Cosmos Magazine - Email Summaries by Jevan Pipitone

  1. (2019mar29) Researchers discover how mosquitoes know where you are - Disabling a specific protein makes them lose interest in using humans as food sources. The Aedes aegypti mosquito relies on a cell-surface protein called an ionotropic receptor (Ir8a) to detect the smell of humans and human sweat. When it is disrupted, the insects lose this ability. The researchers posit that lactic and carboxylic acids, which occur in human sweat, might be how the insects distinguish humans from other vertebrate hosts. Mosquitos are sensitive to smell, carbon dioxide and heat, all of which have an influence on their host-seeking behaviour.
  2. (2019feb27) Scientists turn carbon dioxide into coal at room temperature - The international team led by RMIT University in Australia developed a liquid-metal electrocatalyst that transforms gaseous carbon dioxide directly into carbon-containing solids at room temperature. The catalyst, which is based on non-toxic gallium alloys, also prevents coking - where solid carbon sticks to the catalyst surface - which has been a problem in previous work in this area.
  3. (2019feb22) Revealed: the carrot of youth - Japanese salad vegetable, the flowering ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) plant, traditionally used in Asian medicine, contains a flavonoid called 4,4'-dimethoxychalcone, or DMC. European researchers discovered the substance's superior health benefits when testing 180 subclasses of flavonoids for their anti-ageing properties.
  4. (2019jan22) 'Blindsight' explained: there's a neural shortcut - Some people who report an inability to see are still able to navigate and react to sudden movements or facial emotions correctly and above chance. "You ask someone with blindsight how they know where to navigate to, and they will tell you, I don't know, I just had a feeling. And understanding where that feeling comes from is fascinating.". A much-debated possible explanation has been that an independent pathway in the brain bypasses the visual cortex, carrying information from the eyes to the thalamus and from there straight to the amygdala, a brain region responsible for processing emotional information. Comment by Jevan: I think everyone has a doppleganger, a duplicate person in a parallel reality that has the same awareness and consciousness and memory as you (your two brains are invisibly linked) and they can control you (for example automatic writing, automatic music performance, automatism, genius including thinking up science and engineering ideas and innovation, and knowing without being told. So that this 'Blindsight' is just the doppleganger who can see, knowing what you want to do and giving you the intuition to do it.
  5. (2019jan17) The 10 most exciting robotics developments of the past 12 months - Ten robotics technologies of the year
  6. (2019jan11) The Cow is actually the formation of an accreting black hole or neutron star - Gone in a flash. The cosmic Cow was just visible as one of two bright spots in the lower right quadrant of the spiral galaxy classified as CGCG 137-068.
  7. (2019jan9) Coming soon: the chilli tomato - Gene-editing could turn a salad favourite into a mouth-burning powerhouse.

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Web Page by Jevan Pipitone
6 April 2019

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