This is the final part of my review of the year, with a more light-hearted look at the past 12 months. But first, here are parts 1-10.
- Part 1 – “They did what now?”
- Part 2 – Animals bring the awe
- Part 3 – Science and society
- Part 4 – New species
- Part 5 – Best mind hacks
- Part 6 – Early dawns
- Part 7 – Cool videos
- Part 8 – Frenetic genetics
- Part 9 – Twists and lessons
- Part 10 – The future is now
IgNobel tribute awards
First up, a selection of posts that, in the words of the award creators, first make people laugh, and then make them think.
The good news: beer makes some people much more attractive. The bad news: it makes them more attractive to mosquitoes. Anopheles gambiae (the mosquito that transmits malaria) finds the body odour of beer drinkers to be quite tantalising. The authors even suggest (very speculatively and with tongue somewhat planted in cheek) that mosquitoes might have evolved a preference for the smell of beer-drinkers, “possibly due to reduced host defensive behaviours”.