Saturday, May 03, 2014

Science Saturday May 5, 2014 Edition

 Chalk it up to a slow news day, we guess

Since it's been a great long while since our last post on this sorely neglected topic, here's our newest Science Saturday update, carefully compiled from the broad variety of stories which we've collected over the past few months days. Although the first two of these stories ain't exactly hot off the press, here goes:

1) Perhaps the most confounding mystery of all involves how incredibly large stones made their way to the middle of the Egyptian desert in ancient times without massive mechanical assistance. No camel, even the Egyptian kind, is that strong. The truth, researchers at the University of Amsterdam announced this week in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, may actually be quite simple. It has long been believed that Egyptians used wooden sleds to haul the stone, but until now it hasn’t been entirely understood how they overcame the problem of friction. It amounts to nothing more, scientists say, than a “clever trick”:
Bad news for "space alien theorists," we guess.

2)  With the World Cup just six weeks away, Brazilian authorities have approved the widespread, commercial release of a strain of mosquito that has been genetically reprogrammed to wipe out its own species:
Venomous jungle snakes and/or American GOP politicians next, please.

Gold "Bug"
3) It seems that medieval alchemists were looking for the Philosopher's Stone—the magic element that could turn lead to gold—in the wrong place. Turns out the "key" is not  a mineral. It's a bug, according to the below-linked story:
Sodden question:  So where can we acquire a healthy culture of Cupriavidus metallidurans... and some decent quantities of gold choride? Time to make some serious "hay,"  inasmuch as we ain't doin' so hot in the stock market lately, wethinks.

That's it folks.  You can chalk it up to a slow news day we guess.

Neverthelless, don't hesitate to post your own science stories in the comments section below.

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