science: October 2011 Archives

275x250.jpgLast year Alan Billis was a taxi driver in Torquay, now he's become the first person in 3,000 years to be mummified like Tutankhamum -- all in the name of a TV show.

Before his death from lung cancer in January, Alan had signed on to be part of a bizarre experiment in mummification, to be filmed for Channel 4.

In a bid to better understand how the ancient Egyptians were able to preserve pharaohs perfectly for millennia the 61-year-old's corpse was put through a variety of special techniques.

Scientists now think -- thanks to Alan -- they've been able to crack the mystery of mummification and say their finding turn much accepted wisdom about the process it's bandaged head.




Beach-goers in Southern California are being treated to a rare light show with waves there glowing bright blue as the crash at night.

The rare phenomena is caused by the presence of a bio-luminescent algae called Lingulodinium polyedrum.

During the day this means the water at San Diego-area beaches appear a brownish red, but at night they look a whole lot more magical.

Boffins say movement of the water causes each organism to flash blue with a chemical reaction - when this happens billions of times as each wave crashes, you get the blue glow.

275x250.jpgBoffins who noticed certain Australian beetles will try to have sex with discarded beer bottles have won a scientific prize.

Entomologists Professor Darryl Gwynne and David Rentz were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for their discovery about buprestid Beetles.

They'd discovered the male beetle would try to mate with beer bottles -- but only brown ones with bobbly bits on them.

This was enough to bag the boffins the Ig Nobel Prize, which celebrates research which makes you laugh and then think.

Other winners on the night included the team who devised a wasabi fire alarm for deaf people and a group who looked at why discus throwers get dizzy.




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