Posted: December 22nd, 2004 | Author: | No Comments »

A giant virus was discovered that is as big as a small bacterium and may be an entirely new form of life. Scientists succeeded in cultivating square, salt-loving bacteria called Walsby’s square archaeon. Two new AIDS vaccines failed to work. The genome of a Hereford cow was sequenced. Cone snails, it was found, catch fish by firing a hollow posion tooth through a long proboscis. Chinese scientists unveiled a microscopic swimming robot that they said could be used someday to deliver drugs or to clear clogged arteries, and Korean and Italian researchers developed a tiny robot with multiple legs designed to crawl through a patient’s guts. Scientists with NIZO Food Research developed an artificial throat that breathes, salivates, and swallows. A new study found that injecting mice with embryonic stem cells can partially correct congenital heart defects in their babies. Another study suggested that vitamin supplements could increast the risk of dyning from cancer. Japanese surgeons gave a burn victim a new face made from a single sheet of skin taken from his back. A quadriplegic man succeeded in checking email and playing computer games via a microchip embedded in his brain. American researchers developed a device that uses spinach to generate electricity. Canadian researchers cliamed to have developed a cure for the common cold. California banned necrophilia. Volcanic ash rained down on Tokyo.

— Harper’s Magazine, December 2004