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Useless trivia is all well and good, but we prefer ours to be useful. Knowledge equals power, after all. Our golden nuggets of information won’t just get you out of a tight spot next time you’re struggling to make small talk with an awkward dinner guest. These interesting facts could help you shop smarter, find the love of your life and even pass a pesky kidney stone or two.
The stickers on your fruit could tell you more than you think
That sticky label on your Granny Smith isn’t there for decoration. Take a closer look at the numbers because that PLU (or price look-up) code could also tell you exactly how it was grown. Conventionally grown fruit always bears a 4-digit code. The code for organically grown fruit, meanwhile, is 5 digits long and always begins with 9. Trying to steer clear of genetically modified ‘frankenfruit’? Then look out for 5 digit codes beginning with 8… If you’re buying a banana, for example, a conventionally grown specimen should be labelled 4011, an organically grown one 94011 and a genetically modified version 84011.
Scientists are throwing their backing behind an unconventional kidney stone treatment – a ride on Walt Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Following several anecdotal reports from patients, including one who claimed to have passed a stone following each of three consecutive rides, researchers decided to put their claims to the test. The intrepid scientists rode the roller coaster 60 times, accompanied by a 3D printed silicone kidney containing urine and kidney stones of varying sizes. The take-home message? Sit at the back. 64% of stones were passed when the researchers sat at the back of the ride, vs. 17% when they sat at the front. The NHS cautions that this does not constitute ‘conclusive evidence that would be applicable to all,’ however.
It’s not called a superfood for nothing – greens could, quite literally, save your life. Scientists have discovered a way to turn spinach into a bomb detector – by implanting tiny carbon nanotubes in its leaves. When nitroaromatics – used in landmines and other explosive devices – are detected, the plant emits a fluorescent signal which can be read by an infrared camera.”You can just walk up to any existing plant, it can be mature, and you just infuse this nanoparticle solution into the leaves and you have rendered it into a sophisticated chemical sensor,” says lead researcher Professor Strano.
Your fidgeting habit could offset the health hazards of sitting, according to new research published in the American Journal of Physiology. Researchers discovered that moving one leg every four minutes increased arterial blood flow in that leg, whilst keeping the other leg still decreased blood flow. If you’re not a fidgeter, they suggest making an effort to get up and move more throughout the day. Yes, that is a legitimate excuse to go and make a cup of tea.
They say love comes down to chemistry – but what if you could put that chemistry to the test before you commit? Thanks to Instant Chemistry,
the Canadian company recently featured on Dateline Australia’s
investigation into the science of love and sex, you could do just that.
How? Well, simply put, you and your partner spit into a couple of tubes,
send in your samples, and, for $129 (plus overseas shipping costs),
they’ll analyse your DNA to assess your genetic compatibility. You
probably know that diverse immunity-related genes equal healthier
offspring, but did you know that they’re also associated with a better
sex life and long-term marital stability?