October 18, 2019

Ben Palmer's reads

Meet the 'blob.' A Paris zoo on Wednesday debuted a new organism called the "blob," a yellow-colored unicellular organism that despite looking like a fungus, behaves like an animal. The life form doesn't have a brain, mouth, stomach, or eyes, but it is able to detect and consume food, and—if cut in half—can heal itself in just a couple minutes. The blob, which has nearly 720 sexes, is also able to move despite having no legs or wings. According to Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, the blob "surprises us, because it has no brain but is able to learn … and if you merge two blobs, the one that has learned will transmit its knowledge to the other." David added that the scientists "know for sure it is not a plant but we don't really if it's an animal or a fungus." The public will be able to view the blob starting Saturday.

Your paycheck could impact your health. Changes in your paycheck could have an impact on your heart health, according to a recent study in JAMA Cardiology. For the study, researchers monitored the health of 8,989 people over 17 years. The study participants' income levels were tracked at two interviews, conducted roughly six years apart. The researchers found that, compared to those who had relatively stable incomes, those whose incomes dropped by at least 50% were 17% more likely to have heart failure, fatal coronary heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke. Meanwhile, those whose income increased by at least 50% were 14% less likely to have a cardiovascular event.

Rachel Schulze's reads

Let's take a selfie. A maidenhair fern at the London Zoo can take its own selfies. How? The plant, named Pete, undergoes photosynthesis to produce sugar, which is excreted by its roots in the form of waste. Micro-organisms in the soil break this down further, and this releases energy that's captured to charge a super capacitor. Once the capacitor fills with energy, it discharges power to take a photo. The London Zoological Society said the technology holds the potential for use monitoring remote and inhospitable rainforest locations to track important data, such as temperature, humidity, and plant growth.

That's surreal. A suspect on Tuesday walked right out of a San Francisco art gallery with a $20,000 Salvador Dali painting in hand. Security footage showed a man walking down the street with the work of art, called Surrealistic Bullfight: Burning Giraffe, between 4:40 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, police say. David Schach, the gallery's co-owner, said the gallery doesn't keep its artwork locked, so the suspect just took the art off the wall.

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