19 July, 2012 – This Week in Science


Iron At Sea, More Invertebrate Sex, Water On Earth, Blair’s Animal Corner, Shower Spies, Women Getting Smarter, Magnetic Bonds, TWIWRD, And Much More…

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Iron at Sea
When fertilized by iron, algae releases carbon-rich material that sinks to the ocean floor. The question is, can we reduce carbon in our atmosphere with some simple iron fertilization of the oceans?

More invertebrate sex!
Dumpling squids are exhausted after copulation:
Both males and females of this tiny squid species find themselves exhausted after sex, causing reduced mobility for up to 30 minutes. This means they lose their ability to protect themselves or eat after “scoring.” Bummer…

Castrated male spiders are actually better off!
As we have previously discussed, male orb weaver spiders who are lucky enough to escape cannibalization by their mate are often castrated. It turns out that this reduces their body weight by around 9% and therefore greatly increases their physical endurance and agility.

What Brought Us Water?
When looking at the amount of deuterium in potential water-donating candidates, it appears that meteorites, and not comets, delivered this essential life source to earth.

Blair’s Animal Corner
Big brained animals best equipped for survival
Animals with greater brain-to-body size ratios have shown to be more successful and avoid extinction, particularly those of the smaller variety. Similar success was shown with animals introduced to new areas or habitats; big brains mean more adaptability. The question is, do we use this information to save the big brained critters, or assume they can save themselves and focus on the dunces of the animal kingdom?

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How to spy in the shower
Using a spacial light modulator, scientists have found a way to see things disturbed by a thin scattering medium, such as say, a shower curtain, or even better, skin! Let’s just hope it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands…

Women now smarter than Men!!!
James Flynn, one of the foremost experts on intelligence testing, has announced that women have finally surpassed men on standardized IQ testing. You go girls!

Predicting bonds
A new chemical bond has been discovered (maybe). A gigantic magnetic field, in the thousands of teslas, is required for this new bond. For reference, x-rays are around 7 teslas. This new bond type is called paramagnetism, and is based solely on magnetic fields.

World Robot Domination!
A kissing robot?
Now all I need is a roButt…
Surprisingly out of the UK and not Japan, scientists have developed an interactive device that aids in “telepresence.” You guessed it, it’s a kissing device with pressure sensors and actuators, and it’s called “Kissenger.”

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