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Showing posts from October, 2012

Space, the Enigmatic Frontier

(source) A pie graph of the universe's composition.
    When most people think of outer space, they don’t usually imagine space
    The first thing that comes to mind are stars. Tiny white pinpricks of light in the sky that, in reality, are blazing spitfires of roiling gases. We envision bands of them, flung out into the inky blackness, coiled tight into galaxies or let loose in vibrant splashes of nebulae. Then people may think of comets, bulky intergalactic travelers remembered by their brilliant icy trail. Perhaps the asteroid comes to mind, one amongst millions drifting lethargically in the thick belt that separates the inner planets of our solar system from the outer. We could imagine planets and constellations, nebulae and supernovae, quasars and pulsars!
    Yet the yawning black stretches of nothingness between these extraterrestrials bodies remain overlooked.
    Of course, ‘nothingness’ isn’t quite the correct term. What really fills the blanks between the occasional blimps …

The Science Right in Your Bloodstream

There are a lot of words that begin with the prefix ‘bio-.’
     Biology, for instance, and then biochemistry, biotechnology, bionics, biopharmaceutical... the list goes on and on, advancing further afield the deep, often obscure world of biological sciences.  (source) pH is one of many properties used to analyze chemicals in body fluids.
     And, why shouldn’t it? “Bio” as a prefix means ‘life’, the study of which starts at the very core of our existence. We have been fascinated with everything to do about life: plants, animals, people, and the chemical breakdown of them all. Food chains, weather, evolution, natural selection, and how they all shaped the world we live in today. There’s a lot of “bio” in this world, and a lot of different ways to study it! Some of them we can recognize right off the bat, like biomedical, or zoology. Other fields are a bit more esoteric.
     Take bioanalytics, for instance.
     By parsing the word into two bits, ‘bio’ and ‘analytics,’ it seems bioan…