The human body is a weird and wonderful thing. From waking up in the morning to going to bed at night, hundreds of biological processes are happening to keep us alive, many of which we don't really understand. With a little help from How The Body Works, we've got the answers to some of those burning science questions!
There are signals that can give a person away when they lie: pausing, micro-expressions and hand gestures can all indicate that someone is lying. The best liars convince themselves they are telling the truth – if you believe your lie, your body language can’t give you away.
When you grow tired, your brain will steadily become unresponsive to neurotransmitters (chemicals) involved in regulating happiness. This is why tired people are often moody. When you sleep, your brain resets itself, and becomes sensitive to these neurotransmitters once again. The effects of sleep deprivation become progressively worse the longer you stay awake. Make sure to catch some z's tonight.
Revising information increases the memory’s strength with each revision session – this ensures the learnt information is stored in our long-term memory. Revising information little and often is best for retention. When you cram for an exam or presentation, you acquire a lot of information quickly, but it is lost without revisiting the information.
Assuming both parents are of normal stature, a child’s potential adult height can be calculated as follows: add father’s height to mother’s height. For a boy, add 13cm (5in) and for a girl deduct 13cm (5in). Then divide the total by two. Most children will have a final adult height within 10cm (4in) of this estimate.
Sebaceous glands release oil (sebum) onto the skin and hair. When the glands produce an excessive amount of sebum, the hair follicle can become clogged with sebum and dead skin cells to form a blackhead. Skin bacteria can infect the plug to cause a spot, which can leave a scar when it heals. It can be tempting, but you should definitely avoid picking a spot.
Air travel transports us into new time zones faster than the body can adjust. It takes time for the new rhythm of daylight to reset the body clock. While our rhythms adjust, the body feels hungry and sleepy at all the wrong times – a phenomenon called jet lag.
People who are said to be double-jointed have the same number of joints as everyone else, but their joints have a wider than normal range of movement. This trait is usually due to inheriting unusually elastic ligaments or a gene that codes for the production of a weaker type of collagen (a protein found in ligaments and other connective tissues).
How The Body Works is a fascinating exploration of the weird and wonderful processes that occur within the human body, often without us knowing. Understand how our bodies keep us alive and thriving and get to the bottom of such niggling questions as why we get dizzy, why we get butterflies in our stomachs, and why we get jetlag!