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Showing posts from December, 2014

Salt and Water Waltz [Video]

If you have enjoyed watching the video above, then you are going to absolutely love the science behind it that makes it possible! 
All this chemical dancing was made possible by a simple finding that we can move objects using sound waves. This requires no spells that you can learn only at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, but just the simple application of acoustic levitation. Scientists have been able to levitate light objects using nothing but sound waves (at particular frequencies) from a speaker. But researchers Dimos Poulikakos and Daniele Foresti at the University ETH Zurich have modified this well known method that not only allows them to levitate objects but also move them to their hearts desire! The result, the salt and water waltz above. 
This technique is known as acoustophoresis in the scientific world and can be applied in the pharmaceutical industry where one wishes to mix ingredients without contaminating them. 



If you work in a lab that has contamination issues, this i…

What is Shrimpoluminescence?

It is likely that you have heard the terms Chemiluminescence or Bioluminescence. While the former is light created during chemical reactions, the latter is the light created by living beings such as glow worms and plankton. But have you come across the term 'Shrimpoluminescence'?. Well, if you have not, welcome to Coffee Table Science, where we tell you today what is Shrimpoluminescence
Before we get there, you must first understand what sonoluminescence is. It is light created in a liquid by imploding bubbles, when they are excited by sound waves.
Scientists Frenzel and Schultes at the University of Cologne accidently came across this phenomenon when they were hoping to quicken the development process of photographic films by using ultrasound frequencies. Since, the scientists were working with developer fluid, they noticed tiny dots on the photographic film once it was developed. But it took a wait of another 55 years before Philip Gaitan and Lawrence Crum could design an …

Science and Christmas [Video]

When it comes to Christmas and Santa Claus there are so many questions that we don't seem to have answers to. Being a skeptic can sometimes take the fun out of the whole festival. 
Well the guys at AUT University (Aukland University of Technology) have tried to answer a few of those baffling questions, so that we (the skeptic) can lay back and enjoy the very things that make Christmas the greatest time of the year.

You never travel Alone!

If you are quite the traveller who likes visiting different countries and posting Instagram pictures of historic sites and tourist places you have been to, this is the probably the right time to tell you this
'YOU ARE NOT TRAVELLING ALONE'
Well, this is not about some stalker following you or the government that keeps an eye on each and every one of us. Instead, this is about the unknown baggage you are carrying with you while you are criss crossing continents in the comfort of an aircraft, viz., the many many bacteria and fungal spores and the microscopic creatures such as house mites.
The Finding 
In a recent study published by researcher Rubaba Hamid Shafique and her colleagues from the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agricultural University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and University of Michigan, USA, the researchers studied two house mite populations from these two countries. On sequencing small parts of their genome, the researchers found these organisms had quite a few things that we…

Your handwash can give you cancer!

Smoking, alcoholism, exposure to radiation are well known causes of cancer but did you know that your hand wash is also a causative agent of cancer lurking around you in your everyday life. To be precise, its not the hand wash that causes cancer but an important ingredient called Triclosan that is the real culprit and unfortunately for us, it is being commonly used in most everyday products such as toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwashes and even deodorants. So, from the time you get up until the time you step out of your house, you are exposing yourself to a bunch of products that are carcinogens (substance capable of causing cancer) and when you step out, you know, you are no better either.
The obvious question then is, why are all these everyday products filled with such a harmful ingredient. To understand that, we need to first know why Triclosan is so popular among manufacturers of these products,
Why use Triclosan?
English: molecular formula of Triclosan (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It all…