In this week’s PLoS ONE, Ian Stephen and colleagues at the Perception Lab at the University of St Andrews report that people really do use the colour of your skin to judge how healthy you are. The researchers measured how skin colour varies with the amount of blood and oxygen in the blood; in the study, participants were presented with facial images on a screen and asked to manipulate the colouring to “make the face as healthy as possible.” In line with the conventional wisdom, they found that a flushing, rosy complexion signifies healthiness whereas a more sallow, green-tinged colouring signifies sickness, as the participants tended to add more oxygen-rich blood colour to the faces to make them appear healthier. Coverage of the article in the media and in the blogosphere includes: the Los Angeles Times, BBC News, El Mundo, Live Science, Neurotopia and Observations of a Nerd.
Several other recently published PLoS ONE articles have been blogged about this week. The Open Source Paleontologist posted a nice write-up of Michael Doube’s paper, Three-Dimensional Geometric Analysis of Felid Limb Bone Allometry. Fuzzier Logic, meanwhile, blogged on a paper from a group at the Chinese Academy of Sciences entitled, PPI Finder: A Mining Tool for Human Protein-Protein Interactions.
From the Other PLoS Journals
In an article published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases this week, Jason Harris and colleagues report that Cholera patients also infected with parasitic intestinal worms have a significantly reduced immune response to the cholera toxin. The study was covered by New Scientist, Science News and the Voice of America.