Zombies, aurora and unboiling eggs, huh?!
Sutherland Shire Libraries Tuesday, August 02, 2016What do these have in common? Science brings them to life...well maybe not the zombies, as they have to be dead to be zombies, right?
National Science Week provides the impetus to explore this pressing question, as we gear up for the ANSTO Future Vision Quiz.
|Ant colonised by zombie virus|
Scientific knowledge tells us they are created by a humble fungus.
Cordyceps unilateralis spore infects the carpenter ant, takes over it's brain and keeps it alive just long enough for it to be steered to a place where the fungus likes to grow and then it immobilises the ant. It uses the ant's body for sustanence to grow and produce more spores which will drop onto more unsuspecting ants, who will in turn become zombie slaves!
|No chance for dinosaur eggs though!|
Begun by a science magazine editor who decided to celebrate the funny and the curious, he includes research which provides a laughable moment and then makes him think! Past winners of the Less noble Nobels have been in Safety Engineering for 'developing and testing a suit of armour impervious to grissly bears', and in Veterinary Medicine for showing 'that cows who have names give more milk than those who are nameless'.
In the 2015 awards two Australian scientific teams were honoured. One with the Biology award for unboiling an egg! Although this could seem like a waste of effort the Vortex Fluidic Device built to do the job is now being used for many other applications including creating biodiesal much more cleanly.
The other prize winners in Linguistics found that Huh! is a universal word in every language studied. The same sound and meaning, the only word ever found to be so. This has wider implications for how language is studied generally, and our understanding of human development.
Go to Science Research Center with any and all your moments of curiosity and open worlds of discovery. Just type in your library card number and pin for full access.
Pictures supplied by Brittanica Image Quest