Today in Research: Super-Silk for Artificial Limbs; Cigarette Additives

Discovered: Why character-building names build character, more evidence of man-made climate change, super silk worms, the tobacco industry's lies.

  • Genetically engineered super-silk producing silk worms. Unable to farm regular silkworms for commercial purposes, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have engineered worms that can make silk strong enough for sutures, artificial limbs, and parachutes. The silk is mesmerizing. While it's noble and all to use it for health and safety related things, we imagine many an 8-year-old would love to brush a silk-haired American Girl doll. [Notre Dame]
  • The tobacco industry lied. Surprise, surprise: Philip Morris manipulated data on the health effects of additives in cigarettes. The authors believe this is evidence enough to have these additives removed from cigarettes on public health grounds. "When we conducted our own analysis by studying additives per cigarette -- following Philip Morris' original protocol -- we found that 15 carcinogenic chemicals increased by 20 percent or more," said study auther Stanton A. Glantz. Lucky for the tobacco industry they don't sell health, they sell cool. And no study we've heard of has found any harmful health effects of being cool. [UCSF]

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