If you, like me, are possessed with that gene that makes people eat the whole bag of chips (don't laugh - somewhere in that 100,000 words of ENCODE public relations blitzing
, I saw it), there is good news; not all of science is busy curing cancer and solving the big mysteries of the universe.
I'm not much of a drinker, never have been. I have always assumed it was because I did competitive athletics until I was about 25, which means I was outside the age where you 'learn' to like the taste of alcohol, so I never picked it up.
Older now, I can drink a beer socially and I sometimes drink a glass of red wine because the consensus says it is good for you in moderation, but I am still not really a drinker.
The world wastes 1.3 billion tons of food per year. If only scientists could create a "biorefinery" that could change food waste into a key ingredient for making plastics, laundry detergents and scores of other everyday products. Because wasting less food would just be crazy talk.
The food biorefinery process involves blending the waste foods with a mixture of fungi that excrete enzymes to break down carbohydrates in the food into simple sugars. The blend then goes into a fermenter, a vat where bacteria convert the sugars into succinic acid. Succinic acid is one of those key materials that can be produced from sugars and that could be used to make high-value products - everything from laundry detergents to plastics to medicines.
Viscous materials do not follow standard laws - below a sub-melting point threshold, anyway.
Glass-formers are a class of highly viscous liquid materials that have the consistency of honey and turn into brittle glass once cooled to sufficiently low temperatures. Researchers have examined the behavior of these materials as they are on the verge of turning into glass. Although science does not yet thoroughly understand their behavior when approaching the glassy state, the new study relies on an additional type of dynamic measurements and clearly shows that they do not behave like more simple fluids, referred to as "activated" fluids. This is contrary to recent reports.
Even though arsenic is toxic for many organs in the human body, it is used in therapeutic medicine and the treatment of some forms of cancer, and is an active component of drugs against parasitic diseases.
A new study shows that ursolic acid, a natural substance found in apple peel, can partially protect mice from obesity and some of its harmful effects.
What do diamonds and chocolate have in common? Well, urban legend says girls love them both. Maybe we can add volcanoes if we are using correlational woo.
A previously unrecognized volcanic process similar to one used in chocolate manufacturing is important in the dynamics of volcanic eruptions. 'Fluidised spray granulation' is a type of gas injection and spraying process used to form smooth coatings on confectionaries but it can also occur during kimberlite eruptions to produce well-rounded particles containing fragments from the Earth's mantle - most notably diamonds.
If you're an anti-science hippie obsessed with the notion that 'natural' is always superior to whatever 'inorganic' means to people who know nothing about science or medicine or food or generally what carbon-based life means, I have good news for you; you may soon be able to determine if that caffeine in your Organic, Free-Range Red Bull is really natural.
What? Organic, Free-Range Red Bull doesn't exist? Well, it should. Farmer's Market shoppers will dutifully line up for that, I can just feel it.
In my ever-continuing quest to become an actual adult, I have recently begun to cook. I use a real oven and everything!
In my usual encounter with the oven it takes just a few minutes of pre-heating before I realize that I have yet again left the big skillet inside. Panicked, I pull it out of the oven, and notice something weird! Finally I decided to repeat the skillet-in-the-oven experiment and document my findings. Here we go!
Step #1--observe the condition of the skillet before its trip into the oven.
Perfluorinated Polar Bears!
No, this is not an exasperated exclamation by Captain Haddock, but might well be a shout of surprise at learning that Canadians have been searching for compounds of that nature in these snowy animals. But why should Scott Mabury and his group at the University of Toronto be looking for them?
The simple answer is that they are terribly persistent in the environment. Bit odd, one might link, considering that Fluorine
is the most reactive of all the elements in the periodic table. So reactive, in fact, that