Cutting-Edge Science

Males Will Be Males: University of Lausanne (Switzerland) researchers discovered that not only are cichlid fish oriented to “oral sex” (because the female stores fertilizable eggs in her mouth) but that studlier males have evolved a trick to get females to open up: Super-procreative males create egg-like growths on their fins, which females imagine are their own missing eggs and try to suck them up, thus improving the male’s opportunity to slip sperm in, according to a November report in New Scientist. 

A research team led by Richard Hanson of Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland) has produced a colony of “supermice” whose physical abilities are the rodent equivalent of those of gifted humans. By modifying a single metabolism gene, researchers enhanced the mouse’s ability to use body fat for energy, creating a mouse that can run five hours without stopping, live longer, and have three times as much sex as ordinary mice. According to Hanson, humans have exactly the same modifiable gene, “(b)ut this is not something that you’d do to a human. It’s completely wrong.”

It is well-known that methane released by cattle forms a significant amount of the greenhouse gases in some countries, but getting people to abruptly drop beef from their diets might be unrealistic. However, a senior researcher for the Queensland (Australia) government, Athol Klieve, told Agence France-Presse in December that it would be possible to transplant the stomach bacteria of kangaroos into cows to reduce cattle’s gas-passing proclivity to the much gentler level of kangaroos’ (since the latter have much more efficient digestive systems).

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