Nieuws - 28 februari 2013

Animal testing

People are not the only ones to use animals for tests. Meerkats do it too. When they have to cross a dangerous road in the Kalahari desert the dominant female forces the weakest specimen to go ahead of the others. She is testing whether it is safe for the group to cross the road. The research is in the scientific journal PloS One.

Smart flies
If there are parasitic wasps around, fruit fly mothers lay their eggs in rotten fruit. A booze-up for the larvae, but they can take their drink. Parents getting their young drunk? Yes indeed, because wasps cannot take their drink nearly as well as fruit flies. So they give up: 1-0 to the fruit flies. Alcohol as protection. Have you had your fruit, dear?
The city has existed for 750 years. In June there will be a reunion for everyone with the surname Wageningen or Van Wageningen. There must be one working at Wageningen UR, surely? But no. On We@Wur you can find an Ali van Rhenen-van Zanten, several Veenendaals (Elmar, Gerard van) and a van Ede (Danielle). But no (Van) Wageningens. Not among the students either. Coincidence or negative bias when choosing a university?

Peeing for a better environment. This option will soon be available to civil servants at the Friesland water board. Their toilets are to be equipped with a special urinal that will collect the urine. A researcher wants to extract the phosphate and nitrogen from it and convert it into electricity. Toilets are not suited to the purpose as you cannot guarantee getting only urine. The water board expects to collect 280 litres of urine a day, enough for an electric car to go about 50 kilometres. They call it 'golden electricity'.