Weird Science! The Friday News Quiz (Oct. 18, 2013)

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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: friendly chimps, habitable exoplanets and some disturbing news about Oreos.
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Question 1 of 10
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1.AUniversityofWisconsinresearchermayhavediscoveredanewspeciesoftickwhere?
  • In the sewers of Jakarta
  • In the highlands of Scotland
  • In the suburb of Cleveland
  • In his nose
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Veterinary epidemiologist Tony Goldberg discovered the tick in his nostril after a recent trip to the Kibale National Park in Uganda. Subsequent analysis concluded that the tick is of a new species, and that veterinary epidemiologists don't get paid enough.
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2.Newresearchsuggeststhateatingpopcornmaypromoteimmunitytowhat?
  • Tooth decay
  • Depleted sodium levels
  • Influenza viruses
  • Movie advertising
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Previous research has established that people automatically simulate speaking a new name when they hear it for the first time. Advertisers rely on this when promoting a new brand, but it seems that chewing popcorn while watching ads disrupts the process. In short, effective anti-advertising technology is available in the lobby for only $9.50! Cheap!
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3.AccordingtorecentNASAanalysis,itseemstheEarthmaybeindangerfromwhat?
  • A thinning troposphere
  • Rogue gamma rays
  • Tiny asteroids
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The NASA study looked at small near-earth asteroids (NEOs) like the one that exploded over Russia earlier this year. While most NEOs with diameters larger than 1 kilometer are thought to have been discovered, less than 1 percent of asteroids the size of the Russian meteor have been detected. The announcement wins this week's Yet Another Thing To Worry About award.
  • The Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator
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4.AprimatestudyinGeorgiafoundthatchimpanzeesreactedsurprisinglyfavorablytowardwhat?
  • Rival chimpanzees
  • Robotic dolls
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The study found that chimpanzees quickly befriended a small robotic doll programmed to make primate noises, raising the terrifying possibility of a chimp-robot alliance during the upcoming android apocalypse.
  • Reconstituted bananas
  • Republican lawmakers
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5.Newgeneticsresearchpublishedthisweekmayexplainwhysomepeoplearewhat?
  • Bad liars
  • Good Samaritans
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The study, published in the journal Social Neuroscience, found that a single genotype variation may determine whether a person engages in altruistic or self-serving actions. While the study didn't specifically recommend genetically engineering the House of Representatives, you know that everybody was thinking it.
  • Big tippers
  • Boston Red Sox Fans
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6.Astronomersthisweeksaidtheymayhavediscovereda"habitablezone"exoplanetwhere?
  • In the solar system's outer "beltline"
  • In the Milky Way's galactic "bulge"
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The detected planet -- a gas giant in the Milky Way's galactic center or bulge -- is not itself habitable, but any orbiting moons might be. The zone is 25,000 light years away, however. Chances of such a moon being habitable are a little worse than more nearby planets, but a little better than Detroit.
  • In Saturn's planetary "paunch"
  • In Willie Nelson's beard
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7.NewDNAresearchsuggeststhatpersistentYetisightingsintheHimalayasmayactuallybeevidenceofwhat?
  • A family of escaped mountain apes
  • A prehistoric polar bear
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Well, kind of. Hair samples from alleged Yeti sightings were found to have DNA similar to that of an extinct polar bear hybrid. The finding suggests that a previously unknown species of bear may be responsible for the enduring myth. The bear hypothesis was further bolstered by the finding of several nearby pic-i-nic baskets.
  • A secret Tibetan death cult
  • Ill-advised Robitussin binges by explorers
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8.AcuriousstudyoutofConnecticuthasconcludedthatOreocookiesareactuallywhat?
  • Healthier than carrots
  • Less fattening than coffee
  • More addictive than cocaine
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: It's true -- in lab rats, at least. The study found that eating Oreos activated more neurons in the brain’s “pleasure center” than consuming cocaine or morphine. The experiment also showed that, like humans, rats prefer to break open the cookie and eat the middle first. No, seriously. It's in the study and everything.
  • Little sentient demons sent by Satan
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9.Ascienceandartcollaborationwentviralthisweekthatpurportstoshowwhat?
  • How dogs hear sound
  • How cats see the world
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: Using information from feline ophthalmology, artist Nickolay Lamm has created a series of images that suggests what the world looks like through the eyes of a cat. It turns out all human habitats are essentially divided into places to nap and places to throw up.
  • How birds navigate
  • How squirrels cheat at poker
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10.Newreportsthisweekrevealthatscientistsareonthevergeofestablishinganunderwaterwhat?
  • Wheat field
  • Whale city
  • Wi-fi network
    Incorrect! Correct Answer: The underwater wi-fi network will be used to detect earthquakes and tsunamis, and will give Starbucks an excuse to open an additional 20,000 underwater locations.
  • Wax museum
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