ScienceDaily: Quirky - October 11, 2023
Top quirky research news
Researchers describe an acoustic meta-surface that uses pingpong balls, with small holes punctured in each, as Helmholtz resonators to create inexpensive but effective low-frequency sound insulation. The coupling between two resonators led to two resonance frequencies, and more resonant frequencies meant the device was able to absorb more sound. At the success of two coupled resonators, the researchers added more, until their device resembled a square sheet of punctured pingpong balls, multiplying the number of resonant frequencies that could be absorbed.
Twelve people crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowing boat. One of them was Ciara Burns, a scientist, who moniored her own heartbeat. Now the data was analyzed and the results were published: It turns out that the variability of the heart rate provides a lot of information about physical and mental wellbeing.
Palaeontologists discover molecular evidence of phaeomelanin, the pigment that produces ginger coloration. Phaeomelanin is now toxic to animals – this discovery may be first step in understand its evolution.
New research reaffirms that human footprints found in White Sands National Park, NM, date to the Last Glacial Maximum, placing humans in North America thousands of years earlier than once thought. In September 2021, scientists announced that ancient human footprints discovered in White Sands National Park were between 21,000 and 23,000 years old. This discovery pushed the known date of human presence in North America back by thousands of years and implied that early inhabitants and megafauna co-existed for several millennia before the terminal Pleistocene extinction event. In a follow-up study, researchers used two new independent approaches to date the footprints, both of which resulted in the same age range as the original estimate.
Imagine a life form that doesn't resemble any of the organisms found on the tree of life. One that has its own unique control system, and that a doctor would want to send into your body. It sounds like a science fiction movie, but according to nanoscientists, it can—and should—happen in the future.
Scientists have detected the highest energy gamma rays ever from a dead star called a pulsar. The energy of these gamma rays clocked in at 20 tera-electronvolts, or about ten trillion times the energy of visible light. This observation is hard to reconcile with the theory of the production of such pulsed gamma rays, as the international team reports.
A pair of theoretical physicists are reporting that the same observations inspiring the hunt for a ninth planet might instead be evidence within the solar system of a modified law of gravity originally developed to understand the rotation of galaxies.
Bumblebees have a remarkably successful method for fighting off Asian hornets, new research shows.
Scholars have discovered evidence of a sixth basic taste. The tongue responds to ammonium chloride, a popular ingredient in some Scandinavian candies. The OTOP1 protein receptor, previously linked to sour taste, is activated by ammonium chloride. The ability to taste ammonium chloride may have evolved to help organisms avoid harmful substances.
Fossil researchers have discovered a novel genus and species of tiny wasp with a mysterious, bulbous structure at the end of each antenna.
Can artificial intelligence (AI) get hungry? Develop a taste for certain foods? Not yet, but a team of researchers is developing a novel electronic tongue that mimics how taste influences what we eat based on both needs and wants, providing a possible blueprint for AI that processes information more like a human being.