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Sidelines

On the Record

“There are a lot of testicles around.”

Chris Barratt of Birmingham Women's Hospital explains why stem cells from testicles could be a useful alternative to those from human embryos.

“I haven't done any conquering, per se.”

Tom Robinson, an accounting professor, considers his newly identified genetic link to Genghis Khan.

“Swabbing butts is not my highest priority, but it's a national emergency kind of thing.”

Biologist Rick Lanctot bites the bullet and samples shorebirds in Alaska for the H5N1 flu virus.

Sources: The Guardian, Miami Herald, Reuters

Scorecard

Sporting ants

Scientists fiddle with ants' pheromones to whip up team rivalries in the world's tiniest football match: the Ant World Cup.

Horse whispering

An acoustics scientist finds that horse whinnies are far more complex than originally believed.

Young footballers

Kids playing football in new boots can end up with toxic shock syndrome from blisters, doctors report.

Number crunch

Have jet fuel, will travel. Inventor Brian Walker is building a massive, cross-bow-style rocket launcher in a bid to fire himself 32 kilometres in to the air this autumn.

6,000 newtons is the thrust Walker hopes his home-made rocket will achieve.

7 metres is the length of the carbon-fibre ‘bow’ Walker will use to launch the rocket.

$15,000 is the cost of Walker's safety gear: a surplus Russian space suit.

Source: Wired

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Sidelines. Nature 441, 792 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/441792a

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