Science

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Global warming could trigger ant invasions...

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New Scientist reports that global warming may lead to an unexpected threat from the insect world -- swarming invasions of tiny ants -- suggests new research. The study of 665 ant colonies in environments ranging from tropical rainforests to frozen tundra suggests that in warmer environments the ants' body size shrinks, on average, while the number of individuals in the colony booms.

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U.S. Navy will sink a 1060-foot long aircraft carrier as an experiment...

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PlanetCommand&Conquer and Defense Tech report that the United States Navy is going to sink the U.S.S. America, decommissioned since 1996, to find out what happens when the 1060-foot long carrier gets hit, hard.

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Herrings/Fish That Fart.

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Blue's News posted a story about fish (herrings) that fart:

Dr. Batty, who works at the Dunstaffnage marine centre near Oban, and his colleagues were looking at whether herrings could detect sounds made by predators like whales and dolphins. Using infrared lighting with video cameras and underwater microphones, they monitored the herrings behaviour round the clock. "We heard these rasping noises, which sound like high pitched raspberries, only ever at night, whenever we saw tiny gas bubbles coming from the herrings' bottoms," said Dr Batty. "We also noticed that individual fish release more bubbles the more fish are in the tank with them. In other words, it seems that herring like to fart in company," commented Dr. Wilson.

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How tunes get stuck in your head...

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This BBC NEWS article says Scientists may have found what makes a tune catchy, after locating the brain area where a song's "hook" gets caught. A US team from Dartmouth College, reported in the journal Nature, played volunteers tunes with snippets cut out. They scanned for brain activity and found it centred in the auditory cortex -- which handles information from ears. When familiar tunes played, the cortex activity continued during the blanks - and the volunteers indeed said they still mentally "heard" the tunes.

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Biscuit-eating dummy tests crumbs.

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This BBC News UK story says experts invented a mannequin with a motorised mouth to test the amount of crumbs biscuits produce.

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A report says milk alone not best for children's bones.

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CNN.com reports that children, who drink more milk, do not necessarily develop healthier bones, researchers said on Monday in a report that stresses exercise and modest consumption of calcium-rich foods such as tofu. The U.S. government has gradually increased recommendations for daily calcium intake, largely from dairy products, to between 800 and 1,300 milligrams to promote healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis. But the report, published in the journal Pediatrics, said said boosting consumption of milk or other dairy products was not necessarily the best way to provide the minimal calcium intake of at least 400 milligrams per day.

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Small cars fare poorly in crash tests.

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This CNN.com article reports that the Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, and Volkswagen New Beetle are among the small cars that got the lowest safety rating in new side-impact crash tests performed by the insurance industry, according to results released Sunday. Fourteen of the 16 cars tested earned a "poor," the lowest of four ratings, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said...

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Short index finger shows men are as hard as nails.

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Scotsman.com reports the length of a man’s fingers can reveal how physically aggressive he is, according to new research. The shorter the index finger is compared to the ring finger, the more boisterous he will be, University of Alberta researchers said.

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Big-hearted pythons pull off post-prandial trick.

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Yahoo! News report that the Burmese python is able to boost the size of its heart chambers by half in order to help it digest a big meal, thanks to a remarkable protein which expands cardiac muscle, researchers say.

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Study: Instant Messaging is Surprisingly Formal :-)

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This Live Science article says a recent college students' study of IM-ing found that the communication was more formal –- in use of vocabulary and abbreviations -– than might be expected in a speech-like medium. The research also uncovered significant differences in how men and women use the medium.

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Pharaoh Ants Blamed in 2 Asthma Cases

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This WebMD Health article says household ants, especially Pharaoh Ants (Monomorium pharaonis) species, can cause allergies and asthma.

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Hamster Project -- Symbiotic Exchange of Hoarded Energy

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Hamster project shows a symbiotic exchange of hoarded energy in aiming to establish a symbiosis between a population of hamsters and a group of vehicles with intelligent steering units. It is a documentation about the development of the project. There are photographs and a few streaming Real videos. The installation was part of the "Cyberarts 1999"-exhibition in the "OK- Museum of Contemporary Art" during the "Ars Electronica 1999/ Life Science"-Festival in Linz/Austria (September 4-18).

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Urine Smell: A Magnet for Female Mice

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FOXNews.com report that the distinctive "male" smell was discovered in urine from male mice. It's produced by a chemical called MTMT (methylio) methanethiol. Female mice don't make MTMT. Neither do castrated male mice, which lack sex hormones. The compound converts easily into an odoriferous gas. Many compounds in the urine are used to signal reproduction and territorial recognition, say the researchers.

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What Will Man Do First?

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Egyptian doctors remove baby's second head (not fully developed)

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Yahoo! News report Egyptian doctors said they removed a second head from a 10-month-old girl suffering from one of the rarest birth defects in an operation Saturday.

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Crash test dummies inventor dies.

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CNN.com reports that Samuel W. Alderson, the inventor of crash test dummies that are used to make cars, parachutes and other devices safer, has passed away at the age of 90 (2/11/2005). He grew up tinkering in his father's custom sheet-metal shop, worked on various military technology and by 1952 had formed Alderson Research Labs. The company made anthropomorphic dummies for use by the military and NASA in testing ejection seats and parachutes. The dummies were built to approximate the weight and density of humans and hold data-gathering instruments.

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Tsunami Uncovers Ancient City in India

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Yahoo! News report that archaeologists have begun underwater excavations of what is believed to be an ancient city and parts of a temple uncovered by the tsunami off the coast of a centuries-old pilgrimage town.

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Typing Style Can Be Password

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This Yahoo! News' short story says the way you type is as unique as your eye color or speech patterns and can be used instead of a password to protect your computer, researchers at Louisiana Tech and Penn State say.

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Less liver cancer in coffee drinkers...

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I saw this on KTLA 5's morning news yesterday, but I forgot to look for an online story to post on here.

CNN reports that hot cup of coffee may do more than just provide a tasty energy boost. It also may help prevent the most common type of liver cancer. A study of more than 90,000 Japanese found that people who drank coffee daily or nearly every day had half the liver cancer risk of those who never drank coffee.

Animal studies have suggested a protective association of coffee with liver cancer, so the research team led by Monami Inoue of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo analyzed a 10-year public health study to determine coffee use by people diagnosed with liver cancer and people who did not have cancer. They found the likely occurrence of liver cancer in people who never or almost never drank coffee was 547.2 cases per 100,000 people over 10 years. But for people who drank coffee daily the risk was 214.6 cases per 100,000, the researchers report in this week's issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Origami as the Shape of Things to Come

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The New York Times (no registration needed) report that Dr. Demaine, an assistant professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the leading theoretician in the emerging field of origami mathematics, is holding is a hyperbolic parabaloid. It is a shape well known to mathematicians -- or something very close to that -- but he wants to be able to prove this conjecture, but difficullt to do.

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