Monday, 22 September 2014

Scots Fail to Become New Species as British Breeding Capability Remains


Disappointment rippled across the world of taxonomy today as it was revealed that the first organism to emerge in thousands of years with the potential to be a new hominid failed to meet the criteria required to be classified as a separate species. The results of the analysis, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology early on Friday morning, showed that at least 55% of the geographically distinct subspecies Homo sapiens scotia were still capable of mating with the closely related subspecies known as ‘the British’, thus failing to reach the benchmark required to be reclassified.

Allopatric speciation, the process by which geographical isolation can cause a species to diverge down two separate evolutionary paths, is often seen in nature, with clear examples being observed in Darwin’s finches. However, it is a rare process to observe in humans due to extensive interbreeding between populations. Taxonomists have long believed that Scotland may hold the key to proving that the process is possible in humans given the extreme differences observed between its inhabitants and other residents of the British Isles, in particular in culture, morphological appearance and language. Hadrian’s Wall forms a natural barrier preventing interbreeding between populations.

The Scots’ current status as a subspecies is unquestioned, given that they are incapable of producing offspring with certain British subpopulations. Professor Tamara Mayhew of the University of Bristol argues that this observation is primarily due to cultural, not biological, differences. These can include characteristic Scottish mating rituals, such as aggressive displays between males or heroin and alcohol abuse on a Saturday night in Glasgow: “Scots seem to be capable of producing fertile offspring with English who share some of their customs, often collectively known as ‘Northerners’, who in turn can breed with those from southern England. But the idea of Scots breeding with, say, Londoners is simply laughable.”

Prior to the results of the analysis being available, many in the scientific community were predicting that this could cause a knock-on effect encouraging other similar speciation events. Dr. Marc Cable of University College London disagrees, claiming that only Scotland had the opportunity. “The Welsh, for example, rely too much on surrounding populations to break away as their own species. Given their lack of natural resources, they must intermingle with other Brits significantly, allowing access to oil, gas, exotic foodstuffs and vowels.”

Many believe Scottish leaders Salmond
and Sturgeon would have left Scotland
floundering.
Dr. Cable further states that the possibility of the Scots becoming a species in their own right still exists, but the question of whether they would thrive remains. “Sure they have oil reserves, but they also have a taste for deep-fried goods. Could they use that oil responsibly and sustainably?”

“As for currency, they’ve been reliant on foreign coinage for centuries,” Cable continued. “Speciation would leave them with no established currency, ultimately requiring trade in common local commodities, such as Irn Bru, Susan Boyle’s voice and disappointing job prospects.”

Some in England were looking forward getting away Scot-free due to the increased life expectancy and drop in binge drinking that the departure of Scots would have resulted in, although many are celebrating the continued existence of the unified species. However, anxiety remains over British prospects in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest where an extra 12 points could have made all the difference.

Ryan

Friday, 12 September 2014

Autism Injection Challenge has Unexpected Side Effect

The latest viral craze to sweep across social media is the so-called ‘Autism Inject Challenge’.  The challenge involves the participants injecting themselves with the MMR vaccination and donating to an Autism charity of their choice before challenging three others.  The MMR vaccination, as documented by journalists, will eventually give the participants autism, so the challenge hopes to raise awareness as well as funds.

Numerous celebrities have taken the challenge, with the public showing surprise that some have even reportedly mentioned the worthy cause behind it.  However, the challenge has drawn criticism from those who believe charity to be a strictly zero sum game with one Facebook commenter suggesting ‘if they really cared about diseases they’d inject themselves with Ebola’.

Despite the criticism of this so-called “hashtag activism”, the challenge appears to have had an additional positive side effect.  New research published by the Edward Jenner Institute in Oxford has revealed the MMR injection may offer protection against disease.

Dr. Mary Blossom, the lead author on the paper published in the Lancet, reports that children given the injection are ‘resistant to measles, mumps and rubella’ in later life.  In a video published on the Institute website, Dr Blossom, given the injection herself as a child despite the lack of social media available at the time, is seen licking a measles-ridden teenager.
One Direction singer Zayn Malik is just one
celebrity performing the similar Cigarette
Smoking Challenge for lung cancer awareness
#CRUK

Andrew Wakefield, pioneering Autism researcher, former practising doctor and one time contributor to the Lancet, was dismissive when informed of the news. “Vaccines are only beneficial when they’re not used in combination with each other,” Wakefield claimed when reached for a comment. “A recent lucrative study of mine, involving investigation into the effects of vaccination on four squirrels and a marmoset clearly show this.”

“The paper should be appearing in the Lancet next year,” he added.

Some members of the anti-vaccination movement have been questioning their position in light of the new study. James Phipps, previously a vocal anti-MMR campaigner, was asked if he would now gives his children the injection given its protection against diseases.  In a statement published on his Facebook page, Mr Phipps said: “Jesus Christ Yes!  Have you seen measles?! That stuff kills people.”

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and universally well-liked guy, surprisingly still in control of his Twitter account, was able to tweet: “As someone who speaks for all atheists we should restrict this vaccine to children without Down’s syndrome; let’s not be immoral”.  An apology tweet was posted 12 seconds later.

The news that the MMR vaccine provides protection is surely great news in regards to the recent increase in measles cases.  USA Measles cases dropped rapidly in 1964, coinciding with the licencing of the MMR vaccine, although there has been an increase in cases worldwide in recent years.  Despite being untested, the MMR vaccine may be able to reverse this trend.  The reason for the increase in cases is currently unknown.

Liam
Is fully protected… ladies.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Russia's Olympic Closing Ceremony Springboards Weather Change Plan

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to use the Olympic closing ceremony today as a platform to demonstrate Russia’s continued status as a world superpower by revealing their most recent scientific endeavour.  Russian scientists, as part of the Climate And Meteorology Programme (CAMP) in Moscow, have discovered a new method of weather control, a method which few outside the country have even considered, let alone had the resources to carry out: controlling the homosexual population.

While previous weather control attempts have sought to regulate the atmospheric conditions through more conventional means such as cloud seeding, the control of homosexuals leads to indirect weather control by manipulating the power of God, a well-known and vocal homophobe. Extinguishing a particular population for the good of one country has of course been tried before though: Germany is the most recent example, also using an Olympic games to demonstrate their success. Germany had the aim of improving their sense of humour and the results speak for themselves – something Russia is now trying to emulate.

“Russia has nothing but ice,” Russian president Vladimir Putin explained, while standing on the head of a child. “We need good weather to fulfil our goal of being a popular tourist destination, like the south of France, Florida or Brighton. Except not Brighton; too many gays.”
Russia in 50 years. Minus the gays.

“For too long we have had awful weather. I think it started with that t.A.T.u song; if you watch the music video, it’s raining there too,” said the ex-KGB member, who in his spare time enjoys hunting, fishing, ignoring the west and paying off international authorities.

Asked how he expected to regulate the homosexual population, he elaborated: “It is easy. Once you have lured them in, such as with a rainbow, it is like shooting fish in a barrel. Except in Russia there are no fish. And no barrel. Just ice.”

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee has begun investigations into some of the athletes already regarding alleged homosexual activity. “Naturally, all male figure skaters have already been removed from competition,” states Alexander Zhukov, chair of the Committee.

“We’re also looking into Team GB’s Lizzy Yarnold. We expect that she has some skeletons in her closet.”

Currently, only UKIP in the UK have caught on to Russia’s plan with Councillor David Silvester recently blaming the UK’s winter flooding on gays, while Ellen DeGeneres going on holiday to New York is believed to be the cause of the US’s recent polar vortex.

There has been a rapid response from the international community, both in favour and against Russia’s plans.

Silvio Berlusconi has immediately backed Russia, stating he was devastated he had not thought of the plan himself. “First you control the gays, then you control the weather, then you get the women,” said the former Italian Prime Minister, draped in 3 prostitutes and elaborate tax evasion plans.

Scarlett Johansson, fresh from a visit to a SodaStream factory in the West Bank, is hoping to use the new scientific findings to re-establish her role as an Oxfam ambassador.  At present, she is drawing up plans to parachute in a “considerable” amount of homosexuals into sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to end the arid conditions there.

However, some critics have pointed out that decimating the homosexuals will surely exacerbate climate change, to which Russian authorities replied that was “the entire idea”. Objections have arisen from within the country too, where protesters contained within the designated protest zone in Chernobyl have given Putin’s plan “3 thumbs down”.

While Russia appears content to let campaigners protest, Putin himself is well known for his harsh stance on dissent, with numerous conspiracy theories suggesting that he has been involved in the assassination of anyone who speaks out against hi--------



This editor regrets to inform Cause and Effect readers that Ryan, writer of this article, has been found dead in his house, due to suspected polonium-210 poisoning. The above form of this article was found on his laptop. We offer our greatest condolences to anyone who knew him.


His widow Liam survives him.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Science Solved, Academics Struggle to Adjust


Science was finally solved last Wednesday at around 10 am (Central European Time) by Sir Paul Nurse (Nobel Laureate, President of the Royal Society, Heat magazine’s ‘Sexiest Fission Yeast Biologist’).  Sir Paul (Sir, to his friends) was visiting the CERN facility near Geneva where he is reported to have ‘snorted the [still radioactive] ashes of Marie Curie before falling into a beam of protons being accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider’.  He stumbled out saying repeatedly ‘I’ve done it’ and then wrote a single equation onto a chalkboard without mentioning the number ’42’ once.

The finding has been met with mixed reactions from the scientific and non-scientific communities.  Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of the Arts Council of England, has welcomed the news saying that with science finished they “might actually get some fucking money”.  Harry Spencer, a psychologist at Harvard University, was equally happy suggesting that the ‘ball was in [psychology’s] court now’, though it is expected that the world will continue to ignore the fields of sociology and political science.
Once commonplace around Fine Arts
colleges, signs such as this are thought
to now be a thing of the past

In contrast, the science community is largely despondent at the news. The now ex-scholars are seeking employment and purpose in the ‘real’ world. 

Susan Page, previously a molecular biologist from the University of Bath, was able to find work at an employment agency.  She was fired after two weeks for repeatedly trying to separate applicants for the various jobs on offer by, according to the official summary of her dismissal, ‘centrifugation… [and], failing that, agarose gel’.  Interviewed soon after, she was heard to exclaim “but this is all I know how to do”.

Neuroscientists have also been reported as struggling with their new roles in society; many have found work in veterinary practices due to their animal handling experience. However, they appear to be encountering problems with their insistence on “investigating the real source of the problem” when confronted with animals behaving unusually.

Henrietta Hodgkin, head of funding for Cancer Research UK, thought her expertise in handling money and spending it on important things would be of use to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gideon Osborne.  A letter from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, deflated these hopes informing her that her ‘financial expertise’ would be of ‘no use to this, or any future, Conservative Government’.

Greg Lemaître, a theoretical physicist at Oxford, was able to find work in the theological studies department.  While his logic has been of “little use” to the department, his experience of doing work with almost zero practical application has been “invaluable”. Other theoretical physicists have been hit harder, with some found hanging around the University of Manchester, hoping Brian Cox might recruit them for a documentary. One physicist, identified only as Dr. Destruction, is hoping to make use of CERN to create “one of those black holes everyone was so worried about” and hold the world to ransom.

It is not all bad news for scientists.  PhD students, able to work long hours for little pay, even less appreciation and high levels of verbal abuse, have been able to find work in the sweat shops that are dotted throughout southeast Asia.  Physicists in the USA have found their expertise in handling ‘infinitesimally small amounts of matter’ has made them ideal for dealing with the average nutritional value of meals served by chains in the fast-food sector. Tenured professors, who for years have produced nothing novel, whilst coasting off previous successes, have been hired in their droves to help design the iPhone 6.

The family lives of scientists are also predicted to improve.  Anna Blot, the partner of Susan Page, posted to twitter that her girlfriend’s desire to repeat everything at least three times for “statistical significance” is “very much appreciated”.

Liam and Ryan
Some of our best friends are social scientists