Weekender’s tech section has imbibed quite a few strange concoctions in our time, so we’re a bit puzzled by the news that people are refusing to drink genetically-modified milk.
Poor old tail-less Daisy the cow, a clone no less, can produce milk which has fewer allergenic proteins. Developing Daisy and the milk cost around $50 million, said New Zealand company AgResearch, which is funded publicly. Trouble is, nobody really wants to drink it because of fears about genetic engineering. No wonder AgResearch is now claiming it was merely a “proof of concept study”, which in scientific circles is more or less the same as saying “we did it for the lulz”.
Bored of politics? Us too: they’re all ultimately liars, thieves, cheats and murderers. At least, that’s what we read. According to a paper published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, people who read rampant political rhetoric in a difficult-to-read font became more moderate in their views. It’s all down to disrupting confirmation bias, apparently, which is the tendency to only take in arguments or views which support your already-held beliefs. Maybe the whackos and godless devil-worshippers at the Caymanian Compass should start publishing editorials in comic sans.
Great and awful science
Brilliant science of the week comes from a team drawn from Duke University and Penn State University, which has discovered a gene mutation which shuts down nerve cell regrowth instructions. This is a first step, reckon the researchers, to being able to create a drug to switch on the same spastin gene and thus encourage nerve regrowth.
But as ever in life, where there is genius there must also be idiocy in order to keep The Force in balance. We’re not talking about Disney buying Lucasfilm, but a dubious study by University of Southern California’s School of Social Work in Los Angeles which says – surprise, surprise – teenagers who have smart phones have more sex.
The study involved about 1,840 high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to NBC, who were surveyed in the 2010 to 2011 school year. Forty-seven per cent of teens who owned a smart phone said they were sexually active, compared with 35 per cent of those who did not own a smart phone.
Far be it, of course, for teenagers to boast about their conquests or make things up to look cool. That could never happen.