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W h at ’ s N e w i n S c i e n c e ?

sci files

By Nicklaus Kruger • photographs: istock photos, Gallo/Getty images


Tired of chasing cockroaches around with bug spray? Researchers at McMaster University have discovered that the smell of dead cockroaches can drive others away. Why? Because when a cockroach dies, it releases a stinky blend of fatty acids. This death mix seems to be a universal, ancient warning signal – if your buddies are dying, you’d be wise to avoid whatever knocked them off, be it disease or a deadly accurate shoe-squash. So if you want to keep creepy crawlies away, you’re going to have to get a bit nasty. Crush a few disgusting bugs and sprinkle them around the house. Or just wait for chemists to create a more effective bug spray …


Searching for something you have in common with Einstein, but can’t pull off the hairstyle and don’t even know what E=mc2 really means? Well, according to a Northwestern University study, you probably write your emails the same way Old Al handled his letters. Researchers examined the letters written by 16 famous people, including Einstein and Charles Darwin (the evolution guy). What did they find? That these brainiacs tended to write a number of letters at one sitting and, rather than writing the most important letter first, the order relied mostly on chance and circumstances. Sound familiar? Mind if we call you Einstein? THE GRANDDADDY OF ALL EMAILS

What did the world’s very first email say? Solve the A SWEET TOOTH DOESN’T MAKE FOR A SWEET GUY

You know that guy who always starts a fight for no reason? Well, yes, he’s a jerk, but his sweet tooth may also have something to do with it. A recent analysis of the 17 500 people who participated in a 1970 British Cohort Study, found that kids who eat sweets

or chocolate daily are more likely to be convicted for violence before they turn 34. According to lead researcher Dr Simon Moore, ‘Giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait for something they want.’ In other words, if you don’t learn patience, discipline and healthy eating soon, you just might turn out to be … well, a jerk.

Tell us: What’s your favourite junky snack?

Email the reason you love it, together with your name, school, grade, city and age to <> and you could win a HIP2B2 MP3 player.


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