How many ways are there to tie a tie? Royal Wedding Science Roundup

With PeerJ staff in the US and the UK, this weekend’s Royal Wedding 👑 is a special occasion for us all. Also, we will take any excuse to celebrate and share awesome science.

Are you attending a Royal Wedding party this weekend and looking for some expert ways to steer the conversation back to science? We’ve got you covered. Here are five articles from our archives with (loose) tie-ins for the occasion.


More ties than we thought (Hirsch et al.)

How many ways are there to tie a tie? 266,682. Hopefully, Prince Harry doesn’t have to try them all.

Figure 1: Some specific tie-knot examples. E and F in the figure are typical examples of some of the not particularly interesting knots that emerge from the random tie knots generator.


Characterisation of the horse transcriptome from immunologically active tissues (Moreton et al.)

What do we know about the gene expression of those beautiful horses carrying the newlyweds across Windsor? This study focuses on the immunologically active tissues in the horse and identifies novel transcripts.


Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient (Yang et al.)

The average life expectancy of queen bees is more than 20 times of that of worker bees. What happens when the worker bees get to eat some of the royal jelly? Longevity happens.

Developing queen larvae surrounded by royal jelly (Wikimedia, CC BY-SA. Credit: Waugsberg )


Future population trends and drivers of change for Alexander Archipelago wolves on and near Prince of Wales Island, Alaska (Gilbert et al.)

As an environmentalist, the actual Prince of Wales may be interested to learn more about the predator-prey dynamics on the island that shares his title during the more dull parts of the ceremony.

Prince of Wales Island (US National Archives)


Rituals decrease the neural response to performance failure (Hobson et al.)

A tip for dealing with anxiety on the big day – embrace your rituals! The findings in this study are consistent with the longstanding view that ritual buffers against uncertainty and anxiety, so we can all enjoy watching this wedding ritual.


Have a great weekend! If you’re looking for more great science, head to our new PeerJ Section pages for further recommendations and inspiration.