from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Biology is almost never as simple as it appears, and studying how animals evolve is an endless task filled with unanswered questions. Life begets life in a multitude of ways -- sometimes with strange or unexpected results. Scientists are conducting a few unnatural breeding experiments with plants and animals that sound like science fiction, and here are just some examples.
- French researchers devised an experiment to determine what would happen if shrimp could time travel -- re-animating preserved brine shrimp eggs from 1985, 1996 and 2007 to mate with each other. Shrimp specimens that mated with shrimp from the past or future died more quickly than contemporary mating... so Sarah Connor should be a bit wary of the pickup line, "Come with me if you want to live." [url]
- Little kids might ask where babies come from, but real scientists ask, "Where did plant sex come from?" Apparently, the answer is low oxygen levels in the atmosphere that trigger some plant cells to become sex cells. This discovery could lead to new ways to manage plant seeds -- as well as a patent for plant sex under varying oxygen concentrations. [url]
- Plans for colonizing other planets could be derailed by the sterilizing effects of radiation from outer space. Cosmic rays are difficult to shield away from astronauts, so there need to be a few more studies to figure out how humans will reproduce without the Earth to protect us. [url]