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Golden Mussels, Not Piranhas, are the Deadliest Creatures of the Amazon

These invasive species are threatening the Amazon biodiversity.

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There’s a foreign invasive specie encroaching on the Amazon River’s shores and it’s called the golden mussel. While it may not look dangerous, it’s actually a massive threat.

The golden mussel first reached the Americas in the 1990s as a stowaway on Chinese ships. In just a decade, its population has grown so big, looking like it is set to fully invade the Amazonian waters. Without a natural predator, the golden mussels are left to do only three things: eat, sleep, and mate.

The golden mussel is a great threat to Amazonian waters.

Source: Ozy.com

Since its arrival on the Amazon, the golden mussel has already altered its environment and killed some of its existing inhabitants. Its existence is detrimental to the Amazon River, which is home to the most numerous freshwater fish species in the world.

Brazilian biologist Marcela Uliano da Silva has been studying to save the Amazonian waters from the golden mussel.

Source: Ozy.com

Brazilian biologist Marcela Uliano da Silva has been trying to save the Amazon from golden mussels. She describes the Amazon River as ‘precious’. Since golden mussels have begun clogging power plant pipes in the area, the losses are estimated to be at least $20,000 a day.


Uliano da Silva’s approach to stopping the golden mussels from doing more damage is considered controversial by some in her field. Instead of introducing predators to the environment, spraying chlorine and other chemicals, or calling for policy changes, she’s turning to DNA sequencing and targeting the genes that underlie the mussel’s MO.

Golden mussels in the Amazon only do three things: eat, sleep, and mate.

Her strategy is to get in the lab and inject mussels with molecules called silencing RNAs, which would recognize and turn off only golden mussel survival genes. The lab-modified mussels would be released to the wild to breed so that future generations of the species will not express the said genes.

It’s only recently that DNA sequencing has become cheap and user-friendly enough to use against invasive species. Other scientists says it’s possible for the lab-modified mussels’ genes to further change once they are introduced to the wild, and it could mean undesirable results.

As Uliano da Silva told Ozy.com:

“Every day, I’m anxious. But you have to be able to live in agony. Otherwise, you’re not going to do great things… You cannot be safe. You need to take risks.”

Find out more about Uliano da Silva’s project below.

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Sci/Tech

A Couple of Inventors Are Trying to Make LED Eyelashes Happen

Do you think it’s going to happen?

Tech and fashion/beauty come together in this new invention by Tien Pham and Davey Taylor - F.lashes. The 'fun, interactive LED eyelashes' is not commercially available yet, but a Kickstarter campaign is set to begin around mid-July.

The wearable tech is powered by a watch battery and can last up to four hours. They are put on with regular eyelash glue and are relatively sweat-proof. F.lashes react to movements, so the light patterns/modes will change as you dance, tilt your head, jump, and twist. They also come in different colors: pink, red, blue, light blue, white, yellow, and green.

See the F.lashes at work below.

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Meet the Man Responsible for 5 Billion Orgasms

We ran the numbers to see how much bed-rattling and moaning this guy has caused.

On March 27, 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved the use of Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence, invented by British scientist Dr. Nicholas Terrett. Since then, men and women have turned to the drug to keep their sex lives, well, alive.

Viagra, with the chemical name Sildenafil, was originally intended to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a form of cardiovascular disease). But chemists at the Pfizer pharmaceutical company found that the drug can induce penile erections typically within 30 to 60 minutes. Seeing the potential to market the drug as a cure for impotence, Sildenafil was patented in 1996 and was approved by the FDA two years later as treatment for "erectile dysfunction," the then new clinical name for impotence.

Dr. Nicholas Terrett has been regarded as the 'Father of Viagra.'

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Canadian Truck Driver Invents New Tires That Will End Your Parallel Parking Woes

These revolutionary tires allow sideways travel at the flip of a switch.

If you’ve always had problems with parallel parking, you’d surely be interested with this revolutionary invention. Apparently, this one could potentially end your woes for good.

William Liddiard, a commercial truck driver from Ontario, Canada, created unique omnidirectional tires that can “glide sideways” and can “roll inward upon themselves,” according to a report by the CNBC.

The tires operate via an external motor powered by the car's battery.

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