Friday, 29 June 2012

Which way? X-Ray!

X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum with a wavelength of between 0.1-10 nm in length and were founded in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen. Though x-rays are actually waves they act more like particles due to the extremely small size of their wavelength.

Wierdly anything which is hotter than a million degrees will emit x-rays. This means that the sun gives off x-rays into space as well as certain stars. Though x-rays can be used in telescopes, the most important use of x-rays is in the medical industry for diagnostic methods.

I find x-ray pretty cool, as it was discovered completely by chance, and is now is used worldwide in medicine, and even referred to in comic books.

It seems that most of the accidental science discoveries are the discoveries which become the most important to our everyday lives!

Explorer fact: In some German speaking countries X-rays are called Roentgen rays.

Monday, 25 June 2012

George is lonesome no more.

George, the last of the Pinta Giant tortoises from the Galapagos islands has died.

Giant tortoises were taken from their habitat by sailors for the purpose of food. These tortoises were taken far quicker than their numbers were able to be replenished, thus their numbers experienced a sharp decrease. This resulted in George, being on his "lonesome".

George spent most of his life in the Charles Darwin Research Station (for his own safety away from the goats which were and still are damaging his natural habitat), where there were many attempts in trying to coerce him into mating with several females. Though he did mate with some females, the eggs did not hatch, so the mating was deemed as unsuccessful.

Thus the status of the Chelonoidis Nigra Abingdoni due to the death of George is seen now as EXTINCT.

Scientific marvel

The great thing about science is the fact that it is applicable to absolutely anything in the world. An apple, a chimp, a car, the world, humans, metal, the air we breathe (etc.) can all be explained using science! Moreover many a discussion can be won by using science to reinforce a point. This is due to science being highly logical and relevant in today's society.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Bee Mine

Bees, I'm not a fan especially as they seem to love attacking me, and the fact that there are 20,000 different species does not excite me in the slightest. But I have learnt to give them the respect they require as they are pretty intelligent creatures.

Though bees aerodynamically should not be able to fly (particularly the fatter bumblebees) they  can!  It is claimed that their wing flight pattern is similar to that of a helicopter. The way their wings flap manages to keep them in the air, and this is through the fact that their wings flap around 230 times a second. This is rather amazing as if you look at some bees their body is so enormous compared to their wing size. I really wonder how they manage to stay in flight or at least fly in a straight line. But then that's the beauty of nature!

The most intelligent aspect of bees is their waggle dance. They use this to communicate to the other bees where their food or pollen source, water source or even new home is. The length of the dance is based on the distance from the hive to the flower (or wherever they want to go).

So the next time a bee flies in your face, don't swat it away. Run away, yes, but whilst running, marvel at this bristly little creature who can not only dance but can also defy science and fly!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Let's start at the very beginning.

At the beginning of most or if not all living organisms is a cell. And in this cell is some form of genetic material. The genetic material is often DNA, which in my eyes is one of the most interesting molecules throughout science.

My reason for my intrigue behind DNA, is not because of its extremely long name, which I used to enjoy sprouting as a child, but because of its rather interesting history and its ability to govern the characteristics which we show to the outside world. It's marvellous, that something so small can control something as complex as human life.

Explorer fact: DNA was initially thought to be a triple heliex.

Climbing the tree!

One step at a time....