Tag Archives: Unique

China Has Declared War on Mosquitoes

One of the greatest threats that mankind faces today is mosquitoes. These pesky little bugs have claimed more human lives than any war has, and now China is entering the battlefield.

According to a senior scientist involved in a Chinese Government project, China is developing a super-sensitive radar that can detect a mosquito’s wing-flapping from 1.2 miles away.

Currently, a prototype of the device is being tested at the Beijing Institute Technology (BIT). The scientist, who declined to be named since this project involves technology used in China’s missile defense system, said that “identifying and tracking individual, mosquito-sized targets is no longer science fiction.”

According to the World Health Organization, at least 1 million people die each year from mosquito-related bites. Mosquitos are the hosts to many diseases like Malaria and Zika.

Controlling the pest is a challenge itself, as they can pass by someone almost without a trace unless they are close by and you can hear that familiar buzzing.

It took decades before military radars could pick up the echoes of small objects at an impressive distance. For example, The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based X-band radar can detect a baseball-sized object from over 2 miles away.

Liu Xingyue, a professor at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, has very high expectations for the radar. He says that it will be a “precision-guided weapon in our war against the deadliest creature on Earth.”

While it seems that China has great intentions, we do not know for sure how this technology will be used. We can only hope that this radar will be used for good reasons, not unnecessary ones.

Giant Solar “Tornadoes” (They Aren’t Actually Tornadoes)

The sun can be a very scary place to be (if it was possible to begin with), with temperatures in the upwards of 5,778 K (9,941 F) and tornadoes that are even bigger than those on Earth. However, scientists have found that those solar tornadoes are not similar to tornadoes on Earth.

Using the Doppler effect to add a 3-D dimension to their data, they were able to measure the speed of the moving plasma of the tornado along with the direction, temperature, and density. Now, after many years of studies, they have come to the conclusion that solar tornadoes don’t rotate.

In a presentation in Liverpool, England, Nicolas Labrosse, the lead scientist, explained that despite the similarities between tornadoes and solar prominences in pictures, the magnetic field is not vertical and the plasma mostly moves horizontally along magnetic fields.

Another scientist involved in the research, Brigitte Schmieder, noted that we shouldn’t be too worried about these tornadoes. However, when we start to see too many of them, that’s when we should start to worry, since space weather can potentially damage power grids, satellites, and communication networks.

Solar tornadoes can last up to a day and ones that are stable may last for several months. Their lengths can also loop hundreds of thousands of miles into space.

We think we know everything about our sun but this research about solar tornadoes shows that we as humans still don’t know all the answers.

Is it an Alien or is it a Human?

For over two decades, there was an argument over a mummifed skeleton in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The question was: Is the skeleton from an alien or from a human?

The 15 centimeter skeleton that was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; photo from cosmosmagazine.com
The 15 centimeter skeleton that was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; photo from cosmosmagazine.com

Ata, the name of the skeleton, was in remarkably great shape for a… human. After many years of discussion, it was found that Ata has human DNA and that she belonged to the local population. Researchers also identified Ata’s DNA as a group of mutations of genes related to the development of the bones.

These mutations might be the reason for the skeleton’s unique appearance, a disorder that has never been seen in humans before.

The research into Ata began in 2012 with Dr. Garry P. Nolan from Stanford University. Nolen had heard about Ata from the production of the UFO movie “Sirius.”

Nolen and his team offered to look into the skeleton’s DNA. So the owner of the skeleton agreed to send X-ray images as well as bone marrow samples taken from the ribs and right humerus.

Once Dr. Nolan and his colleagues received the samples, they were able to retrieve fragments of DNA from bone marrow samples which was relatively easy. They then found their answer. “We could tell this was human right away,” said Atul Butte from the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the co-authors of the research.

Once the researchers were able to find out that Ata was a human, they dug deeper into the skeleton’s genome. They were able to determine that Ata was a female who had died less than 500 years ago. Even though it’s impossible to pinpoint a certain year, scientists were able to find out that she has European heritage from the 1500s.

There’s more research needed to be done on Ata to find out if she was stillborn or if she lived a short life, as her bones are similar to an eight-year old’s bone structure. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens.