Micro Files


Global warming freezes baby penguins

Besides predators and having enough food, penguin chicks now need to fight against the changing climate. According to Scientific American, increased rainfall and extreme heat due to climate change are killing penguin chicks. Researchers spent almost 30 years monitoring and tracking chicks at Punta Tombo, Argentina, the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins. They found that down-covered chicks are too big to receive parental protection from the elements, but are not old enough to have grown protective waterproof feathers. Thus, they get soaked during rainstorms and die of hyperthermia. Heat waves are also challenging for chicks, since they cannot go to swim and cool themselves down until their waterproof feathers grow in. 

Future Uzbek Olympians will be selected with help from genetic tests

According to Popular Science, Uzbekistan will start testing children’s’ genes to spot future Olympians in early 2015. Rustam Muhamedov, director of the genetics laboratory at Uzbekistan’s Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, said that parents will be told what sports their kids are best suited for after a blood test. However, experts are skeptical, as journalist David Epstein writes that if you want to see which child is likely to be the fastest (in the present, or in the near future), it’s best to line them up and have a race. “What they are trying to do is learn about someone’s physiology. If you want to learn about someone’s physiology, you should test their physiology instead of the genes,” said Epstein. 

Empty bottles can be turned into lamps

According to Gizmodo UK, empty wine bottles can be turned into stylish lamps with a $15 LED cork. This new product can be recharged via USB, meaning it is compatible with either an AC adapter or a personal computer. 

An hour’s charge provides about two-and-a-half hours of light, which is just enough time for serving dinner and having a conversation. By twisting the cork, the LED light can be easily turned on or off. Distributed by Suck UK, the new bottle light will be launched to the market soon. 


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