Stuart Farrimond

115 posts · 114,450 views

Hospital doctor turned lecturer and medical writer. I love writing about science, watching movies, drinking coffee, eating ice cream and wine tasting (not usually at the same time).

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  • October 1, 2014
  • 05:31 AM
  • 99 views

It’s ‘Stoptober’ – but 28 days isn’t long enough to change a habit

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

A month feels a very long time when you’re trying to give something up. Crikey, if you’re trying to give up cigarettes then even a weekend seems an eternity. And now that October is upon us, scores of smokers are going cold turkey on the fags for a 28 day stint. It’s all part of … Continue reading →... Read more »

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2010) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998-1009. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674  

  • September 17, 2014
  • 04:36 AM
  • 135 views

A talking powered smartphone? The chin strap that makes electricity from chewing

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Mouths – where would we be without them? We use our jaws for so many essential tasks: eating food, chewing gum, yawning when we are tired from a hard day’s work and, oh let’s not forget, talking. Most of us […]The post A talking powered smartphone? The chin strap that makes electricity from chewing appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • June 11, 2014
  • 05:13 AM
  • 39 views

Do Women Who Live Together Have Coinciding Menstrual Cycles?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

There are dozens of menstruation myths out there, ranging from the bizarre to the prosaic. Some of the more ridiculous fallacies include the belief that you shouldn’t wash your hair or have cold drinks when you’re on your period, that […]The post Do Women Who Live Together Have Coinciding Menstrual Cycles? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

Stern K, & McClintock MK. (1998) Regulation of ovulation by human pheromones. Nature, 392(6672), 177-9. PMID: 9515961  

MCCLINTOCK, M. (1971) Menstrual Synchrony and Suppression. Nature, 229(5282), 244-245. DOI: 10.1038/229244a0  

  • May 30, 2014
  • 06:16 AM
  • 265 views

Smells can help restore memories

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Freshly cut grass, rain falling on sun-baked tarmac, the cologne of your first love… we all have smells that stir up special, personal memories. For me, the smell of wood smoke evokes memories of camping as a child. A close friend told me that, for him, even the faintest whiff of a burning mosquito coil … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • May 26, 2014
  • 07:14 AM
  • 218 views

What’s inside that energy drink? Sugar, acid, caffeine ‘fairy dust’

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It is 7 a.m. and I am investigating the world’s most popular mind-altering drug. Having scrutinised the latest data, it’s time for a hands-on experiment. The substance in question is a potent white powder called 1.3 7- trimethylxanthine. Its use has reached endemic levels in children – and health care professionals are concerned. You will … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • April 30, 2014
  • 06:42 AM
  • 23 views

Is it true that your eyeballs stay the same size from birth?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Aww, look at those big blue eyes – aren’t they adorable? There’s no denying that a baby’s eyes are one reason why we find them so cute. And, let’s face it, with all the crying and pooping, they need something to help […]The post Is it true that your eyeballs stay the same size from birth? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

T. WINGATE TODD, HARRY BEECHER, GUY H. WILLIAMS, & ARTHUR W. TODD. (1940) THE WEIGHT AND GROWTH OF THE HUMAN EYEBALL. Human Biology, 12(1), 1-20. info:/

  • April 9, 2014
  • 06:33 AM
  • 262 views

What is Ebola? Why is it scary? A really simple answer

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

“Ebola Virus outbreak” is a headline that produces terror. Well, it should… but I’m not sure that it does. There’s been an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea and Liberia in West Africa, but how many of us actually know what Ebola is – let alone why it is so scary? A quick poll of friends … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bwaka, M., Bonnet, M., Calain, P., Colebunders, R., De Roo, A., Guimard, Y., Katwiki, K., Kibadi, K., Kipasa, M., Kuvula, K.... (1999) Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Clinical Observations in 103 Patients. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 179(s1). DOI: 10.1086/514308  

  • April 7, 2014
  • 07:03 AM
  • 295 views

Why “7 a Day” is the new “5 a Day”

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

You probably saw the news last week that you should “Forget five a day: You need SEVEN portions a day for a long life”. Yes you read that correctly, research now tells us that should eat seven – or possibly even ten – portions of fruit and veg every day to help keep disease at … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 28, 2014
  • 01:35 PM
  • 23 views

What’s the best diet to get rid of acne?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Forget the ‘golden days of childhood’, I’ve always thought that being an adult is so much better. For one thing, who would want all the zits, spots, pimples and pustules that afflict adolescence? (I was one of the unlucky ones.) […]The post What’s the best diet to get rid of acne? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

Spencer, E., Ferdowsian, H., & Barnard, N. (2009) Diet and acne: a review of the evidence. International Journal of Dermatology, 48(4), 339-347. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04002.x  

  • March 14, 2014
  • 01:05 PM
  • 469 views

Could Sir Elton John be immune to HIV?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It is a little known fact that some people are born with an immunity to HIV/AIDS. Such a person could be exposed to infection again and again and yet not contract the illness. They are the lucky ones. But more than that, they could also be the ones who hold the cure for the world. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • March 14, 2014
  • 11:43 AM
  • 505 views

Do other animals experience pleasurable female orgasms?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Yes, other species experience pleasurable female orgasms, or at least it appears that way. It is hard, after all, to ask the female chimp after her artificial ‘stimulation’ in the lab how it felt. But the signs are all there […]The post Do other animals experience pleasurable female orgasms? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • March 13, 2014
  • 01:35 PM
  • 775 views

I gained two stone in weight since stopping smoking 10 months ago – why?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Gaining weight is one of the most feared consequences to stopping smoking. So firstly, good on you for kicking the cigarettes. The majority of people will gain some weight after stopping smoking. On average, ex-smokers put on a couple of […]The post I gained two stone in weight since stopping smoking 10 months ago – why? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 05:11 PM
  • 258 views

Why did doctors prescribe Guinness to pregnant women?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Back in the day when real men smoked and doctors wore white coats, prescribing beer to pregnant women was an acceptable thing to do. They don’t do that sort of thing anymore. But for many people, the question of the […]The post Why did doctors prescribe Guinness to pregnant women? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • February 13, 2014
  • 07:11 AM
  • 147 views

Isn’t it time that fad diets went out of fashion?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny is back on the telly. The long-running health show, which challenges two ‘extreme eaters’ to swap diets for a week, used to be my TV-watching guilty pleasure. Previous series’ were known for the infamous ‘feeding tube’ – a huge Perspex cylinder into which a week’s worth of food is emptied. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Roberts DC. (2001) Quick weight loss: sorting fad from fact. The Medical journal of Australia, 175(11-12), 637-40. PMID: 11837873  

  • February 6, 2014
  • 10:50 AM
  • 200 views

Why playing a musical instrument is good for you

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

A horrifying screech is coming from 221B Baker Street. Dr Watson and Mrs Hudson look at each other despairingly. Sherlock is practicing his violin. Again. The character depicted in the recent BBC series, Sherlock, has no musical ability. (Although the literary version was a good musician). He would scratch his fiddle to unwind and help his mind solve the latest case. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 29, 2014
  • 12:04 PM
  • 185 views

The direction a dog’s tail wags says what it’s thinking

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

In show business, they say that you should never work with animals or small children. The reasons are obvious: they are both unpredictable and you never know exactly what they are thinking. Children grow up and learn to communicate via […]The post The direction a dog’s tail wags says what it’s thinking appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • January 15, 2014
  • 06:43 AM
  • 191 views

Why do women stop losing their hair when pregnant?

by Stuart Farrimond in Guru: Science Blog

Want thicker, shinier hair? Just try nature’s solution – get pregnant! During pregnancy, hair falls out less and many women say it looks incredible. The reason: hormones. When expecting, levels of the hormone oestrogen (US: estrogen) steadily increase. This, alongside […]The post Why do women stop losing their hair when pregnant? appeared first on Guru Magazine.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2013
  • 12:56 PM
  • 445 views

Take the smartphone addiction test! Are you hooked to your iPhone?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It’s dinner time and the log fire is burning. My wife and I sitting in a pub on a rainy day and we are eyeing the menus – the seafood looks nice. Yes, this is the stuff of an English holiday by the sea: sitting on wooden chairs near an open fire with harassed-looking bar … Continue reading »... Read more »

Kwon M, Lee JY, Won WY, Park JW, Min JA, Hahn C, Gu X, Choi JH, & Kim DJ. (2013) Development and validation of a smartphone addiction scale (SAS). PloS one, 8(2). PMID: 23468893  

  • August 27, 2013
  • 12:05 PM
  • 381 views

The science behind a midlife crisis: are you having one?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Rock concerts, fast cars and beach holidays – a midlife crisis sounds like a dream. If you happen to be a child of a parent going through a 40-something identity crisis – then you’re probably in for a great time. Just because you’ve bought a ridiculously overpriced motorbike and you’re over 35, does it mean … Continue reading »... Read more »

Alexandra M. Freund, & Johannes O. Ritter. (2008) Midlife Crisis: A Debate – A Mini-Review. Gerontology. DOI: 10.1159/000227322  

Elaine Wethington. (2000) Expecting Stress: Americans and the “Midlife Crisis”. Motivation and Emotion, 24(2). info:/

  • July 15, 2013
  • 05:27 AM
  • 395 views

Does hot weather make you act like an idiot?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

At the height of summer, tempers fray: drivers honk their horns and couples bicker in the car park. It’s a hot day and I’m in a rage because the person in front of me has decided to walk at a pace that would embarrass a very slow snail. With a mobility impairment. ‘GET OUT OF … Continue reading »... Read more »

Craig A. Anderson, Kathryn B. Anderson, Nancy Dorr, Kristina M. DeNeve, & Mindy Flanagan. (2000) Temperature and aggression. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 63-133. info:/

Holland RL, Sayers JA, Keatinge WR, Davis HM, & Peswani R. (1985) Effects of raised body temperature on reasoning, memory, and mood. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 59(6), 1823-7. PMID: 4077790  

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