I remember vividly the day, at the tail end of March, when facemasks suddenly became synonymous with morality: either one cared about the lives of others and donned a mask, or one was selfish and refused to do so. The shift occurred virtually overnight.
Only a day or two before, I had associated this attire solely with surgeons and people living in heavily polluted regions. Now, my friends’ favorite pastime during our weekly Zoom sessions was excoriating people for running or socializing without masks in Prospect Park. I was mystified by their certitude that bits of cloth were the only thing standing between us and mass death, particularly when mere weeks prior, the message from medical experts contradicted this new doctrine.
With a little help from Hungarian scientists, the seemingly impossible just occurred — the birth of long-nosed, spiky-finned hybrids of Russian sturgeons and American paddlefish. Though the results were accidental, about 100 of these so-called “sturddlefish” are now in captivity.
According to LiveScience, the Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Hungary scientists didn’t intend to birth this entirely new species. After all, 184 million years of evolution on separate continents made it seem clear that these two kinds of fish were sexually incompatible.
After placing sperm from an American paddlefish near eggs from a Russian sturgeon, however, they were proven wrong. According to ScienceAlert, the eggs reproduced asexually through gynogesis, a process that requires the presence of sperm but not the actual introduction of its DNA.
One in fifty scientists fakes research by fabricating or falsifying data. They make off with government grant money, which they share with their universities, and their made-up findings guide medical practice, public policy and ordinary people’s decisions about things like whether or not to vaccinate their children. The fraudulent science we know about has caused thousands of deaths and wasted millions in taxpayer dollars. That is only scratching the surface, however—because most fraudsters are never caught. As Ivan Oransky notes in Gaming the Metrics, “the most common outcome for those who commit fraud is: a long career.”
What could go wrong?
Scientists made monkey brains double in size by splicing them with human genes in a “Planet of the Apes”-style experiment.
During the study, Japanese and German researchers injected a gene called ARHGAP11B — which directs stem cells in the human brain — into the dark matter of marmoset fetuses, according to a release about the research.
They found that the primates’ brains soon became more human-like by developing larger, more advanced neocortexes — the area that controls cognition and language, according to the study published in the journal Science in June.
According to images released by the researchers, the modified monkey brains nearly doubled in size at around 100 days into gestation.