At Nature's Innocentive site, (a directory for X-prizes), there is an entry looking for someone who can develop a standard method of placing insects into a latent state and then reanimating them. If you figure it out, you can win 20,000 bucks.
What's interesting about the offer isn't that someone is willing to pay big money in order to Han Solo a housefly. (And by the way, you can put a house fly in a freezer for a minute, take it out, tie a string around it and watch it zoom around when it wakes up, but you can't get 20,000 bucks for suggesting that.) Anaesthesia doesn't count, either.
What's interesting is that what the prize is really asking is for someone to figure out how to stop an insect from aging. You would have to figure out how to completely shut down cellular process-- including cell death-- in a complex multicellular organism and keep it alive at the same time.
I have no idea how to do that. But I wonder if there are principles in simpler organisms that can be extrapolated. Lots of tinier creatures go into latent phases. I believe that in many of those cases, there are specialized genetic programs for producing a lot of heat shock protein and for dealing with dehydration: not things that are typically considered practical.
The deadline for the prize is the end of May, and I'll be very interested to see if anyone gets it. I would suggest that those attempting it not use ugly insects. There is no point for someone to pay 20 grand for a procedure that will keep alive a bug when the public pays 6 bucks per can of Raid to try and kill it.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Poisons Chemists Hate, But You Just Ate
- CERN And LIP Openings For Graduate Students In Physics - Good $$$
- Supersymmetry Is About To Be Discovered, Kane Says
- Our Ethical Responsibilities To Baby Terraformed Worlds - Like Parents
- End Racist Sexism At US Universities Now
- A New Target For Machado Joseph Disease Treatment
- Single Top Production At The LHC
- "maybe if I told the person to read through your blog and perhaps just try and assure him that this..."
- "What can I do or say that could help?..."
- "I no people that have thought about commiting suicide because of this nibiru I don't think I could..."
- "No, I'm not saying you have to take my word for it. I'm saying with just a bit of common sense..."
- "Are these chemical that a purposely put into these foods are are they naturally occurring? If they..."
- Type-2 Diabetes Drug Ineffective for Obese, Type-1 Teens
- Insulin Pill Could Revolutionize Diabetes Treatment
- For Hypertension Patients, Nearly Half Lack Proper Care
- Antibiotic Resistance: Beginning of the End?
- Give to ACSH on Giving Tuesday!
- Global Energy Balance Network and Coke: What Emails Reveal
- Photonic 'sintering' may create new solar, electronics manufacturing technologies
- How does your garden grow? For cancer patients, small gardens could bring big benefits
- Unique study maps political orientation of all 50 US states over time
- After hip-replacement surgery, medication use decreases
- Red means 'go' to therapeutic viruses