Catochromatograph, Headaches, Plant Nyctinasty Horror, and 2 Trivial Superpowers

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has five segments. Here are bits of each of them: Catochromatograph — Laboratories looking to purchase a highly efficient coiled parallel gas chromatograph could save money by instead adopting and adapting a cat. Perhaps. A study called “Domestic cat nose functions as a highly efficient coiled […]

Flowery polymorphic perversion / Screwing up / Plant on meat

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Flowery polymorphic perversion — … Grażyna Gajewska at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland is one of the few academics who is now overtly studying polymorphic perversion on a broad, societal level. Her recent treatise “Polymorphic perversion […]

Plants can take-up microplastics – should we be happy about it? [new study]

“Waiter, there’s plastic in my lettuce” isn’t a phrase you’d expect to hear very often. Nevertheless, several studies have now shown that plants can, and do, take-up microplastics [MPs] from the soil and incorporate them into stems, roots and leaves. Should we be worried – or happy? The latter is a possibility that should be […]

Double helix conductors and their ‘extraordinary promise’ (new patents)

Medical Energetics Ltd. of Galway, Ireland, has just been granted (Nov. 2018) a US patent for the invention of ‘Agricultural applications of a double helix conductor’ (DHC) The extraordinariness of which can probably only be appreciated by reading the patent document [click link or image above]. The company has also applied for another patent (March […]

Troy’s invention makes human hair grow, and also plants, Troy reports, reportedly

Troy Hurtubise, who won an Ig Nobel Prize in 1998 for devising and personally testing a suit of armor that he hopes will protect him against grizzly bears, has now invented and personally tested a machine that promotes the growth of hair on human heads, and also promotes the growth of plants, Chris Dawson of […]

“Corpse Treatment Method”: The body of a tree, so to speak and also literally

This patent application describes how to use a human corpse to grow part of a copse: “Corpse Treatment Method,” U.S. Patent Application 12/160,699, Evert Dirk Van Ramshorst, filed January 15, 2007. “A new form of corpse treatment has also been developed: freeze-drying or lyophilization. In freeze-drying the body of the deceased is cooled to -18° […]