Richelle Martin - Bio 11 1

1. 16 Year Old Baby!

I was at work a while ago when I noticed that the cover page of a magazine had a picture of a baby on 16_year_old_baby.jpg
it and the heading said "16 Year Old Baby." I didn't think it could be true but then I heard people talking about
it and I decided to look it up online. It turned out to be completly true! They did a documentary about this baby on TLC.
Her name is Brooke Greenberg and she is 16 years old although she ressembles, and has the mind capacity
of a toddler. She even still has her baby teeth! When she was 6 months old her parents realized that she
wasn't growing at a normal rate and when she reached 4 years old she stopped growing all together. Scientists
and medical researchers have never seen anything like this before. They haven't yet found any mutations in her
DNA and can't quite figure out what is stoping her from aging. Brooke's case could lead to a major scientific
breakthrough or even the secret to immortality!

Link to article:

GD, Initials. (2009). 16 Year-old baby on TLC: The curious case of Brooke ‘(Ever)Green’berg. Retrieved from

2. Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCR) is a disorder in which millions of honey bees are mysteriously disapearing. This was first noticed by beekeepers in 2006 when 50 - 90 percent of their bee colonies would simply disapear within a period of 3 weeks leaving behind their queen, a few workers and a hive full of honey. The strangest part about this is that they are all very healthy bees and their bodies are not found, they literally disapear. Another strange symtom is that hive beatles, wax moths and other honey bees ignore the abandoned hives full of honey even though thats what they would normally feed on.
When I first heard about this, I didn't realize quite how serious it was. I didn't know that honey bees pollinate 1/3 of the food we eat. I also didn't know that beekeepers get paid to take their bee colonies to crops so that the bees can pollinate them. They also have a great impact on almond production. Researchers have estimated that by 2010 California almonds will need all the bees in North-America just to be pollinated properly. So if bees keep dying there will be an increase in the price of produce and worst case scenario a decrease in the amount available. Bees will probably never go completly extinct though and there has actually been problems like this before in the past. Scientists and researchers dont quite know what is causing it yet but there are many different theories, such as; style of feeding bees and type of bee food, chemical toxins in the environment, geneticaly modified crops, how the bees were managed, and the queen source. There is a lot of work being done to findout the source of the problem and a cure, so hopefully they will find out whats going on before its too late.

external image LyraEDISServlet?command=getThumbnailImage&oid=9771350 A link to an article on CCD:
A video:

Ellis, J.D. (2009). Colony Collapse Disorder in Honeybees. Retrieved from
author unknown, Initials. (2008, July 25). Vanishing Bees. Retrieved from

3. New Scientist - Probe your subconscious

" A major proportion of your thoughts and actions - even things you believe you are in concious control of - actually take place in your unconcious. Most of the time you are essentially flying on autopilot." The first demonstartion of this theory took place in 1983, by psychologist Benjamin Libet. He did an experiment with 5 volunteers that were hooked up to an EEG machine and asked them to make voluntary movements like blinking or lifting their finger, whenever they wanted. He monitered the electrical activity in their brains and found out that the volunteers only became consiously aware of what they were doing a few hundred milliseconds after their brain had initiated the action.

Another example of your subconsious mind in action is called "implict assumptions." This is when you subconsciously form predjudices about people or events. Your subconsious mind spends a lot of time analysing the world around you and looking for patterns and relationships. The conclusions it comes to are called implict assumptions. These assumptions are almost impossible not to make, its just how our brains opperate. Everybody has implict assumptions but they are not always a good thing. It is very possible to form unconsious predjudices that our concious mind would disagree with or even find offending, for example, assuming blonde women are stupid or associating women with housework. You may consciously believe in something like racial equality while subconsciously you have racial predjudices. You can take a test online at and find out what your implict assumptions are. The most common area is race and age.

"Maybe sometimes it is better to ignore your unconsious mind."

Lawton, G. (2007, September 22). Probe your subconscious. 39.

4. Face Blindness

One day while I was waiting for my mom to get her hair done, I read an article in a magazine about a very strange disease called Prosopagnosia, or Face Blindness. This is a rare disease where you cannot recognize faces. There are different degrees of this disease and in the worst case everybody looks like a stranger, including your family members and even yourself! There is a place in our brains for face regognition which allows us to see facial features like eye color, facial structor, eyebrow shape, etc., and remember them as unique faces. If this area of the brain does not function well then much more focus is needed to see these things and if this part is completly disfunctional then we are unable to notice these differences at all. People with this disease have described it as a blur in the facial area or peoples faces looking the same. They can regognize facial features but cannot remember them. This is an inherited disease in which you can be born with. This disease can also be caused by head injuries.

AutTV. (2007). Prosopagnosia. Retrieved from
Harvard College. (2007). Prosopagnosia research centers. Retrieved from

5. CROWS - Are they smarter than we think?

external image 060606-crows_big.jpg
I've heard before that crows are very smart animals but I didn't necessarily believe it so I decided to look it up myself. I found a site where Ornothologists (people who actively study the American crow) are working on a project to prove their hypothesis that "The American crow is a highly intelligent species, with a fully developed language and culture." On this site they record any observations they make and are working on proving that crows can learn from instruction. They have already established that crows have different ways of communicating depending on their geographical location and there is already 27 identified vocalizations in scientific literature. Here is a link to view the list :

I Found another article which claimed that crows can regognize and remember peoples faces and that they can also hold a grudge agaisnt people! This theory is called the crow paradox. It was developed and tested by wildlife biologist John M. Marzluff, from University of Washington. He has studied crows and ravens for over 20 years and had noticed that previously trapped birds seemed more frightened of certain scientists and were harder too catch. He then researched the topic and found that it was infact true. Here is a video explaining how he tested his theory : And an article from the New York Times :

Nijhuis, M. (2008, August 28). Friend or foe? crows never forget a face it seems. Retrieved from
Krulwich, R. (2009, July 27). The Crow paradox. Retrieved from
Westerfield, M.J. (2009). The Language and culture of crows. Retrieved from
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People who have lost an arm or leg can often still feel sensations from the missing limb! It can be so extreme that they actually feel pain in the limb that is no longer there. This is called " phantom pain" and is often treated by making the patient look at themselves in the mirror hoping that if they can see thier body in a new way then they can trick their brain to make it stop sending messages to the missing limb. A team of neurologists did a study to see if it is possible to teach amputees to mentally move their missing limbs in ways that are physically imposible. They put 7 patients (who have had their arm amputated to above the elbow) through intense mental training and by the end of it 4 of the 7 were able to feel the movement and describe it in detail. They now think that this new type of mental training could help people overcome other mental disorders such as anorexia. People who suffer with anorexia often see themselves in a very negative way so maybe by looking in a mirror and mentally picturing a change in their body they will be able to change the way they see themselves.

Ornes, S. (2009, november 19). New twists for phantom limbs. Retrieved from

7. Could cell phones cause brain tumors?!
Although the industry will tell you differently, many science researchers are beginning to think that cell phones pose more of a health risk then most of us would excpect. Dr.Oz did a show about this topic and it is really quite scary and suprising! New studies have concluded that people who use a cell phone for more than 10 years are 30% more likely to develope a brain tumor than people who don't. Every time you use your cell phone it emitts radiofrequency waves which your brain absorbs. Also, if you are in an area of bad reception you are recieving even more waves! This is even more dangerous for children because their brains contain much more fluid than the brain of an adult which means that it will absorb more then 2 times the amount that an adult's brain will. There are already warnings in certain countries such as Finland and Isreal about children using cell phones. It has also been proven that keeping a cell phone on in your pocket will reduce sperm count! Because cell phones are a new phenomenon we will never really know their true longterm affects until it is to late.

The first part of this video is Dr. Oz talking about radiofrequency waves from cell phones:

Unknown author, . (2009, november 16). The Link between cell phones and cancer. Retrieved from

8. The Science of Hypnosis and Suggestion

I've always been amazed by hypnosis and I've always wondered how a regular human being can make you do things simply by suggesting it to you. I did some research and found some really interesting stuff.

First of all, there are many different definitions for hypnosis because scientists haven't yet agreed on one theory. Many people believe that it is an altered state of consciousness, where the hypnotised patient has been artificially induced and is more focused, open, and responsive to suggestions. Others believe that hypnotisis is having the control of different states of "trance". Here is a short video explaining this theory, which I find makes the most sense.

The hypnotist can't make the participant do anything he or she doesn't want to do but can only suggest the idea. It is the particpants choice wether or not to act upon the suggestion. Hypnosis isn't only used for entertainment purposes but also for many medical purposes as well. Such as, taking away pain, weight lose, stress management, ect..

Dr. Whalley, M. (2007-2009). Hypnosis and suggestion. Retrieved (2009, December 28) from

Mayo clinic staff, Initials. (2003). Hypnosis: and altered state of consciousness. Retrieved from

9. SCIENCE TRICKS--------------------------------------------

Here's a video I found of some science tricks, I find them quite amusing! The video was created by Prof Richard Wiseman who has many other interesting youtube videos.

10. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"
I'm sure you have all heard of the myth "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", and I have always wondered if this was infact true so I decided to do some research. I found an article by Dr. William Douglas which states that "an apple a day really does keep the doctor away." Acording to Dr. Douglas, apples can add a health-boosting antioxidant to anyone's diet. This is good because oxidisation is said to play a huge role in the formation of artery clogging plaque. There is a catch though, not all apples are ranked equally. America's Red Delicious apples are at the top and you must eat the skin to get the full benefit. There are almost 6 times more antioxidants in the peeling then in the fruit alone. I found another article on the Science News site regarding apples. Researchers at Florida State University found that apples can be used as an alrternative for cholersterol lowering drugs and that one day they might replace baby-asprin for seniors. Also apples contain natural anti-flamatory agents which can cause heart disease. To test this theory of apples being so beneficial, the university recruited 110 healthy post-menopausal women and got half of them to eat dried apple each day and the other half to eat the same amount of prunes. Before the women started the experiment they all had concentrations of around 1.75 milligrams of CRP per dicilator of blood. CRP ( C-reactive protein) is a natural product of the liver which makes inflamed fat cells that can lead to heart disease. At the end of three months the women who had been eating apples each day had a concentration of only 0.75mg/dl, half of that of the women who ate prunes!So eat your apples everyone! And remember an apple a day really will keep the doctor away : )

Douglass, Dr. William. "Does an Apple a Day Actually Kepp the Doctor Away?." healthier talk (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Jan 2010. <>.

Raloff, Janet. "Apple a Day May Keep Cardiologists Away." Science News 20 April 2009: n. pag. Web. 8 Jan 2010. <>.