On the Radar


The pick of the science news

  Wonders in wool

FEW endeavours bring together geometry, marine biology, global warming and . . . crochet, but an exhibition at Dublin’s Science Gallery on Saturday stitches all together to raise an awareness that the threat to the coral reefs.

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reefis a woolly representation of the threatened ecosystems that models coral-like shapes using mathematical algorithms and crochet, and has had handiwork contributions from around the world.

Co-founder Margaret Wertheim will be on hand at Saturday’s workshop to teach the hyperbolic crochet technique and kickstart an “Irish” reef. Look and book under www.sciencegallery. com/events

Banking on seeds

THE Kew Millennium Seed Bank has celebrated a milestone – banking 10 per cent of the world’s wild plant species against a global backdrop where four plant species face extinction each day.

Banked seed number 24,200 was the yunnan banana ( Musa itinerans) from China, a staple for Asian elephants and a genetic resource for breeding new varieties of the fruit, but it is threatened in the wild as its jungle habitat is being lost to commercial agriculture.

With the 10 per cent target seen to, the partnership is now looking to bank seeds from 25 per cent of the world’s wild species by 2020 and encourages individuals to help safeguard plants by “adopting” seeds.

By numbers


The percentage of mobile phone users who failed to notice a clown on a unicycle due to “inattentional blindness” in an experiment involving 24 people who were walking while talking on their mobiles at Washington University in the US

Claire O’Connell

e-mail: 1000.claire@gmail.com