Weird Science News
By Bhagyashree Behera
As the summer of 2019 ends, hundreds of new and exciting scientific discoveries have been brought to light. Below are five of the most exciting and intriguing scientific developments which includes everything from aliens to growing skin in a lab!
1) The Destruction of the Most Important Ecosystem on Earth
a. Deforestation caused by wildfires are common and often occur in very dry climates. Brazil and other countries around the world had been experiencing a drought caused by decreased rainfall. Farmers often burn their property (which is illegal, especially during dry spells) to clear the area and plant their new crops. However, these fires soon began to spread all throughout the Amazonian. Cities in Brazil are covered in a thick grey fog as a result of the millions of acres which has been completely destroyed.
The photo above shows the massive level of destruction caused by illegal burning of farms and properties. The Brazilian government as well as other foreign leaders are currently strategizing the best way to end these fires. If the forest continues to burn, one of the most important ecosystems on Earth will be destroyed, and its effects will be irreversible.
2) A Goat Herder’s Outstanding Discovery
How many times have you ever dug something in your backyard and hoped to find a rare mineral or bones? Apparently, goat herder Ali Bereino had always hoped to discover rare fossils in northeastern Ethiopia, but, he had never thought that he would discover a rare fossil in his own backyard! Bereino desperately wanted a job as an archeologist in Haile-Selassie’s archeological team when he found the remains of a fossil from 3.8 million years ago. The goat herder was placing his goats into a small concave he dug into the ground when suddenly he noticed something odd in the soil. Bereino and Haile-Selassie’s team began to excavate until they had recovered all remaining pieces of the fossilized structure. After studying the bones, it was discovered that the fossils proved that there was a species known as Australopithecus anamnesis.
(picture credits: sciencemag.org)
The picture above depicts the completed structure of the skull which Bereino discovered. It took months to excavate and find all the fossilized bone and it took three years to carefully examine all the pieces. This discovery allows scientists to understand that Australopithecus Afarensis- most commonly known by the structure of a female named Lucy- was most likely a descendent of the species whose skull Bereino discovered. Needless to say, Bereino was offered a job and is now dedicated to finding more groundbreaking fossils.
3) A Sweat-Proof Suit
Sweat is a completely normal bodily response to stress, heat, and anxiety. However, sweat also comes with a very distinct and appalling body odor which can be very off-putting. Scientists are hoping to create the perfect suit, named “Skin II”, to combat human body odor. The designer and founder of the “Skin II” suit, Rosie Broadhead, recently discovered that sweat is only pungent when the bacteria on the skin is reacting to the perspiration. This bacteria can’t simply disappear with a shower or deodorant. Humans take many measures, such as taking a bath, applying deodorant, spraying perfume or cologne, to mask the scent of the activated bacteria. Broadhead is simply approaching the idea of sweat in a slightly different way. Rather than depending on fragrances to mask the scent of human odor, she is designing a suit which contains live bacteria. The bacteria on our skin can be combatted by the bacteria in the suit and helps to fight odor when sweating. The active bacteria in the suit is known as probiotic bacteria which can also be found on human skin. Broadhead and micro-biologist Chris Callewaert hope to make “Skin II” a global merchandise by designing and marketing it as sportswear.
(Above is a picture of a model wearing “Skin II”, which has been designed as a sports jacket. Picture provided by mirror.co.uk.)
The live probiotic bacteria in the suit is very beneficial to the body as the interactions it will have with the “bad” bacteria on the skin will increase the cell turnover rate. This is great as it will promote healthy and glowing skin. With a suit like this, gyms and other work out areas may actually smell normal.
4) Scientists Create Controllable Eye Lenses
There have been many technological advancements made to robotic body parts meant to enhance human abilities. The newest innovation in robotic body parts focuses on enhancing the capabilities of human sight. Scientists in U.C. San Diego created a robotic lens which can be controlled by humans. This lens was created by studying and detecting the electrical impulses sent to the brain. This robotic lens is controlled by the movements of the human, which includes blinking, shifting the eyes, and even rolling the eyes. The work of U.C. San Diego scientists has only begun, as now they can hopefully work on enhancing the eyesight, even for the blind.
That’s all for the first edition of Weird Science News! If you have any crazy stories to talk about, contact IGlobe Editor: Kendall Haney or IGlobe Science Editor: Bhagyashree Behera.