Weird Science

So odd, yet so true

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Cactus Cure
Taking a pill made from prickly pear fruit five hours before boozing cuts the risk of a severe hangover in half, according to the June Archives of Internal Medicine.

Let the Bedbugs Bite
In January the FDA OK'd maggot therapy for chronic wounds. The maggots munch the wound site clean, dissolving dead tissue with their digestive juices and swallowing bacteria.

Smells Like Mole Monogamy
Commitment-phobic male meadow voles were turned into devoted partners when research- ers switched on a gene that links sexual pleasure with a lover's odor. Explains Emory University neuroscientist Larry Young: "Sex with a female is good" became "Sex with this female is good."

Bottoms Up!
Thirsty Mars astronauts may turn to a new toilet. Feces and table scraps churn away in a "digesting" tank that boosts heat-loving bacteria. The bacteria break down the solids while killing harmful bugs, leaving a pasteurized liquid that is 95 percent H20. Plants fertilized with the slurry transpire freshwater.

Who's Your Daddy?
Japanese scientists announced in August that a male salmon had spawned trout hatchlings, the first report of one species producing offspring of another. Primordial trout germ cells (the progenitors of eggs and sperm) had been transplanted into the salmon when it was still an embryo. It grew up to have both its own sperm and trout sperm; the latter fertilized trout eggs, resulting in 10 hatchlings.