Elsewhere on the Interweb (4/10/08)

On my books to read list, Bonk by Mary Roach explores the cross-overs between science and sex. She is interviewed by NPR here. (Hat-tip: Daily Zeitgeist)

Also on NPR, does teeth whitening using light actually work? Not better than at-home gels say some researchers:

Chemist Lee Hansen, a professor emeritus at Brigham Young University, explains there was an assumption that heat from the light served as a catalyst to decompose the bleaching gel.

"That's the theory behind it," says Hansen. But he found the lights don't generate enough heat or give off enough UV light to accelerate the chemical reaction.

As part of the study, a group of researchers at Clinical Research Associates, the Consumer Reports of dentistry, tried a combination of bleach and light on a small group of patients.

On one side of the patients' mouths, they applied bleaching gel alone. On the other side, they added the light. All the teeth became whiter, and there was no difference in the two sides.

Other researchers dispute these findings.

Shelley at Of Two Minds links to a study showing that botulinum toxin from Botox injections may get into your brain. Not good. I know a lot of Upper East Side women who are hurling towards a world of hurt.

Freakonomics Blog asks a quorum of interested parties how much psychology and psychiatry have progressed over the last century. Opinions differ.

Good Math, Bad Math looks at the controversy in the philosophy of statistics. Bayesians and frequentists, can't we all just get along?

The US military will now be using field lie detectors. They will be using them in spite of the very reasonable concern that they are ineffective and prone to error.

Read the whole thing.

More like this

Something to think about next time those vanity pangs hit (Mac-users, I'm looking at you): new research published in the April 2nd Journal of Neuroscience reports that botulium (the toxin in the popular cosmetic Botox injections) can reach the nervous system when injected into the facial muscles…
Think of something wonderful - something someone said to you that made your day, or the happiest moment you can remember. Go ahead, take a moment. Now, what are you doing? Odds are, you're smiling. It takes 12 different muscles in our faces to produce the easily-recognized expression. But smiling…
My latest book project has been coediting the proceedings of the 2013 MOVES Conference held in New York City, which has turned out to be a lot harder than I anticipated. For the last few weeks it's been all-consuming, and spending so many hours in front of the computer staring at other people's…
Review by Scicurious, from Neurotopia Originally posted on: January 19, 2009 1:27 AM It is rare that a non-fiction book, let alone a non-fiction book about science, makes me laugh so hard I have to put the book down until I can get off the floor. In fact, I would say it's only happened once. That…