For the last couple centuries, humanity has been kicking ass in the War on Plants. But some perfume makers want to bring some of those long-extinct species back–at least their scents.
Ginkgo Bioworks is going to make a whole new slew of scents from plants that have gone extinct in the last 2oo years or so. Researchers plan to take DNA from extinct plants and splice them into yeast to create produce the essence of the plants’ flowers. Of course, no one living can actually verify what these plants smelled like, so it’s very possible they’re just going to charge you for a bottle of scientist farts.
It’s sort of like Jurassic Park, only stuff is only a couple hundred years old and none of it will kill you, unless chaos theory is right again.
Good news, everyone, about the recount in Wisconsin! … No, not that. He probably still won. But! The recount should prove that, when (not “if”) the machines take over, they’re even better at democracy than we are. So, the singularity shouldn’t be a totalitarian dictatorship!
Previous recounts show a 0.28 percent discrepancy in hand-counted votes, while computer-counted votes only had a 0.17 percent discrepancy. And even when the machines screw up, it’s mostly when a human factor interrupts the computer process, like a human logging computer counts incorrectly on a pen and ink form.
So, if we really want a more representative government, then perhaps it’s time to throw out the factor that keeps (minutely) screwing it up: humans.
We already know that fluid behaves differently in zero-G. What we didn’t realize is that, given enough time, the cerebrospinal fluid in the skull’s brain cavity flows willy-nilly and can eventually press on the backs of the eyeballs enough that they flatten a bit. And changing the shape of the eye even a little is enough to impair the ability to focus.
At the moment, NASA has no plan to prevent this as there’s no way to control where fluid flows within the skull. The only current possibilities are either shorter stays or inventing artificial gravity — which introduces its own problem:
The history of human space exploration is a saga of ingenuity, of smart men and women solving problems based on a limited understanding of the unknown with only a handful of observations and a lot of math. And yet, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was forced to admit that it still hasn’t potty trained your average spacewalker. That, when we send our best and brightest up into the yonder to reach out and touch the face of god, it’s often with a fully loaded adult diaper.
Part of the issue is that NASA has been holding this problem in for way too long, and they’re getting ready to take a very long trip to Mars. Diapers have worked for now in low Earth orbit, mostly because home and a new pair of pants has always been less than a day away. But, the further away you get, the longer astronauts may have to spend in spacesuits should, say, life support go offline.
NASA will give the winner up to (no sh*t) turdy-thousand dollars for their design. There’s apparently no prize for number two, though.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad. Many people know that drinking and smoking is fun, but we now know that drinking when smoking can be good for you.
According to a published scientific study that has no chance of ever being pulled or refuted, if you drink a couple glasses of red wine before lighting up, you may block some of the damage from tobacco smoking. Turns out, red wine’s benefits on your cardiovascular system can block the short-term negative effects that cigarette in your hand will have on your arteries.
So smoke ’em if you got ’em, but knock a couple back first. We may be enablers, but we don’t want you to die.
Not that you needed another reason to drink, but here’s another study that said it’s good for you.
According to a Penn State study of 80,000 adults, a beer a day could keep the cardiologist away. Men who had one to two drinks a day, and women who had one daily, generally had a slower natural decline in “good” cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein. That means a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Researchers noted that the benefits of drinking different forms of alcohol each had benefits, but beer was the best.
These benefits didn’t apply to drinking higher amounts of alcohol, but you’ve stopped reading by now anyway.
Whether everyone agrees with the ethics of it or not, scientists have long turned their instruments on rats. They are close to human in basic physiology, their quick lifespans make it easier to study effects across multiple generations and, like grad students, they work for pizza.
But, what if all of our drugs and beakers aren’t getting answers out of rats fast enough? What if they’re learning to hold out on that sweet, sweet science data?
You know how people say oil is a problem for the environment, and how we’re going to run out of it eventually? What if we didn’t have to run out of it, and didn’t care about the Earth? The future is almost here.
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have come up with a process that can convert the human waste sewage into oil. Hydrothermal liquefaction breaks down organic matter, by subjecting it to intense pressure and high heat to make what is basically petroleum. Scientists say this can safely be refined into the fossil fuels we all know and love.
In the not-too-distant future spinach will contact you on your smartphone, and it will have terrifying news.
Researchers at MIT have given spinach plants the ability to detect chemicals often found in landmines and other explosives, because fighting terrorism can never get too creative. According to their published work, the scientists implanted spinach plants with nanotubes (science-speak for “small tubes”). When water was sucked into the plant by its roots, that water eventually made its way into the leaves where the nanotubes were implanted. If the water contains chemicals found in mines or bombs, those nanotubes emit a near-infrared light that can be seen by smartphone cameras.
Clearly, spinach has more wartime uses than bulking up our sailors.