Feeds

Shuttle mission: SPAWNING of the SPACE KRAKEN

Glowing shapeshifter astrobominations to fly on Endeavour

Security for virtualized datacentres

In a sinister development it has emerged that when Shuttle Endeavour lifts off for her final flight she will be carrying not only her crew and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station but a contingent of spacegoing squid.

It all starts out innocently enough.

"The Squid in Space experiment will enable us to examine the effects of microgravity on the interactions of beneficial or mutualistic microbes with animal tissues," explains astrocephalopod boffin Jamie Foster.

"Animals, including humans, are walking (or swimming) microbial ecosystems that interact daily with billions of microbes. Most of these microbes are actually benign or even helpful with the proper functioning of our immune and digestive systems," continues Foster, who is a microbiology prof at the University of Florida.

So far so good. The project, in any case, doesn't involve sending any gigantic, bus-sized giant squid or similar into orbit: rather, tiny embryo squid will participate.

But the prof continues:

"However, the effects of microgravity on these mutualistic associations are yet unknown. For example, do good bacteria go bad in microgravity conditions at the cellular level?"

Uh oh. That sounds like a clear-cut warning that the tiny squid embryos – each potentially capable (depending on species) of growing into a colossal Kraken-style tentacular astrobomination capable of destroying the Shuttle or space station from within – could "go bad" in some fashion when exposed to the bizarre forces and cosmic radiations of space.

And in fact, chillingly, we also learn from an institution participating in the project:

Milton students have worked [previously] on a space shuttle experiment. The ... experiment involved e coli bacteria, but the results where lost when the space shuttle Columbia exploded upon reentry in 2003 ...

What makes this squid unique is its light organ, which glows at night and hides its shadow from prey lurking underneath. The light is powered by a particular bioluminescent bacteria (Vibrio fishceri) ... This development gives scientists a close look at morphogenesis, which is the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shape — one of the fundamentals of development biology.

Or in other words we're talking here, basically, about some kind of glowing stealth assassin hyperbloboloid shapeshifter creature even before the hideous warpening and embulgenation effects of space come into play. And the last time this sort of caper was tried, the spacecraft in question was destroyed.

If movies, videogames etc have taught us anything, it is that science of this type leads to only one situation: astronauts battling escaped, flesh-eating tentacular blob creatures – perhaps capable of engulfing their captives and turning them into more of themselves – for control of a crippled space station. If the 'nauts are defeated, the blobs merge together to produce the Space Kraken, whose destruction of the station is merely a prelude to its invasion of Earth and campaign of extermination against the human race.

Who said science is boring? ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.