March 2018

Bodo saltans infected by the virus

An article published in the journal “eLife” describes a research on a species of giant virus called Bodo saltans virus (BsV), considered part of the most abundant group present in the seas. The name is due to the fact that it infects a species of microscopic plankton called the Bodo saltans. A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia succeeded in isolating this virus, classified as a Klosneuvirus, a sub-group of the Mimiviridae family.

Sick Building by Paul Magrs

The novel “Sick Building” by Paul Magrs was published for the first time in 2007.

The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones arrive on the Tiermann’s World, so called because it’s inhabited by the Tiermann family. The Voracious Craw, an alien creature literally capable of devouring anything is coming and the Doctor wants to warn the Tiermanns of the coming threat. The reception is not exactly the friendliest received by travelers.

Professor Ernest Tiermann built on his world what he calls the Dreamhome in which a number of robots serve him and his family. The house is equipped with a force field that he believes to be impenetrable but which turns out to be vulnerable and loses stability when the Voracious Craw approaches the planet. Despite this, when the Doctor urges him to leave the planet, Professor Tiermann wants to do things his own way and has the Doctor locked in the cellar by his robots.

Captain Francis Crozier (Jared Harris) in Gore (Image courtesy AMC Studios / Amazon. All rights reserved)

“Gore” is the second episode of the TV show “The Terror”, an adapatation of a novel by Dan Simmons with the same title, and follows “Go for Broke”.

Note. This article contains spoilers about “Gore”.

The crews of the British ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror spent a winter stuck in the Arctic ice. When the good weather arrives, Captain John Franklin (Ciarán Hinds) sends scouting teams in hopes of finding ice-free waters. One of the teams meets something else.

Captain John Franklin (Ciarán Hinds) in Go for Broke (Image courtesy AMC Studios / Amazon. All rights reserved)

“Go for Broke” is the pilot episode of the TV show “The Terror”, an adapatation of a novel by Dan Simmons with the same title. It’s broadcast in the USA on AMC Studios and in other nations on Amazon Prime Video.

In 1846 the British ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror are on an expedition that aims to be the first to cross the last section of the northwest passage. However, there are many pitfalls in the Arctic and the sailors begin to die for causes to ascertain.

Colobops noviportensis' skull reconstruction phases (Image courtesy Yale University)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes the identification of a diapsid, part of a large group of vertebrates, dating back to the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago discovered in today’s Connecticut, USA. The team of researchers who studied the fossil remains and called it Colobops noviportensis concluded that it had a very powerful bite, even comparing it with today’s reptiles, showing an early evolution of the anatomical feeding apparatus.