Mysterious News Briefly — November 17, 2021
Actress Kristen Stewart says she’s blazing new trails with a show she’s developing — a gay ghost-hunting reality show she describes as “a paranormal romp in a queer space” with elevated aesthetics. Queer Eye for the Ghost Gay?
Oregon State University researchers found a pine cone, approximately 40 million years old, encased in Baltic amber from which several embryonic stems are emerging – the first fossil evidence ever of precocious germination where seeds sprout before leaving the fruit. Amber is nature’s shrink-wrap.
The Moon isn’t made of green cheese but NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover tweeted (yes, it tweets) that a scoop of Martian soil is “loaded with the greenish mineral olivine” and researchers are baffled by how it originated. Maybe Wallace and Gromit can help.
University of Leicester scientists tested “humanized” antibodies and a newly discovered protein on mice and found both helped restore memory loss, restore neuron function, and reduce amyloid beta plaque formation in the mouse brains — paving the way for a possible vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. We saw Humanized Antibodies open for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show.
A study found that male Montpellier snakes (Malpolon monspessulanus) in France practice cannibalism by eating adult females of their species – the reverse of normal animal cannibalism where the females consume the males, usually after sex. They’re males – think they’ll see the flaw in this plan before it’s too late?
A theory in anthropology known as the “grandmother hypothesis” — which speculates that human females live long lives because they get help from their own mothers – has been shown to also be beneficial to the wellbeing of grandchildren. Especially if grandma puts a check in the birthday card.
The Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers shows that Fujitsu’s Fugaku system is still the world’s most powerful public supercomputer at 442 petaflops or 442 quadrillion calculations per second. Is that fast enough to prevent your boss from catching you looking at porn at work?
A recent survey of 2,000 pet owners found that eight out of 10 people feel guilty when they lie to their pets about things like going to the vet and six out of 10 feel guilty about not spending enough money on them. Dogs would definitely forgive the money guilt if it meant less trips to the vet.
From the ‘Duh!’ file comes yet another study, this one from the American Heart Association, that a morning cup of caffeinated coffee boosts energy and alertness but also reduces the amount of sleep people get and increases the chance of experiencing abnormal heartbeats. If you’re from the AMA, you now know why the barista never seems to remember your name at Starbucks.
Scientists at the University of Kyoto used optogenetics – optical stimulation of the brain – to break down the protein cofilin in the hippocampus of mice and erased the memory of a task they just learned – which sounds a lot like the ‘neuralizer’ from “The Men in Black” which erased any memories of contact with aliens. If it can erase the memories of ex-spouses, they may have a winner.