Forest Azuaron

The mad mind of a programmer and writer

Madswitching DNA: The bacterial Hulk

There is a parasitic worm that invades insects’ bodies, then vomits up a terrifying bacteria that, upon leaving the worm, transforms from a mostly-benign Bruce Banner to a terrifying Incredible Hulk. Once transformed, the bacteria liquifies the insect and fights off any rival bacteria, while it’s partner-in-crime–the worm–sucks up the insect’s juices.

What causes the change? A single piece of DNA called a “madswitch” (technical term).

Read more about this frightening partnership at Discover Magazine: the worms, the bacteria.

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The Higgs boson was discovered! Maybe! Should we care? Yes! No!

For days the science world (or, more specifically, the physics world) has been aflutter. It was announced that, early this morning, CERN would announce the findings of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) regarding the Higgs boson. And they did, and the news is about as good as anyone could expect it to be.

That bump at about 125 GeV? That indicates the presence of a new particle, and this particle, so far, fits the properties of the hypothesized Higgs boson.

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How to rocket pack

Who wouldn’t want a backpack that let them fly? Since the 1920s, science fiction enthusiasts have imagined just that. During World War II, the technology to finally make it happen became a reality.

Within 10 years everyone got personal jetpacks. Why don’t we have jetpacks?

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