Winning Science August 21, 2013

Lately I’ve been hearing and reading a number of stories about how scientists are now looking into what role various collections of microbes  play in maintaining our health. For some people suffering from Clostridium difficile infections, the required antibiotics can throw these microbes out of whack. There is hope now for these people, however, in the form of fecal transplants. That’s right, you can be saved by someone else’s poop. And this is no laughing matter, 14,000 people die from this infection every year.

poop

Seriously though, if you have to put someone else’s poop into my bowels via a tube in my nose, I’d seriously consider dying instead.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, commonly known as DARPA is attempting to create a computer that will mimic the neocortex, or the part of the brain responsible for higher brain functions. I’m uncertain what the actual purpose of this computer would be other than just being really powerful new computer, but I’m sure DARPA has something in mind.

Have these guys honestly never seen Terminator?

Have these guys honestly never seen Terminator?

It’s either the birth of Skynet or the backup plan to several failed “brain in jar” experiments.

My desire for coffee made by robots will soon become reality, all thanks to the Briggo Coffee Haus. Leaps and bounds above the old school coffee vending machines that usually serve out coffee I wouldn’t give to my worst enemy, this new industrial robot will make a custom cup of coffee just the way you like it by means of a touch screen or an iPhone app. The company plans to market their robots to places that don’t have coffee houses such as airports, hotels, and office buildings.

Where have coffee robots been all my life?

Where have coffee robots been all my life?

I love the fact that they aren’t trying to compete with actual coffee houses, but I’m also hopeful that this thing can make coffee quickly so I don’t have to wait ten minutes for a cup.

There is a ranch out in Texas that is a bit unusual. Instead of raising cattle or sheep, they raise the dead, in a manner of speaking. This ranch is used by the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University in San Marcos to study how bodies decompose. All the bodies come from people who agreed to this before they died, which answers my long standing question of what happens to bodies donated to science. Every day students photograph the state of decay and note any insect activity present.

Look, just trust me when I tell you that this is way better than what comes up when you do a Google Image search for "body farm".

Look, just trust me when I tell you that this is WAY better than what comes up when you do a Google Image search for “body farm”.

This is admittedly a bit weird, but it also provides necessary scientific data to help in the investigation of how someone died. I’m also pretty sure I’ve seen something like this on an episode of Bones.

1 Comment

Filed under Winning Science

One response to “Winning Science August 21, 2013

  1. Pingback: Around the Web August 23, 2013 | Therefore I Geek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s