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Peter Golenia
Attended University of Rhode Island
Lives in Los Angeles, CA
43 followers|22,798 views
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Avalon on Catalina Island
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The Brightest Things in the Universe are Caused by the Darkest Objects

Here's a great new video from +Vsauce about the brightest objects in the Universe. And he makes the fascinating connection of how the brightest objects in the sky - quasars - are caused by the darkest objects: black holes.
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Peter Golenia

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Peter Golenia

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Build a better Sea Monkey and the world will -- well, fund your Kickstarter campaign, hopefully. Dino Pet's certainly got a couple of things going for
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Have him in circles
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Well played, Auto Awesome. Well played.
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Peter Golenia

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Do pruney fingers grip better?  Fingers and toes will eventually wrinkle if immersed in water for long enough. The question is why? 

In a 2011 article, Dr. +Mark Changizi (currently Director of Human Cognition at the recently formed 2AI labs in Boise Idaho) and his student Romann Weber postulated “Are Wet-Induced Wrinkled Fingers Primate Rain Treads?” In the article he noted that “nearly a century ago surgeons observed that no wrinkling occurs if a nerve to the finger has been cut”  ruling out the idea that wrinkling arises from some kind of local reaction to water. This led the team to postulate  leading to the idea that that pruney fingers could actually be a selected evolutionary trait that enhances your ability to handle wet objects. They backed up the idea by comparing to efficient drainage networks and the designed grooves on modern tires. (Original article: http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/328223). 

After Changizi’s article was published, Ed Yong at the journal Nature wrote “The ultimate test of the hypothesis will be to see if people with wrinkled fingers are better at gripping in wet conditions."  (Ref: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110628/full/news.2011.388.html). A subsequent study appeared to back up the idea (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20951232).  Sounds like a wrap, right?

Not so fast! Now, a new research group at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany has published a paper in PLoS with the very clear title "Water-Induced Finger Wrinkles Do Not Affect Touch Acuity or Dexterity in Handling Wet Objects."

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0084949

Co-lead authors Julia Haseleu and Damir Omerbašić compared the dry and wet dexterity of a much larger group of volunteers through a greater variety of tasks, more than doubling both the number of test subjects and types of tasks over the previous study.  On average, there was no statistical difference between how fast the two groups finished their tasks. Consequently, there’s no evidence based on their data to say that pruney fingers will give any evolutionary gripping advantage in wet environments.  Instead, they suggest that finger wrinkling is simply coincidental with another autonomic nervous response: vasoconstriction – the contraction of blood vessels in response to environmental stimulation such as cold, or water immersion. 

Let the pruney finger debate rage on! 

Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wrinkly_fingers.jpg used for non-commercial purposes under the 
CC BY-NC: "Fir0002/Flagstaffotos".
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Peter Golenia

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People
Have him in circles
43 people
Leszek Kot's profile photo
Kelly Killius's profile photo
Kevin Barry's profile photo
Jozef Wrobel's profile photo
Christopher Henson's profile photo
Keith Brais's profile photo
Charnelle Setser's profile photo
Claudia Barraza's profile photo
Brandy Golenia's profile photo
Education
  • University of Rhode Island
    Pharmacy, 1997 - 2003
  • Bishop Feehan High School
    1993 - 1997
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Male
Other names
Piotr
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A Homo sapiens sapiens' Homo sapiens sapiens
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Currently
Los Angeles, CA
Previously
Boston, MA - Las Vegas, NV
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