The Loh Down On Science

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Think your enormous schnoz lacks any redeeming qualities? Think again!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science. 

According to new research, folks with larger facial features tend to be “aspiration inefficient.” Inefficient? That may sound like bad news, but it’s actually good.

Aspiration efficiency is an occupational-health measure of how many particulates in a workplace--like sawdust or bacteria--get inhaled. So you want to be inefficient. And a big nose and full lips can help.

So says Renee Anthony from the University of Iowa. She carried out computer simulations of air flow around mannequin heads. (Mannequins, we suspect, complain less than real people.)

She modeled two artificial noses, one twice as large as the other, and two sets of lips, also different sizes. Then she tracked particles as they followed air currents toward the faces.

The upshot? Large noses and lips deflected more particles from getting into mouths than smaller noses and lips.

So no nose jobs, maybe collagen boosts, and cleaner bills of health for all! That, or work from home.

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


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