Also known as the water bear, the tardigrade has a lot to be proud of — this tiny organism is nigh-indestructible, known to have survived in extreme temperatures ( -272C to +151C / -457.6F to 303.8F) and to be the only animal that can brave the vacuum of space unprotected and live to tell the tale.
Is Legal Pot a Good Thing?
A few days ago, the FDA approved the genetic engineering of modified Atlantic salmon variety. This is the first food animal that was genetically modified that the FDA approved for human consumption and farming; the gene alteration would make it grow much faster. Public reactions have been mixed, as expected. This could be a very good move, greatly reducing the stress on wild populations, but people are always reluctant when it comes to GMOs – especially animals.
After five years long of pondering, the FDA finally gave the green light for a genetically modified Atlantic salmon variety. This is the first food animal that was genetically modified that the FDA approved for human consumption and farming. The salmon has genes from another salmon species, as well as an eel-like fish, which allows it to grow to market size in half the time it would usually take. This means it saves twice as much time and resources as conventional salmon, with no nutritional or health drawbacks, the FDA says.
With robots taking up all the factory jobs and CEO’s outsourcing each and any position they can to China, it’s harder and harder for the common bloke to find a job these days. And it’s only about to get worse as pigeons are now poised to take over the health industry positions for the price of bread crumbs.
A study of 986 Bolivian women found that on average, a lifetime infection with a type of roundworm named Ascarius lumbricoides led to an extra two children in the family. Their paper, published in the journal Science, suggests that the worm is altering the host’s immune system, making it easier to become pregnant — in effect, the parasite increases female fertility. The researchers hope this discovery will lead to “novel fertility enhancing drugs.”
A University of Nevada team, led by anthropologist Peter Gray, tested several hypotheses about pets and contemporary courtship or dating rituals. Their study will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Anthrozoös.
We all know that men like to impress the fairer members of our species, and this permeates into almost everything we do: we want to drive the shiniest car on the block, crack the funniest jokes 24/7 and write for ZMEScience so we can impress the ladies at parties. In essence, no matter how unlikely it is to actually impress, if a man has a choice between doing something and doing that something over the top so he can show off to women, you can bet your right arm he’s gonna do the latter.
About 20 million people in the United States suffer from temporary or permanent voice impairment. Life can sound like a nightmare, even though we don’t hear our own voice – but we do feel the attention. Then, those are those rare cases which basically render people mute. While there are various medical interventions that can improve one’s voice, it’s still far from the real deal. What these people need is not a patch here and there, but a whole new set of vocal cords, and a group of researchers has set out to grow it in the lab. Starting from a couple of human cells, they’ve grown a critical tissue involved in vocalizing. It’s basically indistinguishable from the real deal (it’s still biological tissue after all) and biocompatible.
It seems like evolution has fostered us humans all along for us to become the dominant species on planet Earth. We owe so many gifts to the tender processes that began millions of years ago and shaped us the way we are today. Gripping dexterous hands, remarkable social behavior and lets not forget about those big brains. It’s not enough to have a big brain, though. What makes us humans particularly successful is our ability to adapt constantly to our environment. Humans fair well in luxurious plains, but they seem to survive in the desert as well. Then look at the times we’re living in. Technology, networking, all our cultural heritage. It takes a lot to adapt to such changing times, and no other species seems to be this good at it. While we owe a great deal to genetics, it’s brain plasticity – an inherent ability to mold our cerebral connections to fit our environment – that took us the extra mile.