Author Archives: Brian D Wess

Genetically Modified Salmon


Just this week the Food and Drug Administration approved genetically modified salmon for human consumption. The purpose of genetically modifying these fish are to have them grow at a faster rate and grow to a larger size. This leads to more food for people to eat, but when it comes to food, people want to be sure that it is safe.

The genetically altered salmon is called AquAdvantage salmon and it is an “Atlantic salmon that contains artificially inserted grown hormone genes from Chinook salmon and a genetic promoter from ocean pout (an eel-like fish) that makes these salmon grow at twice the rate as regular ones” (Figura)

The FDA should be trusted and they definitely spent the necessary time researching the potential issues that could arise, but for people that do not want to eat any genetically modified food this could be an issue. The salmon does not even need to be labeled anything different than regular salmon. Shoppers at the grocery store will not even know that the salmon is genetically altered.

Unfortunately it is hard to be certain about the safety of genetically altered fish without doing studies and observing the effects of them.

Even if a study was done, over a short period doing a random control trial comparing people that ate genetically modified salmon to people that ate natural salmon, there might not be any noticeable difference in this short amount of time but that does not mean that it wouldn’t present issues later on.

Nevertheless, doing a study that was a month or even a week could be valuable to see if there are any differences between the two groups. There probably is not one specific aspect that the study would know to look for so this study could suffer from the Texas Sharpshooter problem by measuring a lot of different things and finding one or a few that give back good enough results.

Although this is the first animal to be genetically modified for consumption, what some people do not realize is that genetically modified food already exists in many of the foods that we eat. Corn and soy are modified on a wide basis already and are products in many processed foods.  “Currently, up to 92% of U.S. corn is genetically engineered, as are 94% of soybeans.  It has been estimated that upwards of 75% of processed foods on supermarket shelves contain genetically engineered ingredients” (Center for Food Safety).

Now that salmon have been approved by the FDA for consumption, the logical question is what comes next? If everything goes well with salmon, it is very likely that more animals will become genetically modified to improve them and increase the food supply.

One suggestion already for the next animal to be genetically modified are pigs. Some pigs have already been genetically modified to be much more resistant to the swine fever, which is something that has no cure for pigs.  This has a great benefit for farmers and the market for all meats that come from pigs in general.  If this is already possible it does not seem at all out of the realm of possibility for pigs to start being genetically altered for human consumption.

So it has been demonstrated that pigs can already be genetically altered but these pigs are not ready for consumption yet. What challenges would pigs create compared to salmon to get them FDA approved? Are mammals more complex to work with than fish? Are people willing to eat genetically altered animals?  These are all important questions to know before proceeding but it seems like genetically altered animals will become a lot more prevalent through the years.  If the FDA says it’s safe, then I think we should be confident in at as consumers but seeing test studies that could reveal potential problems would be very helpful.

Study and Test Taking Habits


College students are always looking for an upper hand when it comes to studying, anything that will supposedly help someone study, most people would be willing to try. One of the more highly debated studying techniques is the effectiveness of listening to music while studying.

There are many different studies that have tried to determine whether listening to music while studying is an effective strategy, and these studies can be split on their results because they are not identical studies that are testing the same thing.

For example, it can make a difference depending on what it is that you are studying or working on.

“Music with lyrics is very likely to have a problematic effect when you’re writing or reading” (Goodwin), said Clifford Nass, professor at Stanford University. “Probably less of an effect on math, if you’re not using the language parts of your brain” (Goodwin).

The lyrics of your music will interfere with the language that you are trying to read or write which will make listening to music counterproductive.

Melanie Fineman a junior at Brown University said about listening to music while studying, “Especially when music doesn’t have words, it can help me get into the reading and stop me getting distracted by other things. It makes studying more enjoyable” (USA Today)

The key there is music with no lyrics while reading, it seems so obvious that the lyrics would conflict with the text you are trying to read or the paper you are trying to write.

Enough studies have been covered on listening to music with a lot of different results so instead of continuing with this I’m going to propose a study for a different but related area.

Studying takes up most of the space in this area but another interesting part is test taking and whether something like chewing gum during a test can improve performance. While taking the PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) the school and teachers would provide snacks and drinks for everyone and also encourage students to chew gum while taking the test. The school and the teachers obviously had a big stake in their students’ performance on these tests because it reflects how well the school and its teachers do with educating their students.

Food intake is not really worth testing, but chewing gum is interesting because there is no clear benefit from doing it. In a study done at St. Lawrence University, a study concluded that chewing gum in the five minutes prior to taking a test led to better performances on the test than students that did not chew gum. The reasoning behind the better performance was “Mastication-induced arousal, which lasted for about the first twenty minutes or so of testing” (Onyper).

Chewing gum is a form of physical activity, and there are lots of studies that conclude that physical activity can improve your results. Chewing gum was only of assistance before the test, during the test it actually became a hindrance. The reason for this was competition between “cognitive and masticatory processes” (Onyper).  Subjects in the study were unable to think to the best of their ability while chewing gum during the test.

According to this study this means that teachers at my school should have given us gum before the test and had all of us dispose of it before starting the test, rather than giving us gum to chew on during the test.

How Venom Affects Humans

Everyone knows that venom can kill you, but how does it actually affect the human body?


It turns out that there are actually three different kinds of snake venom and they each have a different affect..

Hemotoxic venom is designed to assault the cardiovascular system. Cytotoxic venom targets specific sites or muscle groups, while neurotoxic venom goes after the brain and nervous system. Some snakes combine venom types for a more effective bite, while others only carry one specific form of venom. All venoms contain a complex cocktail of proteins and enzymes” (Wisegeek).

Hemotoxic venom will cause the bite victim to experience decreased blood pressure and blood clotting. If the venom reaches the heart before receiving treatment, this is a big problem and usually results in death.

Cytotoxic venom kills human tissue and if any tissue dies then it will have to be amputated.

The goal of neurotoxic venom is to “disrupt the function of the brain and nervous system” (wisegeek). This kind of venom can lead to paralysis and an inability to control one’s muscles. This type of venom “can also attack the body’s supply of ATP, a nucleotide which is critical in energy transfer between cells” (wisegeek).

The danger from venom does not just depend on the type of venom that the victim is inflicted with, it also depends on what kind of snake or animal it is, how much venom was put in the person’s system, and where the bite was.

Obviously a study of how different venom affects people would be highly unethical, so the only way to learn about how venom interacts with the human body is to compare observational data of people that were bitten and would happened to them.

The degree of severity will also depend on the person, just as with medication doses, a child will not need as much to get the same response as an adult.

When comparing venomous snakes and which ones are the most deadly, numbers will be thrown out there like only a fraction of a milligram is enough to kill however many amount of humans.

But how accurate are these figures? Is this an inexact science?

As I mentioned before, it would be highly unethical to test venom responses on humans, so this is not how it is determined. I attempted to find an explanation for this determination and amazingly did not find any, only pieces of data about how toxic particular snake venom would be to humans but no explanation for the methodology behind it.

This leaves me to only speculate, it could be that scientists determine how much venom is needed to kill animals like mice, this amount is converted to humans based on weight, and this information is used in conjunction with information observed from bite victims about the amount of venom in their system.

This seems like the most plausible way of doing it, if it can easily be determined how much venom was in a person’s system after a bite whether they survive or not, this would be valuable information to compare. A compounding issue is how difficult it is to identify snakes for most people, unless there is something distinct about it like a rattlesnake, a bite victim could have little idea about what snake bit them.

It is my thought that the amount of venom needed to kill a human is a very inexact science and it would definitely depend on the size and condition of the person too.

Luckily for us in the United States, the rattlesnake was the only snake from the Americas to make this list of the world’s top ten most deadly snakes.

Hookah is not a safe Alternative


Smoking hookah may look a lot more cool and safe than smoking a cigarette, but the reality is that it is just as harmful. Hookah smoke contains all kinds of toxins that cause cancer just like cigarette smoke.

The following is from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Hookah smoke contains high levels of toxic compounds, including tar, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). In fact, hookah smokers are exposed to more carbon monoxide and smoke than are cigarette smokers.
  • As with cigarette smoking, hookah smoking is linked to lung and oral cancers, heart disease, and other serious illnesses.
  • Hookah smoking delivers about the same amount of nicotine as cigarette smoking, possibly leading to tobacco dependence.
  • Hookah smoke poses dangers associated with secondhand smoke.
  • Hookah smoking by pregnant women can result in low birth weight babies.
  • Hookah pipes used in hookah bars and cafes may not be cleaned properly, risking the spread of infectious diseases.


It is clear that there are plenty of risks with smoking hookah and it should not be viewed as a safe alternative to cigarettes. Just like with cigarette smoking, it takes a while to do studies on how it will effect the body, because it takes years for the side effects to occur and trends cannot be spotted until then.

It would be worthwhile to do a study comparing cigarette smokers with hookah smokers and see how they differ overall years down the road. The study would need to have people that already smoke either hookah or cigarettes to participate but not both. It would probably be unethical to get someone to smoke hookah that did not before for the study and it would definitely be unethical to get someone that did not smoke cigarettes before to smoke cigarettes in the study. Other confounding variables could be alcohol consumption, exercise, and other physical differences but in a large enough study the randomness of the trial will account for these differences.

In reality this would be a tough study to pull off and track for all these years. The only way to look at future data would be to look at hospital records and see the amount of smokers who have certain kinds of cancer compared to nonsmokers, but even then there might not be enough people that have only smoked cigarettes and not hookah or only smoked hookah and never smoked cigarettes.

The mayo clinic of course is not the only source that says hookah is harmful. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, another highly regarded source says, “Similar to cigarettes, hookah smoking delivers the addictive drug nicotine and it is at least as toxic as cigarette smoking. While many hookah smokers may consider this practice less harmful than smoking cigarettes, hookah smoking carries many of the same health risks as cigarettes” (CDC).  Clearly hookah smoking is dangerous, despite many high school and college students thinking that it is safe and a lot different from cigarette smoking.

It’s interesting where the idea that hookah is safe came from? It seems like a lot of people share the belief that it is harmless. In a survey of people in three hookah lounges in Southern California, 57% of people did not think smoking hookah was harmful to their health, with the reasons for that varied.

Another concern was that the 43% of hookah smokers that knew it was harmful, still participated anyway. “Socializing with friends appeared to outweigh health concerns” (Science Daily).  People see smoking hookah as something fun to do as a group, which is why it’s a lot more popular with high school and college students than cigarettes.

The bottom line is that if someone will not smoke cigarettes because of the risks and dangers associated with it, then they also should not smoke hookah.

ADHD Medication

Common medication that is prescribed for children is Ritalin and Adderall, which is used to treat ADHD. It is very possible these drugs are over-prescribed, and it is obvious that these drugs are abused especially on college campuses. This is all important to consider because there are new risks being considered with these drugs.


There is recent concern about ineffective studies involving Ritalin (Fox News).  The advantages of using Ritalin were not based on strong evidence or hard facts. The article mentions that “large well run trials still need to be done to assess the risks and the benefits.”

For this kind of trial, there would need to be large random studies done, it may help if the trial was blind or double blind because the participants could behave differently if they know they have the medication. A placebo may be helpful in this case to not have a bias based on receiving the drug. Having the trial be a double blind random control trial, could help the fact that the experimenters could have preconceived notions about what will happen to the person who takes the medication, and this could lead to a confirmation bias because they are trying to prove exactly what it is they expect.

The side effects concerning Ritalin are difficulty sleeping and loss of appetite. For college kids that are taking ADHD medication that don’t actually need them and already don’t sleep or eat enough, this could add to the problem.

It would be interesting to know what the mechanism is for why Ritalin leads to sleep problems because just from intuition you would think it would have the opposite effect.  ADHD medication by design is meant to slow people down and make them less hyper, so I would expect that it would be easier to fall asleep if they are on the medication but apparently it has the opposite effect.

A separate study may need to be done to account for sleep difficulty and appetite separately. A control trial that just looks at all observations between the group of people that took the medication and the group with the placebo may not be in depth enough to account for everything.

It would be best to try different methods of random control trials to see what would be the most effective option for a quality trial.

“ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders” (Fox News). which makes it very important that the medication is safe and the right medication is given. The fact that the previous findings were based on studies that were not done well is pretty alarming.

Another issue with ADHD that gets talked about a lot is over diagnosis, it seems like a lot more children are being diagnosed with ADHD than in years past. If more children are determined to need the medication but the medication might not be all that effective and causes other issues, then people that potentially did not even need treated are experiencing side effects.

A common drug like Ritalin that is frequently prescribed for children should be safe with a high amount of confidence behind it, but this is not the case. The bottom line is medication that people take, especially children, should be safe and the studies on the drugs need to be done well all the time.


Migraine Solution?

An anecdote but a pretty strong one could be a solution for migraines. A woman that experienced terrible migraines all the time, simply got her ear pierced, the type of piercing on the ear is specifically called a daith piercing. Sheri Utecht had severe headaches that would interfere with her daily life. She has to take off work, they cause vomiting and a lot of suffering for her. So one day Sheri decides to pierce her ear, unrelated to the migraines, she just thought it would look nice. It turns out that this piercing, according to her, has cured her of these massive migraines that cause her great agony. The thought behind why this piercing could possibly rid her of her migraines is that it is similar to acupuncture therapy and it had the same kind of effect. Is acupuncture therapy even known help with migraines though? A randomized control trial was done to test this exact idea.

daith (daith piercing pictured to the left)

In the randomized control trial, there were four groups of around thirty people each (32, 30, 31, 34) to be exact. Every group received the drug Rizatriptan, the first three groups got a different kind of acupuncture (true acupuncture according to traditional Chinese medicine, ritualized mock acupuncture, and standard mock acupuncture), and the fourth group was the control that received no kind of acupuncture. The Migraine Disability Assessment Test (MIDAS) was given before the trial, at 3 months, and at 6 months, then the MIDAS Index was calculated. The results were that the true acupuncture according to traditional Chinese medicine was the only group that was “able to provide a steady outcome improvement in comparison to the use of only Rizatriptan”  (Parry 2015)

This trial, while interesting is too small to take anything big away from it. The trial would need to be repeated multiple times, preferably with a lot more than 120 or so people in it. These results could easily be due to chance and the true acupuncture may not be the best method or it could turn out that none of the methods offer any additional benefits compared to the medication only control group.

As this relates to Sheri Utecht and her piercing solving her migraines, it would be interesting to run a large random control trial that tried to determine whether the daith piercing helps migraines. This would be a difficult study to do because first you would need to limit the pool of people to people with chronic migraines, then limit it more to people who would be willing to get the daith piercing (mostly women, I’m sure), and it would have to be people that do not already have this piercing. This limits the pool of people to a pretty small pool and this makes it seem like it would be difficult to execute.

What is the mechanism behind why acupuncture is an effective treatment for pain though?

In acupuncture, small needles are put at certain pressure points on the body. “The needles are then manipulated by an acupuncturist, either manually or electrically. It causes the blood vessels around the needle to open up and become wider, allowing for an increase in blood flow to the tissues in the immediate area” (Parry 2015)

“The results showed in conditions including chronic headache, acupuncture was twice as effective as the drugs and exercise recommended by most doctors”  (Parry)

Questions I have for that claim, is what kind of data they have to prove that, were any studies done?

What are they basing this twice as effective rate on? This is only a relative rate, so if the drugs were not effective, being twice as effective as the drugs would not be a big difference. There are no numbers to support this claim.

If daith piercings and/or acupuncture turn out to be a legitimate help for migraines, that could be a big breakthrough in this area.

Broken Bones



Something that everyone takes for granted as fact but most people would probably not be able to explain how or why it happens is broken bones healing on their own. When a person breaks a bone, the process of protecting it and healing begins instantly. This process starts with inflammation, “Inflammation starts immediately after the bone is fractured and lasts for several days. When the bone is fractured there is bleeding into the area, leading to inflammation and clotting of blood at the fracture site. This provides the initial structural stability and framework for producing new bone” (Foot Health). The most obvious sign for a broken bone is inflammation and swelling, even a sprained ankle will swell up a lot to protect the affected area. When I broke my foot, it swelled up so much that is was very clear that something was going on there. The second part of the bone healing process is bone production. “Bone production begins when the clotted blood formed by inflammation is replaced with fibrous tissue and cartilage (known as “soft callus”). As healing progresses, the soft callus is replaced with hard bone (known as “hard callus”), which is visible on x-rays several weeks after the fracture” (Foot Health). It is important for the bone to completely heal before being put through any stress that could re-injure it. The fibrous tissue and soft callus can obviously be re-broke and damaged further because the bone is not fully recovered yet. The final step in the bone healing process is bone remodeling. “Bone remodeling, the final phase of bone healing, goes on for several months. In remodeling, bone continues to form and becomes compact, returning to its original shape. In addition, blood circulation in the area improves. Once adequate bone healing has occurred, weight-bearing (such as standing or walking) encourages bone remodeling” (Foot Health). The bone remodeling phase still occurs after the cast comes off, as the bone is molded to how a person walks and moves.

So yes, our bones can go through normally a six to eight week process and heal on their own if they are immobilized but what makes them so special? Here’s a few, “Pound for pound, bone is stronger than concrete.  The strength to weight ratio of bone is found in no other natural material on earth.  Almost half of our bone mass is soft and alive, allowing them to bend.  Every seven years a healthy human body completely replaces every bone cell” (Bone Strength). Our bones and skeleton system are extremely unique and complex structures that allow us to move in different ways while also protecting vital organs from injury. The only time that we really hear about bones or notice anything about our own bones is when they break or something happens to them. By only paying attention to the negative aspect of bones, it can be easy to forget just how strong they are. Bones are not all created equal either, there is not a certain amount of force or pressure to break a bone. Smaller bones will break more easily than larger bones, and aspects of someone’s diet like calcium intake will also help effect how strong someone’s bones are.

Another aspect of bone healing and recovery that I was curious about is do bones actually heal to be stronger than they were before? I have heard this theory somewhere before and believed it to be true without knowing for sure if this was accurate. Dr. Amaral states that “’The area that’s healing is undergoing rapid mineralization, but because you can’t use it, the rest of the bone is demineralized.’ As a result, there may be a brief period in the healing process when the fracture site is stronger than the surrounding bone. But they later reach equal strength, and the fracture site is no more or less likely to break again. Dr. Amaral said that in studies in which healed bones were subjected to bending and twisting forces, the repaired bones were capable of breaking anywhere, including the fracture site. ‘They never comment that it’s stronger or weaker than the rest of the bone,’ he said” (O’Connor 2010).   So while the bone is healing it will be stronger than it was before but only for a short period of time, the bone will not actually continue to be stronger after the injury than it was before the injury. As Professor Tim Skerry says, over time, that thick piece [of bone] will remodel away (Science Questions). This could explain where the idea of bones heal stronger than they were before after breaking them comes from. Also just hearing that a bone is not any more likely to fracture after being fractured before, could be confused with the false idea of the bone being stronger than it was before the fracture.  In conclusion, bones allow us to do some amazing things and prevent a lot of harm from being done to our bodies.  Also it was beneficial to learn the truth about bone healing and that the idea that bones heal stronger than they were before the fracture is a myth, they heal as strong as they were before.


Image from:


Why are So Many People Afraid of Spiders?



Brown Recluse

How is a fear of spiders so common, why are so many people afraid of them? There are many ideas of where this fear comes from, some of them based on experiences and even some based on genetics. A person’s arachnophobia can be from a direct negative experience with a spider, but a lot of the time it could stem from something a lot less practical. Ideas for other reasons a person could be afraid of spiders are evolution, cultural background, or learning to hate them from someone else. Most people have probably never been bit by a spider before, so there has to be some merit to other causes of arachnophobia besides being conditioned to not like spiders from experience.

“In 1991, Graham Davey at City University London ran a study to understand more about this view. He interviewed 118 undergraduate students about their fears of spiders. About 75% of the people sampled were either mildly or severely afraid of spiders. Of those most were female” (Dean 2013).

Different studies produce different results, another UK study on 261 adults said that “nearly 32% of women and 18% of men in the group felt anxious, nervous, or extremely frightened when confronted with a spider” (Dean 2013). These numbers of how many people have arachnophobia vary from study to study and it greatly depends on how it is defined. It makes a difference if the study only considers people who are terrified of spiders as having arachnophobia or if it also includes people that dislike spiders or find them creepy. Let’s look further into other causes of arachnophobia.

“There was also an effect from family. Those people fearful of spiders reported having a family member with similar fears, but the study was unable to separate genetic factors from environmental ones. What is surprising is that Davey found that archanophobia wasn’t the result of specific “spider trauma”, which means there was no support for the conditioning view” (Dean 2013).  This is an idea that being afraid of spiders could be learned from other people, if a parent or friend is scared of spiders and would freak out when seeing one, this behavior could be picked up by the kid and seen as a normal response.

“So what makes spiders so terrifying? Surely it must be the threat of being bitten? Davey looked at that issue too. It turns out that it is not so much a fear of being bitten, but rather the seemingly erratic movements of spiders, and their “legginess,” Davey said.” (Dean 2013)

I find it very interesting that a big explanation for the fear of spiders that is so common could just be because they have two more legs than insects and they move around weird. Another theory is that spiders used to be more dangerous to humans in ancient times. “One prominent theory states that early on in human evolution, spiders posed a threat, so we’ve developed a sort of hair-trigger reaction to them” (Dean 2013). This idea is backed up by the claim that, “You can see this in children as young as three. When they are shown pictures of either spiders or cockroaches, the children are much quicker to spot the spiders. This is unusual since cockroaches are also unattractive creepy-crawlies” (Dean 2013). There’s no numbers to back this up, but it’s an interesting claim. But, why isn’t everyone afraid of spiders then? Could some humans have an innate fear of spiders while others do not?

Cultural background is an interesting idea to consider, “In some parts of the world, the general population is unafraid of spiders, and in some cultures they are a delicacy. In the UK, spiders are often featured in horror films and they are culturally seen as not very nice creatures that are just household nuisances. This could explain, to some extent, why people can become scared of spiders” (Brown).  “The fear of spiders can be a family or cultural trait: many people in Africa are known to fear large spiders whereas in South Africa, where they eat spiders, most are unafraid” (Fear-of).

It seems likely that in any society, people are not afraid of any animals that they eat, maybe the solution is to start eating spiders in the United States? Probably not, but it would probably give people a conquering kind of feeling over spiders.

There is probably some truth to all of these factors for why so many people are afraid of spiders, even just seeing a picture of one is enough to freak some people out. Portraying them as evil in movies or creepy with Halloween decorations I’m sure does not help with arachnophobia, and these kinds of things may make them scarier to people than they otherwise would be.

Symptoms that can arise from arachnophobia can be quite serious if someone is deathly afraid of spiders, someone just shouting the word “SPIDER!” could lead this kind of person to experience rapid heart rate, dizziness, chest pain, and feeling of choking.

What most people probably don’t know is that arachnophobia can be cured! I’m sure the majority of people don’t need to seek treatment for this but for the few that have extreme arachnophobia, meeting with a counselor to slowly get over your fear could be extremely beneficial! If you are afraid of spiders just know that only about a dozen spiders in the world are dangerous to humans, most of which are not found in the United States (Overton 2007).



Sleep Talking, More Normal Than You Would Think

Sleep talking is pretty common among children, estimates are that a little over half of all children have talked in their sleep before (Wolchover). Sleep talking becomes a lot less common as people age, experts estimate that only 5 percent of adults sleep talk, sleep specialists are not sure why but apparently men sleep talk more commonly than women. (Steinberg).

The science behind sleep talking: “Sleep talking could be a sign of a more serious sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, night terrors, or REM behavior disorder (when an individual acts out dreams by moving or talking).  Sleep talking may also occur when a person experiences a fever, sleep deprivation, depression, stress or consumes alcohol or drugs before bed” (Steinberg). These other factors affecting sleep talking could make for a useful experiment if sleep talking was something that people wanted to get more information on

People that are made aware that they sleep talk by someone, including myself, worry that they will say something embarrassing or strange while they are sleep talking, however this is nothing to worry about. Anything said during sleep is not a conscious thought that the person is having during the day or a secret that the person does not want anyone to know. Words spoken during sleep are usually just spoken conversation from the dream that person is having. I’ve had a few instances where I have kind of known that I was sleep talking. There was one specific instance where I was starting to wake up but still talked in my sleep, in my dream someone had asked me a question and I answered it out loud and realized it. I don’t remember what I was answering or what I said, but it was not anything exciting or abnormal. My roommate freshman year said that he would hear me sleep talking sometimes, but it wasn’t anything crazy, just normal conversations from my dream.

Some questions I would have about this data is where did it come from? There does not seem to be any data reported or collected on sleep talking. It appears as if these percentages are only estimates based on times where people report that they or their partner, child, roommate, brother, or sister are sleep talking. It may not be worthwhile to do a major study on sleep talking because it does not seem to be a major issue, unless it is so bad that someone is being kept up nightly from their partner’s sleep talking and not getting any sleep.

So what’s the big deal about sleep talking? For most people it is not a big deal, and if you are someone that is made aware of your sleep talking, don’t be worried about disclosing your biggest secrets at night. Sleep talking is only a problem if it is affecting your or someone else’s nightly sleep, but some people may enjoy hearing the occasional outburst at night. A woman named Karen greatly enjoyed her husband’s sleep talking and was disappointed when it suddenly stopped, saying, “”I do miss Sleep Talkin’ Man.” “Every once in a while he will grunt in the middle of the night like he would when sleep talking, and I’ll say, ‘Oh maybe he’s going to talk!’ and he never does”” (Steinberg)  It really depends on the person if you will be someone that is going to be bothered by your partner sleep talking, but the take away message is that if you sleep talk do not worry about what you say, even admissions of guilt while sleep talking do not hold up in court!  A person cannot control what they say while they sleep and what a person says while sleep talking should not be taken literally or for fact.

sleep talk


Initial Blog Post

Hi my name is Brian Wess and I’m a Junior Finance Major from State College, PA.

I am taking this course because I would like to have a better understanding of science in general and I think that this course will provide me with a great overview on the importance of science, how it is useful in everyday life, and how it is involved with everything. I joined this class on Wednesday of the first week because my advisor told me that this was a good GN course to take and it definitely seems like a useful class so far.

I am not a science major because I was just not a big fan of a lot of my science courses in high school. I didn’t like Biology at all, that was way too focused on only microscopic things that I didn’t really know about it, and it was hard to be interested in that. Some parts of chemistry were fun but I wasn’t all that excited to do the labs. I’ve always enjoyed math and working with numbers more than science, so that was part of the reason I decided to be a finance major.

I am a big sports fan and I am really looking forward to football season already.  Click here to see a video to get you even more pumped up for football season