Tag Archives: tinder

Books and papers.

Papr works like Tinder but with pre-prints instead of people

Described as the Tinder of pre-prints, Papr will let you swipe on scientific works for being “exciting,” “boring,” “probable,” or “questionable.”

Books and papers.

Image credits Johannes Jansson / Wikimedia.

You’ve already got the tap and flick motion of Tinder mastered but let’s face it — that app isn’t really for you. What you’re after is depth, meaning, a mental connection. Well, now there’s a way to use your hard-earned skill to get just that. Preprint server bioRxiv announced an app called Papr which lets you make snap judgements on pre-prints — papers published before they’ve gone through the peer-review process.

Actually, a case may be made that Papr is twice as complicated as Tinder, since you can swipe right, left, up, and down. Each direction corresponds to one of four categories: “exciting and probable,” “exciting and questionable,” “boring and probable,” “boring and questionable,” which is actually exactly how I think about my Tinder matches.

But if you’ve ever had the feeling that Tinder is just too superficial for your taste weeeell… Papr doesn’t do anything to address that. Currently, you can only see the papers’ abstracts, not the full work, you can’t see who wrote it, and you can’t rate them in any way, shape, or form beyond those four categories.

Simple by design

Papr’s co-creator Jeff Leek, a biostatistician at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, says that this simplicity is actually an advantage. Papr’s goal isn’t to become an alternative to peer-review, but rather to help researchers cope with an “overwhelming” number of new papers and to spot areas of interdisciplinary overlap, Leek says. Scientists already use social media to find new papers, he adds, so why not simplify that process and get a general sense of their evaluation while at it?

And the four-category system works to keep it simple. Other similar-ish services, such as PubPeer, offer users a lot more space to comment and discuss on papers — but that also offers opportunities for foul play and dishonest competition. To prevent users from giving an objectively good paper written by a rival a bad rating, or rating a paper more generously because it was penned by a famous scientist, Papr simply doesn’t show you who wrote what — it doesn’t show author names and doesn’t allow you to search for a particular preprint or author.

Leek had first released an earlier version of Papr late last year but only started publicizing the app on social media earlier this month after his colleagues added a few more features, including a recommendation engine that suggests studies based on your preferences, an option to download your ratings along with links to the full preprints on bioRxiv, and suggestions for Twitter users with similar tastes as yours.

“We don’t believe that the data we are collecting is any kind of realistic peer review, but it does tell us something about the types of papers people find interesting and what leads them to be suspicious,” Leek says. “Ultimately we hope to correlate this data with information about where the papers are published, retractions, and other more in-depth measurements of paper quality and interest.”

In the end, Papr is important as it shows that the scientific community is working on finding more ways to evaluate all the papers being published every day. But whether or not the app will last is yet to be determined. Their website sums up Leek’s opinion on this issue in a very fun tidbit.

“This app is provided solely for entertainment of the scientific community and may be taken down at any time with no notice because Jeff gets tired of it. It is provided ‘as is’ and is not guaranteed to do anything really. Use at your own risk and hopefully enjoy :).”

Sudan with guard.

The last male white rhino boldly goes on Tinder to save its species

As far as we know, there’s only one male white rhino still alive on the planet — and his name is Sudan. In a bid to ensure his specie’s continued survival, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy group joined hands with Tinder to raise the money required for the ongoin conservation species.

Sudan with guard.

Sudan with one of his guards.
Image credits Make it Kenya / Flickr.

Tinder may just have got its heaviest user ever. Starting today, users on the app will see Sudan’s profile pop up among their choice of potential dates. If you swipe right, you’ll get a message with a link to donate for a worthy cause: all the money will be used to fund ongoing research into Assisted Reproductive Techniques for the species.

“But why not do it the old fashioned way?” you might ask. “That’s the point of Tinder, right?”

Well, yes, but as it happens, 42-year old Sudan, who the app described as “the most eligible bachelor in the world”, currently lives under heavily armed guard at the conservancy in Kenya with two female rhinos, Najin and Fatu. They’ve been unable to breed for a number of reasons (especially old age), but not all is lost as there are 17,000 other potential females to do the deed. But they’re far away and capturing then shipping them to the conservancy is not only expensive, it’s also dangerous for the beasts.

Though to be honest, what lady wouldn’t brave some dangers for a profile this good?
Image credits Tinder.

And even if they get there, success is not guaranteed. So Ol Pejeta needs to raise US$9 million (8.2 million euros) to fund research into assisted reproductive techniques, which will be used to breed a herd of 10 northern white rhinos to stave off extinction. One technique named ovum pick-up, which has been developed on southern white rhinos, will be tailored to Sudan’s species and expanded on for this purpose. The team plans to collect eggs from the females Najin and Fatu, fertilize and re-implant them into surrogate females.

“This represents the last option to save the species after all previous breeding attempts proved futile,” said Ol Pejeta Conservancy CEO Richard Vigne. “Saving the northern white rhinos is critical if we are to, one day, reintroduce rhinos back into Central Africa.

“They contain unique genetic traits that confer upon them the ability to survive in this part of Africa. Ultimately, the aim will be to reintroduce a viable population of northern white rhino back into the wild which is where their true value will be realised”.

The research effort is already underway at various institutions in the US, Europe, and Japan. Right now, what the rhinos need is funding. So if you have some cash burning a hole in your poket take your smartphone and swipe, swipe, swipe for Sudan.

“Financial support remains the biggest challenge to this project. To win this run against time, it is crucial to find major funds as quickly as possible,” said Steven Seet, Head of press and communications at the Leibniz-IZW which is part of the research consortium.

Tinder-like app for orangutans lets females in zoos chose who they mate with

A Dutch zoo is exploring the merits of Tinder-like software in boosting their orangutans’ sex lives, by allowing them more leeway in choosing a mate.

Gotta look good for that profile picture.
Image credits Tambako The Jaguar / Flickr.

As part of a four-year long experiment dubbed “Tinder for orangutans,” 11-year-old female Samboja of the Apenheul primate park in Apeldoorn, Holland, will be the first of her species to swipe, swipe, match. Thomas Bionda, a behavioural biologist at the zoo, will delight the orangutan with pictures of males on a touchscreen to learn more about the species’ mating choices.

Monkeying around

Well you might not know this was a problem up to now, but we kinda need orangutans to get down to business. Along with chimps, orangutans are our closest living relative — and of course, we cut down their habitat and even hunted them so much they’re now endangered.

Part of the effort to preserve this species comes from zoos, where orangutans are encouraged to mate. Available males and females are shipped around all over the world to do just that, but it doesn’t always go according to plan. That’s why Bionda and the zoo have been trying to figure out how females decide which suitors are worthy, by allowing them to take their pick on a touchscreen tablet and examining the results for patterns. Since flying in males can be a long and costly procedure — they could come from as far away as Singapore — the zoo hopes this research will limit stale encounters.

“Things don’t always go well when a male and a female first meet,” Bionda said.

“Often, animals have to be taken back to the zoo they came from without mating.”

I know your pain, male orangutans.

The team’s main problem was developing a device that wouldn’t break under the Samboja’s rough handling. Their first tablet was reinforced with steel and made it past the two week mark. Then Samboja’s mother Sandy — also known as Demolition Woman — got her hands on the device and destroyed it. The scientists are now waiting for a strong-enough screen, after which they will test if looks alone are enough to guarantee a successful encounter in the species.

“This is completely digital, of course,” he said. “Usually, smell plays an important role too. But with the orangutans, it will be what you see is what you get.”

Bionda however isn’t only interested in hooking up orangutans — his research plays into broader work looking at the role emotions play in animal relationships.

“Emotion is of huge evolutionary importance. If you don’t interpret an emotion correctly in the wild, it can be the end of you.”

tinder app

Tinder might make you feel less satisfied with your appearance and lowers self-esteem

Scientists who surveyed more than 1,300 undergraduates found that some Tinder users might feel depersonalized and disposable in social settings.

tinder app

Credit: mic.com

The extremely popular matchmaking app has garnered a lot of criticism, with many saying the framework objectifies people and relationships. If you’re unfamiliar with Tinder, the idea is very simple. Users upload photos and brief descriptions of their interests. What sets it apart from other matchmaking websites or apps is its so-called ‘swipe feature’. Once you’re logged in, you’re presented with someone else’s profile. At this point, you can “swipe right” if you like the person or “swipe left” for an unceremonious pass. If both users choose to “swipe right” the app puts them in contact via instant messaging.

This novel way of matchmaking has made the app very popular, boasting 50 million active users and growing daily. Though I personally don’t use it, I have many contacts that do. It’s often hilarious for me when I see them swiping through literally 20 profiles in under a minute. This seems to be common practice, and some people don’t mind it at all. It’s really high-speed fishing, yet some people who use the app might become depressed if they get rejected.

We’ve seen this happen with Facebook where power users report depression, low self-esteem, and jealousy — the products of an environment where getting “more likes” becomes a life goal and interactions become superficial because users choose to present themselves only at their best. On Tinder, this can become even more damaging to one’s self-esteem because the focus on physical appearance is a lot more pronounced. It’s the central theme actually — everything else is secondary.

[ALSO SEE] Tinder causes STD spike

To find out just how affected Tinder users become, researchers at the University of North Texas surveyed 1,044 women and 272 men about their Tinder usage, but also asked them to self-report body image, sociocultural factors, perceived objectification, and psychological well-being. Of these participants, ten percent were Tinder users.

Both men and women who used Tinder reported less satisfaction with their bodies and appearance than non-users. Only men, however, reported lower self-esteem.

“We found that being actively involved with Tinder, regardless of the user’s gender, was associated with body dissatisfaction, body shame, body monitoring, internalization of societal expectations of beauty, comparing oneself physically to others, and reliance on media for information on appearance and attractiveness,” Jessica Strübel, Ph.D., study co-author at the University of North Texas

“Although current body image interventions primarily have been directed toward women, our findings suggest that men are equally and negatively affected by their involvement in social media,” she added.

The researchers are quick to note that although their paper highlights a relationship between Tinder and lower self-esteem, that doesn’t make the app the cause. It’s possible Tinder users who felt less satisfied with their appearance were just as unconfident and vulnerable before they started using it. They suggest more research should be made to assess the long-term psychological effects of Tinder and other apps and services like it.

Tinder usage caused STD spike, officials say

It’s taking the world by storm, and allowing millions of people world wide to meet friends… and hook up. But for all the joy that is bringing to the world, Tinder also has its downsides – a new study reports the app has actually led to an increase of STD incidence.

Image via Huff Post.


Truth be told, the channel never has all the blame. If people want to meet up and have unsafe sex, they will definitely do so – Tinder just makes it easier. But as far as making it easier goes, Tinder makes all the difference. The fact that an app can lead to more people getting STDs seems to be one of those issues health officials might not be equipped to deal with yet.

After decades of public health programs, awareness campaigns and social programs, the rate of STD transmission has continuously dropped – until now. From 2013 to 2014, the number of infections syphilis cases increased by a whopping 79 percent in Rhode Island. Newly-identified HIV cases increased by nearly 33 percent, and authorities estimate many other cases go unreported.

“These data send a clear signal that despite the progress we have made in reducing STDs and HIV over the years, there is more work to do,” said Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director Designee at the health department. “We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have great partnerships among state agencies, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers to continue to educate, test, and treat for sexually transmitted diseases. This trend reminds us that we cannot become complacent.”

STDs are spread through anal, oral, or vaginal sex, and by skin-to-skin contact, and it’s recommended that every casual sexual contact be “safe”. Prevention and routine testing are top priorities, and it’s estimated that other cases are undergoing similar situations to Rhode Island.