Mysterious News Briefly — February 18, 2022
Under close recent scrutiny, 130 Elektra – a 160-miles-in-diameter asteroid discovered in the 19th century -- has been found to have three tiny moons orbiting it, making it the first quadruple asteroid system ever detected, with the mini-moons measuring 3.7 miles, 1.2 miles and 1 mile in diameter. Can we send a probe to look for The Little Prince?
Proving all animals have one thing on their minds, scientists tracking humpback whales identified two males, recognizable by distinctive markings on their tails, who traveled between two popular humpback whale mating grounds 3,700 miles (5,955 km) apart and made the trip swimming faster than their usual cruising speed of 2.5 mph (5 kph). What they need is a whale dating service called Fin-der.
As a way to make more organs available for transplanting, scientists successfully converted donated lungs into "universal" transplant organs that could theoretically be transplanted into any recipient, regardless of their blood type, as long as the organs were the appropriate size – a technology they believe could work with many organs and even with blood. One-stop-shopping and one-size-fits-all is coming soon to a hospital near you.
In an attempt to prevent the extinction of the northern white rhinoceros, the BioRescue consortium created two new northern white embryos from egg cells which they matured and inseminated and are now cryopreserved until they can be implanted in southern white rhino female surrogates. If only there was some easier way to save animals from extinction.
As if you needed another reason to hate supermodels – a new study found that people whose faces were seen as attractive have relatively healthier immune functions, especially in regards to bacterial immunity … something which may lead to choosing a good-looking mate who will have healthier offspring. It’s only one study but look for guys in bars to be using it as a pickup line.
A British company unveiled the world's first luxury sports hovercraft, the Arosa, which can float over land and water while hitting speeds of 60mph, and it could go on sale later this year for $100,000. It’s a “peoples’ car” if you’re one of those people living on coasts with rising waters.
Just in time for the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies, China’s tourist board claims archeologists have found ancient rock art depicting figures holding ski-like objects that prove skiing actually originated in Xinjiang province more than 10,000 years ago, long before Sweden’s claim due to wooden skis found in a bog dating back to 2500 BCE. Russia will probably claim it invented ice skating as soon as it finds ancient rock art depicting doping.
Japanese scientists have developed a robot child called Nikola which has facial muscles capable of conveying six basic emotions -- happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust – and they say it could have real world applications like caring for older people. Its success depends on which emotion the robot child expresses when the older person yells, “Hey, you … get off of my lawn!”
Burger King in Japan has unveiled the King Yeti – a burger featuring four beef patties, six slices of Gouda cheese, onion, pickles and Caesar sauce. After one of these, you’re ready for Bigfoot Big Pants, Sasquatch Sweatshirts and Abominable abdominal pains.
For those who fear the “what could possibly go wrong” consequences of genetic engineering, Tae Seok Moon, a professor at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has developed a modular, genetically engineered kill switch that integrates into any genetically engineered microbe, causing it to self-destruct under certain defined conditions. Does he ever have nightmares of a talking microbe who says, “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Tae.”