The Weekly Breakthroughs 1


The Wessexscene gives you a chance to catch up every Wednesday on the progress made by scientists around the world in the past week.

Wednesday 13 July – Smelly Feet Traps Help Stamp Out Malaria:

Scientists in South East Tanzania have created mosquito traps that smell identical to unwashed human feet in an effort to trap Malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The traps contain a potent insecticide that kills the lured insects and are equipped with solar-powered fans to waft the chemical fumes.

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Thursday 14 July – Lost Rainbow Toad Species Spotted:

A team of biologists rediscovered a species of rainbow-coloured toad that had remained unobserved for almost 90 years. Three of the Borneo rainbow toads, ranked on Conservation International’s list of ‘World’s Top 10 Most Wanted Frogs’, were found in a tree in the mountain forest region between Indonesia and Malaysia.

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Friday 15th July – Elephant Deterrent Beehives Create Buzz:

Farmers In Kenya are now using beehives to defend their farms against crop-raiding elephants. Scientists undergoing research in the area found that the beehive barriers fended off 97% of elephants and provided the Kenyan farmers with sellable honey.

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Saturday 16th July – Giant Velvet Worms Make Presence Felt:

Scientists working in Costa Rica have discovered a new species of giant velvet worm. The new worms are so giant that their young are frequently larger than most normal adult velvet worms. The velvet worm is thought to be one of the first species to walk on land.

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Watch video of velvet worm hunting

Sunday 17th July – Internet Memory Effects Recognized:

Psychologists at US universities have shown that people are less likely to remember facts if they think they can use Google to find them later. They termed this downfall ‘transitive memory’ but claim it has no effect on our intelligence.

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Monday 18th July – Quantum Physics Finds New Basis:

Canadian and Italian physicists working together have developed a new outlook of quantum physics that follows naturally from information theory. The new interpretation minimizes the use of nonphysical concepts such as the mathematical Hilbert Space.

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Tuesday 19th July – GM Tobacco Crops Yield HIV Drug:

Scientists have developed a method for producing anti-HIV and other antiviral drugs from GM tobacco. The technique is up to 100 times cheaper than producing drugs by conventional systems. The new method is predicted to become widespread in the developing world.

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Southampton University. Third year. BA Physics.

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