Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wild Pets!

Research on domesticating wild animals has gotten some press lately. Not only does this research provide a possibility for neat pets... but we are learning more about genetics and selective breeding.

Foxes have actually been used in this research for many years. One study has been continuing for 45 years! Each generation has been selectively bred for tameness—fearlessness and nonaggression toward humans. By now the foxes in the project behave like pet dogs, barking and wagging their tails at humans. Also, instead of having a red coat colour, these domesticated foxes have a "piebald" colour.

National Geographic has a great article this month on taming wild animals. You can read more and see more pictures on the website:

Would you like a pet fox?

It Tastes Like Chicken

The field of culinary evolution faces one great dilemma: why do most cooked, exotic meats taste like cooked Gallus gallus, the domestic chicken?

It is curious that so many animals have a similar taste. Did each species evolve this trait independently or did they all inherit it from a common ancestor? That is the burning question.

Using a diagram that shows how some kinds of organisms evolved from other kinds of organisms. This is a "tree" of evolutionary ancestry. Then the author and researcher created a tree using flavours of their meat to see if animals that taste similarly have similarly tasting ancestors.

You can read more about the process through this link:

Comic from Toothpaste for Dinner 2006

Making Things Glow in the Dark


It’s a simple process. Just drain the contents of a magic marker into a jar of water. Cut the stems off of some flowers and stick them in the jar. Let the flowers sit in the solution overnight. In the morning, after they have absorbed the fluorescent dye, they’ll glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet light.

You can make... GLOW STICKS:

Learn Something New Everyday - Single Cell!

Neat Trick...(the secret is chemistry)

The liquid is just water. The spoon is made of pure gallium and is completely solid.

BUT... because of the low melting point of gallium (only about 30 degrees)... the spoon disappears!