Mysterious News Briefly — January 27, 2022
They’re called “earthquakes” but a new paper proposes that the shifting of tectonic plates that makes them is not caused by heat from underneath them but from a gravitational ménage à trois between Earth, the Sun and the Moon that is the result of the non-circular orbits of Earth and Moon. Does this mean that song about the moon hitting your eye like a big pizza pie is actually a documentary?
Archaeologists in Switzerland have uncovered the ruins of what is likely the last Roman amphitheater ever built, where citizens watched gladiator battles in the fourth century CE. In Switzerland? Did they fight with army knives?
Researchers at Arizona State University have invented mechanical trees made with layers of discs designed to “soak up carbon dioxide” and they claim forests of these ‘trees’ -- each about 5 feet in diameter and spaced two inches apart – could slow down or even eliminate climate change. Get ready to provide free therapy to birds, squirrels, bears other forest creatures.
Hundreds of bumpy, transparent, bioluminescent sea pickles or pyrosomes are mysteriously washing ashore on Oregon beaches and biologists have no idea why these weird tropical creatures have swum north for the winter. Glow-in-the-dark pickles sounds like the perfect addition to midnight barbecues.
A new law in the city of Brighton & Hove, England calls for new buildings to include special hollow bricks with holes that provide nests for solitary bees to help increase biodiversity and save these bees that lose their homes in crumbling brick and mortar when new buildings replace old ones. We saw Solitary Bees open for Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
While Oregon deals with sea pickles (see above), the state of Washington is dealing with an infestation of invasive European green crabs which prey on clams, young oysters and native crabs – affecting the seafood industry that depends on them and the other marine creatures that eat them. “We feel your pain,” said every indigenous culture.
A frog that lost a leg grew a new one thanks to scientists at Tufts University and Harvard University's Wyss Institute who triggered the growth of the replacement leg with a five-drug cocktail applied in a silicone wearable bioreactor dome that sealed it over the stump for just 24 hours, resulting in a brand-new functional leg 18 months later. It’s not ready for humans yet, but frog leg restaurants are probably salivating.
A team of Johns Hopkins University researchers successfully demonstrated the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) robot by having it perform laparoscopic surgery on a pig without any assistance from a human surgeon – it’s designed for intestinal anastomosis, a procedure that requires a high level of repetitive motion and precision to connect two ends of an intestine where one missed stitch can cause a leak that could be fatal to the patient. Get ready for ‘Grey Robot’s Anatomy’.
Humans aren’t the only lovers of mix tapes and song shuffling -- a new study found that male sparrows deliberately shuffle and mix their song repertoire ... possibly as a way to keep it interesting to attract females. Are the most popular sparrows the one who lean heavily on John Legend tunes?
Researchers are warning people to beware of Elon Musk’s brain-computer interface startup Neuralink and its goal of connecting human brains to computers, calling it an “uncomfortable marriage between a company that is for-profit” where people with genuine needs “are being exploited and used in risky research for someone else’s commercial gain.” Are they implying every chip contains an “urge to buy a Tesla” algorithm?