Boiling Point; 26th of December 2017; Hangover-mas, toxic mistletoe and asexual reproduction
Hangover-mas is upon us. It is the small space of time after the over indulgent period. It is where we question if drizzling our fifth piece of trifle in Tea Maria was too much (and no, it certainly was not). As we say good bye to Christmas and welcome Boxing Day we are greeted with dry mouths, nausea, pounding headaches and dizziness. How do we survive hangover-mas? According to science there is not much we can do. What scientists do understand is, drinking alcohol causes the production of a highly toxic metabolic substance called acetaldehyde. This toxic metabolic substance is thought to interfere with the body and cause hangover symptoms. That is not all. It is thought our body’s immune system is triggered in response to alcohol. Cytokines are released into the body prompting symptoms of muscle ache and fatigue. Scientists have many theories about hangovers and how to cure them. Is your interest peaked? Listen to what Alex said on this week’s podcast to see if you can beat hangover-mas.
Image Tatters, 2008 (CC BY 2.0)
Mistletoe, the kissing plant… ah, not quite. This week Tim discussed the many wonders of this Christmas tradition and it turns out this Christmas tradition is toxic and parasitic. But perhaps, this toxic plant offers a chance of sustaining ecosystems. The mistletoe plant and mistletoe bird work in chorus and contribute to the plants life cycle. Want to find out how the mistletoe plant takes over its host and how it sustains ecosystems? Listen to this podcast and hear what Tim had to say!
In a time of dating algorithms and swiping left or right, it can be hard to find the perfect mate. Tempting as it may be to jump on Tinder or watch How to Be Single to strategise your next mating move, it seems nature has once again led the way. Virgin creation or parthenogenesis is the miraculous ability female species use to clone themselves and to switch between sexes for mating purposes. Asexual reproduction is a type of parthenogenesis. In terms of mating, it is cost effective. Unfortunately, this form of reproduction is not possible in mammals. Want to find out more? Click on the podcast to hear what Cat had to say!