Scientists have inflicted upon a new species of moth a name Democrats would argue is decidedly cruel: Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.

But University of California researcher Dr Vazrick Nazari hoped the fame that came with the insect's name would ultimately help it, highlighting a need for conservation efforts in its habitat.

While going through material borrowed from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, Nazari stumbled across a few specimens that did not match any previously known species.

Following thorough analysis of these moths, as well as material from other institutions, the scientist confirmed he had discovered the second species of a genus of twirler moths.

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While both species in the genus share a habitat, stretching across the states of California, USA, and Baja California, Mexico, one can easily tell them apart.

The new moth, officially described as Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, stands out with yellowish-white scales present on the head in adults.

In fact, it was in these scales that the author found an amusing reference to Trump's hairstyle and turned it into an additional justification for its name.

Trump's flying namesake was announced only a month following the recently described species of basslet named after predecessor President Barack Obama.

People who swear are 'more honest'

Are people who swear often more honest? Photo / 123RF
Are people who swear often more honest? Photo / 123RF

It's long been associated with anger and coarseness but profanity can have another, more positive connotation.

Psychologists have learned that people who frequently curse are being more honest.

Writing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, an international team of researchers report people who use profanity are less likely to be associated with lying and deception.

The team drew on two large surveys, the first involving a questionnaire that asked 276 people to list their most commonly used and favourite swear words.

They were also asked to rate their reasons for using these words and then took part in a lie test to determine whether they were being truthful or simply responding in the way they thought was socially acceptable.

A second survey involved collecting data from 75,000 Facebook users to measure their use of swear words in their online social interactions.

The research found that those who used more profanity were also more likely to use language patterns that have been shown in previous research to be related to honesty, such as using pronouns like "I" and "me".

"The relationship between profanity and dishonesty is a tricky one," said Dr David Stillwell, a lecturer in Big Data Analytics at the University of Cambridge.

"Swearing is often inappropriate but it can also be evidence that someone is telling you their honest opinion.

"Just as they aren't filtering their language to be more palatable, they're also not filtering their views."

Is this the toughest knot ever?

The X-ray crystal structure of a 192-atom-loop molecular knot. Photo / Robert W. McGregor
The X-ray crystal structure of a 192-atom-loop molecular knot. Photo / Robert W. McGregor

Scientists at the University of Manchester have produced the most tightly knotted physical structure ever known - a scientific achievement which has the potential to create a new generation of advanced materials.

The researchers have developed a way of braiding multiple molecular strands enabling tighter and more complex knots to be made than has previously been possible.

The breakthrough knot has eight crossings in a 192-atom closed loop - which is about 20 nanometres long, or the equivalent of 20 millionths of a millimetre.

Being able to make different types of molecular knots means that scientists should be able to probe how knotting affects strength and elasticity of materials which will enable them to weave polymer strands to generate new types of materials.

"Tying knots is a similar process to weaving so the techniques being developed to tie knots in molecules should also be applicable to the weaving of molecular strands," explained Professor David Leigh, who led the work.

"For example, bullet-proof vests and body armour are made of kevlar, a plastic that consists of rigid molecular rods aligned in a parallel structure - however, interweaving polymer strands have the potential to create much tougher, lighter and more flexible materials in the same way that weaving threads does in our everyday world.

"Some polymers, such as spider silk, can be twice as strong as steel so braiding polymer strands may lead to new generations of light, super-strong and flexible materials for fabrication and construction."

Retail therapy for jealous partners?

A Singaporean researcher investigated whether feelings of jealously motivated consumers to buy things that were more likely to recapture the attention of their partners. Photo / 123RF
A Singaporean researcher investigated whether feelings of jealously motivated consumers to buy things that were more likely to recapture the attention of their partners. Photo / 123RF

Have you ever felt jealous about the attention your romantic partner was giving to someone else?

Perhaps your significant other seems to be enjoying a conversation with someone a little too much, or a co-worker is flirting with your partner at a company holiday party.

A Singaporean researcher investigated whether feelings of jealously motivated consumers to buy things that were more likely to recapture the attention of their partners.

Professor Xun Huang, of Nanyang Technological University, led a series of five experiments, the results revealing that feelings of jealousy increase the desire for eye-catching products - such as a bright coloured coat instead of a dull-coloured one, or a T-shirt with a big logo design versus a low-key design.

"We believe that this effect is not just restricted to jealousy in romantic relationships," she said.

"Children can be jealous of a sibling's relationship with their parents, or workers might be jealous of a colleague's close relationship with a supervisor."

The researchers also found that the desire for eye-grabbing products disappeared when there was little chance that the product would be noticed by others in public.

The researchers were surprised to discover that the desire to recapture someone's attention with eye-catching products even outweighed the risk of public embarrassment.