Harvard UniversityCambridge, MA, USA
Harvard has confirmed rumors that 19th century French author Arsène Houssaye’s book, “On the Destiny of the Soul,” is an example of anthropodermic bibliopegy — the practice of binding books in human flesh. Researchers stated that the book contains a manuscript which notes that, “a book about the human soul deserves to have a human covering,” and after extensive testing, is in fact bound in skin taken from the back of an unknown woman. Although macabre, the practice is not rare for books of similar age. However, most books bound in this manner are usually medical books whose authors did not want the skin of the cadavers they were examining to go to waste.
University of LeicesterLeicester, England, UK
A team of bioinformatics researchers at the university’s Institute of Technology are mapping the brain of a bee in an effort to enhance the performance of navigation systems like GPS. Why a bee? Their brains are smaller, thus more easy to map than more complex life forms, and also because bees are able to quickly learn how to orient themselves in new surroundings. This will help the robot the researchers are currently building learn how to get around for itself. So far, GPS and navigation systems work by processing information that are fed to them from an outside source, and the goal here is to expose these systems to new surroundings and have them compile their own internal map.
Freie Universität BerlinBerlin, Germany
The cause of death of England’s King Richard III — whose rise to power and short reign was immortalized in Shakespeare’s Richard III — has remained a mystery for over five centuries, that is, until his skeleton was found by archeologists buried under a Leicester parking lot in 2012. Since its discovery, researchers in the Pathology Unit at the university have conducted CT scans to figure out what likely caused his death. As the last member of the House of York, and the last King of England to die in battle, his death marked the end of the Middle Ages. In total, there were nine wounds found on his skull, indicating that he was not wearing a helmet at the time of his death, and also suggesting that he died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Rajamangala University of Technology Uthen ThawaiBangkok, Thailand
The Thai government is “cracking down” on the crime spree between students at Rajamangala University of Technology Uthen Tawai, and “rival” students at Pathum Thani Institute of Technology, which has left a total of four students dead. Thailand’s Prime Minister General, Prayuth Chan-ocha, ordered that vocational and technical colleges be closed if crime persists, and the country’s permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education, has asked schools to install closed-circuit cameras on their campuses and conduct random searches of students. The government is also keeping track of who commits what crime; if a student carries out attacks more than three times, they will no longer be allowed to enroll in college.