Mysterious News Briefly — September 27, 2021
With the Martian atmosphere being primarily carbon dioxide, engineers at the University of Cincinnati used a carbon catalyst in a reactor to convert carbon dioxide into methane – a process that could turn Martian air into rocket fuel to power a spacecraft so it wouldn’t need to carry extra fuel for its return mission. Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to add a couple of cows to the crew?
To test the effects of weightlessness on female astronauts, Scientists in Toulouse, France, are placing 20 women in bathtub-like containers covered in waterproof fabric – basically, giant water beds — for five days as part of a “dry immersion” study that has already be conducted on males. This replaces watching “The Martian” as the easiest astronaut training exercise ever.
The Oppiella nova is an ancient species of all female “ancient asexual” beetle mites that have baffled scientists with their ability to reproduce and survive despite not having sex, but a new study has finally found their secret — the beetles are able to create genetically varied clones of themselves. If this study was conducted by an all-female team, human males are in big trouble.
Finally, some good news about social media – a new study by psychologists from Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences found that social media users who view images of healthy foods that have been heavily endorsed with ‘likes’ are more likely to make healthier food choices. This may be true, but good luck getting users for a healthy food social media site called Kalebook.
It’s difficult to tell the age of a lobster by looking at it, but a molecular ecologist at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. claims his lab can determine a lobster’s age from a DNA test. The only thing worse than being an old lobster dropped in a pot of boiling water is finding out moments before that the lobster you’ve been calling Dad is not your real father.
It was thought that the deadly parasitic Guinea worms (Dracunculus medinensis) were nearly wiped out, but five two-foot-long worms removed from a man in Vietnam have been identified as a related and previously unknown species of Dracunculus. On the positive side, Star Trek writers now have an inspiration for a new alien villain’s torture technique.
German Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek recently unveiled a Frankenstein Tesla Model Y that had been converted from electric power into a hydrogen vehicle that she called a “hyper hybrid.” Let’s hope she got the brain from a smart Tesla and not an abby-normal one.
The real Captain Kirk is going back into space as TMZ reveals that 90-year-old William Shatner has a seat on Jeff Bezos’ next Blue Origin launch scheduled for later this year. Bezos may change his mind if Shatner doesn’t stop saying “Beam me up, Jeffy.”
The new K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics at MIT is chartered to create, test, and disseminate bionic technologies that integrate with both the body and mind to restore the function of bodies affected by injury, aging, or disease using techniques from new prosthetic limbs to digital nervous systems that move the body after a spinal cord injury. The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman would be proud.
The House of Representatives’ fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act proposal lawmakers passed last week has a provision to form a permanent Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Task Force under the Defense secretary to investigate government- and military-provided reports of UFOs. This could be good news for the Space Force, which is tired of modeling new uniforms and ready to get to work.