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Cthulhu fhtagn! Indescribably terrifying microbes named for H.P. Lovecraft’s monsters

This incomprehensibly horrifying scanning electron microscope image shows Cthulhu macrofasciculumque, a symbiotic protist that resides in the hindgut of a termite. The scale bar is 10 micrometers. (PLOS ONE) Suckling unnamable ichor as they slither through the viscous, shrieking madness of the intestinal…  …

Zoo to build power plant that uses panda poop to produce electricity

Not content with housing a pair of celebrity pandas that attract hordes of avid onlookers, a zoo in France has decided to put their droppings to good use by recycling them into gas and electricity. Yuan Zi and Huan Huan — “Chubby” and “Happy” in Chinese — arrived at Beauval…

UN urges strict hygiene to prevent worldwide spread of China’s deadly H7N9 virus

The United Nations on Friday presented a list of recommendations, including a strict hygiene culture and keeping different breeds of animals apart, to try to curb the spreading of the H7N9 flu virus which has killed six people in China. “With the virus harder to detect, good biosecurity measures become…

New face-sized tarantula discovered in trees in Sri Lanka

Wired reports on what may be a new species of tarantula in Northern Sri Lanka, and it’s unlikely to be appearing on the island nation’s tourism materials any time soon. Writer Nadia Drake describes the tree-dwelling Poecilotheria rajaei  as “about the size of your face” – the human face apparently…  …

U.S. health authorities in bird flu vaccine effort

US health authorities are liaising with domestic and international partners to develop a vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu virus that has killed five people in China. With the number of confirmed infection cases climbing to 14, authorities in Shanghai have begun the mass slaughter of poultry at a market…

Biofuel breakthrough turns virtually any plant into hydrogen

Researchers at Virginia Tech announced Thursday that their latest breakthrough in hydrogen extraction technology could lead to widespread adoption of the substance as a fuel due to its ease of availability in virtually all plant matter, a reservoir previously impossible to tap. The new process, described by a study in…

‘Extinct’ turtle species actually never existed, scientists say

A Seychelles freshwater turtle species declared extinct after decades of futile searches, in fact never existed, scientists said Thursday. While Man has the extinction of several turtle and tortoise species on his conscience, DNA evidence has now cleared him of exterminating Pelusios seychellensis, a team from Germany and Austria wrote…

Study ties baldness to heart disease

This only applied to men who have hair loss from the top and in front of their heads. Those with a receding hairline are reportedly not affected.  …

China reports tenth case of H7N9 bird flu

Chinese authorities on Thursday reported a man in the eastern province of Zhejiang has been infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, the tenth human case of the disease which has claimed three lives. The 64-year-old from Huzhou city was admitted to hospital on March 31 after being ill…

SARS-like virus seems to cause deadly lung infection

A new and deadly virus that has killed 11 of the 17 patients treated for it in the Middle East and Britain appears to cause an infection deep in the lungs, researchers said. Six research monkeys infected with novel human coronavirus were found to quickly develop pneumonia, according to a…

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