Thursday, 25 July 2013

Happy Birthday!

Happy 93rd birthday to Rosalind Franklin, the woman who alongside Crick and Watson, helped to determine the double helical structure of DNA.

Sadly, Franklin, was not acknowledged with a Noble Prize like the others, as she died before their work was recognised, and was unable to be awarded the prize posthumously.

However, here at The Science Tree, Rosalind's work will never be forgotten. So Explorers when anyone mentions the words: DNA, double helix, Crick and Watson. Be sure to add one more equally important word: Franklin.

Happy Birthday Rosalind.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Suit of Invisibility.

Even if you haven't watched Jaws, I think we are all familiar with the fact that Sharks are attracted to the splashing of swimmers and surfers bobbing along the surface of the water. The fact that they also explore new things with their mouths, also increases their chance of biting as they are being purely inquisitive.

2 new wet suits have been unveiled from Scientists from the University of Western Australia alongside SAMS (Shark Attack Mitigation Systems). These wet suits will hopefully act as a sort of 'invisibility' device, to render swimmers and surfers to blend in with their oceanic background.

It has been recently discovered that Sharks are in fact colour blind, and 1 of the suits camouflages the wearer against the water (the Elude suit), and the other suit copies nature's warning signs by being striped (the Diverter).

Hopefully these new suits will help to change Western Australia's nickname name of 'Shark Attack Capital' for the better. Although these suits have not yet been tested, there are plans to test the suits with Great White Sharks in South Australia and South Africa this summer.

There are big expectations from these suits. So hopefully soon they will be on sale, and will help to save the lives of many a surfer.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Wait, just a...second?

The familiar phrase 'wait a sec.'. could potentially be redefined.

Stop, the clocks! 

Scientists have developed a new clock which is far more accurate than the clocks in use now, thus altering the length of time periods (seconds, minutes and hours) as we know it.

The current clocks are atomic. They expose caesium atoms to microwaves causing them to swing back and forth at regular intervals. This type of clock has been the most accurate method of time keeping since the 1960s.

The new clock on the block is the optical lattice clock, which loses 1 second every 300 million years, which makes it 3 times more accurate than the current time keeping method. This new clock uses light to excite strontium atoms causing them to vibrate.

So this means that if humans could live for millions of years, instead of falling a second behind every 100 million years, we will lose a second every 300 million years.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The wonderful Mrs Curie.

Mrs Curie also known as Marie Curie, was an absolutely amazing scientist. She didn't just stick to 1 type of science, but she was a high achiever in not only Physics but also Chemistry.

Marie was the first woman to win a Noble Prize ever, not only this but she was the only person to win the prize in 2 fields. In 1903 she shared her first noble prize with her husband Pierre Curie and fellow physicist Henri Becquerel. Marie, finally got a Noble prize all to herself in 1911 for her work in Chemistry.

Among some of her discoveries, Marie Curie discovered the elements radium and polonium. Moreover she and her husband helped to solidify the knowledge of radioactivity.

Curie was a brilliant scientist and consequently numerous locations around our globe are named after her. Although Curie lived a glittering life, I guess you could say she died as a consequence of her research. She died on July 4th 1934 from pernicious anaemia, a condition thought to have been contracted from her long term exposure to radiation.

So add the 4th of July to your science calendar so we can celebrate the life of the wonderful Marie Curie.