Humans as batteries, awesome moon map, dugongs spotted, and more

Published April 23, 2020

Not the kitties!

Two cats in New York have tested positive for CoviD-19.
One cat is owned by a person who tested positive for the coronavirus before the cat showed symptoms; the second lives in a household where no members had confirmed cases of the virus.
Actually that’s three cats. “Earlier this month, a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive after coming down with a cough.”

To be fair, we did plant a flag

The U.S. Geological Survey, perhaps creeping outside its purview just a bit, has released the first-ever comprehensive geologic map of the moon. It’s called [insert drumroll here] “Unified Geologic Map of the Moon.” And it is gorgeous. A very large version of the image is available by a-clickin’ here.

Shocking psychology news

Florida Atlantic University researchers found that (wait for it) fun children are popular. Quick! That’s too obvious! Give it a science-y spin!
“Our study is novel in that no research has unambiguously measured peer perceptions of classmates who are fun and no longitudinal studies have examined whether being fun uniquely anticipates subsequent changes in peer social status.”

Filter it

Two things about this story made me chuckle: “How to make the healthiest coffee during COVID-19 lockdown“.
  1. It has absolutely nothing to do with the coronavirus. They just wanted on the bandwagon.
  2. It took more than 700 words to say, “Filtered coffee is healthy, unfiltered coffee isn’t.”

Combine this with a shock collar and you have my attention

Workers in the Port of Antwerp will soon be testing wristbands that alert them when they violate social-distancing requirements. (And if someone does become infected, they might help trace who he was in contact with.)

Dementia: It’s the diet, not the foods

Individuals food can be healthy or not, but a new study out of the University of Bordeaux in France found that your overall diet — what they called your “food network” — can increase your risk of dementia. Bottom line: “We found that more diversity in diet, and greater inclusion of a variety of healthy foods, is related to less dementia.” So eating a lot of cookies alone isn’t (too) bad, unless it’s indicative of your overall diet. Then you’re in trouble.

Oh come ON

Diseases Can Jump to Humans from Plants, Not Just from Animals
Fungi are opportunistic and will jump to any host that provides a welcoming environment, such as a human body. And if the treatment for the fungal infection involves a drug identical to the fungicide encountered on the farm, the fungus may flourish.

Skin in the game

CalTech researchers have developed an electronic sensor that’s powered by human sweat. Specifically, it converts the lactic acid in human sweat to electricity. The tech is cool, but referring to it as “harvesting energy from the human body” might not be the most comforting way to put it.
In addition to the biofuel cells, the e-skin contains biosensors that can analyze metabolic information like glucose, urea and pH levels, to monitor for diabetes, ischaemia another health conditions, as well as physical information like skin temperature.
A patch the size of a playing card makes enough power for the biosensors as well as a Bluetooth transmitter.


Herd of dugongs sighted off the coast of Thai island“. As you were. (Dugong, you ask? “It’s the cow of the sea-ea-ea….”) (Warning: Link is an earworm.)

Quick CoviD-19 notes

The Long Read: Teenage Wasteland edition

If you’re stuck at home with an cranky teenager, you’re not alone. Catherine Bagwell of Emory University takes 1,000 words to explain that, “Teens are wired to resent being stuck with parents and cut off from friends during coronavirus lockdown.”