Friday, October 17, 2014

The Friday Five

Highlighting some of the coolest science news we’ve seen lately.

1. People living with type I diabetes may have something to celebrate as scientists have successfully used human embryonic stem cells to generate beta cells. These insulin-producing cells could one day be transplanted into humans.

2. How do you ward off the obnoxious guy who won’t leave you alone in a bar? Female squid of the species Doryteuthis opalescens can steer males away by turning on fake testes. Interestingly, when the females turn on the testes, they also get a pay raise at work.

Since human females can’t turn on testes like a squid, a fake moustache might be sufficient to keep unwanted men away.
3. Blinded by the light? Neuroscientists have successfully erased specific memories in mice…using light. But they are not using this knowledge for evil, they used it to demonstrate how different parts of the brain - the hippocampus and cortex - work together to retrieve memories.

Bono remembers everything about the ‘90s because he adequately shielded his eyes from the light.
4. Still “cleaning” your ears with Q-tip swabs? Learn more about your ear wax and why you should not interfere with it.

5. Check out these amazing photos of flowers that look like other things.

A kiss from a rose...
Science quote of the week:

“Science moves with the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty.” – James D. Watson

Contributed by:  Bill Sullivan
Follow Bill on Twitter: @wjsullivan

Tanaka, K., Pevzner, A., Hamidi, A., Nakazawa, Y., Graham, J., & Wiltgen, B. (2014). Cortical Representations Are Reinstated by the Hippocampus during Memory Retrieval Neuron DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.09.037

DeMartini DG, Ghoshal A, Pandolfi E, Weaver AT, Baum M, & Morse DE (2013). Dynamic biophotonics: female squid exhibit sexually dimorphic tunable leucophores and iridocytes. The Journal of experimental biology, 216 (Pt 19), 3733-41 PMID: 24006348

Pagliuca, F., Millman, J., Gürtler, M., Segel, M., Van Dervort, A., Ryu, J., Peterson, Q., Greiner, D., & Melton, D. (2014). Generation of Functional Human Pancreatic β Cells In Vitro Cell, 159 (2), 428-439 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.040

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