Science Affliction #8

Posted by on Jul 15, 2011 in Story Fodder | 0 comments

Hello darlings!

Another unthemed edition of Science Affliction for you this week.

1) Livescience.com has an article about how the internet is changing how we remember things. I find this really fascinating. In essence, the studies suggest that people who frequently reference the internet remember locations of information rather than the information itself.

2) Filed under really freaking cool is a post about glowing mushrooms at io9.com. What I thought was neatest about these shrooms is that they glow constantly, unlike animals that only fluoresce periodically.

3) If you’re at all the biology nerd that I am, you’ve probably wondered how sex came to evolve. We might have an answer! An article at ScienceDaily.com explains why we probably have parasites to thank for sex. Sexual reproduction trumps asexual reproduction in environments where parasites are prevalent. Combining genes allows descendents to be more parasite-resistant.

4) One of the many unanswered questions regarding evolution is how simple chains of organic molecules became the complex chains of DNA that exist now. A study summarized in an article at arstechnica.com showed how new bases can be attached to lengthen small RNA chains that are immobilized, without the aid of enzymes.

5) This is a special one for Jimi! A new type of virus is shown to species hop between animals and humans in this article at nature.com. Adenoviruses were not previously thought to hop species, but studies surrounding an outbreak in monkeys in 2009 showed that the virus infected humans as well.

Extra bonus tidbit: Check out the photos of four new species of Jewel Beetles and if you haven’t read it before, go read my flash fiction story, Beetle Juice which features a black jewel beetle.

Next week I’ll unveil another of my science crushes and do a themed episode on astronomy! Guesses on the identity of my science crush are welcome.

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