Science Affliction #16

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 | Comments Off on Science Affliction #16

Today’s edition of Science Affliction is brought to you by the letter N and the number 100 billion. It’s been a while since I did a science round up, so I thought I’d get off my duff and put together a list of recent interesting science news with the hope that it will motivate me to write some fiction.

  1. A disembodied rat brain can fly an airplane. No, seriously. Scientists removed neurons from rats and grew a new “brain” that they hooked up to a flight simulator. The idea is that similar constructs could be used to take over complicated, dangerous tasks. Move over Skynet, Ratnet is the new hotness in science fiction.
  2. Real honest-to-goodness telepathy has happened right here on Earth. Okay, it was more like tele-email. Computers did the decoding and transferring, but the first messages were sent brain-to-brain over long distances. It’s a first step in a very interesting direction. I for one welcome our cyborg overlords.
  3. Two new deep sea animals that resemble mushrooms were discovered off the coast of Australia. The new animals are distant relative of the jellyfish that look like fungi. Pretty cool They don’t fit well into any current phyla and will probably get a new one created for them.
  4. Zombies anyone? A look at one way Toxoplasma might practice mind control on rats by turning on a gene that produces a neurotransmitter.
  5. Possible source of increasing food allergies found. Researchers cured peanut allergies in mice by infecting them with a commonly found gut bacteria. There’s so much we don’t understand about out gut flora and the damage we do by ingesting antibiotics.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Hopefully something in the list inspires you. Now go write!