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SCI-ZONE

By Dr. Freak

World's Tiniest Fish Discovered
THey must have needed a really small hook, but Australian scientists say they've caught what they believe is the world's smallest and lightest fish. In fact, researchers at Sydney's Australian Museum say the Stout Infantfish is so minuscule - it would take a million of them to tip the scales at one kilogram - they are seeking to have it listed as the world's smallest and lightest vertebrate. The microscopic fish, first discovered by Australian scientists in 1979 but not classified until last month, is formally identified as Schindleria brevipinguis. Males of the species are just 7 millimetres long while females average 8.4 millimetres. The world's current acknowledged smallest vertebrate is the dwarf goby fish. Males of that species reach 8.6 millimetres and females 8.9 millimetres. The Stout infantfish, a wormlike thread with comparatively big eyes but no teeth or scales has only been found near one island off Australia's east coast. I still can't figure out how those scientists found them. Do they get into the water wearing microscopes?

The Dead Speaks Through Talking Tombstone
The dead could soon be speaking from the grave if an American inventor's plan becomes reality. Robert Barrows, of Burlingame, California has filed a patent application for a video-equipped tombstone that will display a video message from grave's occupant. The hollow, talking tombstone will include a flat touch screen and will house a computer with a microchip memory or hard disc. It will be powered by electricity from the cemetery's lighting system. Now imagine yourself in a lonely cemetery with all those dead men talking. It'll make any old man to have a heart-attack.

Three-in-one Glass Panels
Nowadays sky-scrapers and big buildings are clad in glass-panels, looking aesthetic, shimmering in the light and reflecting the landscape in pleasing ways. But thanks to a new technology called PV-TV, those glass-panels can do more than that. Developed by Tokyo-based MSK Corporation, this amorphous silicon technology has a "three-on-one" functionality: it is able to act as a glazing element, solar panel, and video display screen. As an external glaze, PV-TV allows up to 10% visible light to be transmitted through the panel. This level of light transmission is optimal to allow sufficient light in cloudy conditions while protecting against excessive solar gain and ultraviolet rays. As a solar photovoltaic (PV) panel, PV-TV can generate 3.8 watts of electricity per square foot, an above-average level of efficiency. But PV-TV's most unusual feature is its ability to act as a full-colour internal and external screen. A picture or advertisement projected from inside a structure can be seen within that building, with PV-TV acting as a regular display screen. On the outside of the building, the material can function as a giant billboard. Using this can enable us to cut down load-shedding, as buildings will produce its own electricity. Though our country has power shortage, all the time shopping malls are gleaming with excessive lights, where people are suffering from load-shedding.

Pollution 'changes sex of fish'
A third of male fish in British rivers are in the process of changing sex due to pollution in human sewage, research by the Environment Agency suggests. A survey of 1,500 fish at 50 river sites found more than a third of males displayed female characteristics. Hormones in the sewage, including those produced by the female contraceptive pill, are thought to be the main cause. The agency says the problem could damage fish populations by reducing their ability to reproduce. It said its study highlighted the need for water companies to develop new treatments. There has been concern for some time that chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, are causing fish to change sex. Looks like pollution causes many problems, including biological changes. Living in a gas chamber like Dhaka, who can guarantee that after waking up one morning, you won't find yourself in the opposite sex? We have to give some serious thought about it.

Sci-Facts
=> The longest cells in the human body are the motor neurons. They can be up to 4.5 feet (1.37 meters) long and run from the lower spinal cord to the big toe.
=> The blue whale can produce sounds up to 188 decibels. This is the loudest sound produced by a living animal and has been detected as far away as 530 miles.
=> It takes approximately 12 hours for food to entirely digest.

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