A tentacled find
What’s hot and what’s not in the world of science and technology.
MEET “Casper” – a newly discovered octopus that lives 4,000 metres below sea level and resembles “the friendly ghost”.
Found near the Hawaiian Islands, the little octopod was resting on a flat rock, and lacked the pigment cells as well as the usual amount of muscles found on other octopus. “This resulted in a ghostlike appearance, leading to a comment on social media that it should be called Casper... It is almost certainly an undescribed species and may not belong to any described genus,” says one of the researchers Michael Vecchione.
Watch the video of it at: http:// bit. ly/ 1YQv4iW Smart skin
Researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have developed artificial skin using aluminium foil, sticky notes, sponges and tape.
Called “paper skin”, it makes use of different characteristics of these common household items to sense humidity, temperature and even human touch.
Costing fewer than RM10 to make, the recyclable and affordable “skin” is hoped to replace real skin in the future.
The team says it can be worn by burn victims and even robots, and can help monitor signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing patterns and movement.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 21cOsbj Martian veggies
Peas, tomatoes, quinoa and other vegetables have been successfully grown on Marslike soil created by NASA.
The soil, created based on samples from the moon as well as data collected from robotic missions, included those from a Hawaiian volcano and dirt from a desert in Arizona.
While the team from Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands, didn’t expect the crop, they say the soil used contained heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury.
Their next experiment is to find out whether the plants are edible, and funders will be invited for a “Martian meal”.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 24OggFJ Mouth-tearing meals
Scientists have determined how hydras rip apart their mouth every time they eat.
To determine exactly how it digs into its prey, the team from the University of California in the US tagged different skin layers of the creature with green and red fluorescent proteins.
They found that the cells of the hydra change their shape when the mouth opens, much like how our eye muscles contract to open our pupils.
It then spits out leftover food and sews up its mouth again, waiting for the next meal.
Watch how it works at: http:// bit. ly/ 22diK1x
Massachusetts General Hospital ( MGH) has created functional heart tissues using skin cells.
In the study, the team obtained 73 donated human hearts and replaced the cells with ones of the skin. The organs were then placed in an environment similar to that of living hearts.
After growing for 120 days, the hearts started to contract by themselves.
While this wasn’t the creation of an entire heart, these tissues could still replace patches that were damaged by heart attacks, the team says.
See: http:// bit. ly/ 1piKAYk
Scientists say they have discovered what might be a new species of octopus while searching the Pacific ocean floor near the hawaiian Islands. — reuters