back to article Dead cockroaches make excellent magnets – now what are we supposed to do with this info?

Fun Fact: Dead cockroaches stay magnetized far longer than their live brethren, according to real actual science. In a bizarre experiment, a team of international physicists gassed a group of roaches to death with nitrogen before rinsing them in an ultrasonic bath. The luckier ones were kept alive and fed an unlimited diet of …

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Somehow, I don't think refrigerator roaches will replace refrigerator magnets.

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Mushroom

speak for yourself Mark. I want all my fridge notes to be still there after the nuclear war

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The Four Fridge Notes of the Apocalypse

Cancel papers

Build shelter

Extra toilet rolls

Be nice to our new Cockroach Overlords

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Four Fridge Notes of the Apocalypse

5th Fridge Note

Don't vote for Trump again in 2020.

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Do I see an Ig Nobel prize coming their way?

Definitely meets the essential criteria.

"The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology. Every year, in a gala ceremony in Harvard's Sanders Theatre, 1200 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the winners step forward to accept their Prizes. These are physically handed out by genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates."

http://www.improbable.com/ig/

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Re: Do I see an Ig Nobel prize coming their way?

Definitely a contender.

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Boffin

Re: Do I see an Ig Nobel prize coming their way?

It's almost as if they had that in mind from the beginning

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Devil

Re: Do I see an Ig Nobel prize coming their way?

Maybe they simply had a roach problem...

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Alien

Seems legit

Phase two: cockroach in a railgun

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Re: Seems legit

I see this coming to a farmhouse in Kentucky.

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Terminator

Re: Seems legit

It's the secret Tyranid invasion force, I tell you. I for one welcome our purple many-limbed overlords.

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Re: Seems legit

Phase three: cockroach maglev trains

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Re: Seems legit

It's the secret Tyranid invasion force,

That's OK - Trump is already in the process of creating the Inquisition and randomly-mutating to create the Adeptus Astartes..

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MrT
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Shields up!

"Polarise the hull plating"

Maybe having cockroaches that can withstand even more punishment is an advantage? Of course, Rentokill will now have to start bringing phase cannons to clear out an infestation, and the collateral damage may be spectacular...

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Re: Shields up!

Better that, than having spatial torpedoes bouncing off their shielding.

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Anonymous Coward

Moar Research Needed

Can we try this with accountants and estate agents?

/No need to take measurements - just do the nitrogen and cooling stuff.

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Boffin

Re: Moar Research Needed

Don't forget the lawyers. And the politicians.

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Re: Moar Research Needed

Lawyers have a temporary waiver against such things, at least in the US when they're prepared to turn up to airports to defend people in need.

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A pedant writes

I think it's a few kinds of wasp that can survive extreme radiation. Not sure this is adding anything to the debate though.

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Re: A pedant writes

I always thought it was ants.

I'm hoping it's ants.

A nuclear winter would be bad enough, without having to fend off radiation-hardy wasps.

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Mushroom

Re: A pedant writes

I once watched a documentary where giant, fire-breathing ants roamed the Post-Apocalyptic land, preying on the ragged remains of mankind.

The giant, radioactive cockroaches that also existed there were nothing in comparison.

Wait... it wasn't a documentary, was it?

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Coat

I for one welcome our future post-apocalyptic magnetic cockroach overlords!

I'd love to know what transpired prior to the scientist getting the idea "I wonder how magnetic a dead cockroach is". It's just so random.

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In one of those strange pub conversations I tend to get dragged into, we all agreed that three things would survive a nuclear apocalypse:

* Cockroaches

* BBC Micros

* Those big cans of industrial-grade sweet-and-sour sauce you find in takeaways

We then tried to imagine what a post-nuclear winter would look like... A giant cockroach playing Chuckie Egg while another giant cockroach pedals an exercise bike to power the Beeb, with the rest of the tribe swigging from sweet-and-sour cans and egging Player 1 onto a new high score.

We decided that the cockroaches probably wouldn't play Elite because (a) the whole Thargoid thing and (b) the poor bastard on the bike would be there for a while - "Keep pedalling, I haven't got a Docking Computer yet !"

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What would survive a nuclear apocalypse?

Don't forget Tardigrades (Water bears)

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This kind of thing always starts down the pub.

After a couple rounds, somebody points out the obvious:

either a) We have money leftover from our grant, what to do?

or b) We're skint, and rent's due ... we need grant money!

Somebody swats at a roach, and science gets done.

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Re: This kind of thing always starts down the pub.

I just hope that there is a dissertation published as part of someone's post doctorate. I just want to know that somewhere out there some university big wig in a ridiculous robe has to read out the abstract.

"A comparative study into the rate of decay of multi kilogauss strength magnetic fields at low temperatures between alive and deceased cockroaches."

To be honest, the robes are weirder.

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Go

Now THIS is why I read the Reg

Arms me nicely for the weekend beer chats.

"What, you didn't know dead 'roaches are magnetic for two days after being exposed to a magnetic field strength of 3 kiloGauss?"

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Happy

Phase IV

Cockroach super collider.

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IT Angle

Scared the crap out of me...

So I see the title of this article and think that it's one of the weirder topics, I read it and then just as I finish reading it, a freakin' boxer bug crawls right between my hands on the keyboard - just now. It scared the living daylights out of me.. (And before anyone asks, no this is not a normal occurance - I don't see bugs in my flat very often).

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Phase V

Cockroach Star Drive.

(Hmm, sounds more like a band name)

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Happy

Can you catch cockroaches with a magnet then?

Like we did as kids for the squirrel, with a broom stick, a rope and a peanut? Replace the peanut by a magnet and fish cockroaches when they're running around?

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Happy

Has no-one thought..

.. of the obvious application of this?

A real computer. With real bugs[1]. Live cockroaches as the RAM, dead ones as storage media. With the fringe benefit that, sooner or later, the RAM storage will auto-convert itself to long-term storage..

[1] A-la PTerry.

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Re: Has no-one thought..

Ha!

I thought you said "fridge" benefit. And that led to the Internet Of (buggy) Things - and then it went downhill real quick.

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Bah!

In other news, still no Rocketboots with an altimiter in the heel, no Universal Sniffle-Disease Beater, no flying car.

Stupid "scientists".

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I like the maglev idea

We've got plenty of cockroaches in the subway anyway. Might as well use them for something good.

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Just the thing for

The Internet of Stings.

Or is putting RFID tags on 'roaches not a good idea?

I mean they have them on bees, even to the extent that the 13.56 MHz tag can be read from 30cm away with better equipment.

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Re: Just the thing for

I thought bees were already bar-coded ?

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Anonymous Coward

No shit Sherlock

Stationary atoms don't move as much as ones in motion (which disperses their aligned magnetic field)

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Pase IV (movie)

Not about roaches, but ants suddenly becoming intelligent. By the King of Title Sequences, Saul Bass.

Trailer

Writeup on Jimbopedia

Writeup on IMDB

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An experiment ...

Something serious comes of a silly story for a change -

take two grapes and a cocktail stick (toothpick for the English impaired) and make a dumbbell. Suspend the dumbbell from its center with a fine thread so it's balanced and there are no twists in the thread. Now put a neodymium magnet near one 'weight' and see what happens. Then try marshmallows, satsumas, dried fruit, blu-tak, play-dough and anything else that's not "magnetic" you can find ... Hours of fun for the kids or anyone geeky in the physics department ...

Safety Warning:- you need a mighty big and potentially dangerous magnet to do this with watermelons but it's fun!

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