Category:
Insects

Weird Science - Biology

Men are now obsolete, thanks to work by scientists at the Northeast England Stem Cell Institute. Professor Karim Nayernia and team have managed a "scientific first" by inducing stem cells into becoming artificial sperm in laboratory conditions. In mice, these sperm have proven able to fertilise eggs and produce viable offspring, opening the door to potential new infertility treatments in humans. Additionally, the stem cells themselves may come from either sex, raising the possibility of children being born without the traditional male input. Any such treatment is many years away however, and there are still problems to be overcome, not least that all the mice babies so far produced by this technique had abnormally short lives. Nayernia admits that the process is not perfect, but says that it could be ready for human trials in less than ten years (Telegraph).

But mothers, don't kick out the old man yet, not if you want a little help with the childcare that is. A team from the "Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution" in France has confirmed a prediction of the theory of evolution that fathers will invest more in children that resemble them. A total of 30 Senegalese families were studied and the paternal investment and resemblance were quantified for each. As expected, there was a significant correlation between the resemblance and investment scores, but also between investment and the nutrition and health of the child. So it seems we fathers still have our uses, for now (Science Daily).

Animals do many weird things to avoid being eaten, from camouflage, to making themselves look bigger or more dangerous, to having a false head or eye on a less vital point to divert attackers. However, one spider has a tactic that's never been observed before; it makes decoy models of itself. The Cyclosa mulmeinensis spider of Orchid Island, near Taiwan, decorates its web with pellets of silk the same size and (to wasps) colour as itself, then hides among them. Researchers from Tunghai University were actually able to observe wasp predators attacking the decoys while the spider escaped, confirming the effectiveness of the trick. The strategy is not without risk though, by having more spider sized blobs on it, the web may also be easier for the wasps to detect (Daily Mail).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Wed Jul 08, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Babies, Family, Insects, Medicine, Science, Anthropology

Bug Faces


Strange Faces Of Insects - These bloopers are hilarious

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 02, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Insects

Japanese Game Shows

It is no secret that Japan has some of the strangest game shows, but the combination of costumes, tasks, and punishment in this show is beyond explanation.

Posted By: fyshstyxx - Sun Jun 14, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Games, Insects, Television, Video, Asia

If You Have A Weak Stomach, Don’t Look

It's amazing what food sellers will put into a can these days. What's even more amazing is that people will buy it. I am reminded of a quotation from a children's movie, where one of the kids asks another, "What wouldn't you eat for a million dollars?" I think just about everything in this article from the Food Network would make that list. (And what's with the Russian Herring? Do they really have teeth like that? Were these grown in a body of water near Chernobyl?)

Posted By: Nethie - Tue Jun 09, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Food, Horror, Insects, Nature, More Things To Worry About

Edible Insects

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Did you ever wander what scorpions tasted like or BBQ worm crisps, well you can wonder no more. At Edible.com you can order those and many other insects to try. Along with insects, they sell herbs, spices and aphrodisiacs. So, if you have adventurous taste buds here's a good place to test them out. I have to say that I've never purposely eaten an insect, but might give it a try if they were properly prepared.

Posted By: mdb777 - Thu May 14, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, Insects

Flea Circuses

Three separate genuine flea circuses for your enjoyment. Well, maybe the final one's not so real.





Posted By: Paul - Fri May 08, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Insects

Blackfly

Posted By: Paul - Thu Apr 16, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Insects, Music, Cartoons, North America

Don Dixon’s “Praying Mantis”

Talk of bugs that eat their mates automatically reminded me of Don Dixon's one hit, the great "Praying Mantis." If you click here, you should be able to hear the song for free. Warning for those at work or in a quiet zone of some sort: it will start playing automatically.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 23, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Insects, Music, Sexuality

Beer Ants

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At Antimal House you can purchase modern-day ant farms like the ones kids used to buy out of the back of 10-cent comics.

One of them is shaped like a beer mug, filled with amber gel.

It comes with a removable lid. What are the chances that the lid will get removed, and that someone will swig this at a drunken party?

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 17, 2008 - Comments (20)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants, Insects, Products

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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