1. There’s an actual scientific reason you shouldn’t pee in the pool.
Chemicals in urine interact with those in chlorinated water to make two toxic chemicals: trichloramine and cyanogen chloride. But they’re made in such a tiny amount they’ve very very unlikely to do any damage.
2. It’s surprisingly easy to convince people their hands are made of rocks.
The researchers explain: “We repeatedly gently hit participants’ hand with a small hammer, while progressively replacing the natural sound of the hammer against the skin with the sound of a hammer hitting a piece of marble.”
After the experiment participants rated their hands as stiffer, heavier and less sensitive.
3. It’s possible to revive a 30,000 year-old giant virus hidden in Siberian permafrost.
OK, so “giant” is relative – the virus measure’s just 1.5 microns in length and 0.5 microns in diameter. It’s still active, but doesn’t appear to be able to infect humans or animals.
8. You can create an accurate mugshot just using DNA.
Scientists created a statistical model to create an accurate 3D picture of a person’s face based on racial, gender and genetic markers. The technique could also be used to give us a better idea of what our ancestors looked like.
9. Some salamanders are shrinking and it might be the fault of climate change.
The researchers found that the size reduction of salamanders in the US Appalachian Mountains was greatest at lower latitudes, in regions experiencing increased temperature and decreased rainfall over the 55-year period of the study. It seems the salamanders adapted to the changing conditions by burning energy faster.
12. We might not be too far away from night vision contact lenses.
Researchers have made a super thin infrared sensor from everyone’s favourite wonder material: graphene. The prototype sensor is smaller than a fingernail and could be made even smaller.
13. Spider-Man’s silk would have been strong enough to stop a train.
Several companies are working on making synthetic spider silk to take advantage of its super strength. It’d be useful for making cables and bulletproof vests, but also for wound dressings thanks to its antimicrobial properties.