cubbi (cubbi) wrote,

  • Mood:

Science in January 2012: from shrooms to worm-eating plants

Wow, I'm still so much behind... Can't wait to post about the physics of spilling coffee, but it was in May.. so, back to January:

The effects of psychedelic mushrooms on humans were studied with fMRI: they actually shut down parts of the brain, not increase brain activity as many people imagined. Those parts just happen to regulate the flow of information through the brain.

The online game FoldIt, a crowdsourced biochemistry experiment which already solved a few real folding problems, now gave us a first win in the area of novel protein design.

The only known non-artificial example of a quasicrystal (crystal with the "impossible" 5-fold symmetry, awarded 2011 Nobel Prize), was found, and it was extraterrestrial.

Tranquillityite, the last of the moon minerals that has been missing on Earth, was finally found, in small amounts in Australia.

Russian probe sent to return soil samples from Phobos failed to leave Earth's orbit and crashed in the Pacific.

In math news, there are no 16-clue Sudoku puzzles

The human pupils contract not just when we are looking at a bright object, but also when we think we are looking at a bright object, meaning this is not your textbook reflex.

The individual words a person hears can be reconstructed directly from brain activity.

IBM demonstrated that data storage is possible using antiferromagnetism

In ever-graphic biology, boa constrictors stop squeezing their victims when they feel their heart stop

The little dance performed by dung beetles on top of their balls of poop is really to correct navigational errors.

New world's smallest vertebrate is a 7.7 mm frog from New Guinea, beating the former record-holding 7.9 mm fish from Indonesia.

A predatory plant was found that grows sticky underground leaves that trap and digest worms.

Fat tissue stem cells were successfully used to restore cut-up and scarred rat penises

There is a fungus that eats lead.

Planarians (and possibly other flatworms) have no centrosomes, fundamental parts of all (other) animal cells.

The ever-ridiculous AIDS-denialists managed to get a paper published, same one that was withdrawn three years earlier, causing two editors to resign.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment