Instant stone (just add water!)
> This basic technology has been known since prehistoric times: the kilning of limestone is older than pottery, much older than metalworking, and possibly older than agriculture. But over the millenia, better formulas for cement have been created, with superior mixtures of ingredients and improved processes.
Plus a follow up: https://rootsofprogress.org/cement-redux
Mary Sherman Morgan, Rocket Fuel Mixologist
> The US had twice tried to launch Navy-designed Vanguard rockets, and both were spectacular failures. It was time to use their ace in the hole: the Redstone rocket, a direct descendant of the V-2s designed during WWII. The only problem was the propellant. It would never get the payload into orbit as-is.
> The US Army awarded a contract to North American Aviation (NAA) to find a propellant that would do the job. But there was a catch: it was too late to make any changes to the engine’s design, so they had to work with big limitations. Oh, and the Army needed it two days before yesterday.
> The Army sent a Colonel to NAA to deliver the contract, and to personally insist that they put their very best man on the job. And they did. What the Army didn’t count on was that NAA’s best man was actually a woman with no college degree.
If you’re looking for gold, look in trees
> Prospecting for gold by looking for it in leaves has finally proved itself commercially in Australia
> The quantities are minuscule. In areas where there is no gold, leaves may have a background level of 0.15 parts per billion (ppb) of gold; on gold-rich sites that can rise to 4ppb.
Mammalian Near-Infrared Image Vision through Injectable and Self-Powered Retinal Nanoantennae
> Vision is an essential sensory modality for humans. Our visual system detects light between 400 and 700 nm (Dubois, 2009, Wyszecki and Stiles, 1982, Schnapf et al., 1988), so called visible light. In mammalian photoreceptor cells, light absorbing pigments, consisting of opsins and their covalently linked retinals, are known as intrinsic photon detectors. However, the detection of longer wavelength light, such as near-infrared (NIR) light, though a desirable ability, is a formidable challenge for mammals. This is because detecting longer wavelength light, with lower energy photons, requires opsins (e.g., human red cone opsins) to have much lower energy barriers. Consequently, this results in unendurable high thermal noise, thus making NIR visual pigments impractical (Ala-Laurila et al., 2003, Baylor et al., 1980, Luo et al., 2011, St George, 1952). This physical limitation means that no mammalian photoreceptor can effectively detect NIR light that exceeds 700 nm, and mammals are unable to see NIR light and to project a NIR image to the brain.
> To this end, the successful integration of nanoparticles with biological systems has accelerated basic scientific discoveries and their translation into biomedical applications (Desai, 2012, Mitragotri et al., 2015). To develop abilities that do not exist naturally, miniature nanoscale devices and sensors designed to intimately interface with mammals including humans are of growing interest. Here, we report on an ocular injectable, self-powered, built-in NIR light nanoantenna that can extend the mammalian visual spectrum to the NIR range. These retinal photoreceptor-binding upconversion nanoparticles (pbUCNPs) act as miniature energy transducers that can transform mammalian invisible NIR light in vivo into short wavelength visible emissions (Liu et al., 2017, Wu et al., 2009). As sub-retinal injections are a commonly used ophthalmological practice in animals and humans (Hauswirth et al., 2008, Peng et al., 2017), our pbUCNPs were dissolved in PBS and then injected into the sub-retinal space in the eyes of mice. These nanoparticles were then anchored and bound to the photoreceptors in the mouse retina.
2017 Photomicrography competition
Not to be confused with microphotography.
Anatomy of a Moral Panic
> The real story in this mess is not the threat that algorithms pose to Amazon shoppers, but the threat that algorithms pose to journalism.
Substances don’t have to be a liquid or a gas to behave like a fluid.
> Swarms of fire ants display viscoelastic properties, meaning they can act like both a liquid and a solid.
Weird science of the day.
All the “wellness” products Americans love to buy are sold on both Infowars and Goop
Two thumbs up!
You Are Making Scrambled Eggs All Wrong
Boiled scrambled eggs. What will they think of next?
News leak: SEPTA's urine-repellent spray not a success
> The situation remains fluid
Dilution of whisky – the molecular perspective
> At ethanol concentrations of 59 vol-% or higher, guaiacol is increasingly surrounded by ethanol molecules and is driven to the bulk. This indicates that the taste of guaiacol in the whisky would be enhanced upon dilution prior to bottling. Our findings may apply to other flavour-giving amphipathic molecules and could contribute to optimising the production of spirits for desired tastes.
That Shouldn't Work; Manufacturing Computer Chips
> This talk will go over how and why the design of a modern nanoscale transistor has developed. It includes the basics of the processes used to build chips, the incredible equipment that makes it all possible, and where the scaling (might) end. Plus some fun stories about what goes wrong inside a FAB.
One hour. Poorish audio, but great content.
Ultrasound Ages Liquor Two Years in Just Three Days
Just in time small batch aging to order?
Retail lighting and packaging influence consumer acceptance of fluid milk
Mystery of 1952 London fog that killed 12,000 finally solved
Remember kids, don’t play in the sulfuric acid.
Telomeres — too much of a good thing?
> A paper last week in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology found that stem cell telomeres are actively maintained at a target length, not just by elongation (with telomerase or ALT) when they get too short but by active trimming when they get “too long”.
The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare
Epic battle to prove PFOA (used to make Teflon) is not good for the water supply.
San Francisco's "earthy" new Hetch Hetchy blend
The Freaky Food Chain Behind Your Lobster Dinner
Lobsters eat clams eat bacteria eat chemicals.
How to empty the ketchup bottle every time
Not actually, but in theory.
> For more than a decade Kripa Varanasi and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been creating and studying slippery surfaces for use in industrial equipment such as steam turbines and desalination plants.
Every fluid requires its own surface structure and lubricating agent to prevent stickiness. Fill the tiny gaps in the surface with the liquid, and the otherwise gooey substance won’t be able to stick.