While we’ll all fondly remember the moment the Mars Rover successfully touched down on the red planet or Felix Baumgartner’s wild ride from the edge of the stratosphere, there were other incredibly weird science stories that may have flown under your radar in the wake of so many other awe-inspiring moments.
Luckily, Alan Boyle, Science Editor at msnbc.com has been keeping his eyes peeled and brings us the ten strangest science stories of the year, wrapped up in a neat little article, but without the bow.
Sorry about that.
10. Holding it hurts your brain
No. 10 is the discovery that having a painful need to urinate can impair your judgment. “When people reach a point when they are in so much pain they just can’t stand it anymore, it was like being drunk,” says Brown University neurologist Peter Snyder. “The ability to hold information was really impaired.” To say nothing of the ability to hold water.
9. Flies hooked on meth … and sugar
When researchers noticed that meth addicts often take in large amounts of sugary drinks, they decided to do a little experiment: First, they got fruit flies hooked on methamphetamine. Then the scientists fed some of the flies a diet heavy on trehalose, an insect blood sugar. They found that the sugar-gobbling flies outlived the flies who didn’t get the sweet stuff. Maybe sugar metabolism plays a role in meth’s toxic effects. “Hopefully, some of these insights might lead to opportunities to deal with the problems associated with the drug,” says University of Illinois toxicologist Barry Pittendrigh. But more research is required to trace the effects on mammals. In the meantime, watch out for those meth-head fruit flies.
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