10 coolest things I learned this month

By | 25/02/2015

Trout are as clever as chimps

Fish aren’t usually considered the brightest of animals but intelligent hunting behaviour, only witnessed before in humans and chimpanzees, has now been seen in coral trout and eels. The trout chases the prey into a narrow gap while the eel lies in wait. The trout benefits by feasting on the victims the eel fails to catch.

New molecule found for faster gadgets

Two forms of carbon – one shaped like a football and another like a diamond – have joined forces to create a molecule that only conducts electricity in one direction. Known as a buckydiamondoid, this new
synthetic molecule could well be useful for smaller, faster and more effi cient electronic devices to be developed in the future.

Rice is dried on Chinese roads

Chinese farmers have found that one of themost effectiveways to dry huge quantities of rice is to lay it down in themiddle of a street and use the draft of passing vehicles to removemoisture from the grains after the harvest.

Mammals existed 160 million years ago

New fossil evidence has shown that squirrel-like creatures scurried around Earth over 160 million years ago, 40 million years before it was believed mammals first existed. They are part of a new Euharamiyida
group that shared the world with dinosaurs.

Babies can go on a spa break

We all love a good soak once in a while, but don’t babies deserve one too? The Float Baby Spa in Texas is the first-ever baby spa in the USA and will allow infants to take a supervised dip in purified water before drying off in anti-microbial towels and getting a massage. Over 300 babies as little as two weeks old have taken the dip since it opened earlier this year.

Footballers can produce electricity

A football pitch in Rio de Janeiro can harness the kinetic energy given off by players. When one of the 200 energycapturing tiles is stepped on, a series of cogs turn an electric generator. It is hoped that this system can power even larger areas in the future with tiles already in use in airports and shopping centres.

Europa is more Earth-like than we think

Jupiter’s moon Europa has always been seen as a possible location of alien life and now geological activity has been spotted on the satellite as well. Scientists have now witnessed old crust being destroyed to make way for new icy plates. Europa’s surface is riddled with tectonic ridges and cracks and is the most Earth-like body in the Solar System.

A new way to battle flu

A new therapeutic shot has been approved for use in Japan and South Korea to cure the symptoms of flu. The injection works using neuraminidase, a viral protein contained in bacteria. The drug is known as peramivir and its creators at the University of Alabama say that it will be most suited to people who are already hospitalised or are immune-compromised.

Graphene to aid water purification

Graphene has long been touted as an important discovery for humankind, but now another use has been found for the ground-breaking material. Reports claim that graphene oxide could be used as a noncorrosive paint coating that will stop metal rusting. The world’s thinnest substance and also one of the strongest, graphene will help the longevity of structures and aid worldwide water purification with rusty pipelines a thing of the past.

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