March 03, 2005

Stressed Voles and other Uncommon Stereotypes: Another Science Update

Okay there's a few this week, because of last weeks SpySweep issues:
  • Radio collars stress out vulnerable voles: Putting radio transmitter tags to track this little rodents appears to be odd things to their sex hormones, a "sure sign" of stress. Radio tracking is used on a lot of mammals throughout the world, including endagered species like wolves and rhinos. -n@n
  • How old cells regain youth: In the never-ceasing quest for an elixer of life and fountain of youth, boffins have claimed to discover that old cells put in with new cells become younger. - BMC (Maybe its a micro through to macro effect - the reason why proactive grandparents live longer?)
  • Gene map opens up uncharted territory: Getting more mapping in to focus ethnic targeting drugs more finely. I'm still not sure how this really works, unless patients are all willing to go under genetic testing to be ethno-classed. In a fascist-fearing and privacy-protecting USA, I highly doubt it - which probably will end in some idiot suing because he's got more Negro genes than Chinese, but just looks a bit more Asian. -n@n
  • Ethiopa is top choice for cradle of Homo sapiens: This is surprising why exactly. Hasn't Ethiopa always been considered (in paleontology) as the cradle of man? - n@n
  • UN bans reproductive cloning: I'm not exactly sure why anyone (barring evil geniuses, and Hitler*) would actually want a son/daughter that is a genetic clone. Even in Jurassic Park they had the decency (well out of necessity) to splice frog genes in. I wonder if you could have frog-prince(ss) clone then? - BMC
  • Female eggs grown in male testes: Let me just say, "Ewwwww..." (and read this comic). Japanese scientists at least were able to say that depsite some egg-sperm fusion, they did not "did not develop into embryos". -n@n
  • Round-the-world solo flight takes off: It may be a Virgin effort, but at least richard Branson isn't on this effort to travel airborne non-stop around the world in around 80 hours. Good luck. -n@n
  • Vital organs gave snakes their venom: Protein analysis of serpentine venom shows that they might have evolved from ordinary harmless proteins, such as those found in blood cells and muscle cells, with only small changes in sequencing required for the toxic proteins to develop. -n@n
  • Profile:Patrick Moore: Don't normally do profiles here, but this one's interesting. A Greenie-at-heart who helped co-found Greenpeace but left when it became a group of "radicals bent on nothing short of ridding the world of capitalism and biotechnology". He now spend his championing the power of biotechnology to help our planet and its people, much to the chagrin of some of his former-colleagues in The Movement. -n@n
And Science news of the week goes to bunch of stereotype pumping statiticians in the UK who have announced:
  • Gay men read maps like women, I bet they also shake hands like them, and sign their names with curls, little love hearts, flowers and smiley faces over the I's too. It appears that gay men use landmarks to orient themselves when using maps, just like women. They've also come up with a brilliant name for these trends "cross-sex shifts". But teh study also showed that gay men still use straight guy tactics, such as using compass directions, estimating short distances, and stopping hot, young locals for directions (albeit slightly less breast-endowed^). -NewScientist
    • Best quote, "It's not simply that lesbians have men's brains and gay men have women's brains". Riiiight, thanks for putting us all straight about that.

^Okay I did make that up, but it wouldn't surprise me.
*Some people question hitler's status as "genius"




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