Mysterious News Briefly — August 19, 2021
From the “Let’s see what happens when we do this to fruit flies” file comes a study showing that fruit flies quarantined alone in test tubes (sound familiar?) sleep too little and eat too much after only about one week of social isolation. How do they feel about masks? (Asking for a friend.)
For those who think they have excellent memories, here’s a humbling study showing that at cuttlefish can remember episodic things like what they ate and where and when they ate it right up to the day they die – making them the first animal found that doesn’t show signs of deterioration in memory function over time. If you can’t remember what kind of fish we just said were used in the study, you’re not one of them.
Engineers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team focused a $3.5 billion giant array of almost 200 laser beams down on to a peppercorn-sized spot to create a blast the diameter of a human hair, producing 10 quadrillion watts of fusion power for 100 trillionth of a second, reaching the so-called ‘holy grail’ point in nuclear fusion where ‘ignition’ could occur. What happens if they cross streams? (Shameless Ghostbusters plug.)
A team of researchers working at the University of Cambridge showed magic tricks to Eurasian jays and found the birds were fooled just like humans. Even more impressive, they were able to pick a card and sign their name on it.
Wildlife authorities in Pennsylvania are searching the Mount Zion area of Lebanon County for an ALC – alien little creature – photographed by multiple witnesses and believed to be a small kangaroo or wallaby. They’re asking people not to shoot it until they can confirm if it’s a Steelers or Eagles fan.
The Havana syndrome continues to spread as at least two U.S. officials, possibly intelligence officers or diplomats working on Russia-related issues such as cybersecurity, stationed in Germany have sought medical treatment after developing symptoms of the unexplained condition believed by some to be caused by energy weapons. Can the government stop this before it spreads to people who write about the Havana syndrome?
It’s not just humans who are getting fatter – a new study finds that we’re making many wild mammal species get fatter too by having more food, in the form of garbage, easily available due to spreading urbanization. Wile E. Coyote has no chance of catching the Roadrunner now.
Oxford-based startup Beckley Psytech raised $80 million to accelerate clinical trials using a pharmaceutical formulation of 5-MeO-DMT, the psychedelic compound produced by the Sonoran Desert toad, to treat depression because of its potency and short length of its psychedelic experience. The toughest part may be convincing people you have to open the bottle, not lick it.
Bad news from the “Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it” file – studies of rock formations on the Yucatan peninsula show the Maya civilization’s collapse was due in a large part to changes in tides and hurricane activity which contaminated their fresh water supply with saltwater. If these pretzels are making you thirsty, it’s already too late.
A pair of rare albino alligators were hatched from albino parents at Wild Florida, a gator and wildlife safari park, making them only the second pair ever hatched in captivity and two of fewer than 200 albino alligators in the world. they haven’t been named yet so there’s still time to write in your request for Johnny and Edgar Wintergators.