Dodo no dum- dum
What’s hot and what’s not in the world of science and technology.
THE extinct dodo was probably as clever as the modern pigeon, beating the long- standing “dumb dodo” claim.
After running a computed tomography ( CT) scan on a rare dodo skull, researchers from Stony Brook University, US, found that the brain is at an “ideal” size for its body.
Another surprising finding was that its olfactory bulb – used to process smells – was enlarged, and may have helped the bird search for food on the ground.
While intelligence isn’t based on brain size alone, the discovery indicates that the dodo isn’t as dumb as humans previously thought.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 1QEyMWo
Doctors can now listen to lung sounds of their patients using a mobile phone or a tablet from any location.
Developed by researchers at Hiroshima University, Japan, the computer programme connects to an electronic stethoscope to record lung sounds.
Apart from transferring the sounds to wireless devices for doctors, the programme also classifies the lung sounds into different categories to help with diagnoses.
Patients may also be able to track their lung function during chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD) or cystic fibrosis.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 24v4W1a
The cracks on Pluto’s largest moon may have been caused by its subsurface ocean, NASA has discovered.
Its New Horizons data reveal that in Charon’s early days, heat from the formation could have melted the ice, resulting in a liquid ocean.
And when the moon’s atmosphere turned icy, the ocean froze and expanded, cracking the surface.
NASA describes it being similar to “Bruce Banner tearing his shirt as he becomes the Incredible Hulk”, leading to fractures that show as ridges, scarps and valleys that are up to 6.5 kilometres deep.
See: http:// go. nasa. gov/ 1Tupov4
People are much more tolerant of the body smells of their friends than they are of outsiders, research from St Andrews University shows.
In the study, students were asked to smell sweaty T- shirts that belonged to people of different universities – even though the shirts belonged to one researcher.
They found that the students were a lot more disgusted when they were told that that the shirt belonged to someone of a rival university, and also washed their hands much more quickly and thoroughly afterward.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 1KH7m6p
A sea snail has been found to “fly” through water, just like how some animals fly in the air.
Also known as the Arctic “sea butterfly”, the creature has wing- like organs instead of feet and lives in the northern Atlantic as well as Pacific oceans.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US, discovered that it paddles to travel in the water, and flaps its “wings” in a figure- of- eight pattern that’s also found among insects.
It also uses “clap and fling” – a common technique involving clapping and flinging wings to gain extra lift, the team says.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 1LNcvVo
Mandy Thoo loves to write about science and lives in Kuala Lumpur. Tweet her at @ techhead_
New research indicates that the extinct dodo may not be as dumb as previously thought.