There are bugs flying around in the sky and you’re eating them

When you’re in an aeroplane you’re constantly inhaling microscopic organisms that live four miles above the surface of the Earth.

NASA says so, anyway. They’ve been buzzing around in a DC-8 in the Atlantic and our very own Caribbean Sea, according to Science Daily.

“We did not expect to find so many microorganisms in the troposphere, which is considered a difficult environment for life,” said Kostas Konstantinidis, an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “There seems to be quite a diversity of species, but not all bacteria make it into the upper troposphere.”

Probably turned away due to wearing the wrong shoes, we expect.

Want to live forever? Not sure we do here to be honest; the years are already starting to blur into an interchangeable and ultimately aimless splodging around in the morose mud of mediocrity and dashed dreams. Still, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley are more positive and have managed to rejuvenate stem cells of old mice to the extent that their regenerative potential is recovered.

Something of a boon for our mousey pals, who usually spend most of their time getting cut open by boffins who are trying to find a cure for ginger hair or something equally vital.

SIRT3 is the protein which can do this magic trick and previous studies have shown that this gene is actually activated under a calorie restricted scenario. So dieting might make you live longer, too. Particularly if you are, as we mentioned, a mouse.

Eek. Still, a lot of things are possible, such as the Belfast man that was reported to be growing a new nose on his arm. Not for fun, his other one got lost somehow which seems a tad careless, but never mind.

“Shamone,” the man, who wasn’t called M. Jackson, didn’t say.

Oh dear

In the meantime, a group of nodders over in Lausanne, Switzerland is going to spend $1.6 billion creating a computer simulation of a human brain.

The niftily-titled “Human Brain Project” will bring together 200 researchers from 80 institutions worldwide and seek to map something in the region of 100 billion neuron connections which will, they hope, reconstruct the human brain.

Weekender’s science desk would like to recommend the following movies to these people before they do something we all regret: Terminator; the Matrix; Terminator II (But not the third Terminator, cause that was pretty rubbish. And we won’t even mention the unspeakable Matrix sequels. As they’re unspeakable.); Metropolis; 2001: A Space Odyssey; and Hunky Firemen and their Hoses. (This one’s not about technology per se, just one of our favourites.)

Someone’s slipped up at Peugot Citroen this week and actually allowed the technology for air-powered cars to come out in public.

Yes, after years of buying up all alternative-fuel circuits and hiding them in order to sell more petrol, the auto industry seems to have done a U-turn. Or a three-point turn, depending on what is safer. Check both mirrors and signal and only then begin the manoeuvre.

PSA Peugot reckons their Hybrid Air technology will knock 45 per cent off a fuel bill by 2016 and the car will run on compressed air 80 per cent of the time. Fairly cool, we thought.

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