More uses found for Viagra, German airline passengers light up and if you don't get sarcasm, you might have brain damage.

Viagra Gets You Up…That Steep Hill
While Viagra may be noted for driving blood away from many commonly used organs, new research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that it actually helps athletic endurance in low-oxygen conditions. In the study, oxygen-deprived cyclists improved their 6K times by 39% when they took the little blue pill. Viagra relaxes the blood vessels in both the penis and lungs, and it has recently been approved for use in treating pulmonary hypertension (high fluid pressure in the lungs). If the medication becomes the next craze in high-altitude performance-enhancing drugs, competition at next year’s Tour de France will be stiffer than ever.
(source: Los Angeles Times)

It Began in the Womb
Science has finally revealed the primary tool of the homosexual recruitment agenda: the womb. While a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences confirms previous findings that the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay, the new study goes a step further, indicating that this effect is based on biological, not social, factors. The authors hypothesize that a woman’s body reacts to a male fetus with an immune response that grows stronger with every male child. The antibodies produced during each pregnancy may then affect the development of a fetal brain.
(sources: BBC)

Come Fly the Smokey Skies
Please lock your seat backs in the upright position, make sure your tray tables are completely stowed and whip out your Zippos. While the rest of the world flies in a style that is just soooo “let’s freak out about lung cancer,” passengers on the newly conceived German airline Smintair get all the smoke their lungs can handle as they soar from Dusseldorf to Tokyo. On its website, Smintair says it will “treat it’s (sic.) passengers like the guest of an international Grand Hotel,” which apparently means they can smoke on board. 

In addition to polluting its passengers’ immediate environs with secondhand smoke, Smintair will pillage the global environment by using a fuel-guzzling air conditioning system that brings fresh outside air into the plane. The website also promises that, “Charming and beautiful flight attendants in uniforms designed by famous couturiers are there to take the very best care of you.” What’s that smell? Is it burning tobacco? No, it’s the faintest whiff of a lawsuit-in-the-making.
(source: BBC,

¡Viva El Gran Simio!
Last week, the Spanish parliament considered a resolution supporting great apes’ rights to life and freedom. The legislative body was expected to support adherence to the declaration of the Seattle-based Great Ape Project, which calls for “the extension of the community of equals to include all great apes: human beings, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans.” 

Spain would be the first country to have legislation of this kind. Even ape tribes do not have similar legislation, probably because they don’t have language. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.
(source: Reuters)

Ah Yes, I Remember It Well
Witnesses who mistakenly point at an innocent man and declare him a cold-blooded killer can’t be held totally accountable for their errant memories. In a recent study out of University College London, people recalling whether they had witnessed an event or just imagined it, remembered incorrectly 20% of the times they were asked.

The researchers claim to have located the neurological basis for false memories: The areas of the brain activated when people accurately discriminated between real and imagined events are the same areas that are dysfunctional in people who hallucinate. The authors said their work confirms previous studies suggesting that our memory fills in gaps, often with what we expected to happen instead of what actually happened.
(source: University College London)

Great Study, Guys. Just Brilliant.
Israeli researchers studied how the brain processes sarcasm by performing an experiment on healthy subjects, subjects with damage to the prefrontal cortex and subjects with damage to the posterior lobe of the brain. The experimenters told the subjects stories where a character spoke either sarcastically or literally; the subjects were asked to determine which was the case based on the context. Those with damage to the frontal lobe—especially those with damage to the right rear part of the prefrontal cortex—had trouble determining when the speaker was being sarcastic. These people also had trouble understanding empathy.
(source: Scripps Howard News Service)

Download podcast

Originally published July 6, 2006


Share this Stumbleupon Reddit Email + More


  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


Witness the science. Stunning photographic portfolios from the pages of Seed magazine.

SEEDMAGAZINE.COM by Seed Media Group. ©2005-2015 Seed Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sites by Seed Media Group: Seed Media Group | ScienceBlogs | Research Blogging | SEEDMAGAZINE.COM