Saturday, March 23, 2013

Science Saturday 4.3: Invisible Fish, Growing Teeth, & More

A new species of wasp has been discovered in Thailand and was given the name Cystomastacoides kiddo. It was named after Beatrix Kiddo, the female ninja-assassin protagonist from Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill movies.  Not only is the wasp suited in yellow/black, but it also stealthily kills other insects by implanting it's eggs into their host.  When the larvae grow, they tear their way out, as switfly as The Bride wielding her Hattori Hanzo sword.


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It has been found that pirate perch have a special chemical camouflage that makes them "invisible" to their prey.  These fish are somehow able mask their scent from other animals.  Unsuspecting frogs will lay their eggs in ponds, thinking there are no predators around, all while the pirate perch remains undetected.  Then when the opportunity arises, they feast on their prey.  Researchers are hoping to discover more species that have this special ability, as well as determining the exact chemical process by which they can cloak themselves through smell.

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Scientists have been able to grow teeth with viable roots in the laboratory, using cells from human gum tissue combined with tooth cells from fetal mice.  The stem cells from the mouse signaled for growth in the human gum cells, resulting in growing roots, dentine, and enamel.
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As a lover of simple & clean minimalist design, this informational video about DNA is absolutely stunning!

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