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Trivial Pursuits: The Abstract’s 2011 Quiz

We TOLD you there would be a quiz!

The Abstract staff will be taking off for a couple of weeks to prepare for 2012. In an attempt to amuse and entertain ourselves you, we’ve pulled together a quick quiz on some of the research we’ve written about over the past year. See how you do!


1). Until recently, researchers thought Greece was settled by seafaring humans 10,000 years ago. This year, researchers found evidence that it actually happened how long ago?

2). Shortly after your favorite team wins a championship game, you are at much higher risk of having what happen?

3). Researchers are inserting a gene from what organism into roses, with the goal of keeping their petals beautiful longer?

4). Engineers who study how much strain a material can take before it breaks have developed a sensor with what remarkable attribute?

5). Researchers have developed a waterproof memory device that holds promise for biocompatible applications, in part, because it is the consistency of what dessert product?

6). A multi-institutional team of researchers (including some from NC State) sequenced a reptile genome for the first time. What reptile was it?

7). An English literature professor from NC State is leading the creation of a virtual, online version of what famous building?

8). A team of astronomers and astrophysicists, including some from NC State, resolved a stellar mystery that first plagued stargazers almost two millennia ago in what country?

9). Biologists have created an online gallery of every species of what type of plant, in order to help growers stave off pests and diseases?

10). Researchers found that using wetlands to remove pollutants from stormwater has what beneficial (and unexpected) side-effect?

Answers are below the photo, and include links to the relevant posts.

No cheating!


1). 125,000 years ago. They were only off by a factor of 12.5.

2). Dying in a car accident. This is why I’m an Eagles fan.

3). Celery. Note: do not garnish roses with blue cheese. Buffalo wings are probably okay.

4). It can heal itself. Due to the nature of their work, they needed a sensor that could take a licking and keep on ticking (so to speak).

5). Jell-O.

6). The green anole, or Anolis carolinensis.

7). St. Paul’s Cathedral. Specifically, the courtyard of the cathedral during John Donne’s tenure as dean in the 17th century.

8). China.

9). Citrus plants and fruits. It’s called Citrus-ID. Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

10). They limit mosquito populations. By increasing biodiversity, the wetlands serve as hosts for species that like to eat mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.