Science of Baseball: Fastball Reaction Time…
imitates a 90-mph fastball thrown by a major league pitcher. While this exhibit doesn’t test if you could actually hit a fastball, it does test whether you could react in time to hit one. When you see the “swing batter” screen, a signal in your eye sends a message to a part of your brain that controls your muscles. Your brain must then send a signal to your muscles, telling them to click.
It will tell you to swing at random times, so wait for it. I haven’t gotten a hit yet.
Scientists Develop Antidote for Burping Sheep. Now now, don’t jump to conclusions about how stupid this is; these aren’t just bored scientists; there’s a good reason they did this:
Scientists have developed a serum to reduce methane gas in burping sheep, cows and other ruminants to combat global warming, a German magazine reported on Monday.
Sheep produce 20 grams of methane each day, or seven kg per year, the magazine with 80,000 subscribers reported. Cows produce about 114 kg per year of methane (CH4) — a gas 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for driving up temperatures.
‘Virgin birth’ mammal rewrites rules of biology:
A mammal that is the daughter of two female parents has been created for the first time.
Until now such a feat had been considered biologically impossible. But the mouse, called Kaguya, was born without the involvement of any sperm or male cell – only female eggs were needed.
How’d they do it?
This was far from simple. Perhaps the most important of the many steps required was the creation of eggs that produced a protein called IGF-2. This is crucial to embryo growth but is normally only produced by sperm-derived DNA. The researchers achieved the trick by using genetically altered mice to provide the donated eggs.
Christian dinosaur hunters dig for signs of Biblical dragons:
Countless dinosaur bones lie buried in the rocks of South Dakota but the Christians excavating one remote cliff-face were digging not just for reptilian vertebrae but for the hand of God.
Evolution is “the dumbest and most dangerous idea in the history of humanity”, said Kent Hovind, a vocal enthusiast for the cause who also runs the theme park in Florida. Explaining his Creationist creed, he said: “We think dinosaurs were part of the normal Creation and were just big lizards. Noah took some of them on the Ark, probably babies, when the floods came.”
Stop Animal Patents:
Just like toasters, clocks, and other inanimate object inventions, animals are being patented in the United States. Private companies, universities, and individual “bioentrepreneurs,” have been granted over 470 patents on animals such as monkeys, mice, dogs, cats, sheep, and chimpanzees.
Animals can be, but do not have to be, genetically manipulated to be patented. Other examples of animal patents include those on animals who have been exposed to bacteria to infect them, surgically altered, or given a vaccine.
That’s bizarre, and raises some ethical questions.
Canada’s patent laws don’t allow this type of thing according to a ruling from Canada’s Federal Court System:
Several important features possessed by animals distinguish them from both micro-organisms and plants and remove them even further from being considered a ‘composition of matter’ or a ‘manufacture.’ In particular, the capacity to display emotion and complexity of reaction and to direct behaviour in a manner that is not predictable as stimulus and response, is unique to animal forms of life.