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A Moment of Science

Archive for August 2019

August 1, 2019


Milk Osmosis

The sugar added to sweetened condensed milk kills bacteria that would otherwise digest the milk and spoil it.  The sugar kills not by poisoning the bacteria, but by a more direct physical process.

August 2, 2019


Monkey Bonding Through Grooming

Monkeys use grooming to reinforce male-female mate bonds as well as same sex friendship bonds.

August 5, 2019


The Periodic Table

This year, 2019, the periodic table turns 150. It organizes the elements into rows and columns. The seven rows are based on the number of an element’s electron shells.

August 6, 2019


Ancient Roman Parasites

Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that ancient Romans did not see a reduction in intestinal parasites like whipworm, roundworm and tapeworm, compared to people who lived during earlier ages with less sophisticated sanitation systems.

August 7, 2019


Microbes Help Form Copper Deposits

Copper, gold and silver can’t just be found anywhere buried under the soil. It takes very specific conditions to produce deposits of mineral ores that can be mined.

August 8, 2019


Generational Plant Wisdom

Information about when to germinate is imprinted by the mother plant in the seeds’ genes—essentially turning certain genes off that regulate germination.

August 9, 2019


When The Sky Turns Green

As sunlight enters our atmosphere, it bends slightly.  This is due to refraction, the same thing that makes a pencil look slightly askew when you stick it half way into a glass of water.

August 12, 2019


Flies That Eat Spiders

In most showdowns between spiders and flies, the odds weigh heavily in the spider’s favor.  Today, however, we’ll look at a few species of fly that manage to turn the tables on their eight legged foes.

August 13, 2019


Your Shadow’s Halo

A “heiligenshein,” is German for halo.  This is a glowing light around the head and shoulders of your shadow. It’s likely to be seen by early morning golfers on dewy grass. 

August 14, 2019


Hills In The Ocean

In the Western Pacific around New Guinea, there’s a watery hill almost 250 feet high.  This isn’t a hill on the ocean floor, it’s a hill in the ocean’s surface itself.

August 16, 2019


A Spoon’s Double Vision

Look at the back of a spoon and your reflection appears right side up.  Look into a spoon’s bowl, and your reflection’s upside down. How come?

August 19, 2019


Hot And Bothered Fish

Scientists working with two species of damselfish on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef discovered that when water temperatures increased by as little as three degrees, fish personalities changed.

August 20, 2019


Super Rabbit

Five million year old rabbit fossils found on the island of Minorca were six times the size of today’s rabbits. 

August 21, 2019


Jabuticaba, The Fruit That Grows On Trees

Jabuticaba is a fruit native to Brazil. It’s the size and color of a plum, with a white pulp and several seeds. It’s also known for its health benefits and sometimes gets called a “super fruit.”

August 22, 2019


Don’t Try To Cross A Cross Sea

On the beach at Île de Ré, a small island off the west coast of France, there are square waves. This is the result of two sets of wave intersecting at right angles.

August 23, 2019


Organs Can Heal Themselves Like Skin

Scientists found that human organs have small amounts of stem-like cells that can divide really quickly to replace tissue lost during organ failure.

August 3, 2019


The Invention of Cities: Part 1

Around 10,000 years ago, humans first domesticated plants and animals, started living in fixed, urban areas called cities, and organized themselves into complex societies.

August 4, 2019


The Invention Of Cities: Part 2

Çatalhöyük’s long period of excavation and its wealth of well-preserved artifacts and archaeological remains has made it an indispensable source of data about human prehistory.

August 15, 2019


Clouds In The Kitchen

Steam is water that’s heated to two hundred twelve degrees Fahrenheit.  Believe it or not, steam is invisible; you can see right through it.

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