Weird Science! The Friday News Quiz (Sept. 20, 2013)

//
Each week, Discovery News tracks dozens of stories of the strange and interesting in the world of science. Test your knowledge of the week's news with the Weird Science quiz. In this edition: a new Martian rover, a scary kind of plastic, and a parasite with a plan.
Start the Quiz
Question 1 of 10
0Correct Answers
1.Newresearchsuggeststhatmiceinfectedwiththetoxoplasmaparasitelosetheir:
  • Fear of cats
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The effect is thought to be beneficial to the parasite, because toxoplasma reproduces in feline intestinal tracts. Interesting side effect: While the mice stop being afraid of cats, they do become afraid of clowns, like all other sensible creatures.
  • Sense of balance
  • Sense of smell
  • Sense of humor
  • Next
2.Neuroscienceresearchersannouncedthisweekthatthey'vediscoveredanewlevelof:
  • Sleep
  • Consciousness
  • Coma
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: This deep state of coma is achieved by treating patients already in a drug-induced coma with even higher doses of medication, and/or the latest Coldplay album.
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Next
3.NewresearchoutofChinaindicatesthattheInternetisespeciallyefficientatdisseminating:
  • Apps
  • AASCII code
  • Aphorisms
  • Anger
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The study measured the "ripple effect" of online communication and discovered that angry online postings prompted more follow-up angry postings than those that indicated sadness or joy. The findings were corroborated by every single comments section on every online article ever published.
  • Next
4.EngineersatIntelthisweekunveiledamicroprocessorpoweredby:
  • Water
  • Wine
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The prototype system, designed for charging mobile devices on the microwatt level, can be powered by a single glass of red wine. We've said it before, but perhaps never really meant it until now: Gosh, we love science. Also, feel free to insert your own "One for the road" joke here.
  • Wi-Fi
  • Wishful thinking
  • Next
5.AlaboratoryinSpainhasdevelopedanewkindofplasticthatcan:
  • Heal itself
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The material, touted as the world's first self-healing plastic, can meld back together on its own when broken or cut. The polymer has been nicknamed "Terminator," evidently by scientists who think the impending android revolution is funny.
  • Dissolve itself
  • Google itself
  • Procreate
  • Next
6.AGermanelectronicsmakerbrokeaworldrecordthisweekwhenitunveiled:
  • A weather-predicting solar cell
  • A bacteria-eating nanobot
  • A coffee-drinking laptop PC
  • A fire-breathing dragon
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The 30-foot-tall, fire-breathing dragon has a 40-foot wingspan, 272 hydraulic valves and polyurethane dragon scales. That vibration you feel is the result of a million Renaissance Festival geeks trembling with joy.
  • Next
7.AgroupofKoreanarchitectsproposedaplanthisweektobuildtheworld'sfirst:
  • Inverted pyramid
  • Interactive office building
  • Invisible skyscraper
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The building would use cameras and LED displays to capture real-time images from one side of the skyscraper and project them on the other, giving the illusion of transparency. The plan has already received the coveted "Worst Idea Ever" award from the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • International Space Crustacean
  • Next
8.Newresearchconfirmsthatacommonformofgrasshopper-typebugactuallypowersitsleapswith:
  • Interlocking gears
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The Issus bug uses interlocking teeth on its hind legs to synchronise leg motions for powerful leaps. It's the first time that anything resembling gears has been found in a living creature. Although biologists in Peru once found a llama with a '76 Camaro chassis. That was a surprise.
  • Magnetic repulsion
  • Methane gas emissions
  • Red Bull (promotional consideration provided by Red Bull)
  • Next
9.NorwegianscientistsareworkingonanewtypeofMartianrovervehiclethatresembles:
  • A snail
  • A snake
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Researchers have built several prototype robotic snakes designed to navigate Mars' rugged terrain. The robots could potentially "slither" into areas that wheeled rovers can't access. Not everyone is enthusiastic, however. NASA liaison Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr., was visibly upset at the prospect. "Snakes," he said. "Why'd it have to be snakes?"
  • A snow leopard
  • A snipe
  • Next
10.Anewenvironmentalstudysuggeststhatpollutionmaycause:
  • Penguins to migrate early
  • Songbirds to sing badly
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The Cornell University study concludes that songbirds exhibit "inconsistency in their songs caused by non-lethal levels of contaminants in the environment." Interestingly, the study's graduate assistants suffered similar effects due to non-lethal levels of Mai Tais at Cornell karaoke bars.
  • Turkeys to cook quickly
  • Owls to pontificate unwisely
  • Next