Mysterious News Briefly — December 30, 2021
A team from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and six Chinese universities say they found the genes in spinach that regulate how much oxalate the leafy vegetable contains and they plan to genetically remove it so spinach lovers no longer suffer from that annoying gritty mouthfeel known as “spinach teeth.” For the other kind of spinach teeth, the best solution is still a mirror and floss.
Russia’s Roscosmos launched an Angara A5 rocket on Monday but its upper stage engine failed two seconds into its second burn, leaving the rocket and its dummy payload stranded in very low Earth orbit where it may come crashing back down to Earth. If it gets any more crowded, lower Earth orbit will become the final frontier.
Amazon is investigating why its Alexa digital assistant told a 10-year-old girl to touch a penny to the prongs of a plug partially inserted into an electrical outlet – the dangerous “penny challenge” which circulated earlier this year on the Internet. Did Alexa hear Jeff Bezos secretly tried this with a bitcoin while in space?
A farmer in in Gangapur village in the Dholai Vidhan Sabha constituency of the northeastern Indian state of Assam is locally famous after one of his goats gave birth to a kid with what looks like a human face – his farm was swamped by people who believed it was a sign of something. So far, it’s just a sign he needs more parking space.
Scientists at Scripps Research, University of Chicago and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have isolated a long-ignored section of the flu virus and say it will help them develop a universal flu vaccine to fight the virus even as it mutates from year to year. Shouldn’t they be working on a vaccine to fight anti-vaxxers first?
Elon Musk continues to push for a direct democracy form of government without representatives on Mars when it is colonized within the next ten years – giving humans a second chance to build a better government. Maybe he should practice at his Earth auto plants first.
Conservationists from Chester Zoo and the Michoacan University have successfully reintroduced the 3-inch-long Tequila splitfin fish which vanished from their habitat of the Teuchitlán River in 2003. Gee, I wonder what they drank to celebrate.
According to a new paper in Applied Cognitive Psychology, UCLA students who watched recorded lectures at double the normal speed twice actually retained more than students who watch the lectures at normal speed once. If you are a speed-talker with a PhD, UCLA may be hiring.
A new study found that rising temperatures due to climate change are causing hurricanes to form in the mid-latitudes, not just in the tropical regions north and south of the equator, and those hurricanes will travel farther north to cities like New York, Beijing, Boston and Tokyo. You know we’re in trouble when Boston baked beans become Boston bean soup and the Big Apple becomes the Big Puddle.
The James Webb Space Telescope has successfully completed the deployment of the Deployable Tower Assembly – it took about 6.5 hours to create about 2 feet (1.2 meters) of space between the mirror assembly and the spacecraft's bus, which houses its electronics and propulsion systems. This will one day be known as the “good old days” for origami enthusiasts.