Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Science Myth: Brain Cell's Can't Regenerate

Thankfully, they can and do. The reason for this myth being so common is that it was believed and taught by the science community for a very long time. But in 1998, scientists at the Sweden and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California discovered that brain cells in mature humans can regenerate. It had previously been long believed that complex brains would be severely disrupted by new cell growth, but the study found that the memory and learning center of the brain can create new cells – giving hope for an eventual cure for illnesses like Alzheimer’s.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Science Myth: Urinating on a Jellyfish Sting Helps Cure it.

Unfortunately not. Not sure where this one came from (other than being popularised by Friends in the 1990's) but doing this can actually do more harm than good. In fact the best thing you can do (before seeking medical advice, of course) is to wash the affected area with salt water.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Science Myth: The Tongue Has Zones For Different Tastes.

Unfortunately not. All those experiments we did in Junior school? All lies and confirmation bias. The notion that the tongue is mapped into four areas—sweet, sour, salty and bitter—is wrong.  There are five basic tastes identified so far, and the entire tongue can sense all of these tastes more or less equally.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Science Myth: Water Drains Anti-Clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere

No it doesn't. The Coriolis effect does make cyclones and weather systems spin different ways, but this force is so small in your sink that it has no effect. Instead, it's the way you pour the water in that matters.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Science Myth: You Can Kill A Virus.

Well, you can't. It can be de-activated or destroyed, but you can't kill it. Mainly because it wasn't alive to begin with. The main requirement for something to be considered 'alive', is that it must be able to reproduce and a virus can't do that. It survives only by hijacking a cell first.