Recent Science Discoveries that are Strange

Strange but useful inventions based on discoveries of how this or that work take many forms and are designed for varied uses from medical devices to measuring instruments to the downright nosy and nonsensical. At least nosy and nonsensical to those who would never have dreamed of such a device and cannot imagine what good will ever come of it.

Discoveries helping Medical Scientists:

“Smart Bra Does Breast Cancer Screening” was one such headline from Live Science that caused a smile of disbelief and then after a paragraph or two the realization that some scientist is up to something good and useful.

This U.K. invention is a bra padded with a built in microwave antennae. Data is collected from the embedded microchips that generate computer images. It is alleged to be a low-risk device and non-invasive. The reasoning behind this invention: women wearing this bra can detect cancer from its outset. Who can argue with that?

Discoveries having potential for medical science proliferate, including how naturally occurring intestinal proteins can work toward eradicating hookworm infestation in laboratory animals. Previously this protein, used in a spray, has been useful to organic farmers. New uses for products already in use are a common practice in the science of medicine.

Strange indeed, but much needed, is a ‘connective map’, a genetic roadmap connecting human disease to the drug needed to treat it. It is in the works, and is comparable to a genetic search engine and shows great promise.

In Chicago a school of dentistry is studying how wounds heal; an old drug, Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug used primarily for the extreme pain of gout, has been found to be useful in treating liver cancer; a chemical used in fragrance manufacturing is useful in treating head lice; and most welcome of all, the University of Minnesota is working on a new tool to stomp out super bugs, the antibiotic resistant tough guys in the pathogenic battlefield.

From Science Daily comes news of a nanogenerator that can harvest energy from the environment. It is for small scale use and is designed to replace batteries in small devices.

Cardiff University scientists are among those seeking to learn more about the recent discovery that the earth’s crust is missing from the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

Odds and Ends and New Beginnings from Discovery Buzz:

But the strangest discoveries are being reported by Discovery Buzz, an online site that gathers news of strange, but interesting, and most often true, reports where ever they can be found.

(Science Daily offered up many such reports.) Amazon rain forest explorers have discovered forty new species, including a bird and a tree rat. In other oceanographic areas, a “walking shark” that makes good use of its fins to walk on the ocean floor has been found.

Sea ice is shrinking, iron can now be produced with less damage to the air, a puffy light weight planet has been found, the oldest writing sample from the ancient Americas has been discovered, a 200-year-old seed sprouts, a three-million-year-old fossil of a young girl has been recovered in Ethiopia…this is what has been keeping scientists busy since the last time we looked in on them.

Strange, Strange, Strange.

The weirdest of all is news reported from Pravda, a Russian newspaper. They claim, say Discovery Buzz, that scientists there have discovered where ghosts come from. Topping that, almost, is news that South Korea is seeking to discover the secret that will allow people to stay perpetually young. They are old enough to know that is a worthwhile dream but only that, a dream.

I would recommend other options, like wanting to know what lies on the other side. I also would like to point out to New Zealand that their sheep need some privacy. What they are doing, it is reported, is attaching global positioning system collars around their necks to snoop on them. The scientists want to know if they are bored and seek to find out by observation of how they use their farmland.

Global positioning systems answer the questions, who am I, where am I, where are you, how do I get to there from here, and maybe other such data. If I were a sheep I would say, “look, I give you my wool, what else do you want?