NASA's gorgeous music video for Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune"

The scientist/artists in NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio created this magnificent video to accompany a recent performance by the National Symphony Orchestra Pops of Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune." From NASA:

The visuals were composed like a nature documentary, with clean cuts and a mostly stationary virtual camera. The viewer follows the Sun throughout a lunar day, seeing sunrises and then sunsets over prominent features on the Moon. The sprawling ray system surrounding Copernicus crater, for example, is revealed beneath receding shadows at sunrise and later slips back into darkness as night encroaches...

The visualization uses a digital 3D model of the Moon built from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter global elevation maps and image mosaics. The lighting is derived from actual Sun angles during lunar days in 2018.

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Watch these hypnotic Chladni patterns in color

Colored sand, a Chladni plate, and a little Bach make for a very soothing demonstration of cymatics. Read the rest

Watch this coagulant make dirty water drinkable

PolyGlu is used by aid workers to force impurities in water to settle at the bottom of a container, making the water safer for drinking in areas where water is scarce or polluted. Read the rest

Video: What are wormholes, anyway?

"Are wormholes real or are they just magic disguised as physics and maths?" (Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell)

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Watch this cuttlefish hypnotize a crab (and maybe you, too)

This broadclub cuttlefish like to prowl the Indonesian reefs for crabs, which it then hypnotizes with its remarkable skin before grabbing and eating. Read the rest

Cat poop parasite may influence someone's entrepreneurial spirit

Toxoplasma gondii infection has been linked to all kinds of human behavior. Now a study has linked it to risk-taking entrepreneurial behavior. Read the rest

Watch this nanolab print liquid 3D structures

By creating a surfactant that holds water in place, scientists are able to produce repeatable liquid 3D shapes in these nanoparticle "supersoaps" with modded off-the-shelf 3D printers. Read the rest

Man finds rare 25-million-year-old teeth from massive shark

Amateur fossil hunter Phil Mullaly was exploring Jan Juc in south Australia's Victoria's Surf Coast when he noticed a shark's tooth poking out of a boulder on the beach. According to paleontologists at Museums Victoria, that tooth and two others found are 25-million-years-old and came from a Great Jagged Narrow-Toothed Shark (Carcharocles angustidens), a species that could be as much as 30 feet long. From CNN:

"If you think about how long we've been looking for fossils around the world as a civilization -- which is maybe 200 years -- in (that time) we have found just three (sets of) fossils of this kind on the entire planet, and this most recent find from Australia is one of those three," (Museums Victoria researcher Erich) Fitzgerald told CNN...

"That doesn't happen. That just doesn't happen. That's only happened once before in Australia, and that was a totally different species of shark," he said.

When Mullaly told him the boulder he found was still on the beach, Fitzgerald said "my jaw sort of dropped."

"Man stumbles upon rare 25-million-year-old teeth of mega-toothed shark" (CNN) Read the rest

Bacteria shown to have built immunity to hand sanitizers

Good news everyone: those superbugs we’re all so afraid of? They’re evolving to be immune to a number of those popular alcohol-based hand sanitizers we all assumed would help to keep us from getting sick. Nature’s amazing!

Seriously though, the planet is totally trying to kill us for all the shit we do to it.

From Ars Technica:

Bacteria gathered from two hospitals in Australia between 1997 and 2015 appeared to gradually get better at surviving the alcohol used in hand sanitizers, researchers found. The bacteria’s boost in booze tolerance seemed in step with the hospitals’ gradually increasing use of alcohol-based sanitizers within that same time period—an increase aimed at improving sanitation and thwarting the spread of those very bacteria. Yet the germ surveillance data as well as a series of experiments the researchers conducted in mice suggest that the effort might be backfiring and that the hooch hygiene may actually be encouraging the spread of drug-resistant pathogens.

The more the bacteria drink, the higher their resistance to alcohol becomes. They’re just like us!

The bacteria that researchers are most concerned about becoming tolerant to current booze-based sanitation products is called enterococcus faecium: it’s responsible for the majority of infections that folks pick up in a hospital environment and has already proven to be resistant to a number of antibiotics. According to this report, bacterial tolerance to alcohol-based sanitizers could undermine the way that hospitals prevent the spread of bacteria and other ugly stuff, on a world-wide basis.

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Watch this build and test of a high velocity vortex cannon

A low velocity vortex cannon isn't too hard to make, but a vortex cannon that's this high velocity takes a lot of trial and error. Read the rest

A machine learning system trained on scholarly journals could correct Wikipedia's gendered under-representation problem

Quicksilver is a machine-learning tool from AI startup Primer: it used 30,000 Wikipedia entries to create a model that allowed it to identify the characteristics that make a scientist noteworthy enough for encyclopedic inclusion; then it mined the academic search-engine Semantic Scholar to identify the 200,000 scholars in a variety of fields; now it is systematically composing draft Wikipedia entries for scholars on its list who are missing from the encyclopedia. Read the rest

Study: failed star is actually a rogue planet 12.7 times Jupiter's mass

A gray area exists between stars and planets, and what was thought to be a failed brown dwarf star has now been determined to be a massive rogue planet with an enormous gravity field. Read the rest

Watch Skippa the rock-skipping robot get optimized

Skipping stones takes a little practice and finesse, so Mark Rober enlisted his extended family to help build the perfect rock-skipping robot. Their creation, named Skippa, ended up helping humans learn, too. Read the rest

Unregulated fertility technologies are being used to create babies

Mitochindrial replacement techniques, which produce "three-parent babies," promise to allow infertile couples to have babies, and even allow people with debilitating genetic disorders to have healthy babies. The largely unregulated tech is already producing babies despite the unknown long-term risks. Read the rest

Butchered rhino points to hominin activity in The Philippines over 700,000 years ago

Archaeologists have determined from a butchered rhinoceros that the Philippine island of Luzon was inhabited by hominins hundreds of thousands of years before anatomically modern humans arrived. Read the rest

Under a microscope, a riotous rush of color and texture

The Miniglobelet series by Beauty of Science shows all the wondrous math and physics occuring at the micrscopic level as crystals form, chemicals combine, and new forms take shape. Read the rest

Watch this cute dog help scientists study truffles

Lucy the truffle-sniffing dog is helping Professor Ulf Büntgen and other researchers learn more about the ecology of truffles, which despite their great value remain enigmatic to scientists. Read the rest

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