The Sex Life of Slugs Hots Up the Internet

 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSW9kWIRCOQ[/youtube]

Rare footage of two slugs mating from a nature documentary

No, we’re not talking about software bugs (though those viruses can indeed still rear their heads), but good old insects. There are, naturally, numerous scientifically minded sites like bugbios.com throughout the Web, but insects are also finding staring roles in the online entertainment world.

As is true with so much on the Internet, sex is what’s generating interest.

More than three million people have watched a YouTube video documenting the mating rituals of leopard slugs whereby two entwined slugs suspend themselves from a branch and fertilise each other in mid-air.
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PETA Offers X-Prize for Artificial Meat

PETA Offers X-Prize for Artificial Meat

PETA – The meat brand we’ve all come to love and trust

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay a million dollars for fake meat — even if it has caused a “near civil war” within the organization.

The organization said it would announce plans on Monday for a $1 million prize to the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.”

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Microscope Helps Prevent Shellfish Poisoning

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Underwater cell analyzer used to detect harmful marine algae

Through the use of an automated, underwater cell analyzer developed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), researchers and coastal managers were recently able to detect a bloom of harmful marine algae in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent human consumption of tainted shellfish.

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Fly Language Proves Surprising

Fly Language Proves Surprising

A group of researchers has developed a novel way to view the world through the eyes of a common fly and partially decode the insect’s reactions to changes in the world around it. The research fundamentally alters earlier beliefs about how neural networks function and could provide the basis for intelligent computers that mimic biological processes.

In an article published in the Public Library of Science Computational Biology Journal, Los Alamos physicist Ilya Nemenman joins Geoffrey Lewen, William Bialek and Rob de Ruyter van Steveninck of the Hun School of Princeton, Princeton University and Indiana University, respectively, in describing the research.

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Using Mega-Cash Prizes to Incentivize Revolutionary Science

Balancing risk and reward

Balancing risk and reward

 

A new paper in Medical Hypotheses suggests that very big cash prizes could specifically be targeted to stimulate ‘revolutionary’ science. Usually, prizes tend to stimulate ‘applied’ science — as in the most famous example of Harrison’s improved clock solving the ‘longitude’ problem. But for prizes successfully to stimulate revolutionary science the prizes need to be three key elements. Details after the jump.

 

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