Skip to main content

If Brad Pitt is a Zebrafish then Angelina Jolie is not

Two Zebrafish on a date.
Foto from IGB, Eva-Maria Cyr
You are probably not among those who subscribe to the newsletter of the "Leibniz-Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries" (IGB) - but you probably should. Their recent press-release (in german) is a real eye-opener - it has potential to completely change my bar-life.
Scientists at IGB devised an experiment code-named wedding-planner in which they check which male Zebrafish get's lucky on a date.
The result is nothing short of stunning.
If the girl-fish gets to chose between a number of differently attractive guys she does not go for the most attractive stud but the second-best looking. Reproducibly.
The reason is, they found in a monogamous setup, that the super-guy tends to bully the female zebralette into submission, which kind of spoils the party. Quite reminiscent of what we observe amongst humanoids. Too bad that neither Zebrafish nor those brawny bar-peacocks have enough brains to read and understand the study.
(Since Brangelina are here in Berlin right now during Berlinale I might get a chance to check for fishlike features of that supernatural couple again - maybe it is not Brad, who is the fish.)


I knew this, so do many other women. You will have to find a bar with extremely - beyond the norm good looking Yep, Angelina the fish, women also know that!

Popular posts from this blog

Academics should be blogging? No.

"blogging is quite simply, one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now" The London School of Economics and Political Science states in one of their, yes, Blogs . It is wrong. The arguments just seem so right: "faster communication of scientific results", "rapid interaction with colleagues" "responsibility to give back results to the public". All nice, all cuddly and warm, all good. But wrong. It might be true for scientoid babble. But this is not how science works.  Scientists usually follow scientific methods to obtain results. They devise, for example, experiments to measure a quantity while keeping the boundary-conditions in a defined range. They do discuss their aims, problems, techniques, preliminary results with colleagues - they talk about deviations and errors, successes and failures. But they don't do that wikipedia-style by asking anybody for an opinion . Scientific discussion needs a set

My guinea pig wants beer!

Rather involuntary train rides (especially long ones, going to boring places for a boring event) are good for updates on some thoughts lingering in the lower levels of the brain-at-ease. My latest trip (from Berlin to Bonn) unearthed the never-ending squabble about the elusive 'free will'. Neuroscientists make headlines proving with alacrity the absence of free will by experimenting with brain-signals that precede the apparent willful act - by as much as seven seconds! Measuring brain-activity way before the human guinea pig actually presses a button with whatever hand or finger he desires, they predict with breathtaking reproducibility the choice to be made. So what? Is that the end of free will? I am afraid that those neuroscientists would accept only non-predictability as a definite sign of free will. But non-predictability results from two possible scenarios: a) a random event (without a cause) b) an event triggered by something outside of the system (but caused).

No theory - no money!

A neuroscientist I was talking to recently complained that the Higgs-research,even the Neutrino-fluke at CERN is getting humungous funding while neuroscience is struggling for support at a much more modest level. This, despite the undisputed fact that understanding our brain, and ultimately ourselves, is the most exciting challenge around. Henry Markram of EPFL in Switzerland   is one of the guys aiming for big, big funding to simulate the complete brain. After founding the brain institute and developing methods to analyze and then reconstruct elements of the brain in a supercomputer he now applies for 1.5 Billion Euro in EU-funding for the 'flagship-projects' of Blue Brain -and many believe his project is simply too big to fail. Some call the project daring, others audacious. It is one of the so very few really expensive life-science endeavours. Why aren't there more like that around? Why do we seem to accept the bills for monstrous physics experiments more easily? Is