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Strange & Offbeat News -- ScienceDaily

Published: Jul 23, 2021 7:51:19 PM
Quirky stories from all of ScienceDaily's health, technology, environment, and society sections.
  • Jul 23, 2021 2:53:19 PM
    Scientists have studied the characteristics determining the maximum running speed in animals. The model they developed explains why humans cannot keep up with the fastest sprinters in the animal kingdom. Based on these calculations, the giant spider Shelob from 'The Lord of the Rings' would have reached a maximum speed of 60 km/h.
  • Jul 22, 2021 11:50:03 PM
    A dust storm that engulfed Mars in 2018 destroyed a vortex of cold air around the planet's south pole and brought an early spring to the hemisphere. By contrast, the storm caused only minor distortions to the polar vortex in the northern hemisphere and no dramatic seasonal changes.
  • Jul 22, 2021 8:30:28 PM
    Researchers have been able to use seismic data to look inside Mars for the first time. They measured the crust, mantle and core and narrowed down their composition.
  • Jul 22, 2021 8:30:26 PM
    A new approach to analysing the development of magnetic tangles on the Sun has led to a breakthrough in a longstanding debate about how solar energy is injected into the solar atmosphere before being released into space, causing space weather events. The first direct evidence that field lines become knotted before they emerge at the visible surface of the Sun has implications for our ability to predict the behavior of active regions and the nature of the solar interior.
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:20:37 PM
    As a newborn mammal opens its eyes for the first time, it can already make visual sense of the world around it. But how does this happen before they have experienced sight?
  • Jul 22, 2021 6:20:03 PM
    Scientists have shown that cockatoos, an iconic Australian bird species, learn from each other a unique skill -- lifting garbage bin lids to gather food. The research confirms that cockatoos spread this novel behavior through social learning. This behavior by cockatoos is actually learnt, rather than a result of genetics.
  • Jul 22, 2021 4:12:42 PM
    Any life identified on planets orbiting white dwarf stars almost certainly evolved after the star's death, says a new study that reveals the consequences of the intense and furious stellar winds that will batter a planet as its star is dying.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:55 PM
    For more than a century, researchers have relied on flat sketches of sharks' digestive systems to discern how they function -- and how what they eat and excrete impacts other species in the ocean. Now, researchers have produced a series of high-resolution, 3D scans of intestines from nearly three dozen shark species that will advance the understanding of how sharks eat and digest their food.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:49 PM
    An international physics team has proposed a new concept that may allow selected cosmic extreme processes to be studied in the laboratory in the future. A special setup of two high-intensity laser beams could create conditions similar to those found near neutron stars, for example. An antimatter jet is generated and accelerated very efficiently, as the experts report.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:30:40 PM
    New research has been examining how alpine-based hedgehogs hibernate from a different perspective - their backs.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:29:50 PM
    New high-resolution observations clearly show a moon-forming region around exoplanet PDS 70c. The observations have allowed astronomers to determine the ring-shaped region's size and mass for the first time.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:56 PM
    Newly-hatched pterosaurs may have been able to fly but their flying abilities may have been different from adult pterosaurs, according to a new study. Researchers found that hatchling humerus bones were stronger than those of many adult pterosaurs, indicating that they would have been strong enough for flight.
  • Jul 22, 2021 3:28:44 PM
    A new survey of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, combines the capabilities of the Very Large Array and the Effelsberg telescope in Germany to provide astronomers with valuable new insights into how stars much more massive than the Sun are formed.
  • Jul 21, 2021 9:26:58 PM
    Exoskeletons - wearable devices used by workers on assembly lines or in warehouses to alleviate stress on their lower backs - may compete with valuable resources in the brain while people work, canceling out the physical benefits of wearing them, a new study suggests.
  • Jul 21, 2021 9:26:48 PM
    A team of scientists proposes that modulated quantum metasurfaces can control all properties of photonic qubits, a breakthrough that could impact the fields of quantum information, communications, sensing and imaging, as well as energy and momentum harvesting.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:57 PM
    Researchers have created butterflies that flap their wings, flower petals that wiggle with the touch of a button and self-folding origami drawing on new advances in soft robotics.
  • Jul 21, 2021 6:19:42 PM
    Rabbits were raised for over a thousand years in Mexico without becoming domesticated. A new study finds that their solitary lifestyle and greater species diversity made domestication unlikely.
  • Jul 21, 2021 4:07:32 PM
    Researchers have constructed a portable, thumb-sized device that diagnoses bad breath by quickly 'sniffing' exhalations for the gas that makes it stinky -- hydrogen sulfide.
  • Jul 21, 2021 4:07:26 PM
    Simulated swimming race times show a small number of times recorded on quartzite oscillator-based devices are off by margins large enough to determine winners.
  • Jul 21, 2021 4:07:20 PM
    Little is known about the weather at night on Venus as the absence of sunlight makes imaging difficult. Now, researchers have devised a way to use infrared sensors on board the Venus orbiter Akatsuki to reveal the first details of the nighttime weather of our nearest neighbor. Their analytical methods could be used to study other planets including Mars and gas giants as well.
  • Jul 21, 2021 4:06:57 PM
    An international team of researchers is combining soft scalp electronics and virtual reality in a brain-interface system.
  • Jul 21, 2021 2:24:29 PM
    Astronomersand engineers are building a new kind of astronomical telescope. SuperBIT flies above 99.5% of the Earth's atmosphere, carried by a helium balloon the size of a football stadium. The telescope will make its operational debut next April and when deployed should obtain high-resolution images rivaling those of the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Jul 21, 2021 2:23:49 PM
    Whether summer or winter, midnight sun or polar night, the sand on the ocean floor is always inhabited by the same bacteria. Although the microbial communities differ between different ocean regions, they do not change between the seasons. Presumably, there is simply no room for change. Researchers now describe this phenomenon in a new study.
  • Jul 21, 2021 2:22:51 PM
    A so-called 'strange metal', well-known for its unusual properties, has been shown to be a superconductor at very low temperatures. This allows scientists to study the connection between 'strange metal'-behavior and superconductivity, which could be an important step towards understanding the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity.
  • Jul 20, 2021 10:58:21 PM
    A new fiber, made by genetically engineered bacteria is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar.
  • Jul 20, 2021 4:23:51 PM
    To better understand how familiarity impacts social fishes, a group of research scientists studied this idea using schooling coral reef fish.
  • Jul 20, 2021 4:05:38 PM
    Scientists who study glacier ice have found viruses nearly 15,000 years old in two ice samples taken from the Tibetan Plateau in China. Most of those viruses, which survived because they had remained frozen, are unlike any viruses that have been cataloged to date.
  • Jul 20, 2021 3:44:32 PM
    A team of solar physicists has reported the discovery of global oscillations of the Sun with very long periods, comparable to the 27-day solar rotation period. The oscillations manifest themselves at the solar surface as swirling motions with speeds on the order of 5 kilometers per hour.
  • Jul 20, 2021 3:44:05 PM
    The most promising method to achieve real-world BCI applications is through electroencephalography, a method of monitoring the brain's electrical activity. EEG-based BCIs will require a number of technological advances prior to widespread use, but more importantly, they will raise a variety of social, ethical, and legal concerns. Researchers conducted a review of modern commercial brain-computer interface devices and discuss the primary technological limitations and humanitarian concerns of these devices.
  • Jul 20, 2021 3:43:40 PM
    Scientists have created an ultrathin magnet that operates at room temperature. The ultrathin magnet could lead to new applications in computing and electronics -- such as high-density, compact spintronic memory devices -- and new tools for the study of quantum physics.
  • Jul 20, 2021 3:43:30 PM
    When it comes to craft beer, the flavor doesn't have to be all in the hops. As a panel of amateur beer tasters at Washington State University recently demonstrated, malted barley, the number one ingredient in beer besides water, can have a range of desirable flavors too.
  • Jul 19, 2021 7:35:19 PM
    By uprooting carbon trapped in soil, wild pigs are releasing around 4.9 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually across the globe, the equivalent of 1.1 million cars, according to new research.
  • Jul 19, 2021 3:05:40 PM
    Astronomers have imaged the heart of the nearby radio galaxy Centaurus A in unprecedented detail.
  • Jul 19, 2021 3:05:38 PM
    Researchers have found that when fruit bats forage in the city (Tel Aviv), they are much more exploratory and enjoy the diversity of urban life, visiting a variety of fruit trees every night and tasting as wide a variety of foods as possible. In contrast, rural bats living in Beit Guvrin focus on only one or two fruit trees every night.
  • Jul 19, 2021 3:05:23 PM
    The final stage of cataclysmic explosions of dying massive stars, called supernovae, could pack an up to six times bigger punch on the surrounding interstellar gas with the help of cosmic rays, according to a new study.
  • Jul 18, 2021 11:14:25 PM
    New models of neutron stars show that their tallest mountains may be only fractions of millimeters high, due to the huge gravity on the ultra-dense objects.
  • Jul 16, 2021 5:15:41 PM
    A team of researchers has 3D printed a soft robotic hand that is agile enough to play Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. -- and win!
  • Jul 16, 2021 1:10:19 PM
    Researchers have developed a microswimmer that appears to defy the laws of fluid dynamics: their model, consisting of two beads that are connected by a linear spring, is propelled by completely symmetrical oscillations.
  • Jul 15, 2021 11:36:25 PM
    Scientists on the hunt for an unconventional kind of superconductor have produced the most compelling evidence to date that they've found one. Researchers have shown that uranium ditelluride displays many of the hallmarks of a topological superconductor -- a material that may unlock new ways to build quantum computers and other futuristic devices.
  • Jul 15, 2021 6:23:42 PM
    Jumping spiders can distinguish living from non-living objects in their peripheral vision using the same cues used by humans and other vertebrate animals, according to a new study.
  • Jul 15, 2021 6:23:21 PM
    Scientist demonstrated a new way of observing atoms as they move in a tiny quantum electronic switch as it operates. Along the way, they discovered a new material state that could pave the way for faster, more energy-efficient computing.
  • Jul 15, 2021 4:45:57 PM
    A new study has shown that it is possible to create tiny, self-powered swimming robots from three simple ingredients.
  • Jul 15, 2021 1:08:41 PM
    If you didn't have a brain, could you still navigate your surroundings? Thanks to new research on slime molds, the answer may be 'yes.' Scientists discovered that the brainless Physarum polycephalum uses its body to sense mechanical cues in its environment, and decides where to grow based on that information. This finding provides a model for understanding different types of cognition, including our own.
  • Jul 14, 2021 9:01:37 PM
    Domestic dogs show many adaptations to living closely with humans, but they do not seem to reciprocate food-giving according to a new study.
  • Jul 14, 2021 5:19:41 PM
    The quantum movements of a small glass sphere could be controlled for the first time in Vienna by combining microscopy with control engineering, setting the course for future quantum technologies.
  • Jul 14, 2021 5:19:35 PM
    A team of scientists has uncovered how heavy, motorized objects climb steep slopes -- a newly discovered mechanism that also mimics how rock climbers navigate inclines.
  • Jul 14, 2021 3:05:40 PM
    When there is a gas leak in a large building or at an industrial site, human firefighters currently need to go in with gas sensing instruments. Finding the gas leak may take considerable time, while they are risking their lives. Researchers have now developed the first swarm of tiny - and hence very safe - drones that can autonomously detect and localize gas sources in cluttered indoor environments.
  • Jul 14, 2021 3:05:31 PM
    A team of geneticists and archaeologists has sequenced the DNA from a 1,600-year-old sheep mummy from an ancient Iranian salt mine, Chehrabad. This remarkable specimen has revealed sheep husbandry practices of the ancient Near East, as well as underlining how natural mummification can affect DNA degradation.
  • Jul 14, 2021 3:05:06 PM
    An associate professor of marketing says digital avatars can replace a sales force and customer service employees at a fraction of the cost.
  • Jul 13, 2021 8:52:55 PM
    Astronomers see many periodic emissions from space, typically caused by rotation of stars and often very regular. Astrophysicists noticed a unique periodicity in the soft gamma ray emissions from a magnetar located in our galaxy. The soft gamma repeater SGR1935+2154 appears to emit bursts only within regularly spaced windows, and is inactive in between. Based on their analysis, they predicted a resumption of bursts last month; so far, a dozen have been detected.
  • Jul 13, 2021 4:03:33 PM
    Researchers have developed a new device that harvests energy from the sweat on -- of all places -- your fingertips. To date, the device is believed to be the most efficient on-body energy harvester ever invented, producing 300 millijoules (mJ) of energy per square centimeter without any mechanical energy input during a 10-hour sleep and an additional 30 mJ of energy with a single press of a finger.
  • Jul 13, 2021 3:08:22 PM
    New research shows how control over self-propelled microswimmers could be achieved using exotic materials named 'nematic liquid crystals' - whose viscosity and elasticity can vary depending on the direction of an applied force.
  • Jul 13, 2021 1:36:59 PM
    A research team revealed a newly developed hydrogel-based flexible brain-machine interface.
  • Jul 13, 2021 1:01:53 PM
    New research suggests that the demographic collapse at the core of the Easter Island myth didn't really happen.
  • Jul 12, 2021 10:33:29 PM
    Breakthrough article reveals multiple mechanisms for wing transparency in butterflies and moths; shows that wing transparency has evolved multiple times in lepidopterans.
  • Jul 12, 2021 7:03:23 PM
    Some microscopic bacteria in the ocean partner up with clams from the family Lucinidae, which live unseen in the sand beneath the shimmering blue waters of coastal habitats. This partnership is the clams' passport to their extensive global reach. The bacteria can also travel a long way. Scientists now show that the bacterial symbionts living in lucinid gills can travel the world without borders.
  • Jul 12, 2021 4:22:02 PM
    Astronomers have made the rare sighting of two stars spiralling to their doom by spotting the tell-tale signs of a teardrop-shaped star.
  • Jul 12, 2021 4:21:37 PM
    Researchers have developed a sensor that can be implanted anywhere in the body -- for example, under the tip of a severed finger. The sensor connects to another nerve that functions properly and restores tactile sensation to the injured nerve. The development is biocompatible and does not require electricity, wires, or batteries.
  • Jul 12, 2021 4:21:20 PM
    In the vicinity of black holes, space is so warped that even light rays may curve around them several times. This phenomenon may enable us to see multiple versions of the same thing. While this has been known for decades, only now do we have an exact, mathematical expression.
  • Jul 12, 2021 2:22:18 PM
    For 30 years, University of Tokyo Associate Professor Hisayoshi Nozaki has visited the Sagami River to collect algal samples to understand how living things evolved different sexes. The threes sexes of the Pleodorina starrii algae are male, female, and a third sex called bisexual in reference to the fact that it can produce both male and female sex cells in a single genotype and exists due to normal expression of the species' genes.