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January 15[edit]

Lye & metal[edit]

Is it true that a bottle of Drano could do fantastic damage to a statue made of aluminum/brass/bronze, perhaps even to the level of its collapse? Temerarius (talk) 00:36, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Sodium hydroxide solution certainly does dissolve aluminium, or zinc. Brass or bronze may have enough copper to still remain intact. Also pouring a liquid on a statue will likely have it mostly run off. You would have to dam it up some how to keep it dissolving. Also it depends how big a statue it is, as one bottle will only dissolve so much. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 01:04, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

tick bite[edit]

This is clearly a request for medical advice as it contains a clear request for diagnosis. Please seek the advice of a medical professional. Random users at Wikipedia are not supposed to look at pictures and diagnose possible medical conditions --Jayron32 13:01, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Actually, not a request for a diagnosis, but a request on where to go to get a diagnosis. — kwami (talk) 01:11, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

A medical doctor. Start with your general practitioner or family doctor, and follow their advice. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:21, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Bugs, I don't know where Kwami's friend is, but did you see that they already did that stuff? They need a specialist, and in the US, getting to see one often requires a referral from your PCP, and that itself can be quite hard unless you know exactly what to ask for. So you have to research the illness yourself, which is what Kwami was trying to do here. Kwami, you might try Reddit. 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:DF95 (talk) 08:27, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
If his family doctor doesn't know someone to refer him too, then he should find another family doctor. Trying to use the internet for a "diagnosis" is foolish. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:03, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
If a patient was occasionally "hearing voices", they might need to narrow it down before seeing a specialist. The problem could be dental work picking up a radio station, a defective hearing aid, audio hallucinations, thin walls, or a heating duct. Somehow a family doctor doesn't seem very useful in distinguishing these cases. NonmalignedNations (talk) 13:58, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Prejudging the family doctor does no one any good. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:34, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Bugs, the issue in the US is that there are rules imposed by insurance companies about when primary care providers (family doctors) are allowed to give out referrals. They can give it if you specifically ask, but otherwise they can be under rather severe constraints. (Similarly under some state laws iiuc, ob/gyn's are allowed to refer you to abortion providers if you ask, but they are not allowed to bring it up themselves). So it helps if you do enough research to know the possibilities before going in. Also, those pictures aren't enough for a diagnosis, which would likely involve blood tests. They give enough info to describe the symptoms, which is helpful. 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:DF95 (talk) 09:58, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
How badly does the OP want to get the problem solved? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:15, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

medicine myths newsletter[edit]

This was posted on the Wikiversity:Help desk. "Hi, There is a doctor who runs a newsletter abouth medicine myths. He shows with proofs and articles why some myths are just that: myths. I received his newsletter but then I cancelled the subscription because I was receiving too many e-mails (not from him but in general). I need to obtain some info I had read in the past. I cannot remember his name. Do you have a clue who this doctor may be? As I said, I need to re-read one article by him... Thanks so much, Leonardo Cardillo — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leonardo T. Cardillo (talkcontribs) 08:49, 15 January 2020 (UTC)"[1] Can anyone help out with this? --mikeu talk 15:08, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Perhaps if you could give us more information on what this specific article entailed, we may be able to find the article. This may equally elusive to finding said doctor, yet more helpful. Anton. 81.131.40.58 (talk) 15:50, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
@Leonardo T. Cardillo: what was the article topic? --mikeu talk 17:46, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
There was a non-medical doctor (PhD) Simon Singh who regularly wrote about holistic medicine myths and debunked them. Many people complained that he was pretending to be a medical doctor, but he repeatedly said that was a lecturer, not an MD. 135.84.167.41 (talk) 17:20, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I am pretty sure the Doctor is from England. Or US. One of the myths he talked about is reiki. Leonardo T. Cardillo (talk) 21:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

That might be Stephen Barrett who has the site Quackwatch. There's an article Reiki Is Nonsense. --mikeu talk 23:25, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

"That might be Stephen Barrett who has the site Quackwatch. There's an article Reiki Is Nonsense. --mikeu talk 23:25, 15 January 2020 (UTC)" -> Exactly!!! That is what is was lookig for!!!! Thank so so so so much!!! --Leonardo T. Cardillo (talk) 16:13, 18 January 2020 (UTC)


badscience.net ? Greglocock (talk) 22:36, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

I was also going to suggest Ben Goldacre. --ColinFine (talk) 23:38, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

January 16[edit]

Wow! sushi[edit]

What did Wow! sushi do? Can we please correct it. Please see top of the page..." Which of "geometric algebra" or "algebraic geometry" proceeds the other. Wow! sushi (talk) 05:08, 8 January 2020 (UTC) (we don't have so much time...) _ I need to confess , I am multi-personalities. Wow! sushi (talk) 05:12, 8 January 2020 (UTC) Geometric algebra#History 1844 Algebraic geometry#History 16th Century? Graeme Bartlett (talk) 05:50, 8 January 2020 (UTC) Thank you. and for answering to such a rough-cut (or to say, "large-cut") question. Wow! sushi (talk) 01:39, 16 January 2020 (UTC) " Thanks. Anton 81.131.40.58 (talk) 09:05, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Fixed. DMacks (talk) 15:45, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
What?? —Tamfang (talk) 01:09, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
This,[2] apparently. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:38, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

CO2 warming mechanism[edit]

How has the increase in atmospheric CO2 of some 100 parts per million (0.01%) since 1960 had such a seemingly disproportionate impact on global warming? Sandbh (talk) 09:34, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

CO2 has increased from 310 to 410 ppm since 1960. That's a 32% increase, so that's quite a lot. Keep in mind that most of the atmosphere is nitrogen and oxygen, which don't contribute to the greenhouse effect. Then there are positive feedback loops like increased water vapour and reduced snow cover. PiusImpavidus (talk) 10:25, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
The "seemingly disproportionate impact on global warming" (and also impact on climate) that we are observing is due to all the greenhouse gases, not just CO2. For example, methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Methane is produced by large animals like cows. In the past 60 years the Earth's population has increased significantly so, presumably, the number of large animals has also increased, and therefore, presumably, the output of methane has also increased and contributed to global warming and climate change. Dolphin (t) 11:27, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
It is correct that methane and other greenhouse gases are also contributing to man-made climate change, but long-term (centuries), carbon dioxide is the main driving factor, because of its long persistence in the atmosphere. Methane, nitrous oxide, etc. gradually react with other chemicals, while carbon dioxide is inert, so it persists in the atmosphere for much longer. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 01:26, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Just what is "proportionate" ? If we assumed that the Earth's surface temperature was solely due to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (it isn't), and varied linearly with that concentration (it doesn't), we could do the calculations. The average surface temperature is around 15 C [3] or 288 Kelvin, on the absolute scale. So, a 32% increase would take us to 380 K or 107 C, above the boiling point of water. Good thing it's far less than proportionate. The results are even worse using methane levels alone to do the same calculations. NonmalignedNations (talk) 13:17, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I think we are also dealing with a question of "why does a change of 0.01% of atmospheric content lead to such a big impact?" The answer gets into some physical chemistry. CO2 is now 0.04% of atmospheric composition, yet has a large influence on warming. Why? Let's look at the rest of the gases. In order to be involved in global warming, a gas needs to absorb IR radiation (such an absorption causes molecular vibrations, and heat is essentially kinetic motion of molecules, including vibrations). In order to absorb infrared radiation, the proper selection rules must be satisfied, in this case being a change in a molecular dipole moment with respect to the change in nuclear position during vibration. N2 gas is 78% of the atmosphere, but as a homonuclear diatomic molecule, which means it has no dipole moment, and only one molecular vibration (stretching), which does not have a change in the dipole moment. Therefore, N2 does not absorb IR radiation, and plays no role in global warming, even though it is 78% of the atmosphere. Similarly, O2, which is 21% of the atmosphere, is another homonuclear diatomic molecule, and therefore still does not satisfy the IR selection rules and plays no part in global warming. Argon is 0.9% of the atmosphere, but as a single atom, it doesn't have a dipole moment and doesn't have molecular vibrations, and so still does not satisfy the selection rules and will not absorb IR radiation. That means that 99.9% of atmospheric composition plays no role, one way or another, in global warming. CO2 makeups of 40% of the remaining 0.1% of the atmosphere. While it has no permanent dipole moment, several of its vibrations do induce a change in dipole moment with respect to nuclear motion, and therefore absorb IR radiation. So, why does CO2 have a "disproportionate impact on global warming" when it is only 0.04% of the atmosphere? Because 99.9% of the atmosphere isn't doing anything at all regarding global warming. To think of this another way, if you drank a liter of water containing 0.04% of cyanide (DO NOT DO THIS, DO NOT DRINK THIS), you will die. Straight up dead. Why does the cyanide have a disproportionate impact on killing you when it is only 0.04% of the liter of water? Because the other 99.96%, being water, isn't playing a role either way in inhibiting cytochrome c oxidase, while cyanide itself binds to the enzyme and inhibits its function. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 22:49, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Today I learned hat we have three notable groups with songs titled, "A Little Bit Goes A Long Way".[4] DMacks (talk) 04:09, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
To be extra pedantic, because it's interesting and might teach people more: regarding cyanide, this only applies to something with free cyanide ions in solution. You can safely consume lots of cyanide as long as it's bound tightly to something, since then the cyanide ions won't become unbound and enter your bloodstream. Prussian blue contains bound cyanide, and it's actually an antidote for poisionings—not of cyanide, but of some other poisons. The name "cyanide" was actually inspired by Prussian blue and its deep blue color. Hydrogen cyanide is also produced in small amounts when burning many organic substances, and tobacco smokers have detectably-elevated blood cyanide levels. This may have some negative effects long-term (and tobacco smoking is terrible for many other reasons), but people obviously don't drop dead after one drag on a cigarette, demonstrating the core principle of toxicology: "the dose makes the poison". Botulinum toxin is the most toxic substance currently known, yet extremely dilute amounts are injected into people all the time. Most famously this is done for cosmetic reasons (which people typically know as the brand name "Botox"), but it has numerous therapeutic applications as well for things like nerve and muscle disorders. In such cases, the toxin's paralytic action is desirable, so just enough is used to affect the intended target. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 01:22, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Oh, and another neat example that didn't come to mind earlier: the most common form of supplemental vitamin B12 is cyanocobalamin. If you guessed from the name that it contains cyanide, you were correct. And this does release cyanide in the body when it's converted to its active forms. But, the amount is much too small to cause any adverse affects. And another cool aspect of this is the reaction works in reverse when there's an excess of cyanide, like when someone suffers cyanide poisoning. Hydroxocobalamin is now considered the first-line treatment for cyanide poisoning; the hydroxocobalamin binds to cyanide to form cyanocobalamin, and the excess cyanocobalamin is then excreted in the urine. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 05:35, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Our greenhouse gas article suggests such gases make up about 5% ppm of our atmosphere and but for their presence the average temperature of the Earth's surface would be about −18 °C (0 °F)[255 K] rather than the present average of 15 °C (59 °F)[288 K]. That's a fall of 33 K. Given CO2 contributes about, say, 20% to warming, I can begin to see that increasing CO2 levels by about one-third since 1960 could have an appreciable impact on the global temperature average. A case of a little bit going a long way. Sandbh (talk) 03:09, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

January 17[edit]

Health effects of tea and coffee[edit]

Are heated beverages such as tea and coffee fattening? If they are only sometimes fattening, then under exactly what circumstances are they fattening? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 01:32, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Fattening compared to what? Keep in mind that tea and coffee are mostly water, unless you're into eating the coffee grounds or the tea leaves. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:18, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Coffee and tea can sometimes contain sugar. I would assume that they may be fattening in such cases; what I'm wondering is whether they are potentially fattening in any other situation. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:28, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Your original premise had to do with tea and coffee, not with sugar, cream, etc. Those drinks are not fattening. Your additives to them might be. Another example is popcorn, which is said to be a healthy snack, being mostly air and having plenty of fiber. You render it unhealthy by adding butter and salt. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:33, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
If you include sugar in coffee the sugar is part of the coffee. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:39, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Where does it say that in the Coffee article? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:42, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Apparently it doesn't. That doesn't matter. It is my personal view of coffee. We could continue this discussion, but I think I have the answer I was looking for now. Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 02:46, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
It would be a common view, for convenience. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:50, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
"Coffee" is an ambiguous term, sometime referring to the beverage with nothing added, and sometimes to the drink with sugar, milk, cream, and various spices and flavorings added. If the term were not ambiguous, it wouldn't be necessary to specific "black" coffee to get the minimalist version. NonmalignedNations (talk) 00:52, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Tea and coffee contain essentially no calories. They technically do have one or two calories per cup on average, but it's impossible under any realistic scenario to consume enough for this to mean anything. Obviously if you add things to them, now you have a mixture of coffee or tea and whatever you added. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 03:29, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Some people add a stick of butter or various vegetable oils to butter. That would be fattening. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 03:38, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
What would be the procedure for adding a stick of butter to butter? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:45, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
See [5] or [6] Nil Einne (talk) 03:54, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
(Bugs was referring to a typo by Cobra.) NonmalignedNations (talk) 06:12, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Yo dawg, I heard you like butter… --47.146.63.87 (talk) 06:56, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
I think we're all aware of that. Nil Einne (talk) 08:43, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Note that it is possible for a beverage to contain no, or few, calories per se, and yet cause those who consume it to gain weight. There are several mechanism by which this can happen. Here are a few:
  • A salty drink can make you thirsty, and then drink more fluid and retain water weight. This doesn't seem to apply to common preparations of coffee and tea.
  • Artificial sweeteners are believed to cause weight gain. One possible mechanism is that they may make the body expect more calories, and when it doesn't get them this causes hunger, resulting in more calories consumed.
  • There could be a mental link between the beverage and something that is fattening. For example, if you have coffee and donuts each morning, then coffee alone may make you crave donuts. This is a conditioned response, similar to how dogs were made hungry by hearing a bell ring. NonmalignedNations (talk) 06:12, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

[citation needed] Body weight seems to have WP:MEDRS compliant sources to support these statements:

Numerous reviews have concluded that the association between body weight and non-nutritive sweetener usage is inconclusive, as observational studies tend to show a link to high body weight, while randomized controlled trials instead show a small causal weight loss.[40][44][45] Other reviews concluded that use of non-nutritive sweeteners instead of sugar reduces body weight.[46][47]

Nil Einne (talk) 08:55, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Here's a reliable source which draws the opposite conclusion: [7]. They suggest another mechanism, that people think they can eat more if they drink a "diet" drink with the food. This explains why randomized studies show (minor) weight loss. If the people don't know they are drinking "diet" drinks, then they won't feel they can eat more. However, in the real world, people normally do know. NonmalignedNations (talk) 15:01, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

January 18[edit]

Health effects of wine[edit]

Is wine fattening? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 04:30, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Wine does contain some calories from sugar and some from alcohol. So whether it causes weight gain (which I assume is what you mean by the phrase "fattening" rather than meaning it specifically produces fat) would depend on what you compare it with. Water and coffee or tea with no additives would contain fewer calories, while something like a milkshake would contain far more. The conditioned response discussed in the previous question could also apply here. You might also read up on the Mediterranean diet, as wine is an important component.NonmalignedNations (talk) 04:45, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Beer is known for being caloric. But have you ever heard someone called a "wine-belly"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:01, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
The idea that any drink or foodstuff is fattening depends only partly on the number of calories it contains. If insufficient exercise or activity is undertaken to 'burn' the calories consumed then any drink or foodstuff will be fattening. Only liquids or foodstuffs with zero calories are not 'fattening'. @Bugs, a beer belly has little relationship with beer consumption. I'm sure we all know someone with a "water melon" (as they say in Andalusia) who drink moderately or not at all. Richard Avery (talk) 11:51, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Not sure how reliable, but see Calories in Red Wine: Do They Really Matter?. Alansplodge (talk) 21:01, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Similar arguments could be made for white wine. NonmalignedNations (talk) 06:33, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Quantitative connection of electronic effects in structure of substances to bond energy[edit]

What is the quantitative connection between the strength of the inductive effect, electromeric effect, mesomeric effect and bond energy and/or bond polarizability/electric moment? Thanks.--109.166.137.226 (talk) 23:53, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

You can drop electromeric effect as a specific independent idea. Per IUPAC, "The term has been deemed obsolescent or even obsolete (see mesomeric effect, resonance effect)". DMacks (talk) 18:07, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Taking the mentioned aspect into consideration, how can these effects be connected to a bond dissociation energy from homolysis (chemistry) or heterolysis (chemistry) or perhaps difference of heats of hydrogenation(addition(s)), theoretical (based on assumed fixed double bonds) and experimental?--109.166.139.194 (talk) 21:16, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

January 20[edit]

Why do heat index values go below the actual temperature?[edit]

Comparison of NWS heat index values (circles) with the formula approximation (curves). In the SVG file, hover over a graph to highlight it.

In extended heat index tables, the feels-like temperature is below the actual temperature for low humidities, as shown by the dotted line in the graph. Would anyone know why this so?

What is then the base humidity where the feels-like and actual temperatures are equal? Why was this value chosen?

Finally, I can't find a table for zero relative humidity. Is it defined?

Thanks,
cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 00:24, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Humans perceive high relative humidity to be uncomfortable. That is why high temps and high humidities are associated with a higher-than-actual temp. High temps are mitigated by the cooling effect of evaporation of perspiration. At low relative humidities perspiration evaporates rapidly, leading to increased cooling and the perception of a lower-than-actual temp. Dolphin (t) 00:40, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Dew point comfort varies by what you are used to: [8]. So, any type of heat index based on what it feels like is subjective. There are objective measures, like wet bulb temperature, but there's no guarantee that those will match human perception.
  • Zero humidity shouldn't be possible on the surface of the Earth, although it has gotten close: [9]. You could create a zero humidity environment in a lab, but once you put a human in there to determine how uncomfortable it would be, the water vapor sucked out of them would make it a non-zero humidity again. NonmalignedNations (talk) 04:44, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I suppose since it's called feels-"like" temperature, it should compare to a realistic and imaginable dry conditions that people can relate to. Zero humidity doesn't exist, so obviously you can't relate to it. I'd also question how comfortable a totally dry environment would be, especially below 30°C. I really doubt I'd enjoy 25°C at a parching 1% humidity more than 25°C at say 70%. 89.172.58.25 (talk) 06:37, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
The articles Heat index and Wind chill should be read together. DroneB (talk) 13:53, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

January 21[edit]

According to the logic of racist “geneticists”...[edit]

The drift of claims that I get from white, male, racist “geneticists” is that 1.) Europeans are smarter than Africans, on average. 2a.) Women might be smarter than men, on average. 2b.) But even whether or not (2a) is true, because men have more genetic variability, the “geneticists“ claim that there are more male supergeniuses than women supergeniuses..... But, since it is also true that Africans have more generic variability than Europeans, shouldnnt these “geneticists” also admit by the same reasoning that whether or not (1) is true, there would be more African supergeniuses than European supergeniuses? In any case, anecdotal data tends to show, at least to me, that African-Americans of extraordinary ability are more common than they are among European-Americans.Rich (talk) 05:32, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

You're not likely to be able to dissuade a racist from his views using logic and reason. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:15, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
So, you are claiming that intelligence is absolutely controlled by genetics. I feel that your argument (regardless of which side you are on) is based on a weak assumption. 135.84.167.41 (talk) 17:48, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I never made any such claim, and I wouldn’t agree with it. The thing that I bet is most correlated with intelligence (negatively) is lead poisoning. In my post above I had tried and I think succeeded in making it clear that I was referencing racist “geneticist” reasoningand beliefs, not my own.Rich (talk) 22:00, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
The fatal flaws with statistical generalizations include (1) the assumption that it's possible to determine what "superior" genetics are; and (2) that generalities have nothing to do with individuals. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:10, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Cure for cancer and selective pressure[edit]

Given the modern progress in cancer treatment, particularly news about new immune cell, is there a concern that any future cure for cancer (or any other disease for that matter) would provoke selective pressure similar to antibiotic resistance, becoming ultimately ineffective (also given its expected sky-high demand after wider availability)? Would restricted usage mitigate/delay that? 212.180.235.46 (talk) 21:51, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Yes, it is a known thing. They already use combination treatments, etc, similar to antibiotics. "Cancer drug resistance" brings a lot of search hits. 67.164.113.165 (talk) 23:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

January 22[edit]

Insomnia and sexual frustration[edit]

Is there evidence of a connection between insomnia and sexual frustration? Freeknowledgecreator (talk) 03:50, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Certainly. I'm not sure about formal studies, but it would be very easy for the questioner to test the hypothesis at home. Temerarius (talk) 04:28, 22 January 2020 (UTC)