Archives for the month of: January, 2012

Even though identical twins have the same DNA, they have different fingerprints. The patterns are similar, but have some changes, probably because of random events during development in the womb.

The biggest known lake is called is called Kraken Mare and is on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. It covers 150,000 square miles.

The smell of the earth after rain is called petrichor, and comes from plant oils and bacteria. One component of this is called geosmin.

Everyone’s body has about 100 trillion meters of DNA, or about 2 metres per cell – this would reach to the sun and back about 300 times.


There are other versions of the distance though – 60 billion miles (109,000 round trips to the moon), 2.0 × 1013 metres (69 round trips to the sun) or 75·1012 metres (10,000 round trips to the moon or 500 round trips to the Sun).

This post has been updated – thanks to @Sciencefestiva1 for spotting missing information.

Having no sense of smell is called anosmia. Anosmia can be caused by a blow to the head, by a vitamin A deficiency, or by a viral infection. Famous anosmics include William Wordsworth (poet), Bill Pullman (actor), Brian Mulroney (Canadian Prime Minister), Michael Hutchence (lead singer of INXS) and Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream).

Ozzy Osbourne has had his genome sequenced – as had Steve Jobs. Ozzy’s genome includes some Neanderthal DNA.

Alpatus magnimius, a type of fruit fly, has the smallest heart in the world, at less than 0.21 mm.

Honey bees have five eyes.

Honey bees may be used as ‘security‘ at a historic site in Wales to deter vandals. A great idea – keep damage down, make honey and pollinate flowers, though people are talking about health and safety issues already.

…that they cross over more than one level of the atmosphere. High clouds mostly made of ice particles and low clouds are mostly drops of water. Try making a cloud.

Some people don’t have fingerprints. This is called adermatoglyphia and is caused by a change in a gene.

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