1. fennetic:

     Hypergolic Ignition of Various Compounds with Nitric Acid shows the ignition of powdered solid borane compounds with a drop of concentrated nitric acid. Reaction is completed within 10 ms of contact. The green color indicates the presence of boron.

    See the original movie in glorious slow motion.

    Credit: Stephen Heister, Timothee Pourpoint, Steven Son, Mark Pfeil, Jacob Dennis, and P. V. Ramachandran of Purdue University, via the Central States Section of the Combustion Institute

  2. coolsciencegifs:

    Green Fire!

    Making green fire involves mixing borax with ethanol and setting it alight in a pyrex/borosilicate vessel (normal glass will just crack and shatter from the heat).

    The Science:

    This is just like a great big flame test. When boron compounds are heated, electrons absorb a certain amount of heat energy that causes them to jump to higher energy levels. After some time, the electrons lose this energy and fall back down to their original levels, emitting this energy in the form of light. Because the energy absorbed by electrons is different per element, each element will give a different colour. Boron gives a bright green colour. Any other colours such as orange and yellow are probably due to impurities in the mixture such as carbon.

    source

  3. Gut-Eating Amoeba Caught In Action

A gut-eating amoeba (green) nibbles on a live human cell (purple) under the microscope. The parasite chews on the cell before killing and discarding it.
This nasty gut-eating amoeba can wreak havoc in your intestinal tract and cause a dreadful case of food poisoning that may last months or years. Now scientists have figured out how this amoeba makes us sick. Its tactics are more nefarious than we thought.
The single-cell animal bites off tiny chunks of intestine, chews on them for a while and then spits them out. That’s right, folks, the little parasites — called Entamoeba histolytica — don’t even have the courtesy to kill your cells before they take a bite. They don’t even digest the parts they eat.

Credit: Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR

    Gut-Eating Amoeba Caught In Action

    A gut-eating amoeba (green) nibbles on a live human cell (purple) under the microscope. The parasite chews on the cell before killing and discarding it.

    This nasty gut-eating amoeba can wreak havoc in your intestinal tract and cause a dreadful case of food poisoning that may last months or years. Now scientists have figured out how this amoeba makes us sick. Its tactics are more nefarious than we thought.

    The single-cell animal bites off tiny chunks of intestine, chews on them for a while and then spits them out. That’s right, folks, the little parasites — called Entamoeba histolytica — don’t even have the courtesy to kill your cells before they take a bite. They don’t even digest the parts they eat.

    Credit: Michaeleen Doucleff/NPR

  4. ftcreature:

    The Featured Creature: Sea Sapphire: the Most Beautiful Animal You’ve Never Heard Of

    This is the Sea Sapphire, an absolutely STUNNING marine copepod. Japanese fishermen would call a gathering of these creatures “tama-mizu”, or jeweled water.

    Make sure to watch the VIDEO in the article!!

    photos: Stefan Siebert, http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/bluemuseum, CIOERT, .gif from liquidguru vid

  5. Particles come in pairs, which is why there should be an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe. Yet, scientists have not been able to detect any in the visible universe. Where is this missing antimatter? CERN scientist Rolf Landua returns to the seconds after the Big Bang to explain the disparity that allows humans to exist today.

    View full lesson: here

  6. ted:

    Behold, a “ghost heart!” 

    This pig heart (top) has been washed of all living cells, so that it can provide the foundation for human stem cells to grow a new, functioning heart. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon is researching how we can use human tissue to engineer personalized organs, like this beating heart that she engineered in a lab (bottom). Could her tissue engineering eventually lead to artificial organ transplants?

    Download Nina Tandon’s new TED Book, and watch her talk here »

  7. Koch Snowflake

The Koch snowflake (also known as the Koch star and Koch island) is a mathematical curve and one of the earliest fractal curves to have been described. It is based on the Koch curve, which appeared in a 1904 paper titled “On a continuous curve without tangents, constructible from elementary geometry” by the Swedish mathematician Helge von Koch. 
The Koch curve has an infinite length because each iteration creates four times as many line segments as in the previous iteration, with the length of each one being one-third the length of the segments in the previous stage.

    Koch Snowflake

    The Koch snowflake (also known as the Koch star and Koch island) is a mathematical curve and one of the earliest fractal curves to have been described. It is based on the Koch curve, which appeared in a 1904 paper titled “On a continuous curve without tangents, constructible from elementary geometry” by the Swedish mathematician Helge von Koch.

    The Koch curve has an infinite length because each iteration creates four times as many line segments as in the previous iteration, with the length of each one being one-third the length of the segments in the previous stage.

  8. txchnologist:

    Living Tissue Emerges From 3-D Printer

    Harvard bioengineers say they have taken a big step toward using 3-D printers to make living tissue. They’ve made a machine with multiple printer heads that each extrudes a different biological building block to make complex tissue and blood vessels.

    Their work represents a significant advance toward producing living medical models upon which drugs could be tested for safety and effectiveness.

    It also advances the ball in the direction of an even bigger goal. Such a machine and the techniques being refined by researchers offer a glimpse of the early steps in a sci-fi healthcare scenario: One day surgeons might feed detailed CT scans of human body parts into a 3-D printer, manipulate them with design software, and produce healthy replacements for diseased or injured tissues or organs.

    Read more below and click the gifs for explanations. 

    Read More

  9. poetnine:

Found this cool animated gif on the wikipedia page for quantum electrodynamics.
To briefly explain what’s going on: common experience tells you if you shine light on a mirror, light will reflect off at the same angle it reflects on. (In math speak, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection). This is true. That’s the result you’ll get if you don’t do any funny business to the mirror. That’s what that final red arrow represents.
But you see, the quantum world doesn’t behave like you might think it does. In fact, to calculate this path, we have to calculate all possible paths the light can take. That’s what all those individual little arrows represent. But because we say a photon (‘light’ = the particle known as a photon) has ‘wave-like’ properties, the arrows NOT in the middle cancel each other out!
"Whatever," you say. "That’s just a bunch of trickery! The light is bouncing from the source, off the center of the mirror, and into the detector (likely your eyeball)."
But it isn’t trickery! These other paths exist! It’s not just a mathematical abstraction.
You see, we could actually, if we wanted to, chop off the center and right of the mirror. If we shone a light on the remaining left from our source, it would not reflect toward point P. I mean, dur right? That’s because the paths are cancelling out. However if we scratch off certain parts of the mirror to avoid this cancelling out, we can actually make the light reflect toward P anyway! In fact, you see this all the time, any time you look at a CD or a DVD for example. This phenomenon (it’s called diffraction) is what causes the light to split into a rainbow.
Just to end, here’s another something to boggle your mind: in QED, a positron is identical to an electron travelling backward in time. In fact, to make accurate calculations, we have to include this possible ‘path’ of an electron going backwards in time. If we fail to do so, our calculations are wrong. So, in the lab, when we view a ‘positron’ what we’re really seeing is an electron travelling backwards in time.

    poetnine:

    Found this cool animated gif on the wikipedia page for quantum electrodynamics.

    To briefly explain what’s going on: common experience tells you if you shine light on a mirror, light will reflect off at the same angle it reflects on. (In math speak, the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection). This is true. That’s the result you’ll get if you don’t do any funny business to the mirror. That’s what that final red arrow represents.

    But you see, the quantum world doesn’t behave like you might think it does. In fact, to calculate this path, we have to calculate all possible paths the light can take. That’s what all those individual little arrows represent. But because we say a photon (‘light’ = the particle known as a photon) has ‘wave-like’ properties, the arrows NOT in the middle cancel each other out!

    "Whatever," you say. "That’s just a bunch of trickery! The light is bouncing from the source, off the center of the mirror, and into the detector (likely your eyeball)."

    But it isn’t trickery! These other paths exist! It’s not just a mathematical abstraction.

    You see, we could actually, if we wanted to, chop off the center and right of the mirror. If we shone a light on the remaining left from our source, it would not reflect toward point P. I mean, dur right? That’s because the paths are cancelling out. However if we scratch off certain parts of the mirror to avoid this cancelling out, we can actually make the light reflect toward P anyway! In fact, you see this all the time, any time you look at a CD or a DVD for example. This phenomenon (it’s called diffraction) is what causes the light to split into a rainbow.

    Just to end, here’s another something to boggle your mind: in QED, a positron is identical to an electron travelling backward in time. In fact, to make accurate calculations, we have to include this possible ‘path’ of an electron going backwards in time. If we fail to do so, our calculations are wrong. So, in the lab, when we view a ‘positron’ what we’re really seeing is an electron travelling backwards in time.

  10. scienceisbeauty:

    Mesmerizing. Scattering from a 2D triangular silver particle in a dielectric slab with ε=9.0.Incident field: electric/magnetic monopole at the location of the black cross with λ=600nm.

    Simulations by OpenMaX

    Source (by Aytac Alparslan)

  11. theolduvaigorge:

    The effects of freezing, boiling and degreasing on the microstructure of bone

    • by S.L. Lander, D. Brits and M. Hosie

    The histology of bone has been a useful tool in research. It is commonly used to estimate the age of an individual at death, to assess if the bone is of human or non-human origin and in trauma analysis. Factors that affect the histology of bone include age, sex, population affinity and burning to name but a few. Other factors expected to affect bone histology are freezing, boiling and degreasing but very little information is available for freezing and the effect thereof, and it is unknown if boiling and degreasing affects bone histology. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of freezing, freezing and boiling, and freezing, boiling and degreasing on the histological structure of compact bone. Five cadaver tibiae were frozen at −20 ◦ C for 21 days followed by segments being boiled in water for three days and degreased in trichloroethylene at 82◦C for three days. Anterior midshaft sections were prepared as ground sections and for Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Quantitatively, there were no significant differences between freezing, boiling and degreasing; however, qualitative differences were observed using SEM. After being frozen the bone displayed cracks and after boiling the bones displayed erosion pits on the surface. It is suggested that further research, using different durations and temperatures for boiling and freezing be undertaken on bone samples representing different ages and various skeletal elements” (read more/open access).

    (Open access source: HOMO Journal of Comparative Human Biology, in press 2014 via Academia.edu)

  12. Mantis shrimp’s super colour vision debunked

    It turns out that one of the animal kingdom’s most complex eyes is really quite simple:

    Mantis shrimp don’t see colour like we do. Although the crustaceans have many more types of light-detecting cell than humans, their ability to discriminate between colours is limited.

    Researchers found that the mantis shrimp’s colour vision relies on a simple, efficient and previously unknown mechanism that operates at the level of individual photoreceptors.

    Full Article

  13. Why Sand Dunes Go Boom

    It sounds like a low-flying propeller plane or maybe the deep humming of an electric wire. The booming sound made by some sand dunes has been a mystery for centuries. The sound is produced when sand on the surface of a dune avalanches. Scientists have long believed the friction between grains creates the strange noise.

About me

I am a collection of water, calcium and organic molecules called Zeni, but not a single one of the cells that compose me knows who I am, or cares ...so why should you?