weird science

The Signs as 80's Movies
  • Aries:The Shining
  • Taurus:Weird Science
  • Gemini:The Breakfast Club
  • Cancer:Star Wars
  • Leo:Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Virgo:Big
  • Libra:Sixteen Candles
  • Scorpio:The Lost Boys
  • Sagittarius:St. Elmo's Fire
  • Capricorn:Beetlejuice
  • Aquarius:Pretty in Pink
  • Pisces:The Princess Bride

                John Hughes (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009)
“At the time I came along, Hollywood’s idea of teen movies meant there had to be a lot of nudity, usually involving boys in pursuit of sex, and pretty gross overall. Either that or a horror movie. The last thing Hollywood wanted in their teen movies was teenagers!”


How to grow a bone without a body

TED Fellow Nina Tandon – a regular Poppy Pomfrey – has developed a new way to grow customized bones. How? Well, she regenerates a person’s own multi-potent stem cells. (Don’t worry, we’ll explain.) 

What you see above is decellularized bone scaffolding, which serves as the mold for the bone. Then, fat stem cells from a human are added to this structure, which is placed in a bioreactor that allows the materials to combine. Three weeks later, voilà! You have mature bone. 

So far, Tandon and her team have successfully regrown pig bone, which could be the first step on the way to growing human bones, and an amazing step forward in healing our bodies.

Find out more about Tandon’s work >>


Have you ever seen a butterfly drink turtle tears?

Well, now you have. You’re welcome!

But, what is actually going on here?

In the Peruvian Amazon, sodium is a scarce mineral due to its distance from any marine environment and the fact that it is cut off from windblown mineral particles to the west by the Andes Mountains. Turtles, and other carnivores, obtain sodium from meat, but herbivores find it difficult to obtain sufficient concentrations of this vital mineral. As a result, in this part of the world, you can often see butterflies flocking around turtle’s heads (tracajá turtles in this image), drinking their tears, getting their sodium fix.

How are the turtles through all this? We’re not sure. It stands to reason that the butterflies are drawing perhaps unwanted attention to the turtles, but no direct harm is thought to occur. The turtles have enough tears to feed the butterflies simply because the butterflies are taking so little. The butterflies simply uptake salts through a process similar to absorption by placing their proboscis in the tears and passively have a sup. Bless.

Photos courtesy of Jeff Cremer