School is back in session and so is the Ontarion! This week, I wrote about tiny creatures that drives most of us completely crazy: Mosquitoes.
I enjoy camping or going out for walks in the woods, but, sadly, I have always had to prepare myself mentally for the impending onslaught of mosquitoes whenever I do so. I don’t know many people who enjoy the company of these flying insects, but some people are less bothered by them than others.
Sure, some of these people have a higher tolerance, but a lucky few simply don’t get bitten as often as most of us do.
I have always wondered why that would be and now there’s an answer! As it turns out, mosquitoes are attracted to certain combinations of skin microbiota and are repelled by others. The bacteria present on my skin is the culprit! Read the article I wrote on this subject in this week’s issue of the Ontarion, the University of Guelph’s independent student newspaper, to find out more.
Top 3 Science Links
I was terribly excited about writing this post today because I had so many interesting science articles to choose from. Here’s the cream of the crop:
The scincid lizards (Bassiana duperreyi) might be one of the few reptiles to benefit from global warming. Lizard eggs were incubated in warm and cold conditions. The resulting juvenile lizards from the warm treatment were found to be smarter than the cold treatment ones because they didn’t escape to an inaccessible hideout when startled.
DNA is great for using in electronics because it reacts well with metal. It can be used to develop biopolymers that can form thinner films than non-DNA polymers. The researchers used DNA from Salmon testes, which is readily available, cheap and biofriendly, to make a thin DNA-nanoparticle film.
They were able to write data onto the film thanks to a laser. You can read the data by sending a current through the film. This type of data storage device isn’t rewritable for now but this is an incredibly cool DNA application nonetheless!
This little pill has successfully allowed researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to investigate a patient’s digestive track. The capsule is equipped with a camera and can be steered thanks to an MRI machine. Pictures are uploaded onto a screen wirelessly. Amazing.
Science Video of the week
Finally, a CAT video! Ever wondered what makes cats react to catnip the way they do? Watch this video.