News for Nerds - Are Cat Owners Smarter Than Dog Owners?

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  • Posted by: Dom Testa|
  • 5/30/2014 |
  • 10:00 am
News for Nerds - Are Cat Owners Smarter Than Dog Owners?

Welcome back to News for Nerds! This week I'll explain how to nap better, how freezing critically ill patients may be a life-saver, and how you can do a 60-mile-per-hour facedive in (relative) safety. But first: are cat people smarter than dog people?

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A new study from Carroll University in Wisconsin indicates that people who own cats have very different personalities than people who own dogs -- and that they may be smarter, too.

According to research conducted on 600 college students, dog lovers tend to be more energetic and outgoing, and they also tend to be sticklers for rules. Cat lovers, on the other hand, are more introverted, open-minded, and sensitive. Cat people also are more likely to be non-conformists. (Especially when they have 64 of them in one apartment.)

Some of the reasons for these differences might have to do with the environment that a given person prefers. Says researcher Denise Guastello, "It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they're going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog . . . Whereas, if you're more introverted and sensitive, maybe you're at home reading a book, and your cat doesn't need to go outside for a walk."

None of that information seems too controversial, but wait for it: the study also says that cat lovers score higher on intelligence tests than dog lovers. Let me put that in terms that dog owners will understand a little easier: You not smart. You smarter with kitty.

If the playful sarcasm isn't coming through clearly, please direct your angry response to feedback at domandjane dot com, or better yet, to our Facebook page.

- story from LiveScience, photo from Don Wecua via Wikimedia Commons

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And now, for some hard science. Doctors in Pittsburgh are conducting the first-ever human trials of 'suspended animation' among gunshot victims with potentially fatal injuries. This has big implications.

Let's say that a patient comes in to a hospital emergency room with a very serious gunshot wound. This patient has lost a lot of blood, and has a less-than-10-percent chance of living. In order to buy more time, doctors will replace all of the patient's blood with a saline solution, which cools the body and dramatically slows cellular activity.

With saline pumping through his veins, this patient is technically dead. He's not breathing, and there's no brain activity . . . but the cells will still be alive, working at a snail's pace because of the lower body temperature. After a few hours -- during which time they've had a chance to treat the gunshot wound and any related issues -- the doctors re-infuse the patient with blood.

In theory, the patient should snap back to life as though he's waking from a nap. Just like that.

Tests on pigs and mice have been encouraging, and there are a few stories of freak accidents with humans which support the science behind the concept. Read the full, fascinating story here to get a clearer picture.

- story from The Atlantic, photo from Stethoscopes via Wikimedia Commons

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And here are a couple more cool science stories you might enjoy:

  • It's hard to know how much sleep we're supposed to get -- new studies seem to come out weekly, and many contradict each other -- but it seems pretty safe to say that many of us don't get enough sleep. If you're looking for ways to nap better, the folks at Business Insider have these tips for you. Try 'em at home.
  • And finally, I give you the story of the new roller coaster in Tampa that drops you 335 feet, at 60 miles per hour, face first. It's called The Falcon's Fury, and while it's not technically the tallest drop tower in the world, it's probably the one most likely to make you pee your pants. Check the article from Popular Science for some cool facts about how The Falcon's Fury works, including the use of magnets. Yay science!

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That's all for now! I'll be back with more News for Nerds next week, but be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and to sign up for the free e-Newsletter so that you can properly get your nerd on every single month! And please send any juicy News for Nerds tips to me right here!

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