Weird Science: the genetic map of Europe

Correlation between Genetic and Geographic Structure in Europe by Lao, Oscar et al. (2008) Full Text Available in Current Biology; See also this article in the IHT Maybe not that weird, but definitely interesting. Biologists from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and others have constructed a genetic map of Europe. They investigated genotype data from 2,514 individuals belonging to 23 different subpopulations, widely spread over Europe. Although they found only a low level of genetic differentiation between subpopulations, the existing differences were characterized by a strong continent-wide correlation between geographic and genetic distance.…Read more …

Weird Science: Spouses & Physical Similarities

Convergence in the physical appearance of spouses by Zajonc, R.B., Adelmann, P.K., Murphy, S.T., & Niedenthal, P.M. (1987)  Full Text Available in Motivation and Emotion This study attempted to determine whether people who live with each other for a long period of time grow physically similar in their facial features. Photographs of couples when they were first married and 25 years later were judged for physical similarity and for the likelihood that they were married. The results showed that there is indeed an increase in apparent similarity after 25 years of cohabitation. Moreover,…Read more …

Weird Science: Optimal Boarding Methods

The Editorial Board of Beerkens' Blog decided it's time for a new regular item. Under this new item, I'll now and then report on a peculiar, remarkable, eccentric, extraordinary, unconventional, atypical, strange, funny, odd or bizarre study. In other words: a case of Weird Science. Here's the first one. Optimal boarding method for airline passengers by Jason H. Steffen  Full Text Available in Arxiv / Physics & Society [PDF] The problem Several passenger boarding schemes are used by the airline industry in effort to quickly load passengers and their luggage onto the airplane.…Read more …