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University of Manchester

  1. Science

    Being Middle Management Sucks For Monkeys, Too

    The corporate ladder has a lot of rungs, but there are three basic places you can be on it: at the top, where you're making the rules, at the bottom where you've got nothing to lose, and everywhere else. Studies have shown that folks in that vast middle management hierarchy are generally the most stressed out people at a place of employment, and a recent study by the University of Manchester suggests that phenomenon might not be confined to humans working thankless white collar jobs. Monkeys in the middle of the social hierarchy -- those who aren't leaders, but aren't losers either -- seem to suffer more stress from the effects of unpleasant behavior while also getting less benefit from stress relievers like grooming,

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  2. Gaming

    There’s Science Behind Why We Lose at Games

    Game theory is one common way people analyze decision making, but one facet of game theory is based on the idea that the decision is being made by someone with perfect knowledge of what they're doing. That's not always the case. Sometimes people act irrationally or even randomly, and a pair of professors think they know why. They studied game play and decided that some games are too complex to be fully understood, and that affects the decision making of the players.

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  3. Science

    Seeing Is Believing: Just Looking At Ants, Bug Bites Can Make You Itch

    Does the picture above make your skin crawl? You're not alone. A recent study conducted by the University of Manchester found that visual cues -- such as being shown an image of an ant or a bug bite -- can provoke an itch response in people, even if they haven't felt a thing. In fact, you may not even need to see the itch inducing stimulus, as the same study found that just seeing another person scratch can make viewers feel that they also have an itch to scratch, suggesting that itching, like yawning, may be a socially contagious response.

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  4. Science

    2,700 Year Old Egyptian Mummy’s Fake Toe Is World’s First Prosthetic Device, Works Surprisingly Well

    Researchers at the University of Manchester have proven that a pair of false toes found in Egyptian archaeological sites weren't just for looks. Modern tests on replicas of the ancient replacement digits show that they really do help people walk, confirming their status as the world's first prosthetic devices and pushing back the timeline on mankind's development of convenient spare body parts -- because hey, sometimes you're gonna lose a toe -- as much as half a century.

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  5. Science

    Sheets of Graphene can Patch Their Own Holes, Will the Wonders Never Cease?

    The "God-particle" has been getting all the attention lately, but nevermind that for a moment. We've got an up-and-coming God-material on our hands. Graphene -- already proven to have the strength steel in sheets as thin as paper, uses in super-powerful, flexible capacitors, applications in improving the efficiency of desalination by a factor of 100, and the ability to generate electricity when struck by light -- has just demonstrated a new miraculous quality: Sheets of graphene can patch their own holes. It seems that the question of "is there anything graphene can't do?" is becoming less and less rhetorical with each passing day.

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  6. Weird

    Ancient Egyptians Styled Their Hair for the Afterlife

    Everyone knows that ancient Egyptians headed into the afterlife looking their best. The beautiful garments and jewels found in their tombs centuries ago is evidence of this. However, new research suggests that the Egyptians took looking good even in death to even bigger extremes. Researchers from the University of Manchester, UK have uncovered evidence of styling with hair gel on ancient Egyptian mummies. Led by Natalie McCreesh, the researchers found that men and women would have their hair styled with a fat-based "gel" when they were embalmed. The researchers studied hair samples from 15 mummies from the Kellis 1 cemetery in Dakhla, oasis, in Egypt, which is a community cemetery dating back 3,000 years. The researchers also evaluated mummies from museum collections for a sample of mummies of both sexes between the ages of 4 and 58, ranging from 3,500 to 2,300 years ago.

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  7. Science

    Graphene Researchers Win 2010 Nobel Physics Prize

    Russian-born physicists Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim, both faculty members at the University of Manchester, have won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work with graphene, which is an arrangement of carbon consisting of a flat, atom-thick layer in a honeycomb-like lattice. In 2004, Novoselov and Geim discovered a low-tech but highly effective way to produce graphene flakes: With Scotch tape. By putting tape on a piece of graphite and repeatedly peeling away, you can create a layer of graphene. Now known as the so-called "Scotch tape technique," according to Dr. Geim, this discovery has had theoretical as well as practical implications: New Scientist reports that it wasn't previously known that such two-dimensional sheets would be stable.

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  8. Science

    The Plato Code: Secret Symbols Discovered in Plato’s Books

    A researcher at the University of Manchester has discovered a pattern of symbols embedded in ancient Greek philosopher Plato's writings which give them a musical structure. According to Dr. Jay Kennedy, a researcher at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine who has been studying Plato's work for five years, this code reveals his "hidden philosophy." "The result was amazing," he said, "It was like opening a tomb and finding new set of gospels written by Jesus Christ himself." Another Dan Brown book in the making? Perhaps, but more importantly, what implications do these findings have for our conception of Western history, and the age old conflict between science and religion?

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