At DNA 11, we know all too well just how unique we all are. Your Fingerprint, DNA, and Kiss portraits are all individual representations of who you are – but how much do you really know about what makes you, well, you? DNA determines everything about us. From what hair colour you have, to how long you will live, to whether or not you’ll have dimples! Check out this great video showcasing “18 Things You Should Know About Genetics” by David Murawsky. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Check out these remarkable photographs by Jason Tozer, a London-based photographer. With a special lighting technique he developed himself, Tozer manages to turn regular soap bubbles into stunning macro shots resembling something you would see in space. Via PetaPixel:
All of these bubbles are sitting on a wet ring. This gives me time to set the focus and size of the bubble, and manipluate the colours if I choose to. I blow down a straw to excite the surface of the bubble & spin the colour bands around. Occasionally a bubble will last much much longer than the others and it becomes increasingly clear as the colour bands move to the base. If I blow carefully on these, I can sometimes create the almost colourless textures, the more moon like ones.
I use household detergent with a little bit of glycerine in the mix. That helps with the lengevity of the bubble.
The project is appropriately titled “Bubbles”, which became a reality when Tozer was simply trying to test out a new camera. The photographer claims to use very little retouching on his work, so what you are seeing here is the authentic details and colours of the bubbles.
If you love this coupling of science + art, be sure to check out our DNA portraits!
You know how we have a soft spot for innovative design? Well this week, we seem to have fallen for a new mash-up of botany and technology. Introducing the Click and Grow — the answer to the lazy gardener’s prayers! Via Mashable:
The Click and Grow flower pot and plant cartridge work like a printer and toner. The pot contains electronics, sensors, batteries, a pump and a water reservoir; the cartridge contains seeds, nutrients and software (in a microchip) for growing the plant. There are currently 13 varieties of flowers and plants, and the selection is continuously growing. Right now the available selection includes painted nettle, lamb’s ear, marigolds and more. You can also grow edible things such as basil, thyme, sage, tomatoes and chili peppers.
Founder Mattias Lepp tells Mashable all you have to do is add water and batteries (not in the same place) — everything else is done by the sensors and software. You’ll also have to find a sunny place for your plant to sit, or at least somewhere it can absorb the sun’s rays, sunshine or not.
The idea for Click and Grow began three years ago, Lepp says, while reading an article about a NASA mission in which plants were taken into space. He began fusing technology with gardening in his own backyard in Estonia to see if he could grow plants with little or no care in a harsh climate. He made several iterations of the planter and one very cold winter, he says, the device he created was able to grow tomatoes “very quickly.” The company grew from there and officially launched one year ago.
Lepp said Click and Grow should also cut down on the waste that comes from single plants being purchased in plastic containers that then get thrown away. The potting container is reusable; though the cartridges need to be replaced for each new plant.
The product retails for $59.99, with cartridges costing about $19.99 each. We’d love to get our hands on one of these for the DNA 11 offices!
On this Day in Science is a DNA 11 blog series featuring historical discoveries, births, or news in the science or genetics world.
Twelve years ago today, the International Space Station finally began operation two years after it was officially launched into orbit. The station has roughly the same volume as a five-bedroom house and can hold up to six crew members at a time. It’s still in use today, and has housed astronauts and cosmonauts from over a dozen different nations. Via National Geographic:
The International Space Station is an orbiting laboratory and construction site that synthesizes the scientific expertise of 16 nations to maintain a permanent human outpost in space.
While floating some 240 miles (390 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, the space station has hosted a rotating international crew since November 2000.
Astronauts and supplies are ferried by … the Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. Astronauts who reach the facility aboard one of these missions typically live and work in orbit for about six months.
Simply by spending time in orbit, astronauts reveal much more about how humans can live and work in space. Crews have learned the difficulties of diet, in a world in which their sense of taste is decreased, and of getting a good night’s sleep while secured to a non-floating object.
But the crew is also occupied with a full suite of scientific experiments, the ongoing improvement and construction of the station, and a rigorous regime of physical training. Astronauts must exercise for two hours each day to counteract the detrimental effects of low gravity on the body’s skeleton and circulatory system.
COOL FACT: The state of Texas passed a piece of legislation in 1997 allowing US astronauts to vote even if they were serving a mission in space. To this day, American occupants of the ISS can “beam” down their ballots via a secure electronic system.
Looking for art that’s out of this world? Check out our unique portraits.