Science, nature & technology 44

From the quiz on 13/6/17.

  1. In chemistry, a CFC is an organic compound containing which three chemical elements? Chlorine, fluorine, carbon

  2. In mathematics, what name is given to a natural number greater than 1 that is not prime? Composite number

  3. Which annual awards are presented each year by the Annals of Improbable Research to honour scientific research that “first makes people laugh, and then makes them think”? Ig Nobel Prizes

  4. Arctic, red, swift and fennec are all species of which animal? Fox

  5. What name, from the Greek for “burning up”, was given to a hypothetical substance supposed by 18th-century chemists to be responsible for combustion and given off by all burning bodies? Phlogiston

  6. Which German physicist proved the existence of radio waves and discovered the photoelectric effect in the late 1880s? (Heinrich) Hertz

  7. Elver is the name given to the young of which fish when migrating en masse upriver from the sea? Eel

  8. What is the name of the hypothetical opposite of the Big Bang in which the universe eventually collapses back to a singularity? Big Crunch

  9. On the moment magnitude scale for measuring earthquake intensity, an increase of two steps corresponds to how many times more energy being released? 1,000×

  10. The modern WIMP graphical user interface, WYSIWYG document editing, Ethernet and the laser printer were all developed in the 1970s at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a division of which American company? Xerox

Science, nature & technology 43

From the quiz on 23/5/17.

  1. In computing, what name is given to the process whereby pieces of files stored in different locations on disk are rewritten contiguously to improve performance? Defragmentation

  2. Mimic, glass, blanket, seven-arm and giant Pacific are all species of which mollusc? Octopus

  3. Which chemical element’s name derives from the Greek for “acid producer” because Antoine Lavoisier, who named it, mistakenly believed that it was a constituent of all acids? Oxygen

  4. In human anatomy, a diastema is a gap between two of which part of the body? Teeth

  5. In film and television, for what does the letter i stand in the name of video modes such as 480i and 1080i? Interlaced

  6. In obstetrics, what name, from the French for “suction cup”, is given to a vacuum device that attaches to a baby’s head to assist in delivery? Ventouse

  7. What property of a fluid can be measured by a Bourdon gauge, Pirani gauge or McLeod gauge? Pressure

  8. In order for a stag to be classified as a royal stag, its antlers must have how many points? 12

  9. In 1927, which German quantum physicist published his uncertainty principle, stating a particle’s position and momentum cannot both be measured exactly, at the same time? (Werner) Heisenberg

  10. Vitamin K is so called because of its crucial role in which bodily process? Blood clotting/coagulation (from German Koagulationsvitamin)

Specialist: over-the-counter medicine

From the quiz on 9/5/17.

  1. Eumovate, Cetraben, Diprobase, Oilatum and Hc45 are among the many over-the-counter medicines that treat conditions of which human organ? Skin

  2. As commonly seen on medication, for what does the abbreviation w/w stand? Weight for weight

  3. Bisacodyl, methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol and docusate sodium are among the many active ingredients used in what type of drug? Laxative

  4. Which amphetamine derivative, commonly abbreviated PSE, is used as a decongestant in many over-the-counter medicines, including Nurofen Cold and Flu Relief, Sudafed Congestion, Benadryl Allergy Relief Plus and Day Nurse? Pseudoephedrine

  5. Which sedative drug, first sold in West Germany in 1958 to alleviate nausea in pregnant women, was withdrawn three years later after it was discovered to cause severe birth defects? Thalidomide

Science, nature & technology 42

From the quiz on 9/5/17.

  1. Of which virus are H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9 all strains? Influenza (type A)

  2. In organic chemistry, methane, butane and propane are all examples of what class of saturated hydrocarbons with general formula CₙH₂ₙ₊₂? Alkanes

  3. Of which part of the human body is rhinology the scientific study? Nose

  4. What is the common name, meaning “earth pig” in Afrikaans, of the nocturnal African mammal with binomial name Orycteropus afer? Aardvark

  5. What is the SI base unit of electric current? Amp(ere)

  6. Which three scientists were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”? Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins

  7. In botany, what shape is a campanulate flower? Bell-shaped

  8. In mathematics, which French mathematician’s so-called Last Theorem states that there are no positive integer solutions to the Diophantine equation aⁿ + bⁿ = cⁿ for integer n greater than 2? (Pierre de) Fermat’s

  9. Which of the 88 modern constellations is the largest? Hydra

  10. What name, meaning “I shall harm” in Latin, is given to the counterpart of the placebo effect in which negative outcomes of medical treatment are caused by a patient’s negative expectations? Nocebo effect

Science, nature & technology 41

From the quiz on 18/4/17.

  1. Which transition metal has atomic number 25 and chemical symbol Mn? Manganese

  2. What name, from the Latin for “small cavities”, is given to the small air sacs used for gas exchange in the lungs? Alveoli

  3. Notable cases of which include Oliver Sacks, Stephen Fry and Steve Wozniak, prosopagnosia is a disorder that impairs a person’s ability to recognize which common human feature? Faces

  4. The extremely venomous octopuses of the genus Hapalochlaena are covered with iridescent rings that turn which primary colour as a warning to predators? Blue

  5. The arithmetical text Liber Abaci (1202) is the magnum opus of which Italian mathematician? Fibonacci

  6. What bodily fluid is commonly abbreviated CSF? Cerebrospinal (fluid)

  7. Fearful, flammulated, burrowing, elf and great horned are all species of which bird? Owl

  8. What name, in reference to a particular kind of DNA inherited solely from the mother, is given to the most recent common ancestor from which all currently-living humans are matrilineally descended? Mitochondrial Eve

  9. Originally described as “a solution looking for a problem”, the first working example of which device was invented and built in 1960 by American physicist Theodore Maiman? Laser

  10. What anatomical structure grows in three phases known as the anagen, catagen and telogen, with the first phase lasting anywhere from several months to several years depending on its location on the human body? Hair

Science, nature & technology 40

From the quiz on 28/3/17.

  1. For what does the name of the US government agency NASA stand? National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  2. Aqua regia (“royal water”), which is able to dissolve gold and other resistant metals, is a mixture of which two concentrated acids? Nitric and hydrochloric

  3. What do forensic investigators use the chemiluminescent compound luminol to detect at crime scenes? Blood

  4. What is the common name for the human bone known anatomically as the clavicle? Collarbone

  5. How many electrons are shared between two atoms in a triple bond? 6

  6. Which Italian physicist lends his surname to a unit of length equal to 1015 metres, a paradox concerning the existence of extraterrestrial life, and a class of subatomic particles that includes quarks and the electron? (Enrico) Fermi

  7. Troglodytes troglodytes (“cave-dweller”) is the binomial name of which small brown British songbird? Wren

  8. Johnny Castaway, Flying Windows, 3D Pipes and Flying Toasters are famous examples of what type of computer software? Screensaver

  9. What name, from the Latin for “listen to”, is given to the action of listening to the internal organs of the human body, typically with a stethoscope? Auscultation

  10. The 18th-century Scottish agriculturalist and general polymath James Hutton is widely regarded as the father of which modern science? Geology

Specialist: meteorology

From the quiz on 14/3/17.

  1. The ozone layer is located within which larger layer of the Earth’s atmosphere? Stratosphere

  2. What name is given to a front formed when a cold front overtakes a warm front, forcing it off the Earth’s surface? Occluded front

  3. What number on the Beaufort scale is highest and indicates hurricane force winds? 12

  4. An isohyet is a line on a weather map connecting points that experience equal amounts of what? Rainfall

  5. What name, used in general English for a state of stagnation or depression, is given by sailors to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), a belt near the equator where the northeast and southwest trade winds meet? Doldrums