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Life,the universe & everything

world Updated: Apr 08, 2013 01:44 IST

Tiny ‘monsters’ in termite guts
Toronto: Scientists have discovered two new octopus-like microorganisms living in the gut of termites, and named them after fictional monsters created by American horror author HP Lovecraft.

The single-cell creatures, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood.“When we first saw them under the microscope they had this unique motion, it looked almost like an octopus swimming,” said University of British Columbia researcher Erick James, author of the paper in PLoS ONE.

Michael Jackson anticipated his death
London: Michael Jackson had reportedly anticipated his own death by getting shot on stage, several weeks before the fatal drug overdose and even said his final goodbyes to friends and family, a confidante has revealed.

According to Jason Pfeiffer, who worked for the 50-year-old singer’s dermatologist, the star suspected his own death and said goodbyes to everyone in the office, the Sun reported.

He revealed that it was like the drug-addled star knew he was never coming back, and he would often say he thought he was going to be shot on stage. Pfeiffer, who was also a close friend of the ‘ Beat it’ hit maker, said that ‘Jacko’ chose the UK for his stage return as he thought there was less chance of being shot than at home.

The 39-year-old clinic worker added that Jackson also said that the comeback was in England due to the gun laws there and that’s why he ditched a US comeback as people had access to guns here and would shoot him.

Bigger toilets for overweight fliers
Melbourne: A German firm has come up with the Big Lavatory Concept that will be the first toilet on a plane to be tailored to the needs of obese fliers and wheelchair users.

Bigger toilets to cater for overweight passengers, augmented reality projections of the landscape below and reversible seats so friends can sit face-to-face are all innovations that could all soon be part of international flights.

The year’s Crystal Cabin Awards have released a shortlist of 47 which are in the running for the seven awards in aircraft design features to be announced this week at an aviation trade fair.

Diet pill to prevent obesity soon
London: After discovering how to “re-wire” appetite control in the brain, scientists are a step closer to developing a pill that can prevent obesity.

The breakthrough could lead to a long-lasting cure for the problem, which has reached epidemic proportions in the United Kingdom.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia said that their findings could lead to development of drugs that can be given in childhood to those predisposed to obesity or later in life as people pile on the pounds, the Daily Express reported.