Student - December 17, 2014


Always wanted to buy yourself a Nobel Prize? Too late. James Watson (of double helix fame) auctioned his at the start of this month at Christie’s in New York. The trinket fetched 3.8 million euros, twice as much as the medal of his mate Francis Crick last year. The 86-year-old Watson will be donating some of the money to charity and to science. Noble.


Why do females live longer than males? In the case of fruit flies, through sexual selection, suggests research at the University of Exeter. The lifespan of the males is 30 percent shorter. Courtship can take years off your life, it seems. That’s if you are a fly, the researchers stress. Makes you think though.



Was it theft or a student prank? Panic broke out at the University of Texas when it was discovered that hundreds of human brains, including that of notorious murderer Charles Whitman, has disappeared from the university’s collection.

After a worldwide wave of publicity, the university shamefacedly came out with the answer to this riddle: the organs were accidentally destroyed in 2002.



A German department store has sacked its Father Christmas for being… too old. At the ripe old age of 72, the man, who has a genuine white beard, was thought to be too old for the demanding role of Santa. Angry reactions came in from all around the world, but he himself was not very bothered. He has found some quieter odd jobs.