Monday, January 25, 2010

Once Again, SciAm Does Bogus Science

I really enjoy this Monday Game. Steve Mirsky list four science news headlines from the past week, but only three are real. The other is Totally Bogus. Have you been paying attention?
Story 1, Banned from import lo these past 21 years for fears of spongiform encephalopathy, it is now once again legal to bring Falkland Island sheep meat into the US.

Story 2, bats and dolphins that echolocate have the same genetic constructs that allow them to do it.

Story 3, llamas are providing proteins that could help find bioterror weapons.

And story 4, slime molds can successfully model efficient routes with multiple terminals, and proved it by doing a decent job recreating the Tokyo commuter train system.
(See link above for answers) I got this week's quiz because the actual story is very similar to the bogus one.

Also, if one of those stories had been "NASA developing single-pilot fight jacket weighing in at about 400 lbs," would you have chosen that one as bogus? According to Scientific American, you would have been wrong. Meet the Puffin:

I'm not sure this is a real good idea for widespread civilian use... I'm not sure it's a real good idea at all. But you do get more conservative as you get older, and a lot of my concerns are centered on safety issues. Like 400 lbs of Puffin packed with 150 lbs of meat falling out of the sky. But for all you young'uns, you may not get your jetpacks anytime soon, but an alternative might not be too far off.

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