NASA Makes Pens to Work in Space; Soviets Take Pencils.I’ve seen this thing going around for years about NASA astronauts inventing a pen to work in space while the Russians simply took pencils. THIS IS FALSE. Both the Americans and Soviets initially used pencils. However there is an element of truth to this story in that there is a pen specifically manufactured for use in space called the Fisher Space Pen (pictured) that works using pressurized ink cartridges. These pens are used to this day (By both the Russians and Americans)  due to the hazards posed by pencils such as broken lead injuring people in zero gravity or as a fire hazard (seriously), but no development cost was paid by NASA or requested by Fisher.Image

NASA Makes Pens to Work in Space; Soviets Take Pencils.

I’ve seen this thing going around for years about NASA astronauts inventing a pen to work in space while the Russians simply took pencils. THIS IS FALSE. Both the Americans and Soviets initially used pencils. However there is an element of truth to this story in that there is a pen specifically manufactured for use in space called the Fisher Space Pen (pictured) that works using pressurized ink cartridges. These pens are used to this day (By both the Russians and Americans)  due to the hazards posed by pencils such as broken lead injuring people in zero gravity or as a fire hazard (seriously), but no development cost was paid by NASA or requested by Fisher.

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(Source: snopes.com)

Study Finds Looking At Adorable Animals Improves ProductivityFirstly: You have to be fucking kidding me? Secondly this study is legit and was conducted at Japan’s Hiroshima University to see the effects of seeing cute animals on productivity, because you know, why not?The study itself consisted of two groups of people who had to conduct a task (specifically playing a game of Operation, because science!). One group was exposed to regular “pleasant” images such as food while the other was exposed to pictures of adorable animals. Interestingly the performance of the second group increased by 44%, although it also took them %12 longer. The researchers went on to conclude, and I quote: “Kawaii things not only make us happier, but also affect our behavior”.You cannot make this stuff up.Source

Study Finds Looking At Adorable Animals Improves Productivity

Firstly: You have to be fucking kidding me? Secondly this study is legit and was conducted at Japan’s Hiroshima University to see the effects of seeing cute animals on productivity, because you know, why not?

The study itself consisted of two groups of people who had to conduct a task (specifically playing a game of Operation, because science!). One group was exposed to regular “pleasant” images such as food while the other was exposed to pictures of adorable animals. Interestingly the performance of the second group increased by 44%, although it also took them %12 longer. The researchers went on to conclude, and I quote: “Kawaii things not only make us happier, but also affect our behavior”.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Source

How To Cut a Drop of Water In HalfThis may not sound like a particularly difficult task, but a lot of science has gone in to producing an easier way of doing so. Antonio Garcia of Arizona State University has made “knives” for this task by coating zinc or polyethylene in hydrophobic chemicals such as silver nitrate and a superhydrophobic solution known as HDFT.The implications of being able to cleanly cleave a drop of water is in biomedical research where it could make separating proteins in biological fluids much easier.

How To Cut a Drop of Water In Half

This may not sound like a particularly difficult task, but a lot of science has gone in to producing an easier way of doing so. Antonio Garcia of Arizona State University has made “knives” for this task by coating zinc or polyethylene in hydrophobic chemicals such as silver nitrate and a superhydrophobic solution known as HDFT.

The implications of being able to cleanly cleave a drop of water is in biomedical research where it could make separating proteins in biological fluids much easier.

Fluroantimonic AcidBack in high school I did something most people would think stupid: I tasted sulfuric acid, not a lot, but enough to know that it was incredibly sour. You wouldn’t however get me to do the same with the above chemical, known as Fluroantimonic Acid, or more colloquially “The World’s Strongest Acid”. While the above structure may seem a little odd in that it appears to just have a proton chilling doing its own thing this superacid is in fact made of two components, firstly antimony pentafluoride and secondly hydrogen fluoride, itself an acid strong enough to corrode glass. The hydrogen itself is actually weakly connected to the antimony-fluorine complex by a dative bond and it’s this weak bond that makes it so acidic.So just how acidic is it? Well it’s 20 quintillion times stronger than sulfuric acid and reacts vigorously (read: explodes) with almost all solvents including water. Furthermore it’s capable of protonating all organic compounds, something that is no small feat.

Fluroantimonic Acid

Back in high school I did something most people would think stupid: I tasted sulfuric acid, not a lot, but enough to know that it was incredibly sour. You wouldn’t however get me to do the same with the above chemical, known as Fluroantimonic Acid, or more colloquially “The World’s Strongest Acid”. While the above structure may seem a little odd in that it appears to just have a proton chilling doing its own thing this superacid is in fact made of two components, firstly antimony pentafluoride and secondly hydrogen fluoride, itself an acid strong enough to corrode glass. The hydrogen itself is actually weakly connected to the antimony-fluorine complex by a dative bond and it’s this weak bond that makes it so acidic.

So just how acidic is it? Well it’s 20 quintillion times stronger than sulfuric acid and reacts vigorously (read: explodes) with almost all solvents including water. Furthermore it’s capable of protonating all organic compounds, something that is no small feat.

Starlite: The Super-heat Resistant Polymer (maybe)Now firstly I have to admit that I am more than a little skeptical about the following, but due to its tenacity I have to at least give it a little lime light. Starlite is possibly one of the most amazing, miraculous (in the impossible water to wine sense) materials most of you will never have heard of. Invented by Maurice Ward, an amateur, untrained chemist who started off mixing hair products, starlite has the unbelievable ability to apparently withstand temperatures up to 10,000 degrees Celsius (Nearly 3 times the melting point of carbon or nearly 2 times the surface of the sun). A slightly more believable demonstration of Starlite’s heat resistant properties was shown on the television show Tomorrow’s World here an egg covered in a thin film of the stuff was heated with an oxyacetylene blow torch for 5 minutes without cooking.Of course this material has a range of benefits including pranking people. So why isn’t it in common use? Well Maurice Ward was highly secretive of the composition of the chemical, never letting a sample out of his sight except for tests conducted by Imperial Chemical Industries and the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Furthermore only his close family knows the composition of Starlite (Ward himself died in 2011) and is actually not even patented for fear of the secret getting out. Commercialization of Starlite was hindered by Ward demanding 51% of profits from products using his wondrous chemical and as such it has never really had its day in the sun.Image: 1

Starlite: The Super-heat Resistant Polymer (maybe)

Now firstly I have to admit that I am more than a little skeptical about the following, but due to its tenacity I have to at least give it a little lime light. Starlite is possibly one of the most amazing, miraculous (in the impossible water to wine sense) materials most of you will never have heard of. Invented by Maurice Ward, an amateur, untrained chemist who started off mixing hair products, starlite has the unbelievable ability to apparently withstand temperatures up to 10,000 degrees Celsius (Nearly 3 times the melting point of carbon or nearly 2 times the surface of the sun). A slightly more believable demonstration of Starlite’s heat resistant properties was shown on the television show Tomorrow’s World here an egg covered in a thin film of the stuff was heated with an oxyacetylene blow torch for 5 minutes without cooking.

Of course this material has a range of benefits including pranking people. So why isn’t it in common use? Well Maurice Ward was highly secretive of the composition of the chemical, never letting a sample out of his sight except for tests conducted by Imperial Chemical Industries and the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Furthermore only his close family knows the composition of Starlite (Ward himself died in 2011) and is actually not even patented for fear of the secret getting out. Commercialization of Starlite was hindered by Ward demanding 51% of profits from products using his wondrous chemical and as such it has never really had its day in the sun.

Image: 1

OctanitrocubaneChemists are a mystery for two reasons: a) they’re pedantic and b) they often love explosions. So while you may have spent time in your high school chemistry class memorizing bond angles of 109.5 degrees the Mr. Hyde side of chemistry however doesn’t give a toss about that. Instead it makes things such as cubane or octanitrocubane (pictured) with C-C bonds at 90 degrees to each other. The product of this deviation from the preferred geometry of 109.5 degrees is an awful lot of strain and stored potential energy. As such octanitrocubane is the one of, if not the, most powerful, non-nuclear, explosive known. As a direct comparison what would take 1 kg of TNT might only take around 0.4 kg of octanitrocubane. This gives it a relative explosive factor somewhere between 2.38 and 2.7. To put this another way, it explodes with a velocity of over 10,000 metres per second. Unfortunately it’s highly difficult to make and has only been synthesized in small amounts, however its resistance to impact makes it a highly valuable, if inefficient, explosive.

Octanitrocubane

Chemists are a mystery for two reasons: a) they’re pedantic and b) they often love explosions. So while you may have spent time in your high school chemistry class memorizing bond angles of 109.5 degrees the Mr. Hyde side of chemistry however doesn’t give a toss about that. Instead it makes things such as cubane or octanitrocubane (pictured) with C-C bonds at 90 degrees to each other. The product of this deviation from the preferred geometry of 109.5 degrees is an awful lot of strain and stored potential energy. As such octanitrocubane is the one of, if not the, most powerful, non-nuclear, explosive known. As a direct comparison what would take 1 kg of TNT might only take around 0.4 kg of octanitrocubane. This gives it a relative explosive factor somewhere between 2.38 and 2.7. To put this another way, it explodes with a velocity of over 10,000 metres per second. Unfortunately it’s highly difficult to make and has only been synthesized in small amounts, however its resistance to impact makes it a highly valuable, if inefficient, explosive.

Reanimated, Cyborg Jellyfish Made From Rats

Aside from being an awesome album title, the above is also the most accurate descriptor of what follows. Scientists at Havard have succeeded in making an abomination when they took rat heart muscle cells, coated a mould with them, allowed them to grow and then shocked them into life. Creating something they then called a Medusoid (which is appropriately terrifying in my opinion). The thing itself was based around the design of a jellyfish which the scientists hoped to mimic.

The aim of this however is a medical one and it’s intended that by playing around with the shapes of heart muscles we’ll get a better understanding into how the heart functions and how drugs effect it.

Electrons in a Magnetic FieldCharged particles in magnetic fields have a force that acts perpendicular to its motion, thus resulting in circular motion of the charge. This photo shows this in action. The purple lines show the trajectory of electrons within an applied magnetic field. The purple colour is generated by the excitation of gas within the bulb, giving rise to an ethereal, glowing hoop.Image

Electrons in a Magnetic Field

Charged particles in magnetic fields have a force that acts perpendicular to its motion, thus resulting in circular motion of the charge. This photo shows this in action. The purple lines show the trajectory of electrons within an applied magnetic field. The purple colour is generated by the excitation of gas within the bulb, giving rise to an ethereal, glowing hoop.

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divineirony:

God might not heal amputees, but iWalk is working to rebuild the human body from the ground up. 

 

The Biom, bio mechanical ankle uses 3 motors to simulate a natural stride, making a world of difference in the body stress faced by wearers of prosthetic legs.

divineirony:

God might not heal amputees, but iWalk is working to rebuild the human body from the ground up.

The Biom, bio mechanical ankle uses 3 motors to simulate a natural stride, making a world of difference in the body stress faced by wearers of prosthetic legs.

How To Breathe With No AirWhile it’s commonly believed that air in the blood stream can cause death by embolism a new way of preventing suffocation actually involves injecting oxygen straight into the blood stream. The crucial difference is that the oxygen comes in the form of lipid based single layer microparticles that act as microscopic bubbles (pictured) and was designed by researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital. The technique itself can buy an extra half an hour before oxygen deprivation sets in, considering brain damage begins after 4 minutes of suffocation this can be the difference between life and death. Unfortunately due to the lipid (basically just fat/oil) structure of these microparticles this process can’t be prolonged as it would create further problems.Also interestingly the creation of these particles uses sound-waves to mix the lipid and oxygen together forming a liquid that in the end is 70% oxygen and mixes effectively into the blood. It also carries oxygen about 3-4 times better than our own blood.Image Courtesy of Children’s Hospital Boston

How To Breathe With No Air

While it’s commonly believed that air in the blood stream can cause death by embolism a new way of preventing suffocation actually involves injecting oxygen straight into the blood stream. The crucial difference is that the oxygen comes in the form of lipid based single layer microparticles that act as microscopic bubbles (pictured) and was designed by researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital. The technique itself can buy an extra half an hour before oxygen deprivation sets in, considering brain damage begins after 4 minutes of suffocation this can be the difference between life and death. Unfortunately due to the lipid (basically just fat/oil) structure of these microparticles this process can’t be prolonged as it would create further problems.

Also interestingly the creation of these particles uses sound-waves to mix the lipid and oxygen together forming a liquid that in the end is 70% oxygen and mixes effectively into the blood. It also carries oxygen about 3-4 times better than our own blood.

Image Courtesy of Children’s Hospital Boston