Monday, 29 October 2012

Elephants and bees.

Dr Lucy King at Oxford discovered or re-discovered that elephants are afraid of bees, which sting their eyes and trunks. In Kenya she devised a scheme for suspending specially adapted beehives on very thin fence wire.  When elephants rattle the fence wire bees sting them and they flee.  Lives and animals and crops have been saved.  A beneficial outcome.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Interesting apps

A couple of apps you might like to try:

1.  Scape produced by Brian Eno - experiment with soundscapes.

2. ItunesU - gives quick access to thousands of academic sources of info on multitude of subjects.  Most are course material from Unis and colleges - all free.

Good hunting


Monday, 8 October 2012

Stem Cells

Good news that the Nobel prize for Medicine etc has gone to two pioneers of stem cell research, John Gurdon from the UK and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan.

Wish I understood how skin cells (etc) could be 'reprogrammed'. I thought specialisation of cells was all to do with which genes are switched on or off - thousands of switches. I'm sure that's what Steve Jones said on In Our Time last month!

BTW I love the new background: light blue, very celestial.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Eureka Oct 2012

A couple of ‘scientific’ studies to brighten your day, quoted from The Times Eureka magazine

Page 11: “Few things are more frustrating than teaching an elderly relative to use a computer (‘The mouse has to be in contact with the desk, Grandad...’)   [Cheek!]
“But ... a study in Australia has shown that the more older men use computers, the less likely they are to develop dementia...”

Also page 11: “Swiss scientists are testing a sheep collar that protects the animals from wolves. It monitors Flossie’s heart rate and if it’s too high sprays a wolf repellant and sends a text message to the shepherd.”

[Thus brightening the life of the lonely goatherd, high on a hill ?]