The 1st Question - 12 Dec 2010 - Questions

1) A 100 percent green electricity grid, wouldn’t that be wonderful? Think of the lack of war and missing billions a non-oil-based transportation system would mean. And while most of us talk, or type a good game, this renewable energy advocate did something pretty incredible when this past week he concluded a 10-week ride across America in his pedal-powered hybrid electric-assist “Rocket Trike" where he collected signatures along the way for his goal. Who is the man who wants the American people “to take back our power” by demanding a green industrial revolution that will put unemployed Americans back to work, re-establish our role as world economic leader, and help ensure future generations a livable planet?

2) Well, in a rare case of present-day technology actually surpassing science fiction, we’ve now gone one better, putting bar codes on embryos. Scientists have successfully developed an identification system in which mouse embryos and egg cells are physically tagged with microscopic silicon bar code labels. They expect to try it out on human embryos and oocytes soon. If egg cells and embryos can be quickly and easily identified, then things should run much smoother, and success rates should be higher for new life, right? The labels, which had been declared biologically innocuous in an earlier study, are microinjected. At what university is being labeled before birth counted as a good thing?

3)Well tag you're it! Birth is not complicated, billions of women have gone through this, and for all the demands for equality it is very clear that men can’t have babies. However, if science has its way, women might not be needed anymore for reproducing life. In what could be the first step towards same-sex couples having their own genetic children, reproductive scientists have produced male and female mice from two fathers using stem cell technology. It starts with a noble reason of preserving an endangered species, this "new form of mammalian reproduction" could also be valuable for preserving species when no females remain. Where are this fertile and productive group of scientists from, who might preserve a species yet are doing nothing for better relations between the sexes?

4) You want to have life in a bell jar, but you haven't caught a butterfly in years. The fact is; however, you can now buy your own flying mechanical butterfly, and it looks pretty impressive. Marketed in Japan the fluttering electric bug-in-a-mason-jar was unveiled at this year’s Tokyo Toy Show. To activate, you tap the top of the jar and the butterfly then proceeds to flutter around in a seemingly random fashion, before continuing to attempt escape from its transparent prison. Although the manufacturer isn’t volunteering an explanation of just how the thing works, the lid takes two AA batteries, and a thin wire extends down into the jar. What is this product called?

5) Life in a bell jar? How about a supernova in a bell jar? Forget the butterfly, go for the nuclear reaction! Physicists studying the effects of mixing two reactive chemicals have discovered a new phenomenon which mimics the explosion of a type of supernova in miniature. The observation centers around two reactants which create a self-sustaining vortex ring. These kinds of reactions are occurring around us all the time in the atmosphere and oceans as well as stars, but this effect has never been seen. Physicists from these two universities have said, “A supernova is a dramatic example of this kind of self-sustaining explosion, in which gravity and buoyancy forces are important effects. We wanted to see what the liquid motion would look like in such a self-stirred chemical reaction.” From which Universities are we able to see, a supernova in a bell jar?

---tie breakers---

6) A recent study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to see how love affects the brain and its calculations of love have attracted plenty of attention. For example, the time taken to "fall in love" clocks in at about one-fifth of a second, not the six months of romantic dinners and sharing secrets some might expect. Also, 12 areas of the brain work together during the love process, releasing euphoria-inducing chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline and vasopressin. Love's high is actually similar to cocaine's rush, and results in a significantly higher level of This. What is crucial to the survival of sympathetic and sensory neurons, found in those in love?

7) This chair looks like a breathing block of tofu. A design graduate with problems in her knees, wanted to design a chair to buffer pressure and be elastic. The two sides of the tofu-shaped chair automatically transform into two arms when a person is sitting down, so the chair is as comfortable as a sofa. A layer of patterned holes over the block makes people believe that the chair can breathe. Moreover, the chair can transform in accordance with posture. This unique chair springs back to it’s a block of tofu shape when the person stands up. The inspiration for the chair’s patterned holes came from what?

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