Biology News Round-Up 17/11/16

Nastiya brings together all the interesting Plant-related news items from the last few weeks, give us a shout if you’ve found out anything and we’ll feature it in next week’s post!

Brand New Worm Discovered!

Stop the press! It turns out that there’s still hope for those budding scientists looking to mark their place in history by discovering a new speices of the natural world – and it turns out you don’t have to travel half the world away to do it either. Elaine Roll, a science technician working at Cornwall College Newquay, discovered this adorable new species of flatworm in her very own backgarden whilst hunting for slugs for a practical lesson.

marionfyfea-adventor

After members of her class brought the interesting specimen to her during a lesson, Elaine struggled to find a record for it anywhere online. After sending the little fellow off to Dr. Hugh Jones of the University of Manchester, the good news was returned that this was indeed a newly discovered creature. Marionfyfea adventor was successfully identified and shows that the next discovery could be just a potter in the back garden away! The full story can be found here…

Nanobionic Spinach Is Newest Threat To Terror

Watch out ISIS, there’s a new combatant to your troublesome antics and it comes in a form that you might not expect. No longer content with being the ‘superfood’ that is the bane of every child’s dinner, Spinach has arisen to become the next step in anti-terror measures. Scientists at MIT have been working on a new kind of science that they’ve branded ‘plant nanobionics’. The melding of plant matter with microscopic engineering electronic systems has granted spinach with ability to detect explosives and relay this information wirelessly to devices similar to a smartphone.

Although the physical applications of this technology might well be a long way off, this stands as the first important step in the process of fusing plant life with electronics – watch this space.

Age old answer to question: Do Vegetarians Live Longer?

It’s something that’s been argued for a long time – with the rise of Raw foods and the fashionable nature of Veganism – the question of whether it really is healthier to avoid meat all together may have finally been answered by Dr. Brown from Aston University, Birmingham. He’s been conducting long term research into the effect that meat eating has one the longevity of the average human’s life. Although he’s spent a long time compiling data from the dozens of research studies that have been conducted over the years – his advice does still come with a proviso.

steak-dinner

Although his findings point towards a meat-free lifestyle improving life-span, Dr. Brown is very eager to press the point that there are dozesn of other factors that also effect this. Environmental as well as genetic affects can vary wildly so, although it might be a smart move to cut down on the steaks, it won’t necessarily stop you from developing another disease that seriously shortens your life. His article for theconversation.com is well worth a read for more information.