Psychology’s Fears Confirmed: Rechecked Studies Don’t Hold Up

The past several years have been bruising ones for the credibility of the social sciences. A star social psychologist was caught fabricating data, leading to more than 50 retracted papers. A top journal published a study supporting the existence of ESP that was widely criticized. The journal Science pulled a political science paper on the effect of gay canvassers on voters’ behavior because of concerns about faked data.

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Here’s How To Find Out If You’re A Supertaster

Have you ever eaten with friends and reacted weirdly to something you ate? Maybe a dish tasted totally wrong, but you were the only one to notice? Never fear — it doesn’t mean you’re odd. It might just mean that you’re a supertaster.

According to the SciShow clip above, supertasters are a group of people with extremely sensitive tasting powers. “Supertasters [have] a higher sensitivity to the five flavors we know as salty, sour, sweet, bitter and umami,” says host Michael Aranda. “It’s a genetically inherited trait and dominant, meaning that only one parent has to have the supertasting allele, or version of the gene, for the child to feel its effects.”

Though he points out that it’s difficult to measure taste sensitivity, it isn’t difficult to prove that supertasters exist. “They can taste things others can’t, especially bitter substances” said Aranda. “They also have twice the number of taste buds as average tasters.” Estimates suggest supertasters make up about 25 percent of the population, with the majority of them women.

To figure out if you’re a supertaster, try ordering a kit at Super Taster here. Or just try the food coloring test suggested in the video above.

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From Killer Fans to Jettisoning Jet Lag: This Week’s Curios

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Every day of the year, Curious.com CEO Justin Kitch writes a quirky fact, known as the Daily Curio, intended to tickle the brains of lifelong learners everywhere. This is a weekly digest.

Last week’s Curios covered the new law making Times Square illegal, legendary killer fans in Korea, and an innovative cure for jet lag.

Curio #776 | Hole-less Swiss cheese?
Sorry, cheese lovers. Swiss cheese holes are disappearing. Even if you’re not a turophile–yes, there’s a word for cheese addiction–you probably still know Swiss cheese by its iconic holes. Those holes are shrinking because today’s milk is too clean, thanks to the modernization of the cheese-making process. This news comes just as science finally figured out how the holes are formed…keep reading

Curio #775 | The terrifying sound of silence
Does silence make people relax? Possibly. But true silence would literally drive us crazy. The quietest place on earth is an anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota. It’s so quiet that the longest anyone has been able to bear it is 45 minutes. It’s so quiet the volume of the room is actually measured in negative decibels: -9.4 dBA. A typical quiet place, like a bedroom deep in the night, has an average noise level of about 30 decibels. With no sounds from their surroundings, people in the room quickly shift their attention to the deafening sounds of their own bodies: hearts beating, stomachs gurgling and….keep reading

Curio #774 | Illegal activity in Times Square
Times Square is in trouble. Thanks to an arcane definition change in 2012, the intersection of 7th Avenue and Broadway is now defined as a highway. 2012 is when Congress passed a law designed to transform how the nation’s roads are funded. As part of this act, they changed the definition —> Read More

Scientists Show Immune System for Some With Autism Triggered by Gluten and Casein

My previous blog post describes the mechanism of action of gluten and how lessons learned from a failed cholera vaccine are tremendously helping those with autism (and over 50 million other Americans). So let me explain the current science that concludes gluten and casein are a trigger of autism, for some.

If you have a child with autism, eventually you will hear from a doctor that something is wrong with their immune system. Either your child is sick all the time or never sick at all. But eventually a doctor will order lab tests to see how your child’s immune system is functioning. Whether they are testing for specific food allergy/sensitivities, inflammation, or specific antibodies… it is all related to the immune system.

There is a great research article called “Antibodies against Food Antigens in Patients with Autistic Spectrum Disorders” that was published in 2013 and can really help parents understand if they should try the gluten-free casein-free (GF/CF) diet. The researchers wanted to see if there was an increase in immune system activity to gluten and casein proteins in a group of children with autism who ate either an unrestricted diet or GF/CF diet. I will explain the highlights of that research…

Oh goodness… the gut again

Intestinal permeability is a HUGELY debated topic right now in both mainstream media and the scientific literature. There have been studies trying to understand if there is increased intestinal permeability in those with autism but the results have been mixed. Any parent of a child with autism is not surprised by, this because we know from experience that autism is largely different for each person. However, there are published results that show improvement in <a target="_blank" —> Read More

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