Scientists in Zurich, Switzerland have up with a sensitive new way to analyse the composition of almost any surface, including human skin by blowing a stream of nitrogen across the surface under analysis and collect the gas together with any debris that it dislodges. The material is then fed into a mass spectrometer that can pick apart the chemical composition of anything present on the surface.
Environmentalists are fond of calling the world’s forests in general, and the Amazon in particular, “the lungs of our planet”, the implication being that unless we stop deforestation, we’re all going to be gasping for breath. But is this true?
Imagine being able to trigger hibernation in humans to reduce tissue damage caused by strokes, heart attacks and surgery. Well Japanese researchers have uncovered the chemical switch that controls an animal’s hibernation pattern.
Vulcanologists have always found it difficult to find sources of evidence to examine to trace the history of volcanic eruptions on Earth and their effect on the climate. However scientists have recently hit upon a rather unusual new source – by studying paintings.
Why do men have nipples? – In a Nutshell : Men have nipples because women do.
There’s no real hard proof that animals can detect earthquakes or other seismic events. HOWEVER there is enough other evidence to warrant a serious discussion and debate on the issue. We look here at some intriguing observations and some basic research that has been done.
It would be handy wouldn’t it – photosynthesising all our food rather than having to stop to eat three times a day – so why can’t we do it ?
Why Can’t We Travel Faster than the Speed of Light? – This might be news to some of you but if you’re familiar with Einsteins theory of relativity, and that most famous of equations E=mc2, you’ll understand the limitations imposed by the equation. But exactly why should it be like this ?
The film “Jurassic Park” introduced a very interesting concept regarding the possibility of cloning a long dead species from preserved DNA – in this case dinosaurs. Sounds plausible – but is it ?
A bar of soap is a chemical miracle – a little scented block that unleashes molecular forces when dunked in water. In this article we look how this little miracle actually works.
Chameleons camouflage themselves in a variety of different ways but most famously by changing the colour and pattern of their skin.
“We no longer have to wonder what self-awareness looks like – we can see it for ourselves” : A bold statement indeed. What we’re referring to here though is that scientists now believe that they can trace where they think conscientiousness physically sits in the brain
Fire – one of the most primitive and yet intriguing of the ‘fundamental elements in our world. Indeed one of the things that differentiates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom is his ability to make and control fire. but : What is fire made of ? What is its atomic structure? What causes things to burst into flame in the first place and why can’t all materials be made to produce flame ?
As children, many of us learn about the wondrous process by which a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. The story usually begins with a very hungry caterpillar hatching from an egg. But what does that radical transformation entail?