TCS Daily

Science Quiz

By Kenneth Silber - June 3, 2003 12:00 AM

Test your knowledge of recent scientific developments and issues.

1. Physicist João Magueijo has become known for proposing that:
The speed of light in a vacuum may have varied over the history of the universe
Cosmic strings could be used to facilitate extremely fast space travel
An editor at a science journal that held up one of his papers should be "castrated"
All of the above

2. Fossils recently found on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar provide the first clear evidence of:
Cannibalism among members of a dinosaur species
Cannibalism among prehistoric humans
Efforts by dinosaurs to divert an asteroid that was approaching Earth
None of the above

3. Brain scans have produced data indicating that:
Buddhist practitioners have heightened activity in the left prefrontal lobe, an area linked to feelings of well-being
Abused children show reductions in the size of the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain's left and right hemispheres
Republicans and Democrats differ in the size of the amygdala, a region involved in emotions such as anger and fear
Both A and B

4. Following a study showing close similarities between human and chimpanzee DNA, participating scientists proposed that chimpanzees:
Be categorized with humans as a species belonging to the genus Homo
Be relocated to colder climates as a precaution against global warming
Receive equal time in satellite and cable television programming
Both A and B

5. Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of Britain's Cardiff University wrote a letter to the medical journal The Lancet suggesting the SARS virus originated from:
Deep inside the mantle of the Earth
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor
Outer space

6. ITER is a planned nuclear-fusion reactor, to be constructed by a consortium of countries. Which of the following is true about the project's name?
It started as an acronym for "International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor," but this longer name has been discontinued
Project managers emphasize that it means "the way" in Latin
It's usually pronounced "eater"
All of the above

7. Africa's first cloned animal, born in April 2003, was:
A cow, cloned from a champion milk cow
Named Futi, the Zulu word for "replica" or "repeat"
Both A and B
An elephant, cloned in an effort to preserve the species

8. The relatively faint star that is believed to be the third-closest star to our sun was discovered in:
Prehistoric times

9. A gene called Fkbp6, which was thought to play a role in heart disease, was removed from mice by experimenters. There was no effect on heart condition, but which effect was observed in the mice?
Conversion of eye and hair color
Complete loss of male fertility
Expansion of the left prefrontal lobe
Development of aggressive tendencies

10. Who is Dr. John Marburger
The Surgeon General of the United States
The Science Advisor to President George W. Bush
The 2002 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry
The inventor of a hamburger that can be eaten on Mars


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