Why Studies Need Multiple Experiments, An Illustration Using Manic Rats And Beef Jerky

When we start out with a question in science, we need to break it down to its most fundamental components.

Let’s say we want to know the answer to “Do non-human animals have language?”.  First we need to specify what is meant by language.  Do we just mean verbal language, or are we including gestural languages like sign language?  Do we want to know about all animals, or just the most intelligent ones like chimps or dolphins?  Does the communication need grammar?  And so on, and so forth.

For every question we answer, a thousand smaller questions crop up.

For this reason, scientific research tends to be very niche.  A single study might attempt to answer one facet of one section of a broader question.

By doing this, we can learn more about that question in order to ask better questions.  One day, when enough of the question has been answered, we find ourselves with a theory.

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Children’s Hearing May Be At Risk From Portable Music Players

Music plays a big role in most people’s childhoods.  Who can forget the song that was playing when they had their first kiss, or first breakup, or first sugar-fueled dance-off?  But, having a constant soundtrack can have an unintended effect on children’s hearing, according to a study from Rotterdam University.

The researchers examined the hearing of the children, who were aged 9 to 11, and also measured how often they used a portable music player (eg. an iPod).

1 in 7 children had some measurable hearing loss.

But, children who reported using portable music players on a regular basis (more than once a week) were nearly three times more likely to have hearing loss than children who didn’t use music players regularly.

Continue reading “Children’s Hearing May Be At Risk From Portable Music Players”