This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
More new designs at Thinkgeek in the SCI Corps series!
Water Drop on Hydrophobic Sand
Hydrophobicity is the physical property of a molecule (known as a hydrophobe) that is repelled from a mass of water.
Hydrophobic molecules tend to be non-polar and, thus, prefer other neutral molecules and non-polar solvents. Hydrophobic molecules in water often cluster together, forming micelles. Water on hydrophobic surfaces will exhibit a high contact angle.
Examples of hydrophobic molecules include the alkanes, oils, fats, and greasy substances in general. Hydrophobic materials are used for oil removal from water, the management of oil spills, and chemical separation processes to remove non-polar substances from polar compounds.
Hydrophobic is often used interchangeably with lipophilic, “fat-loving.” However, the two terms are not synonymous. While hydrophobic substances are usually lipophilic, there are exceptions—such as the silicones and fluorocarbons.
My name is Rebecca Calisi-Rodriguez, and I am a research scientist in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. I went to college to become an artist, then after I graduated, I taught the 2nd grade. I later took a job at the Dallas Zoo and taught k-12 conservation biology programs, which led me back to grad school. I got my Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, studying how birds (and their brains) respond to the changing environment. I am also a “mother-in-science”. Here is a photo of me with my daughter, Carmen.
The first earthling in space was Laika the dog, launched into space by the Soviets on November 3, 1957. She never returned alive. It was a mission designed, in part, to study the effects of space travel on an animal, but the true story of her noble canine sacrifice left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, including mine.
Here’s a far happier version of what may have happened on her historic journey. I like this one.
(by Avgousta Zourelidi)
At NASA’s Drawing Board - J R Eyerman
These four biological molecules are essential to all life on Earth.
They originated more than 3 Billion years ago during the Proterozoic Era, in a common ancestor of Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota. Together these molecules form the fundamental pattern of the fractal of life; they are specialized machines that replicate each other and produce an endless variety of new forms. They have evolved over trillions of generations into extraordinarily complex arrangements that consume energy, organize themselves, and reproduce.
Insect wings can shred bacteria to pieces! This video shows how a newly discovered nanostructure on the wings of cicadas can rip certain bacterial membranes to shreds. This structure, perfected by nature as a natural defense against dangerous microbes, could be harnessed by humans to create antimicrobial surfaces.
Sometimes nature is our best innovator.
(More at Nature News)
Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan
The original science bros.
A human brain preserved in a jar of formaldehyde (CH2O). Formaldehyde is a crosslinking fixative and acts by creating covalent bonds between proteins in tissue. This anchors soluble proteins to the cytoskeleton, and lends additional rigidity to the tissue. Additionally, it acts as a disinfectant, killing most types of bacteria and fungi.