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Spectacular Science Specifics
There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.
71.Scientists believe that all vertebrates (animals with backbones) evolved from giant tadpoles, 6 centimetres (2.5 inches) long, that swam around 550 million years ago.
72.Scientists investigating tumour growth added a gene from a firefly to make a glow-in-thedark tumour.The tumour is visible through the skin of a test animal, so scientists can see if it grows or shrinks.
73.Scientists working on transplant techniques grew a human ear on the back of a mouse. The ear is moulded using human cartilage cells, and nourished by the mouse's blood as it grows.
74.Scraping mould off your food doesn't get rid of it – behind the fuzzy part you can see, strings extend into the food up to nine times the length of the visible part.
75.Snake venom is not normally poisonous if swallowed because stomach acid alters the chemicals in it.
76.Some animals respond to small amounts of poisonous gas and have been used as early warning systems. German soldiers kept cats in the trenches of the First World War to smell gas, and British miners kept budgies in cages because they died quickly if gas escaped into the mine.
77.Some people – most of them in the USA – claim that they have been abducted by aliens from space while they slept, had their bodies experimented on and sometimes their minds changed, and were then returned to Earth.
78.Some scientists think that being too clean might make us ill – some studies suggest that people need to eat a small amount of dirt in order to kick start their immune systems. Not learning to fight infections can lead to asthma and other allergic problems.
79.Some wealthy people have their bodies cryopreserved (deep-frozen) when they die, in the hope that in the future someone will find a cure for their cause of death and resurrect them.The popular urban legend that Walt Disney was cryopreserved is false; he was cremated.
80.The Australian 1991 Inventor of the Year Award was won by the designer of a cockroach zapper. The roach is lured into a trap with food, then electrocuted.
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