The World’s Longest-Running Experiment Started in 1879 and Will End in 2100

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Since the late 19th century, botanists at the Michigan State University have been collaborating on a single seed-germination experiment. Now in its 137th year, it is turning out to be the world’s longest recurrently monitored scientific study. It will end in the year 2100, which means most of us won’t even be around for the final result.

The world’s longest-running experiment  started out in the fall of 1879, when Dr. William James Beal, a botanist, set-out to find a conclusive answer to the one question that farmers have been asking for centuries: How many times do you have to pull out weeds before they entirely stop growing back? Beal realised that to answer the question, he needed to work it out for real – by finding out exactly how long seeds could remain dormant in soil while still remaining viable.

So he devised an experiment that would, in centuries, provide the answer he was looking for. He put together a collection of seeds of 23 different plant types and decided to leave them dormant for years, before checking if they would still germinate. He placed 50 seeds of each variety in each of 20 narrow-necked glass bottles filled with moist sand, and buried them in a secret spot on the university campus.

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Blind Woman with Multiple Personalities Can See When She Is a Teenage Boy

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Despite our many technological advancements, the human brain is still a big mystery, as proven by the recently published case of a German woman who, although legally blind, has her sight miraculously restored at times. The 37-year-old suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), and apparently has perfect vision when she switches to eight out of her ten personalities.

The woman, only referred to by her initials B.T., first went to see German psychotherapist Dr. Bruno Waldvogel about 14 years ago. She was completely blind at the time and accompanied by a guide dog. She told the doctor that her vision had become severely impaired during an accident at age 20, after which she gradually became blind. Waldvogel checked her medical records, which clearly stated that she had been diagnosed with cortical blindness from trauma to the skull and brain. Her eyes showed no sign of physical damage.

Waldvogel eventually diagnosed B.T. with DID, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, which manifested itself through no less than 10 personalities of different names, voices, and genders. Some of her personalities spoke only in German, others used English. But a major breakthrough came after about four years of treatment, when Waldvogel was shocked to witness B.T. recognize a few words on the cover of a magazine. She had assumed the personality of a teenage boy at the time.

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Two Year Old Girl Becomes World’s Youngest Person to Be Cryogenically Preserved

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Scientists and doctors have made a huge leap in cryonics – the effort to save lives through sub-zero temperatures – by freezing the body of a two-year-old child. Matheryn Naovaratpong is now the youngest person in the world to be cryogenically preserved.

Fondly known to her family as ‘Einz’, the little girl was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer shortly after her third birthday. She died in January this year, just before she turned three. But her parents – both medical engineers – have decided to give her another chance at life using cryonics. 

Through cryonics, it is possible to preserve the bodies of humans and animals who cannot be cured through contemporary medicine, with the hope that they may be healed and resuscitated if extraordinary medical advances take place in the future. “As scientists, we are 100% confident this will happen one day – we just don’t know when,” Einz’s father Sahatorn said.

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Nemo’s Garden – Italy’s Revolutionary Underwater Fruit and Vegetable Farm

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In a bid to explore alternative methods of growing produce, an Italian company has created the world’s first underwater farm. The futuristic station – aptly named Nemo’s Garden – consists of five transparent biospheres anchored to the bottom of the sea off the coast of Savona, Italy. They’re being used to grow strawberries, basil, beans, garlic, and lettuce.

“The main target of this project is to create alternative sources of plant production in areas where environmental conditions make it difficult to grow crops through conventional farming, including lack of fresh water, fertile soils, and extreme temperature changes,” said project spokesperson Luca Gamberini. “We are trying to find an alternative and economically viable technology enabling efficient production.”

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Russian Scientist Claims Ancient Race Drove Giant Cars on Earth and the Tracks Are Still Around

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A leading Russian geologist recently made the bizarre claim that the mysterious groove like markings found in the Phrygian Valley of central Turkey were made by giant, pre-historic cars, millions of years ago.

Dr Alexander Koltypin, director of the Natural Science Scientific Research Centre at Moscow’s International Independent University of Ecology and Politology, made his statement after returning from a field trip to the site along with three of his colleagues. He revealed that the fields were completely covered in ruts that are millions of years old. “As a geologist, I can certainly tell you that unknown antediluvian all-terrain vehicles drove around Central Turkey some 12-to-14 million years ago,” he said.

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Artist Creates Tree Able to Grow 40 Different Kinds of Fruit at Once

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In a bid to reintroduce Americans to long-forgotten native fruit, a New York sculptor has created an incredible tree that can produce 40 varieties of stone fruit at once.

Sam Van Aken, who is also an art professor at Syracuse University, grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania where grafting was a common practice. However, to him, it always seemed magical. “When I’d seen it done as a child it was Dr. Seuss and Frankenstein and just about everything fantastic,” he said during a Tedx talk last year.

Van Aken has been growing multi-fruit trees since 2008, through a technique called ‘chip grafting’. He starts by taking a slice of a fruit tree that includes buds, and inserts it into a matching incision in a host tree that is at least three years old. He uses electrical tape to hold the pieces together. Soon enough, the “veins” of different trees flow into each other, sharing the same life energy.

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Scientist Volunteers as All-You-Can-Eat Buffet for Bedbugs in the Name of Science

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In a bid to find a remedy for bedbugs, Canadian scientist Regine Gries has spent nearly a decade studying the parasitic creatures. In fact, she is so dedicated to the project that she actually allows thousands of hungry bedbugs feast off her own blood! Thankfully, her efforts have paid off – she and her husband Gerhard have perfected a chemical that is capable of luring bedbugs away from mattresses.

Regine and Gerhard are both biologists at Simon Fraser University, just outside of Vancouver, in British Columbia. Their lab features a Plexiglass-walled colony with about 5,000 bedbug residents. The bugs live inside glass jars – about 200 to a jar – each covered with a fine mesh that’s held in place using rubber bands. And once a month for the past nine years, Regine has rolled up her sleeves, inverted the jars on to her arms, and allowed the bedbugs to reach through the mesh to bite into her skin!

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Finally! Japanese Company Creates Onion That Doesn’t Make You Cry

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Thanks to Japanese company House Foods Group, tear-inducing onions could be a thing of the past! The company claims to have produced the world’s first ‘tear-free’ onion, by disabling the compounds that the popular vegetable releases when chopped.

According to a House Foods Group press release, their researchers have spent over a decade studying the chemistry of onions. In 2002 they published a study describing the biomechanical process of how chopping onions makes you cry, which won them them an Ig Nobel Prize – an award handed out to honor achievements organizers consider unintentionally funny.  In their paper, the scientists hypothesized that it would be possible to weaken the tear-inducing enzymes while maintaining the onion’s flavor and nutritional value.

And, in their recent announcement, House Foods Group claims to have turned the theory into a reality, by bombarding onion bulbs with irradiating ions which causes them to produce low amounts of enzymes. Apart from facilitating a completely tear-free chopping experience, the technique also makes the onion less pungent.

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Researchers Create Eye-Drops That Let You See in the Dark

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A team of California scientists, or ‘biohackers’ as they call themselves, claim to have discovered a way for people to achieve night-vision without the use of special goggles. They recently conducted an experiment called Science for the Masses(SftM), in which they injected a volunteer’s eyes with a special liquid solution that gave him superhuman night-vision.

After receiving the injection, the volunteer – researcher Gabriel Licina – could supposedly see up to a distance of 50 meters in almost total darkness for several hours, and could spot people running among trees in dark conditions. In comparison, people who weren’t treated with the solution did not fare as well.

The mystifying solution apparently contains a substance called Chlorin e6 (Ce6), which is found in some deep-sea fish. It has light-amplification properties, and has also been used in cancer treatment research. By combining Ce6 with insulin and saline, the team was able to produce a solution that can improve vision in the dark.

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Semi-Nomadic Sea Gypsies Boast Superhuman Underwater Vision

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The semi-nomadic Moken people, living along the coasts of Burma and Thailand, are hunter-gatherers who for centuries have harvested the sea’s bounty. They use traditional diving methods to this day, instead of modern masks or scuba gear. And their underwater vision is so evolved that they are able to gather tiny shellfish and other food from the ocean floor at depths as low as 75 feet!

Diving for food sounds like a difficult way to survive, but scientists have discovered that young Moken children have underwater vision that’s twice as good as European children of the same age. Scientist Anna Gislén, of Sweden’s Lund University, studied the children’s unique vision after hearing about them from a colleague.

“Another scientist, Erika Schagatay, was in the south of China working with sea nomads and their diving response,” she said. “She noticed that the children were picking out small brown clams from among brown stones. To her, this was incomprehensible, as she could hardly see them with her goggles, and the children used no such thing. It was not her area of science, so eventually it ended up on my desk.”

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Scientists Use Calvin Klein Perfume to Attract Jaguars

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While camera traps have been used in ecological research for decades, luring animals towards these traps requires constant innovation. And you’ll never believe what they’re now using to attract wild jaguars – Calvin Klein Obsession for Men!

According to Miguel Ordeñana, a biologist with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and an expert on camera traps, the idea belongs to a Bronx Zoo researcher who tried a bunch of different scents before discovering the jaguar’s affinity for Calvin Klein. What’s special about the cologne is that its two main ingredients – civetone and vanilla extract – create a combination that’s irresistible to these big cats.
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A Bite From This Tiny Tick Can Turn You into a Vegetarian

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The tiny Lone Star tick can succeed where countless health experts and diet planners have failed – this bug has the power to put people off red meat! The tick isn’t vegetarian itself, but it sure can turn you into one for life.

Scientifically known as Amblyomma americanum, these ticks carry a variety of diseases, but what makes them truly fascinating is their ability to make people allergic to meat. That’s because they carry a substance called alpha-gal (Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose), which is a type of carbohydrate found in non-primate mammals. Now, alpha-gal isn’t present in the human body, but our guts can digest it without negative effects under normal conditions. So when we eat meat that contains alpha-gal, we’re able to handle it without any problems.

But when the stuff enters the bloodstream through the Lone Star’s bite, it’s a totally different ballgame – the human immune system recognizes it as a foreign substance and produces antibodies to protect against it. These antibodies remain in the system, so the next time meat containing alpha-gal is ingested, it can trigger violent allergic reactions.

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Tiny Fish Can Pick Up 300 Times Its Own Body Weight

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The northern clingfish is a species of salt-water fish that truly lives up to its name. The remarkably strong fish has such high suction powers that it can pick up and hold on to stuff that’s almost 300 times its own body weight. It can easily outperform all sorts of man-made suction cups. Scientists are now actively studying the fish so they can mimic its design and create a new class of suction devices.

There are currently around 160 known varieties of clingfish in the world, each with its own unique characteristics. There’s a tiny one that sticks itself to the individual spines of sea urchins, a deep-sea variety with not much of a sucker, and a giant one that’s about the size of your forearm. One of the most well-known varieties is the northern clingfish, thanks to studies conducted by biologist and researcher Adam Summers, from the University of Washington.

Native to the Pacific Coast of North America, the northern clingfish lives in rocky intertidal environments, where strong waves and currents can toss them out at any moment. In order to survive in its natural habitat, the clingfish has evolved an adhesion disc that covers about a quarter of its belly. Using this disc, it can stick on to almost any surfaces.

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Black and Blond – The Origin of Blonde Afros in Melanesia

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About a quarter of the Melanesian population in the Solomon Islands archipelago has an extremely unusual trait – dark skin with blond hair. The archipelago, located east of Papa New Guinea in Oceania, consists of a thousand islands inhabited by over half a million Melanesian people. They have the darkest skin in the world outside of Africa, but strangely, about one-fourth of the inhabitants sport blond afros.

This rare Melanesian characteristic has baffled scientists and genetic experts for years. Up until now, they have attributed the trait to inheritance – from the Europeans, especially the British, German and Australians, who have been associated with the island for hundreds of years. Several of the islands were under German jurisdiction in the 19th century. In 1893, the UK took southern Solomon Islands under their wing, declaring the region a protectorate. The rest of the islands were added to the protectorate at a later stage. And in the early 20th century, Australian and British companies set up coconut plantations on many of the islands.

So it isn’t entirely unbelievable that the dark-skinned Melanesians got their blond hair from the growing influx of ‘outsiders’. The locals, however, prefer not to go by that theory. They have been insisting for years that their blond hair is a result of a diet rich in fish and constant exposure to the sun. As it turns out, both theories are quite far from the truth. According to a recent investigation, random mutation might actually be the answer to the mystery of the Melanesian blonds.

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Japanese Researcher Uses Controversial Experiments to Prove Our Thoughts and Intentions Can Alter the Physical World

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Self-help gurus have been telling us about the power of positive thinking for years. Now, the results of an experiment might just prove that they were right all along. Dr. Masaru Emoto, a researcher and alternative healer from Japan, has researched the effects of positive and negative thoughts on materials such as water and cooked rice. The results are pretty amazing.

Dr. Emoto shot to international fame in 2004, when he was featured in the documentary film What the Bleep Do We Know. In that film, he demonstrated through experiments that human thoughts and intentions could cause a great deal of change to the molecular structure of water. His discovery was path breaking, given the fact that human bodies are made of almost 70 percent water.

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