News briefs – August 22, 2012

Ian Larsen/Sun Star Reporter
August 28, 2012

Hoverbikes more than a sci-fi novel

Aerofex, an aerospace company, is working on a fully operational hover bike. Aerofex has been working on the bike since 2008. The company recently released a video of their hoverbike in-action racing around the desert. The company keeps a flight log in order for readers to watch the company’s improvements on the vehicle. The vehicle is able to stay off the ground using two ducted rotors on the bottom of the vehicle. The rotors spin in opposite directions to keep the hover bike afloat. The bike is controlled by leaning left and right, the same way one does with a bike or motorcycle on the ground. The company stated that it has no plans to sell the bike to the public since it is for military drone testing.

-LA Times

The mosquitoes were bad this year

Not only were mosquitoes out in force this year, they caused the largest outbreak of West Nile virus in the U.S. to date. This summer has had the highest amount of recorded cases of the virus, since the disease was first detected in 1999. So far, 1,118 cases  have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 41 of these cases were fatal. The CDC does not know why the outbreak was so high this year. The CDC speculated that the warm weather could have been favorable for the disease’s transfer. Texas has been hit the hardest by the disease this summer with 586 confirmed cases and 21 deaths. Don’t freak out too much though, in areas where mosquitoes can carry the virus, only about 1 in 500 actually carry it.


 Older dads DNA  may doom children

Researches in Iceland have suggested in recent studies, that mutations in male DNA increase with age.  In the study, researches have searched through genomes or genetic material makeup, of 78 families for mutations and looked at the number of genetic mutation in children’s DNA in relation to the age of the parent. Most children of the families with older fathers had non-hereditary autism or schizophrenia. Researchers speculate that every year a man ages, he will pass on more than two new mutations to the conceived child, and that mutation rate doubles for fathers between ages 20 to 58. This study is the first of its kind to make a connection between the entire genome of the parents in relation to their children.

-U.S. News

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