Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 10:36:50 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The strangest research topics

By
21st-Oct-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Alyssa Walker :
Know you want to get that advanced degree, but not sure what you want to study? Looking for an area of specialization? Every wondered about the similarities between religious figures and the heroes and heroines of novels? From unicorns and birds to eggs, rats, and the human ability to swim, nearly anything is ripe for more research.
If any of these topics pique your research interest, you may have found your area of specialization.
Let's take a closer look at some of the world's strangest research topics:
The similarity between Harry Potter and Jesus Christ
Comparisons between the Boy-Who-Lived and the Christian savior are ripe for the plucking.
In 2011, an Oregonian studying for his PhD in Comparative Religious in at National Chen Kung University in Taiwan, Derek Murphy did just that. He wrote his dissertation on the similarities between Harry Potter and Jesus Christ. He published his book in 2011, Jesus Potter Harry Christ: The Fascinating Parallels Between Two of the World's Most Popular Literary Characters.
According to his Kickstarter page from 2011, he wanted "to present the best, most comprehensive and well-supported account of Christian symbolism, mythology and history ever written." It won 2011's Next Gen Indie Book Award for Best Religious Non-Fiction.
Do unicorns exist?
Haven't you ever wondered?
In 2012, Rachel Patterson, then 21 and a student at King's College London endeavored to find out.
She wrote "The Possibility of Unicorns: Kripke v Dummett," an analysis of two unicorn theorists. A 2012 article from the Guardian highlights a favorite passage from the conclusion: "There is a chance that we are mistaken: there may be unicorns. Furthermore, we can consider a world different to our own in some way, in which unicorns do exist. They are not a biological or metaphysical impossibility in this sense, and the images and descriptions we currently affix to the term 'unicorn' help us to imagine the possibility of such creatures existing in a different possible world. Therefore, there might be unicorns."
The artistic skills of pigeons
If you've never wondered about Harry Potter or unicorns, perhaps pigeons strike your fancy.
A 1995 dissertation, "Pigeons' discrimination of paintings by Monet and Picasso," came to us from Shigeru Watanabe, Junko Sakamoto and Masumi Wakita at Keio University in Japan.  They trained the birds to recognize pieces by Monet and Picasso and to discriminate between the two. Professor Watanabe said, "This research does not deal with advanced artistic judgments, but it shows that pigeons are able to acquire the ability to judge beauty similar to that of humans."
Do woodpeckers get headaches?
Good question, with all that pecking they do.
A 2007 paper by University of California Davis ophthalmologist Ivan Schwab found that woodpeckers have special traits that help them to avoid brain damage, detached eyes, and bleeding when they hammer their beaks into trees at the speed of 20 times a second, 12,000 times a day. According to a 2010 LiveScience article, Schwab said that the eyelid acts like a seatbelt for a woodpecker's eye. He published his studies in The British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Do humans swim slower in syrup than in water?
One would think so. Just to be sure though, in 2004, Edward Cussler led the experiment at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He and his student, Brian Gettelfinger, a competitive swimmer thickened a swimming pool's water with guar gum to mimic the effects of syrup and asked 16 swimmers to swim in it, comparing their times to regular swimming.
What did they find? Doesn't matter. Humans swim just as fast in syrup. You can read about it in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal.
What music genre do rats prefer?
Good question. In 2011, scientists at Albany Medical College published a paper on the music preferences of cocaine-infused rats. They played Beethoven and Miles Davis to rats with and without cocaine.
The verdict. Rats like silence best. As music goes without cocaine, they prefer Beethoven. With cocaine? Miles Davis, even after the cocaine was out of their systems.
How to partially unboil an egg
At some point, this could be a useful skill. A 2015 study in ChemBioChem explained how to unfold proteins and refold them in more useful ways. The scientists argue that they can salvage the sticky material that gets stuck in test tubes, and later apply the technology to the pharmaceutical and cheese-making industries.
(Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

City »

General students of Dhaka University formed a human chain in front of Aparajeya Bangla of the university on Tuesday demanding proper probe into the suicidal case of Taifur Rahman Protik, a student of Genetics Engineering and Bio-technology Department of Shahjalal Science and Technology University.


Editorial »

ACC's role in fighting corruption


THE Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday suspended one of its directors for allegedly leaking information about its investigation beforehand and also having nexus with the accused.  The suspended official was recently promoted as director. In May last year, the ACC also dismissed one of its assistant directors and suspended another for ...

Sports »

Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans by six wickets in the 25th match of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Tuesday.Chasing Khulna's competitive 181 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 20 overs, ...

Sports »

Greek sensation Tsitsipas into first Slam semi-final


AFP, Melbourne :Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas showed resilience and maturity Tuesday to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over Roberto Bautista Agut.Roger Federer's conqueror had to contend with dropping his serve early in each of the first three sets to the Spanish ...

International »

Ex-diplomats, scholars urge China to release Canadians


AFP, Beijing :A group of more than 100 former diplomats and academics have signed an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for the release of two Canadians who have been detained on allegations of espionage.Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were on December 10 arrested for ...

International »

France, Germany seek closer bond to tackle EU crisis


AFP, Aachen :France and Germany will on Tuesday sign a new friendship treaty to deepen their alliance at a time of crisis for the EU, drawing fire from the far right and a flurry of alarmist fake news reports.French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to sign ...

Business & Economy »

IMF cuts growth forecasts as world economic forum begins


AP, Davos, Switzerland :The world economy absorbed more bad news Monday: The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for 2019. And China, the world's second-biggest economy, said it had slowed to its weakest pace since 1990.The IMF cut its estimate for global growth this year to 3.5 percent, from ...

Entertainment »

Sherlyn Chopra raises the mercury in her latest video `Tunu Tunu`


The amorous Sherlyn Chopra has always treated her fans with her raunchy photoshoots and now the seductress diva is back with another treat for her fans. After treating the fans a few days back with a short teaser, now the diva has treated her fans with the full music video. ...

Editorial »

The miseries of River Karnafuli must end


WITH alleged support from a section of officials, the encroachment of Karnafuli banks is still rampant by some powerful quarters flouting the High Court order.  Quoting investigation report done by the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC), the media yesterday reported that none of the 2,181 illegal structures has been removed ...

Cricket »

David Warner to undergo surgery on injured elbow


Banned former Australian vice-captain David Warner is expected to undergo minor surgery on his elbow Tuesday after returning home from the Bangladesh Premier League with an injury.Warner, alongside former skipper Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft, was suspended from international cricket over a ball-tampering scandal during a Test match in ...

Entertainment »

Will Kareena contest Lok Sabha Election 2019?


Kareena’s name has been proposed by two Congress leaders, Guddu Chouhan and Anas Khan, as a possible candidate for Bhopal parliamentary seat where the grand old party has not tasted success since 1984. Local leaders of the Congress in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal have demanded Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor Khan be ...

Football »

Tuchel draws best out of me at PSG:Neymar


Neymar says his strong bond with Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel inspires the Brazilian forward to give his "life on the pitch", as the French giants gear up for a trip to Manchester United in the Champions League next month.Neymar, the world's most expensive player, scored twice in Saturday's record ...

International »

May to unveil new Brexit strategy


AFP :British Prime Minister Theresa May unveils her Brexit "Plan B" to parliament on Monday after MPs shredded her EU divorce deal, deepening the political gridlock 10 weeks from departure day.Britain will crash out of the European Union on March 29 unless MPs can force a delay or come up ...

Entertainment »

Munmun, Achol`s movie Ragi


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Last week shooting of Mizanur Rahman Mizan directed movie Ragi again started at BFDC in the capital’s Karwanbazar area. In the middle days, its shooting was stopped. This time Achol has been attached with the movie. After Achol’s engagement in Ragi, its shooting got momentum. In the ...

Sports »

Ko, Ji charge to LPGA lead with Henderson one back


New Zealand's Lydia Ko and South Korea's Ji Eun-hee each fired a five-under par 66 to share the lead after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Tournament of Champions.Ko and Ji charged into contention by going low on the front side and parring their way home to stand on 13-under ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news