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Catching up with Science!

by Coffee Table Science
There is a lot that is going around in the world and there is only so much time on our hands. Because we do so much of reading (you know, for obvious reasons) we are happy to bring to you the most interesting stories every month, published on other blog, news sites  and university website feeds. 

Worms that have three sexes

worm - three sexes
This is however, an earthworm!

Now here’s a fun story that you can throw around in a group discussion to grab a few head turns. The worm in question is the Auanema rhodensis, a curious little (quite little) being that is found in the Connecticut and Virginia. Now three sexes in invertebrates are not uncommon, from earthworms to snails and even many fish are hermaphrodites. But what makes these A rhodensis so special is that they are self-fertilising   hermaphrodites, which is not heard of, at least till now. Diane Shakes professor of Biology at the College of William and Mary is one of the authors of the paper that speaks about these curious little specimens. You can read the full article here.

Music and goose bumps

music and goose bumps
Music gives the chills

Have you ever had that moment, when you are sitting there with your earplugs in your ear listening to your favourite music track and when the music crescendos and reaches its peak; at that moment you are overcome by a sensation that makes your hair stand on its end. If your answer is yes, then you come into the special lot. A study done at the Harvard University found that not every one receives music the same way, and this distinction is not just behavioural but physiological. Brain structures of those that connect deeply with music were different from those who dint. You can read further on this here.

When Tattoos mean much more

Do Not Resuscitate
Tattoos can be deep

Some get it because they lost a bet to a friend and some get it because it is the thing to do at the moment, but tattoos have always been around making their presence felt in some way or the other. But it is the meaning of those tattoos (or not) that really matter, and in some rare cases it can mean choosing between life and death. The University of Miami Hospital last summer received a terribly ill man in his 70 in an unconscious state. On proceeding to resuscitate him (which was protocol) they noticed the tattoo on his chest reading ‘Do Not Resuscitate’. This article is an interesting read and you can find it here.

Bored, you are not alone

bored dog
Bored canine

For a while now intelligence, emotions, empathy and playfulness were thought to be strictly human traits, but as we study other species and observe them, it’s become clearer to us that we have been gravely naïve. Not only do animals demonstrate intelligence and emotion they also are capable of empathy and enjoy playing and laugh from time to time. A recent study added to this list and found that animals even get bored and guess what according to some animal boredom is a serious issue. (Read article here)

Plants are not far behind

plants and senses
flowers that smile- literally

If the animal kingdom has just started to surprise us, imagine how much we don’t know about plants. We are just realising how naïve we were about plants too, with studies that look into how plants attack herbivores, to how they turn worms against each other just to protect themselves. This decade has seen many universities and research labs looking into how plants protect themselves. This is taken a step further by a group of researchers at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, who are looking at how plants sense the world, article here.


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