Plants are able to recognise their siblings, according to a study appearing today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Researchers at McMaster University have found that plants get fiercely competitive when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but they’re accommodating when potted with their siblings.
I'll have to remember this for when the Triffids attack.
How long do you think before someone builds a large scale version of this capable of lighting the ocean on fire? I wonder how useful it would be to use a bunch of devices like that for flood protection.
Wellington Grey -- Articles -- A physics teacher begs for his subject back: An open letter to the AQA board and the UK Department for Education
10:10 am EDT, Jun 8, 2007
I am a physics teacher. Or, at least I used to be. My subject is still called physics. My pupils will sit an exam and earn a GCSE in physics, but that exam doesn’t cover anything I recognize as physics. Over the past year the UK Department for Education and the AQA board changed the subject. They took the physics out of physics and replaced it with… something else, something nebulous and ill defined. I worry about this change. I worry about my pupils, I worry about the state of science education in this country, and I worry about the future physics teachers — if there will be any.
Indonesian fisherman catches ancient fish off Sulawesi island - International Herald Tribune
4:17 pm EDT, May 24, 2007
JAKARTA, Indonesia: An Indonesian angler caught a fish once thought to have disappeared along with the dinosaurs and held it in a quarantined pool until it died 17 hours later, a biologist said Sunday.
Gene mutation linked to cognition is found only in humans
9:41 am EDT, May 9, 2007
The human and chimpanzee genomes vary by just 1.2 percent, yet there is a considerable difference in the mental and linguistic capabilities between the two species. A new study showed that a certain form of neuropsin, a protein that plays a role in learning and memory, is expressed only in the central nervous systems of humans and that it originated less than 5 million years ago. The study, which also demonstrated the molecular mechanism that creates this novel protein, will be published online in Human Mutation, the official journal of the Human Genome Variation Society.
BPS RESEARCH DIGEST: Adults are unable to tell when children are lying
11:44 am EDT, Apr 20, 2007
With their wide eyes and innocent hearts, you might think it's easy to tell when a child is lying. Oh no it isn't. Not according to Leif Stromwall and colleagues, who found adults were useless at detecting when children were lying.
Thirty children aged between 11 and 13 were told they were going to be interviewed about one event that had really happened to them, and about another that they'd never experienced (an earlier questionnaire identified which life experiences the children had actually had). The children's task was to talk about both events as if they had experienced them both.
LiveScience.com - Bizarre Human Brain Parasite Precisely Alters Fear
11:04 am EDT, Apr 10, 2007
Rats usually have an innate fear of cat urine. The fear extends to rodents that have never seen a feline and those generations removed from ever meeting a cat. After they get infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, however, rats become attracted to cat pee, increasing the chance they'll become cat food.
This much researchers knew. But a new study shows the parasite, which also infects more half the world's human population, seems to target a rat's fear of cat urine with almost surgical precision, leaving other kinds of fear alone.
This discovery could shed light "on how fear is generated in the first place" and how people can potentially better manage phobias, researcher Ajai Vyas, a Stanford University neuroscientist, told LiveScience.
Hijacking the mind
T. gondii is a parasitic germ whose primary hosts are cats. However, it can be found in most warm-blooded animals, including an estimated 50 million people in the United States. One study suggests the parasite has altered human behavior enough to shape entire cultures.
I think i understand the elections now. People like bullshit like rats like cat piss. It's a virus.
Meade intros mySKY Personal Planetarium - Engadget
10:58 am EDT, Apr 10, 2007
It may not let you take deep space photographs, but Meade's new mySKY Personal Planetarium should help to give you a better sense of your cosmic environs, and also double as a suitable ray gun prop in your next no-budget sci-fi movie. To keep things simple, Meade's thankfully packed some GPS capabilities into the device, which should keep it properly aligned at all times with no input needed from you. Those GPS capabilities can also be extended to any Meade AutoStar-enabled telescope, with the mySKY doubling as a control unit for the telescope. In either configuartion, the device will let you find and identify more than 30,000 astronomical objects, displaying all the relevant information on its 480 x 234 LCD. You'll need to be fairly serious about your backyard astronomy to consider one of these though, with it set to demand a hefty $400 when it's released next month.
Discovery Channel :: News :: Pyramid's Secret Doors to Be Opened
3:35 pm EDT, Apr 2, 2007
March 20, 2007 — Doors will soon open to reveal one of the mysteries of the Great Pyramid in Giza, Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News in an exclusive interview.
Hawass, one of the world's leading Egyptologists, said he will show what lies behind secret doors inside the 4,500-year-old pharaonic mausoleum by the end of this year.
"Finally, people all over the world will know what is behind the second door in the southern shaft and the third door in the northern shaft," Hawass said.
Widely believed to be ritual passageways for the dead pharaoh's soul to reach the afterlife, these 8-inch square shafts remained unexplored until 1993, when German engineer Rudolf Gantenbrink sent a robot through the southern shaft.
Thats right, because robots aren't afraid of curses or mummies.