Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Being Nosey about the Nose

Biological Evolution
STEM
Science & Environmental Education

I've mentioned as well as made use of material posted by University of Minnesota-Morris blogger PZ Myers. I hope always with attribution. The blog is Pharyngula which refers to a stage in embryonic development.

Myers is among my favorite 'splainers of things science and I especially look forward to posts on recent research reports as well as reports on a new class he is teaching this semester (Ecological Development) .He carefully walks us through the details. Occasionally he comments on reporting about science. Whew or Phew! It is not easy to report about science if you are not careful, ask questions and stick to the evidence presented in the original paper. And then there is the problem of the headline preceding the article which twist the science.

Myers did a recent post on our noses titled--are you ready?--Having fun with the nasal cycle. This may be the furthest thing from your thinking about what it means to have fun. You may know, I didn't, that "we don't breathe in equally through both nostrils, there is an alternating rhythm" one that we can detect with just a little attention.

And Professor Myers provides instructions on how one can track this rhythm.  He tried it with his wife while they were traveling. It is not scientific although Myers points out that there is an instrumental method and links readers to it. It relies only on paying attention every 30 minutes on which side of your nose is doing the heavy breathing.  Dr. Myers notes that colds interfere with the cycle. See the link above, please, for full details.

By the way, you may remember hearing/learning about one or two, maybe all, development stages: blastula, gastrula, neurula which are followed by the less familiar pharngula stage.  Professor Myers published a post describing them and events characterizing them.


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