theatlantic:

Amazingly, Actual Molecules Look Just Like High School Textbook Drawings

Those little hexagon diagrams you studied in chemistry class turn out to be very close representations of the real thing.
Read more. [Images: Sciencexpress]

theatlantic:

Amazingly, Actual Molecules Look Just Like High School Textbook Drawings

Those little hexagon diagrams you studied in chemistry class turn out to be very close representations of the real thing.

Read more. [Images: Sciencexpress]

breakingnews:

World’s smallest movie created by moving individual atoms

AP: IBM says it has made the tiniest stop-motion movie ever - a one-minute video of individual carbon monoxide molecules repeatedly rearranged to show a boy dancing, throwing a ball and bouncing on a trampoline.

Each frame measures 45 by 25 nanometres there are 25 million nanometres in an inch but hugely magnified, the movie is reminiscent of early video games, particularly when the boy bounces the ball off the side of the frame accompanied by simple music and sound effects.

Video: A Boy And His Atom (IBM via YouTube)

I love this! So cute and clever!

Brains as Clear as Jello for Scientists to Explore

Scientists at Stanford University reported on Wednesday that they have made a whole mouse brain, and part of a human brain, transparent so that networks of neurons that receive and send information can be highlighted in stunning color and viewed in all their three-dimensional complexity without slicing up the organ.
Even more important, experts say, is that unlike earlier methods for making the tissue of brains and other organs transparent, the new process, called Clarity by its inventors, preserves the biochemistry of the brain so well that researchers can test it over and over again with chemicals that highlight specific structures and provide clues to past activity. The researchers say this process may help uncover the physical underpinnings of devastating mental disorders like schizophrenia, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder and others.

The image above shows a mouse brain was made transparent through this process and later dyed.
Read More

Brains as Clear as Jello for Scientists to Explore

Scientists at Stanford University reported on Wednesday that they have made a whole mouse brain, and part of a human brain, transparent so that networks of neurons that receive and send information can be highlighted in stunning color and viewed in all their three-dimensional complexity without slicing up the organ.

Even more important, experts say, is that unlike earlier methods for making the tissue of brains and other organs transparent, the new process, called Clarity by its inventors, preserves the biochemistry of the brain so well that researchers can test it over and over again with chemicals that highlight specific structures and provide clues to past activity. The researchers say this process may help uncover the physical underpinnings of devastating mental disorders like schizophrenia, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder and others.

The image above shows a mouse brain was made transparent through this process and later dyed.

Read More

NASA’s longest-serving shuttle, Discovery, was transported from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center atop a Boeing 747 just after dawn this morning. After flying a victory lap around the capitol, it landed at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport, from which it will be moved to the Smithsonian Institution on Thursday.

(Photos via National Geographic)


Firefighters douse a smoldering ridge southwest of Denver with slurry. The blaze has already destroyed 16 homes in the area and continues to spread. (via)

What is slurry?
In general, a slurry is a “thick suspension of solids in a liquid”. But, in particular, the slurry used as a fire retardant in this particular photo, according to the US Air Force, is composed of 80-85% water and 10-15% ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate acts as both a gelling agent and red dye, which helps pilots determine areas that have not already been canvased by previous loads.
These long-term fire retardants are more efficient than plain water, as it works in two phases. First the water extinguishes its portion of the fire, but once the water is completely evaporated, the chemical residue that remains prevents vegetation and other materials from igniting again by binding to cellulose, until it is eroded or washed away with rain. 
The residue left over has no ill health affects unless it seeps its way into the water supply, so pilots are careful not to spray near waterways. It also causes no damage to buildings and is relatively easy to clean off, due to its dispersion as a mist. Along with its extinguishing properties, this concoction makes a decent fertilizer.
Read more about slurry here.

Firefighters douse a smoldering ridge southwest of Denver with slurry. The blaze has already destroyed 16 homes in the area and continues to spread. (via)

What is slurry?

In general, a slurry is a “thick suspension of solids in a liquid”. But, in particular, the slurry used as a fire retardant in this particular photo, according to the US Air Force, is composed of 80-85% water and 10-15% ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate acts as both a gelling agent and red dye, which helps pilots determine areas that have not already been canvased by previous loads.

These long-term fire retardants are more efficient than plain water, as it works in two phases. First the water extinguishes its portion of the fire, but once the water is completely evaporated, the chemical residue that remains prevents vegetation and other materials from igniting again by binding to cellulose, until it is eroded or washed away with rain. 

The residue left over has no ill health affects unless it seeps its way into the water supply, so pilots are careful not to spray near waterways. It also causes no damage to buildings and is relatively easy to clean off, due to its dispersion as a mist. Along with its extinguishing properties, this concoction makes a decent fertilizer.

Read more about slurry here.

Deep-sea submarines may seem impenetrable, but in 1967, a peculiar incident enlightened scientists to just how unusual things can get while below the surface.

This particular submersible was the US Navy’s Alvin. Built in 1965, by its retirement, it had survived expeditions to the Titanic, searching for sunken hydrogen bombs, and exploring hydrothermal vents for the first time, but it received a nastly blow along the way from an unlikely predator. According to Gizmodo:

It was after the overhaul, in 1967, when Alvin got attacked by a swordfish at a depth of around 2,000 feet, during dive number 202—somewhere around the Blake Plateau and Cape Charles, in the Bahamas. The pilots heard a big metallic noise, the whole submarine shook, and something penetrated the hull. 
It was a dangerous situation, so the crew decided to get quickly back to the surface. When its mothership—105-foot catamaran Lulu—lifted Alvin off the surface, they discovered this huge swordfish stuck in the hull.

While this may seem nearly impossible, its necessary to factor in that these species of fish are so extremely aggressive that they will attack just about everything, even including sharks multiple time their size. This one just managed to both pick out a submarine and pierce it at just the right angle. Bravo!  What rewards did it get for its valiant efforts? Well, it was reportedly cooked and eaten by the crew of its intended prey.

We can only hope James Cameron avoids any encounters like these today!

Are we at risk of losing all of our progress with antibiotics?
According to Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization, a world where our antibiotics fail to heal is inching closer to reality, as bacteria build resistances to antibiotics that could render every antibiotic scientists have painstakingly developed useless. Chan states that it could be “the end of modern medicine as we know it,” making routine operations impossible, canceling out the utility of antibiotics against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and even simple cuts.

According to Chan:


Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill. Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials. Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units. For patients infected with some drug-resistant pathogens, mortality has been shown to increase by around 50 per cent. A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it.

Read More

Are we at risk of losing all of our progress with antibiotics?

According to Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization, a world where our antibiotics fail to heal is inching closer to reality, as bacteria build resistances to antibiotics that could render every antibiotic scientists have painstakingly developed useless. Chan states that it could be “the end of modern medicine as we know it,” making routine operations impossible, canceling out the utility of antibiotics against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and even simple cuts.

According to Chan:

Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill. Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials. Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units. For patients infected with some drug-resistant pathogens, mortality has been shown to increase by around 50 per cent. A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it.

Read More

Thermographic Photography 
Revealing insulation inefficiencies in everyday objects (via)

  1. Plugs still use power even when their attached appliances are turned off, as indicated by the red glow of these adapter plugs. Studies have even indicated that in one year, a plug wastes as much energy when plugged in, yet off, as it uses to power its intended functions.
  2. Nowadays it may be less of an environmental impact to stand aimlessly at your fridge, as in the last 30 years, fridges have become a third more efficient.
  3. New energy-efficient lightbulbs, including the Geobulb II and compact fluorescent bulbs, require only a fourth as much electricity as traditional incandescent bulbs. Even with their red appearances, these bulbs are both much cooler than incandescent bulbs, which end up wasting 90% of their energy as heat. 
  4. Red and yellow patches show escaping heat, and thus wasted energy, in a older home. Luckily, new double-pane window effectively seal in warmth, thus appear cool blue and extensively cutting heating costs.
  5. The engines in our vehicles are actually rather inefficient, as they waste up to 85% of the energy, mostly as heat.

So how exactly is the Gulf of Mexico after the worst oil spill in human history?
According to the National Geographic:

A spill that started with the tragic loss of life soon wrought major environmental devastation over huge region of the Gulf. Disturbing images appeared daily of oiled wildlife, iridescent surface slicks, overwhelmed cleanup workers, fouled beaches, burning oil fires, and blackened wetlands.

The damage from nearly five million barrels of oil was very real, yet many expert predictions missed their marks. Hurricanes didn’t drive enormous quantities of oil ashore, giant dead zones didn’t materialize, and oil didn’t round the tip of Florida to rocket up the East Coast via the Gulf Stream. Fisheries now appear poised to rebound instead of suffering the barren years or decades some feared. And Mother Nature had her own surprises in store, showcasing an ability to fight back against the spill and, later, to bounce back from the damage—at least in the short-term.

However, uncertainty still reigns among those trying to come to grips with the spill’s ultimate legacy. Even the final fate of all that oil is a matter of some debate—though the gooey crude still clings to some shorelines, where it will be visible for years to come.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Scientists and engineers have been fascinated with spider silk’s amazing and unimaginable capabilities, as it is one of the toughest, yet most delicate materials in existence. The latest use has been in a bow of a violin, enabling musicians to play profoundly soft and versatile melodies.

While these images may seem like simply a cute photoset of a bear scratching an itch with a rock, it is actually the first observation of a brown bear using a tool. Volker Deecke, a researcher at University of Cumbria, managed to capture several images of this bear using a barnacle-covered rock back in 2010, in Glacier Bay, Alaska. (via)

Doomsday Seed Vault in Norway. This week is a big week for this particular doomsday vault, as it is scheduled to receive almost 25,000 additional seed samples from all over the globe. (via)

Doomsday Seed Vault in Norway. This week is a big week for this particular doomsday vault, as it is scheduled to receive almost 25,000 additional seed samples from all over the globe. (via)