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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


Last edited by Fish; 01-07-2013 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:19 AM   #1966
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That's as good an explanation as I've ever heard and I'm sure it has at least a small amount to do with it. I think, with coming in contact with more hosts, the viruses have more chances to mutate.

I just find it strange that there wasn't some super-disease that killed off Europeans. I mean, it seems like there are tons of fatal viruses coming out of Africa in places where the population density doesn't seem so high. You'd think there'd have been something from the Amazon at the very least...
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Old Yesterday, 10:06 PM   #1967
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Inventor Develops Synthetic "Leaf" That Produces Oxygen



Julian Melchiorri, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, claims to have developed a silk leaf that could create oxygen for space travel as well as make the air nicer here on Earth. The leaf was developed in conjunction with a silk lab from Tufts University

The leaf is created from a matrix of protein extracted from silk and chloroplasts, the organelle that allows plants and algae to perform photosynthesis. When provided with light and water, the synthetic leaf allegedly acts just like a real leaf and produces oxygen.

“It’s very light, low energy-consuming,” he explains. “It’s completely biological and my idea was to use the efficiency of nature in a man-made environment. I created some lighting out of this material, using the light to illuminate the house but at the same time to create oxygen for us.”

Malchiorri isn’t content to just think of a few small fixtures within the house as the only use for this product. His dreams for Silk Leaf are out of this world.

"NASA is researching different ways to produce oxygen for long-distance space journeys to let us live in space,” he continued. “This material could allow us to explore space much further than we can now."

In addition to meeting the breathing demands of astronauts and the first colonists of Mars and beyond, the material could be used on the facades of buildings and inside ventilation systems in order to generate fresh oxygen.

Check out this video:



All of this does sound pretty great, but does not account for photosynthesis in its entirety. Let’s take a look at the equation:

6CO2 + 6H2O + --(Sunlight Energy)--> C6H12O6 + 6O2

The Silk Leaf accounts for the input of carbon dioxide, water, and light as well as the oxygen product, but what about all the sugar? Plants don’t perform photosynthesis purely as a public service; it is done so they can create food for themselves. There isn’t an explanation as to what happens to the carbon and hydrogen that the leaf takes in. Silk Leaf lacks the vacuoles, stems, and roots that store food in plants.

The video also claims that plants don’t grow in space, which isn’t true. There have been concerns in the past that roots require gravity in order to develop properly, but experiments from the ISS have shown that plants can grow in space. However, it would take a considerable amount of soil, water, and plants to generate enough oxygen for astronauts or a, so a lightweight alternative like Silk Leaf would be beneficial in that regard.
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Old Yesterday, 10:25 PM   #1968
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Old Today, 08:54 AM   #1969
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Scientist Invents Ice Cream That Changes Color As You Lick It



Your childhood dreams of being Charlie Bucket are coming one step closer to reality thanks to physicist turned Willy Wonka, Manuel Linares, who has invented an ice cream that changes color as you lick it.

Linares developed a passion for ice cream and pursued a “Masters Diploma in Creating Artisan Ice Cream,” (seriously? That exists? No one told us…). Marrying gelato ardor with his scientific background, Linares set out to develop an ice cream that changes color when exposed to temperature changes and varying acidities found in the human mouth. The result is Xamaleón, a tutti-frutti tasting bonanza.

Linares is obviously keeping his cards very close to his chest as his formula is patent-pending. However, he says that the color-change is merely chemistry: “Any food can change color depending on temperature and oxidation,” Sploid reports.

Some have speculated that the color changing ability might be due to the varieties of fruit used in the ice cream, alongside a spritz that Linares has dubbed a “love elixir” which is squirted onto the dessert before you eat it. The ice cream is blue in the tub, but becomes pink and eventually purple as it is licked. Feast your eyes on this:



He does not intend his chameleon adventure to end here, though. He’s already in the process of developing an ice cream that reacts to UV lights in nightclubs, and a saucy version called Xamán which will be made with medicinal plants that supposedly induce an aphrodisiac effect. We hope he is recruiting taste testers.
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