Fact of Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths by Scientific American Editors

By Scientific American Editors

Truth or Fiction: technology Tackles fifty eight well known Myths through the Editors of medical American

Did NASA quite spend hundreds of thousands making a pen that might write in house? Is chocolate toxic to canine? Does rigidity reason grey hair? those questions are only a pattern of the city lore investigated during this publication, truth or Fiction: technological know-how Tackles fifty eight well known Myths. Drawing from medical American’s “Fact or Fiction” and “Strange yet precise” columns, we’ve chosen fifty eight of the main staggering, interesting, worthy and simply undeniable wacky issues faced by way of our writers through the years. each one short article uncovers the reality in the back of daily mythology, beginning with part One, “In the Animal Kingdom,” the place we research a number of the extra outlandish claims approximately our fellow earthly population, akin to even if elephants relatively take into account every thing and no matter if a cockroach can reside with out its head. different sections disguise copy, the surroundings, expertise and private and psychological health and wellbeing. whereas the solutions to a couple questions, equivalent to even if bogs rather do flush within the wrong way south of the Equator, may well merely serve to elevate your Trivial Pursuit wisdom, others, akin to no matter if to pee on a jellyfish sting or wake a sleepwalker, may possibly turn out to be useful. even supposing this book represents a fragment of circulating folks knowledge and concrete mythology, we are hoping that it’s an stress-free fraction and that it encourages you to perform a little debunking your self.

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In fact the very first massive fungus discovered in 1992—a 37-acre (15-hectare) Armillaria bulbosa, which was later renamed Armillaria gallica—is annually celebrated at a "fungus fest" in the nearby town of Crystal Falls, Mich. Myron Smith was a PhD candidate in botany at the University of Toronto when he and colleagues discovered this exclusive fungus in the hardwood forests near Crystal Falls. "This was kind of a side project," Smith recalls. " Next, the microbiologists developed a new way to tell an individual apart from a group of closely related siblings using a battery of molecular genetic techniques.

Pets Protect Children against Allergies by Melinda Wenner Pets do an awful lot for kids: they teach them about unconditional love, responsibility, death and, of course, pooper scoopers. But does a dog or cat also keep a child from developing allergies? " The idea that pets might provide an immune benefit stems from a controversial theory born in 1989 called the hygiene hypothesis. It postulates that the sharp rise in allergic diseases this century can be explained, at least in part, by our higher cleanliness standards.

A British medical treatise from the Middle Ages informs readers that ambergris can banish headaches, colds and epilepsy, among other ailments. And the Portuguese took over the Maldives in the sixteenth century in part to gain access to the island's rich bounty of the redolent stuff. The Arabic anbar refers to this very whale-based substance and is the root of the word amber. Centuries ago the French employed amber gris and amber jaune (gray amber and yellow amber) to distinguish between animal-based ambergris and what today has become the standard meaning: the golden-hued vegetal resin.

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