"one of the unfortunate consequences of being a mammal"

Best headline ever: Whale Flatulence Stuns Scientists.

The researchers claim this is the first photograph of a minke whale letting one go in the icy waters of Antarctica. It was taken from the bow of a research vessel. "We got away from the bow of the ship very quickly ... it does stink," said Nick Gales, a research scientist from the Australian Antarctic Division. [...]

However, the episode did not detract from their mission, which was to collect DNA from whale dung and attach satellite tracking devices in the first research of its kind to track where the creatures go and what and how much they eat.

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Night of the Lepus

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo

Scientists in China have, for the first time, used cloning techniques to create hybrid embryos that contain a mix of DNA from both humans and rabbits [...] More than 100 of the hybrids, made by fusing human skin cells with rabbit eggs, were allowed to develop in laboratory dishes for several days before the scientists destroyed them to retrieve so-called embryonic stem cells from their interiors. Although scientists in Massachusetts had previously mixed human cells and cow eggs in a similar attempt to make hybrid embryos as a source of stem cells, those experiments were not successful. [...]

The team said it retrieved foreskin tissue from two 5-year-old boys and two men, and facial tissue from a 60-year-old woman, as a source of skin cells. They fused those cells with New Zealand rabbit eggs from which the vast majority of rabbit DNA had been removed. More than 400 of those new, fused entities grew into early embryos, and more than 100 survived to the blastocyst stage -- the point at which coveted stem cells begin to form.

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Say it! Say you love your new robot masters! SAY IT!

Robots display force-protection prowess

Demonstrations included one robot that crawled up walls and across ceilings, another that clambered over rocks with six rotating legs and a third that wriggled like a snake through a pipe. [...]

Among the robots shown in action was the "Wall Crawler," which can motor up walls and across ceilings on six wheels. It adheres to various surfaces, including brick walls, by means of a louvered fan that creates a low-pressure region between two adjacent surfaces, said Bryce Wiedeman, vice president of operations for Avionic Instruments Inc.

The 8.5-by-6.5-inch robot can be equipped with a video camera on a boom, he said, "that allows us to take a little peek around a corner or over a ledge into a window." He said it works even more efficiently underwater, moving around by remote control on the hull of a ship to send back video for safety examinations.

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xscreensaver 4.12

xscreensaver 4.12 out now.

Bring a friend and share a miracle.

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