SJC Science
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SJC Science
Science education which informs, enriches and prompts action.
Curated by Peter Phillips
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8 Apps That Will Make You Think You Live In The Future

8 Apps That Will Make You Think You Live In The Future | SJC Science | Scoop.it
This post is part of the Roadmap To The Future Series. Roadmap To The Future explores innovative industry trends and breakthroughs in science, enterta...
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Epic! Pitch correction so that anyone can sing, 360 degree photos, human body explorer, carrot - an organising program that makes tasks fun :)
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Chinese DIY Inventions

Chinese DIY Inventions | SJC Science | Scoop.it
One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs

Via Seth Dixon
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Which is my favorite... maybe the submarive with the wagging fish tail. Lots of fun looking through here.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 9, 2013 10:05 AM

This gallery of home-made inventions is just awesome.   In the picture above, "70-year-old inventor Zhou Miaorong tries out an evacuation slide he built himself in a building in Shanghai, on March 21, 2013. Zhou took over two years to design and build the mechanical slide which uses no electricity to implement in a domino effect, while also triggering a sprinkler system to fight a fire. Zhou built it after a serious fire in Shanghai in 2010 led to loss of life because of the lack of escape routes, as well as another 2010 incident when the 37th floor of his building caught fire -- two incidents which made him think about the need for a high-rise fire escape device."

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Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American

Where Does Identity Come From?: Scientific American | SJC Science | Scoop.it
A fascinating new neuroscience experiment probes an ancient philosophical question—and hints that you might want to get out more

Via Luisa Meira
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Identity can change due to brain changes as you grow older, particularly in active people. This report raises some interesting and at times controversial ideas - refreshingly.

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From the Alchemist's Kitchen: Researchers Turn Cement into Metal

From the Alchemist's Kitchen: Researchers Turn Cement into Metal | SJC Science | Scoop.it

In a move that would make the Alchemists of King Arthur's time green with envy, scientists have unraveled the formula for turning liquid cement into liquid metal. This makes cement a semi-conductor and opens up its use in the profitable consumer electronics marketplace for thin films, protective coatings, and computer chips.

"This new material has lots of applications including as thin-film resistors used in liquid-crystal displays, basically the flat panel computer monitor that you are probably reading this from at the moment," said Chris Benmore, a physicist from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory who worked with a team of scientists from Japan, Finland, and Germany to take the "magic" out of the cement-to-metal transformation. Benmore and Shinji Kohara from Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute/SPring-8 led the research effort.

 

This change demonstrates a unique way to make metallic-glass material, which has positive attributes including better resistance to corrosion than traditional metal, less brittleness than traditional glass, conductivity, low energy loss in magnetic fields, and fluidity for ease of processing and molding. Previously only metals have been able to transition to a metallic-glass form. Cement does this by a process called electron trapping, a phenomena only previously seen in ammonia solutions. Understanding how cement joined this exclusive club opens the possibility of turning other solid normally insulating materials into room-temperature semiconductors.

 

"This phenomenon of trapping electrons and turning liquid cement into liquid metal was found recently, but not explained in detail until now," Benmore said. "Now that we know the conditions needed to create trapped electrons in materials we can develop and test other materials to find out if we can make them conduct electricity in this way."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Potential answer to rare metal crisis that the Earth is finding itself in?

 

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Miro Svetlik's curator insight, May 30, 2013 4:57 AM

As we progress with modern 'Alchemy', more innovative materials will replace old conventional and expensive ways to build things. I believe that materials as this will bring real advances in stopping the world pollution materials which require toxic compounds.

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Monarch butterflies seem to remember a mountain that hasn't existed for millennia

Monarch butterflies seem to remember a mountain that hasn't existed for millennia | SJC Science | Scoop.it

Geology is what we look to when we want enduring monuments. Rock and metal outlast anything made of living tissue. Or do they? In another example of science getting poetic, it seems that a symbol of ephemera — a butterfly — provides evidence of a mountain long turned to dust.

 

Monarch butterflies are some of the toughest insects in the world. Their migration takes them from southern Canada to central Mexico. The journey is so long and difficult that it outlasts the butterfly's lifetime. Monarchs lay eggs at different stages through the journey. No one generation makes the whole trip.

 

Along this journey are several sites that have become local treasures and tourist attractions. The monarchs, flying in swarms, group together to rest in small areas, covering the trees like bright orange leaves. But although these sites are the most showy part of the journey, they're not the most amazing.

 

The amazing part of the journey is the sudden eastward turn that monarchs take over Lake Superior. Monarchs fly over the lake, necessarily, in one unceasing flight. That alone would be difficult, but the monarchs make it tougher by not going directly south. They fly south, and at one point of the lake turn east, fly for a while, and then turn back toward the south. Why?

 

Biologists, and certain geologists, believe that something was blocking the monarchs' path. They believe that that part of Lake Superior might have once been one of the highest mountains ever to loom over North America. It would have been useless for the monarchs to try to scale it, and wasteful to start climbing it, so all successfully migrating monarchs veered east around it and then headed southward again. They've kept doing that, some say, even after the mountain is long gone.

 

This puts a new spin on how we look at geology and geography. We think of mountains as structures that are, nearly, ageless. They stand while successive generations of animals change and evolve around them. Perhaps not this time, though. This time, butterflies kept up their same pattern while the world changed under them, the mountain wearing away, or being destroyed. This time, flesh outlasted stone.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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How Does the Brain React to a Romantic Breakup?: Scientific American

How Does the Brain React to a Romantic Breakup?: Scientific American | SJC Science | Scoop.it
How does the brain react to a romantic breakup?

Via Luisa Meira
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Alien material on the Moon › News in Science (ABC Science)

Alien material on the Moon › News in Science (ABC Science) | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Unusual minerals found in craters on the Moon may be alien, a new study suggests.
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Tiny new kangaroo: "spectacular find"

Tiny new kangaroo: "spectacular find" | SJC Science | Scoop.it
What may be the smallest member of the kangaroo family is among a batch of new species discovered in the remote forests of New Guinea.
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Trans-US solar plane sets new record

Trans-US solar plane sets new record | SJC Science | Scoop.it
The Solar Impulse plane sets a new record for distance flown by a solar-powered craft as it completes the second leg of a bid to cross the US.
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Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest | SJC Science | Scoop.it
As humans challenge the survival of modern species, we may someday be put to the test if they go extinct.
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Earth's core moves to its own beat › News in Science (ABC Science)

Earth's core moves to its own beat › News in Science (ABC Science) | SJC Science | Scoop.it
The Earth's core is out of sync with the outer crust of the planet, frequently speeding up and slowing down from decade to decade.
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Directly visible giant exoplanets around star HR8799, one containing water in its atmosphere

Directly visible giant exoplanets around star HR8799, one containing water in its atmosphere | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Unlike most exoplanet discoveries, which are inferred from analysis of data, the planets of the HR8799 system are directly visible from Earth. The planets were discovered in 2008 using the Keck and Gemini telescopes in Hawaii. The star HR8799, about 1.5 times the size of the sun and about five times brighter, lies 130 light years from Earth. Each of the star's four known planets is larger than any planet in our solar system. The star formed only 30 million years ago and is a variable star, meaning that its luminosity changes over a period of about half a day. By studying light reflected from planet HR8799c, astronomers have found water and carbon monoxide in its atmosphere.
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TEDxSydney 2013 Crowd Farmed by Grow it Local

TEDxSydney 2013 Crowd Farmed by Grow it Local | SJC Science | Scoop.it
short documentary that follows the challenges of attempting to feed 2,200 people in the Sydney Opera House audience of TEDxSydney 2013 using only home grown & locally grown food.
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Origami Carbon Cycle Infographic

Origami Carbon Cycle Infographic | SJC Science | Scoop.it
OK, strictly speaking it's not origami, since there are no folds, but here is a visualisation of the global carbon cycle using a paper cut-outs motif.   Forests and the carbon cycle are strongly li...
Peter Phillips's insight:

Paper info graphic which could be used in class rooms. Excellent explanation, and, the pieces of the graphic are proportional to the amount of carbon held in each part of the cycle. In the info, there is also the suggestion that using paper helps capture carbon from the atmosphere. I wonder how 'green' using computers for everything really is.

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Lee Smolin - Ideas about time and a natural selection process of new universes

Time is real, the laws of physics can change and our universe could be involved in a cosmic natural selection process in which new universes are born from black holes, renowned physicist and author Lee Smolin said.

His views are contrary to the widely-accepted model of the universe in which time is an illusion and the laws of physics are fixed, as held by Einstein and many contemporary physicists as well as some ancient philosophers, Prof. Smolin said. Acknowledging that his statements were provocative, he explained how he had come to change his mind about the nature of reality and had moved away from the idea that the assumptions that apply to observations in a laboratory can be extrapolated to the whole universe.

The debate had sometimes taken a metaphysical turn, he said, in which the idea that time is not real had led some to conclude that everything that humans value – such as free will, imagination and agency – is also an illusion. "Is it any wonder that so many people don't buy science? This is what is at stake," he said.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Imagination is critical to science.

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Targeted Therapies Tutorials - National Cancer Institute's Understanding Cancer Series

Targeted Therapies Tutorials - National Cancer Institute's Understanding Cancer Series | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Animated tutorials for health professionals about targeted therapies, an emerging approach to cancer treatment.
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Russian scientists make rare find of 'blood' in mammoth

Russian scientists make rare find of 'blood' in mammoth | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Russian scientists claimed Wednesday they have discovered blood in the carcass of a woolly mammoth, adding that the rare find could boost their chances of cloning the prehistoric animal.

Via Luisa Meira
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One-third of animal species will be hit by climate change, scientists warn

One-third of animal species will be hit by climate change, scientists warn | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Plant and animal species could see dramatic losses as habitats become unsuitable and ecosystems collapse

Via Anna Phillips
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Habitat preservation is key.

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Researchers uncover way to boost Australia's global internet links - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Researchers uncover way to boost Australia's global internet links - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | SJC Science | Scoop.it
American scientists have discovered a way to dramatically increase the speed of Australia's internet links with the world.
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Environmental flows make a splash in the Yarra

Environmental flows make a splash in the Yarra | SJC Science | Scoop.it
If the Yarra River looks a little speedier on Monday, it may still be dealing with the start of the largest environmental water release in its history.
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Not only in the Murray River - good to see.

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Bush Heritage Australia

Bush Heritage Australia | SJC Science | Scoop.it
Bush Heritage Australia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting Australia's unique animals, plants and habitats.
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Deserves recogniton.

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Unknown wonders: Barmah-Millewa forest

Australia is famous for its natural beauty: the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Kakadu, the Kimberley. But what about the places almost no one goes?
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Excellent article, with links to much more throughout the text.

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Neptune has a Giant Blue Spot, just like Jupiter has a Giant Red Spot

Neptune has a Giant Blue Spot, just like Jupiter has a Giant Red Spot | SJC Science | Scoop.it
This is how Neptune's Great Dark Spot and rings may have looked in 1989 from a position just beneath Neptune's ring plane. The outermost Adams ring is near the top of the frame, and beneath that is the much broader and diffuse Lassell ring. Further in toward Neptune and abutting the Lassell ring is the thin LeVerrier ring, and beyond that is the diffuse Galle ring. The Great Dark Spot is believed to be a storm similar to, but only half the size of, Jupiter's Great Red Spot. While Jupiter's Great Red Spot has been raging for at least 400 years, subsequent observations of Neptune's Great Dark Spot in 1994 by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that this storm has since disappeared. The Great Dark Spot was a very dynamic weather system, generating massive, white clouds similar to high-altitude cirrus clouds on Earth. Unlike cirrus clouds on Earth however, which are composed of crystals of water ice, Neptune's cirrus clouds are made up of crystals of frozen methane. Neptune's clouds are driven by winds of 1,200 mph, the fastest winds of any planet in the Solar System. How such high-velocity winds come to be on a planet so far from the Sun is still a mystery.
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3D-Printed Rocket Parts Will Take NASA to Mars

3D-Printed Rocket Parts Will Take NASA to Mars | SJC Science | Scoop.it
NASA engineers are building the largest rocket ever constructed — one that will eventually take us beyond the moon — using 3D-printed materials. Creating this rocket, called the Space Launch System (SLS), is a top priority at the agency because it has a big date: Obama wants to get humans to an asteroid and then on to Mars by the mid 2030s. To speed up the construction process, NASA is relying on a form of 3D printing to fabricate some of its engine parts virtually out of thin air. The machine, called selective laser melting, uses a laser to build a component. Unlike traditional rocket building, which relies on welding together disparate parts, 3D printing starts with an empty table. That space fills up with a completed component, built one layer at a time, out of NASA's 3D-printing material of choice. What used to take weeks to build now only takes hours. "We were looking at a way to save costs, be more efficient and reduce weight. That's how we got here," says NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. "The big thing about 3D printing is that there are no welds with seams, no places for stuff to leak in a component," he tells Mashable. "It starts from nothing and grows into what you want in one fell swoop."
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