Field of Science


Keep Your Brain Healthy (a quiz)

Happy Friday! Have some sludge.

1. In honor of the Oscars this weekend, we'll start with a still from a very cool video. What is this?
a. a bioluminescent squid
b. fungus farmed in an ant colony
c. the inside of a mouse embryo
d. a model of new galaxies forming in space

(If you like videos that zoom through mysterious objects, also check out these fruit-and-vegetable MRIs.)

2. According to new research, climate change is having what effect on your allergies?
a. Allergy season has lengthened by two to four weeks in some parts of North America.
b. The ragweed population is declining due to mass die-offs of one of its major pollinators.
c. Allergy sufferers' symptoms have decreased by up to 12%, since heat represses histamine activity.
d. There's no such thing as climate change. We should keep burning fossil fuels, because carbon dioxide is good for plants.

3. Using video and chemical sampling of the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico, oceanographer Samantha Joye found:
a. almost no oil, hooray!
b. blankets of oil several inches thick
c. healthy populations of sea creatures
d. bacterial spit

4. Speaking of sludge, Indonesia could spend the next 20 to 90 years dealing with constant flow from its:
a. mud volcano
b. tar geyser
c. oil pipeline rupture
d. sewage river

5. Finally, good news (for some people). Apparently, being bilingual can:
a. reduce stress
b. make your brian bigger
c. delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease
d. prevent brain tumors

Answers are in the comments.

 Image: Ian Smyth, Monash University.

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