Social Contagion: When Fish Go with the Flow

A propagation of behaviours between individuals is known as “social contagion”. This is just a fancy term that includes a range of things from information spread between users of the media to flocking behaviour in birds. However, while measuring the rate and direction of information spread is reasonably straightforward, how various forms of contagious behaviour […]

Sleep. Zzzzz… Why?

We spend almost 30 years of our lives asleep, however, we still have limited understanding about the function of sleep. Scientists and philosophers have been trying to understand why animals need sleep for more than 2000 years. In his book “On Sleep and Sleeplessness”, Aristotle wrote: “With regard to sleep and waking, we must consider what […]

Of Planes, Microbes and Clocks

Human microbiome is definitely one of the trending topics in biological science right now (admittedly, I also have been caught up in this trend and blogged about microbiome before). Each week new research announces it discovered a new role of the microbiome (last week there was a nice paper studying a link between alcohol dependency […]

A Wrinkly Purpose

Recently I was river tracing here in Taiwan. It’s basically hiking but in the water, you just jump into some kind of a stream and go upstream, it is very fun, especially when rocks are slippery because then you always feel like a very bad ballerina. After several hours spent in the water, our fingers […]

How to Employ a Microbe?

For many people microbes are associated with infections, diseases and in general mainly negative things but some microbes actually do more good than bad for us. We often take for granted that without microbes we would not have many things that we eat and use everyday and, as a matter of fact, humans would not […]

Microbiome, Obesity and Diet

Even though we have started to appreciate the importance of human microbiome relatively recently, it is no longer a question’ if the microbiome is important?’ but rather ‘how the microbiome affects us?’. I define human microbiome as the total diversity of microbes in and on human body, however, this definition is definitely simplified version and […]

Fear in Slow Motion

Some people report that in fear-related situations time seems to slowdown. That is to say, for example, during a car crash the event takes much longer from the point of a person experiencing the crash than the observer. But how and why the brain creates this slow motion experience is not completely understood. Recently, on […]