologist, wrote in THE NAKED APE (1967) that of the 193 different species of primates, only one is naked: Humans. Morris meant that all other primates are covered in body hair. Ironically, we are also the only primates that cover-up our natural nakedness. Actually, in a sense Morris is wrong. …
Stephen Juan, 07 May 2006
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Why do we say 'um', 'er', or 'ah' when we hesitate in speaking?

(Asked by Tom Lanier of Austin, Texas) Not everyone says "um", "er" or "ah" when they hesitate while speaking. It depends upon the language. For example, speakers of Mandarin Chinese often say"zhege" which roughly translates as “this”. In English we say "um", "er", "ah", or other vocalisations for reasons that linguists are …
Stephen Juan, 06 May 2006
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Could Drew Barrymore's memory loss in 50 First Dates really happen?

(Asked by Nikki Long of Waltham, Massachusetts) In the romantic comedy film 50 First Dates (2004) starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, Barrymore’s character suffers short-term memory loss as a result of a head injury in a traffic accident. Each morning she wakes up without any memories whatsoever of anything that happened …
Stephen Juan, 06 May 2006