The secret of Donald Trump's blow and other everyday science stories

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  • The trick of the president's hair

    The president of the USA UU., Donald Trump
    The president of the USA UU., Donald Trump – AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM

    The finasteride It is one of the best known drugs to fight baldness and is the "trick" behind the blonde hair of Donald Trump. Its operation is "simple": block an enzyme that transforms the hormone testosterone into another metabolite that activates baldness. "Its use is controversial for the possible appearance of side effects related to decreased sex drive and with erection and ejaculation disorders writes López Nicolás. But these are not at all clear, since they may be due to age and not to the drug ».

    It is not the only remedy that pharmacology offers against the dreaded hair loss: minoxidil, which was originally used against hypertension, showed that it could also stimulate hair growth, but in the form of a lotion so as not to alter blood pressure. Recently, treatments are also being tested with platelet rich plasma wave stem cell injection, "Although there is still insufficient scientific evidence to support its effectiveness."

  • The mathematics behind flamenco

    Patricia Guerrero, in her last show «Dystopia»
    Patricia Guerrero, in her last show «Dystopia» – Vanessa Gomez

    Although the long known relationship between music and mathematics, there is a part and certain styles in which it is more difficult to "reach out" to employers. It is the case of flamenco. To find the repetitions and numbers behind the song, the touch and the dance, the Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Seville José Miguel Díaz-Báñez created the Cofla project, the mix between computing and flamenco and how algorithms, psychology, audio signal processing and, of course, numbers, "can be useful for teaching, dissemination and conservation of flamenco art," explains López Nicolás .

    And he wasn't the only one, since the singer and scientist Rocío Márquez Limón He wrote his thesis on kinematic resonance based on his passion: singing. Thus, he discovered that the body of a singer defines the way he sings flamenco, which explains why it can be interpreted in so many ways regardless of the techniques learned. "For proper functioning of the vocal apparatus, proper breathing and the consequent activation of the abdominal girdle is essential," says the disseminator. "But nevertheless, until the air does not pass through the vocal cords and resonates in the head, "color" has not just been defined sound".

    On the other hand, a study of Elvira Salazar-López, from the University of Granada, also tried to unravel the «thermal footprint »of the famous« goblin » Flemish. To do this, they chose ten experienced dancers and measured the temperature of their bodies in two cases: while dancing and watching videos of other people dancing. «The bailaoras experienced a significant decrease in the temperature of the nose and buttocks while dancing, something that also happened, but to a lesser extent, when they watched a recording», which would demonstrate an «empathic stress» between both actions.

  • The color science of cats

    Two cats of different fur
    Two cats of different fur – Arcjivo

    "At night, all cats are brown," says the saying. But the truth is that the fur of these cats has many variables: from brown to black, through oranges or grays. What few know is that this feature is very linked to the sex of the animal. «Like other mammals, cats have two sex chromosomes: X and Y, the mother provides the X chromosome and the father can contribute the X or Y. Well, you see a cat with three different colors, you can bet that She is female, ”says López Nicolás.

    This is due to the fact that the orange color is located on the X chromosome and can have an allele (each of the alternative forms that the same gene can have and which are manifested in concrete modifications of its function) for the black color. “Therefore, the only way for both alleles to occur together and combined with white is to have two X chromosomes, that is, a cat».

    But there are more curiosities around the fur of cats. It turns out that Siamese change color by temperature: when this is normal, the enzyme that produces melanin is not active; However, when it is cold, a series of reactions that darken your coat develop. "That's why, when it's hot, the Siamese cat has more white surface and, when it cools, it has more dark areas."

  • What colors do bulls see?

    José Tomás in the Malagueta bullring
    José Tomás in the Malagueta bullring – EFE

    Rivers of ink have run over the vision of the bull of lidia: There are those who say they cannot see three meters away, which means that if the bullfighter is placed close enough, he will not be seen by the animal. However, a researcher study Matteo Lo Sapio states that visual exclusion in a cuatreño bull -of four years- is 40 centimeters, so it would distinguish the right-handed and the fact that it did not ram is more related to the submission of the bull than with visual motives. That is, the vision of this animal is reduced, but if it does not attack the bullfighter, it is not because he cannot see it.

    By the way, the urban legend that these animals They only respond to the color red, it's a myth: «The animal reacts to movement, not color. A bull sees in green, blue and red tones, but in a different tone to what we know », is specified in the book.

  • Whale sperm as face cream

    Whale jumping in the ocean
    Whale jumping in the ocean – GWC

    Not many know the moisturizing power of whale sperm. It is a white fatty acid that is in the cavities of the sperm whale skull and in the vascularized fats of all whales.

    «After subjecting it to crystallization at 6 degrees Celsius and to a treatment with pressure and a chemical solution of caustic alkali, white crystals are bright and hard, but they are oily when touched. Thanks to its texture and smell, this material is very suitable for the cosmetic industry, leather works and lubricants, ”explains López Nicolás. «Although whale sperm has no positive effect on health, beyond that you like its texture and smell, if you put it on after the shower, your skin will be shiny ».

  • Owls against larks

    The "larks" are more active during the day, while the "owls" experience peak activity in the afternoon or evening
    The "larks" are more active during the day, while the "owls" experience peak activity in the afternoon or evening – Archive

    The myth that there are people «larks»-To those who do not find it so early to get up early and have their peak of activity during daylight hours- and«owls"-Considered as more active in late hours and those who find it very difficult to peel off the sheets- is endorsed by science. In fact, in a study in which the genome of 697,828 people, It was observed that there are 351 genes that predispose a person to be of one type or another. And, in addition, it was established that those considered Larks have better mental health, since these genes regulate the body's circadian clocks. "That is, the biochemical processes that govern the periodicity of cellular activities."

    For their part, the owls are the worst unemployed, and according to this investigation of Samuel E. Jones published in Nature in 2019, have a higher risk of suffering diabetes and obesity. «The circadian rhythm can be trained, but to a certain extent. If you are an owl, you can move a lot of the way forward to become a lark. You must change your bedtime routines and get up. yes, the owls have an internal clock that runs a little slower, so they will never become pure larks, because that is genetic and cannot be changed, ”says López Nicolás' grandmother in an exciting story.

    And speaking of dream. López Nicolás takes the opportunity to tell his daughter the sleep benefits, vital to activate the immune system, the regeneration of the skin and tissues and, of course, the recovery of physical fatigue and, surely, the consolidation of memory, since during the REM phase of the same brain activity is very high.

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