Science Picker https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/ We pick the science of life Tue, 30 Mar 2021 12:39:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7 https://www.sciencepicker.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/uploads/sites/15/cropped-New-Project-32x32.png Science Picker https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/ 32 32 Facts about the Milky Way and all its wonders https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/facts-about-the-milky-way-and-all-its-wonders/ Sat, 10 Apr 2021 14:38:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1493 The Milky Way is an incredible scientific wonder. It is also a delicious chocolate bar. Today though we want to focus on the giant galaxy full of billions of stars, not the marvelous wonder that fits in the palm of your hand. The Milky Way is something we often hear about it and we all […]

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The Milky Way is an incredible scientific wonder. It is also a delicious chocolate bar. Today though we want to focus on the giant galaxy full of billions of stars, not the marvelous wonder that fits in the palm of your hand. The Milky Way is something we often hear about it and we all know that we are in it but most of us know little else. Read on to learn a little more about this far from little, magnificent galaxy.

The milky way is clearly not little. It is massive. It contains over 200 billion stars which are just impossible to imagine in our tiny minds. Yet if you can imagine 200 grains of sand, try multiplying that by a billion and it will give you an idea. That didn’t work? That is because there really is little in our world that comes close to helping to illustrate the size of the milky way. The Sahara desert has 1.5 septillion grains of sand so it is a little more than 200 billion. However, in terms of galaxies, the Milky Way isn’t that large at all. It is considered a medium-sized galaxy.

There are some galaxies that are only a few billion stars and some that have 200 trillion stars. The Milky Way sits somewhere in the middle of all of that. This is nice as it makes us feel small but not tiny. The Milky Way isn’t even one galaxy. It is the accumulation of a number of galaxies because as it grows bigger it is adding more and more to it. It recently captured the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy and is still taking over all of its star systems.

One fascinating thing about the Milky Way is that you have never seen it. You may be thinking back to a science book right now that should a spiral of stars but this is just an artist’s (or scientist’s) rendering of what they think it looks like. The truth is we can’t get far enough away to ever take a picture of it. So we have based our estimates on other galaxies and what we know about the Milky Way to make up a picture. We have decided it is spiral-shaped and has four long arms.

To many people, the Milky Way is the universe. I mean, it is certainly all we know about the place we live. Yet the Milky Way is only 13.6 billion years old, the universe itself is 13.7 billion years old. So in some ways, the Milky way is just a little behind the entire universe. Over that 13.7 billion years it has been changing constantly too.
The Milky Way gets its name thanks to the Greeks. Legend has it that the Goddess Hera sprayed milk across the sky and created the galaxy. Of course, this has become the way that western cultures refer to the galaxy but to other cultures who never heard these old stories, they have different names. The Chinese refer to the galaxy as the Silver River while in parts of Africa it is known as the Backbone of the Night.

Clearly, we still have a lot to learn about the Milky Way and the universe beyond it. Yet what we do know is already incredibly fascinating. To think it contains over 200 billion stars is just mind-boggling and to think that in the entire universe there are somewhere between 200 billion to 2 trillion galaxies is almost upsetting. It makes you realize that the idea that we are the only intelligent life in the universe is just laughable.

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Could fire breathing dragons exist? https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/could-fire-breathing-dragons-exist/ Sat, 27 Mar 2021 10:24:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1490 The TV show game of thrones caused an incredible reaction around the world. It was one of, if not the most successful show of all time. However, it was based in a purely fictional time. If the giants didn’t give that away then surely the flying fire-breathing dragons did. While the fictional setting was obvious […]

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The TV show game of thrones caused an incredible reaction around the world. It was one of, if not the most successful show of all time. However, it was based in a purely fictional time. If the giants didn’t give that away then surely the flying fire-breathing dragons did. While the fictional setting was obvious to most people, some were caught out on Twitter asking “What year is Game of Thrones set in?” and other comments that showed some people thought Game of Thrones was history, not fiction. While they were mocked by many, many, many people, was it such an embarrassing mistake to make? Many of the costumes were taken out of a certain period in history when raiders and knights existed. There was a time when people were much taller so “giants” are at least conceivable. There was some magic used during the show but allow me to ignore that for now. This leaves dragons. Are fire breathing dragons so ridiculous or could they have once existed? Let’s investigate.

To start let me be clear, I don’t want to analyze if fire-breathing dragons ever did exist, just whether it was possible that they could have existed. As I see it there are two key reasons why flying fire breathing dragons could not have existed. There is no evidence of flying dragons and there is no evidence of animals that breathe fire. These are pretty big obstacles to overcome but let’s try.

To say there is no evidence of flying dragons is not exactly true. In the time of dinosaurs, there were many that had wings and flew. The evidence of this is well documented. These dinosaurs were very large too weighing as much as a tiger and with a wingspan of 11 meters. Therefore it does appear possible that flying dragons could exist. Today many argue that flying dragons still exist. They are just much smaller. There are a number of species of lizards and snakes that can basically fly. Some have wings that allow them to glide while snakes can basically propel themselves through the air. You could argue that both of these don’t really fly they more fall with style but the snakes, in particular, have been shown to “fly” the length of a football field.

This shows that it is conceivable that dragons could fly. Would they be armor-plated beasts that appear heavier than elephants? Unlikely. Although until 2001 scientists didn’t understand how bumblebees flew so it is possible.

The next question is could they breathe fire. There is no animal in the world that does this but there is one beetle that comes close. The bombardier beetle releases a boiling hot fluid onto anyone that comes close to it as a defense mechanism. The idea that an animal could produce a flammable gas is not outside the realms of possibility at all. All it would require then would be someway of igniting it. If the gas ignited when it came in contact with the air it would appear like breathing fire. If not, the animal could have to ignite by creating a spark in its mouth. This wouldn’t be impossible either by rubbing teeth or tendons in a certain way.

Do I think the people on Twitter were foolish for thinking Game of Thrones was a history show? Absolutely! Do I think people were right to mock them? Absolutely! Is it conceivable that Game of Thrones was a history show? Absolutely not! However, is it possible that at one point in the long history of the world there was a fire breathing dragon – yes, yes it is. Even though it is unlikely I still prefer to believe in a world of fire-breathing dragons, although maybe not white walkers.

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Earwax holds the answer to many health questions https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/earwax-holds-the-answer-to-many-health-questions/ Sat, 20 Mar 2021 10:15:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1487 The body is an amazing thing and while it has an incredible ability to regulate its own health it often requires us to understand the language it is speaking. If you are a runner you will know that you need to listen to your body all the time and translate how you are feeling into […]

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The body is an amazing thing and while it has an incredible ability to regulate its own health it often requires us to understand the language it is speaking. If you are a runner you will know that you need to listen to your body all the time and translate how you are feeling into understanding whether you are running too fast, too slow, overtraining, are exhausted, not sleeping enough, or something else. The body gives lots of little tips that if we simply open our eyes to will inform us of many important things. While we have known this for a long time we never knew how important the ear was, until now.

In the modern age, we are starting to understand mental illnesses more and more. Stress and anxiety are two of the leading causes of serious health problems in modern society. People are working too hard, stressing about their family, and basically becoming anxious all the time. This is having a negative effect on their heart, their health, their wellbeing. Doctors now know that cortisol is an important ingredient when it comes to creating stress. People who have high levels of cortisol are more prone to mental health conditions like depression, stress, and anxiety. They are less able to deal with the normal everyday drama of the world and struggle as a result.
If you are someone who gets mad occasionally don’t simply assume it is explained by cortisol levels. It may be something simpler like your job or habits are leading you down a stressful path – sort these things out first. High levels of cortisol may also result in rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, flushed face, skin changes, and mood swings. If you are experiencing some of these then perhaps it is your cortisol level.

For years doctors have had methods to test cortisol. Saliva and urine are two known ways to test it. The problem is they don’t work very well. When we test cortisol levels we usually care about how they have been impacting someone over a medium or long-term period – not the short term. Salvia and urine can only test short term levels and the results often generate more questions than answers because of this. In fact, some people find the test itself stressful and can produce high cortisol levels just for the test.

This is where the ear comes in. It turns out that ear wax may offer a better method of testing as it is easy to get a sample and that sample is not impacted by the test itself. Not only this but as the wax is a build-up over time it can actually tell its own cortisol story. The test appears to be cheap and effective. Although it is only in the initial testing stages, the outlook is very promising.

Earwax may have more benefits than that. Initial results also suggest that it can identify COVID 19 antibodies that accumulate. The test could be used to determine those who are less at risk of catching the disease. Hopefully, this is something that we won’t need in the future but even if we don’t it shows the potential that earwax has to really inform a lot more about our own makeup, health, and well-being.

Cortisol is a powerful ingredient in understanding stress, anxiety, and depression. While we have been able to understand it for years we are now starting to understand how to measure it in a better more meaningful way. This will allow us to make huge strides in understanding mental health. Earwax is the answer and experts say that we are only beginning to understand the things we can learn from earwax.

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There is more water on the moon than we once thought https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/there-is-more-water-on-the-moon-than-we-once-thought/ Sat, 13 Mar 2021 10:21:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1483 Water is life. Everyone knows this. It doesn’t take a science dedicated website like Science Picker to tell you that. Up to 60% of the human body is actually water, many of you likely knew that too – it is a well-reported fact. However, are you aware of the challenges posed by water to space […]

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Water is life. Everyone knows this. It doesn’t take a science dedicated website like Science Picker to tell you that. Up to 60% of the human body is actually water, many of you likely knew that too – it is a well-reported fact. However, are you aware of the challenges posed by water to space travel? While the technology being developed today is better than ever before and could send us to Mars, the Moon, or somewhere else it is the lack of water that poses a huge problem to the idea of adventuring through space. Scientists have just discovered there may be a greater supply of water outside of Earth than they previously realized. The answer lies on the moon.

Space agencies around the world are envisaging returning to the Moon in the next five to ten years. Within the next twenty years, they hope to set up semi-permanent stations on the moon that will allow them to do more research. The reason for this interest is because of the precious materials on the moon. If these can be mined they could prove incredibly lucrative to the nations that get them. To support these incredibly ambitious missions scientists will require water and lots of it.

Water is important for so many reasons. Water sustains life so if we want to have people working in these stations we need to be able to give them adequate supplies of drinking water every day. Water is also an element, H20. This means it contains Hydrogen and two parts Oxygen. People need oxygen to breathe so if we can separate the oxygen from the hydrogen we can basically give humans some air to breathe while on the moon or elsewhere. Hydrogen is used as a rocket propellant so if we can split out the hydrogen we could essentially fill up our space shuttles with this element and continue our voyage or return home. Clearly, water is vital to the success of a space mission.

Scientists have known for some time that the moon contained water. The poles of the moon are some of the coldest places in the known universe and it was clear there were large blocks of frozen ice lying deep in caverns at the poles. However, space explorers worried about these poles and how easily accessible they were. It appeared it would be too difficult to access these poles for water. Two new studies have revealed some more information about the moon and it has made the prospect of life on the moon (or even Life on Mars if you are a Bowie fan) a more attractive proposition.

One study has shown that on the surface of the moon there are molecules of water. You may be picturing puddles of water or even some ice on the surface but this is incorrect. The moon is too dry. It is 100 times drier than the Sahara desert so there is no water in liquid or ice form on the surface. There are water molecules though. Scientists don’t fully understand how this is possible yet as it simply couldn’t exist on earth but spread across the surface at a molecular level are some water molecules. These could be used for their hydrogen and oxygen. A second study has shown that the water that exists at each pole is far more than previously imagined. There may even be large amounts of water outside of the deep caverns that could be accessed more easily.

For years we have looked at the moon and asked why we can not return. It appears now that we can and that we have a significant purpose to do so. Over the next 20 years, we will see some incredible exploration of space that will change how we live forever.

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The smelly secret to good sleep https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-smelly-secret-to-good-sleep/ Sat, 06 Mar 2021 10:26:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1459 Sleep is one of the most important ingredients in a healthy life. Studies have shown that you must have between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you have less you are dramatically lowering your ability to perform well the next day both physically and mentally. It has also been proven to lead […]

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Sleep is one of the most important ingredients in a healthy life. Studies have shown that you must have between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you have less you are dramatically lowering your ability to perform well the next day both physically and mentally. It has also been proven to lead to more health problems over a longer period of time. Studies have shown that if you are getting six hours of sleep your time to physical exhaustion drops by up to 30%. This basically confirms that sleep is the most important thing in life. A new study has found a surprising way of ensuring you get a good night’s rest. Read on to find out.
If you are in a long-term relationship you may have noticed how much better you sleep when your partner is there compared to when they are away.

While you may think this is because you are worried about them while they are gone it is actually a more evolutionary trait that you feel more calm and secure when your partner is around. You sleep better when your partner is near because you feel safe.

Researchers who studied this then wondered if the physical presence of the partner was required or if something else would suffice. They conducted a study where they asked participants to wear the same shirt for 24 hours without using deodorant, smoking, or eating strange smelling foods. The result was a shirt that smelled like that person. They then gave participants the shirt of their partner or a clean shirt or the shirt of a strange. They asked each participant to sleep with the shirt as a pillowcase for the night. They measured their sleeping patterns throughout the night and asked them how they felt the morning after.

The results showed that sleeping with your partner’s smell nearby makes you sleep better even if your partner is not present. The scientific data actually revealed that participants slept 2% better with the shirt of their partner compared to a white or stranger’s shirt. While this may not sound like a lot it is actually on par with a lot of herbal sleep remedies that can be purchased today.

This is great news for those who are in a relationship and want to know a trick to sleep better while their partner is away but what about those single people who are struggling to sleep? If you apply the same idea then there may be someone who you can think of that makes you feel secure. If you use a blanket or shirt of a parent that makes you feel protected it could have the same impact. This is not proven to date but the researchers are planning on conducting a similar study on babies and the scent of their parents.

Clearly, there is a lot of science to the perfect sleep. If you are not sleeping well or are not sleeping long enough, it will not take long before your health, your appearance, and your physical state start to show it. Avoid drinking energy drinks or taking supplements that will hide the evidence but not cure the problem.

Get enough sleep from now and make 7 hours your minimum going forward. If you do this you will see huge improvements in every facet of your life and will start to understand why some people “never get sick” and “always seem happy”. They may have been lucky in life or they may have simply got seven hours of sleep last night. Be the best version of yourself by getting enough sleep from now on. 

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Are your cleaning products environmentally sustainable? https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/are-your-cleaning-products-environmentally-sustainable/ Sat, 27 Feb 2021 10:28:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1453 If we like our planet we are going to have to start to do some things differently to keep it. The current projections based on the changing climates and pollutants in the environment do not make for pleasant reading. Unless we change our ways soon we are pretty doomed. Depending on which report you read […]

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If we like our planet we are going to have to start to do some things differently to keep it. The current projections based on the changing climates and pollutants in the environment do not make for pleasant reading. Unless we change our ways soon we are pretty doomed. Depending on which report you read we either have 10 years to change our ways or 30. After that, we will be at the point of no return. This means that it is up to the current generation to save the world. 

Pollutants come from nearly every facet of life today. In our search for an extra dollar, we have sacrificed the green way of doing things and just gone the cheap way. You can buy a shirt for $5 in your local shop but it has been shipped from the other side of the world and is simply not environmentally sustainable. The good news is that many consumers are now becoming more green-conscious and are actively seeking sustainable goods. This has led to many small startups trying to offer these sustainable goods and many large companies making some small efforts as well. This gives us hope.

One area that often uses a lot of chemicals are cleaning companies. We all want to keep our homes clean and sanitized yet sometimes harmful chemicals are used to create different cleaners such as bleach, window cleaner, toilet cleaner, shower cleaner, oven cleaner, and more. The ironic thing is that while we are going to strange lengths to create these chemicals to clean there are many just as useful that are easily available.

As fruit and vegetables decompose they often create the chemicals that we require to create cleaning agents. This suggests that there is a simple recycling opportunity here to change an entire industry. One company is following this path. Veles is a household cleaning solution that is made almost entirely from food waste.

The cleaner is made from 97% food waste and 3% natural fragrances. The contents are water, lactic acid, alcohol, and acetic acid. The company that is creating these cleaners is based in Manhattan and has partnered with many rubbish collector organizations to have a steady supply of these food wastes. The company also uses recycled aluminum for the container as well.

There are three reasons that this is great. The first and obvious reason is that they are not using harmful chemicals in the cleaner. The second reason is that they are using food leftovers that are unwanted meaning a reduction in waste. The third reason is that food waste that is left in landfills turns pretty bad and starts to release a dangerous greenhouse gas called CH4 – basically methane.

The biggest issue with these sustainable products is that they are priced highly. The Veles cleaner costs $16 for a bottle and most people can’t afford to spend that much on the product that cleans their kitchen. We need to drive down the price of sustainably conscious goods and this is where the government must step in. Instead of subsidizing oil companies, the government should subsidize companies that are doing good for the environment. This would allow these companies to provide cheaper solutions to the market and compete on a world stage. It would lead to economic growth for the countries that invest in these sustainable products and it would help the environment.

We all need to look at our routine behavior and examine how we can move to more sustainable practices. If we don’t then we are going to pus the Earth to a point that it can no longer be saved. This is just one example of a wide range of brilliant sustainable options that are now becoming available.

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Could luminous plants save the world? https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/could-luminous-plants-save-the-world/ Sat, 20 Feb 2021 10:32:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1450 Scientists have made extraordinary leaps in so many fields that it is difficult to determine what the future holds. While we may think that they are doing amazing things in understanding human biology and will soon solve many forms of eyesight issues, there is another team of scientists working somewhere to completely replace eyes. The […]

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Scientists have made extraordinary leaps in so many fields that it is difficult to determine what the future holds. While we may think that they are doing amazing things in understanding human biology and will soon solve many forms of eyesight issues, there is another team of scientists working somewhere to completely replace eyes. The future is uncertain because we are advancing in so many ways at the same time. It is a race to see which solutions come first and become part of our society. This is especially true of the environment. Most people are fully aware of the problems we have today with the environment but the solution is not clear to anyone.

There are some who think that we simply need to alter our behavior and that if we do this we can save the environment. Others argue that this is impossible. The damage has been done and we can’t simply wipe out thousands of planes and billions of cars overnight. Unless we provide solutions to these problems we are stuck with them. Others think we simply have to forget Earth and start working on Mars as the solution (however making Mars hospitable to human life seems like more work than simply fixing Earth). One interesting innovation has now come to the fore and casts light on this exact issue. It shows that there are solutions out there that we will never see coming and they could have a massive impact.

Light energy is one of the biggest issues for the environment. We spend a lot of money and use a lot of resources to turn on all the lights on this planet. Each year many people observe Earth Hour near the end of March from 8.30 to 9.30 pm. At this moment everyone is asked to turn off all non-essential lights and make the world go briefly into darkness. While this hour likely does have some impact on energy consumption the idea is more symbolic to show the world that we should not always rely on these lights. Despite how bad they are for the world though, we do need them. A research group may have found an alternative solution.

The team was looking at the bioluminescence found in nature. This is the special ingredient that causes some plants and animals to glow in the dark. There are small bioluminescent particles in the water of some oceans that cause the water to shine bright blues and greens. There are some mushrooms that appear luminous in dark woods. Scientists studied these luminous mushrooms and found that their DNA was very similar to the common household plant. They found the difference and isolated it. Then they simply injected the household plant with this missing part of DNA and the results were illuminating.

The plants started to glow as bright as the mushrooms. This is clearly an exciting moment as the potential this carries into the future is incredible. While right now we could use these luminous plants to give a small bit of light to a dark room. In the future, if we could advance this technology enough we could potentially get rid of street lights and replace them with luminous trees. We could get rid of living room lights and replace them with large luminous ferns.

This discovery could have a meaningful impact on energy consumption around the world. It also serves as an incredible example of how thinking out of the box can produce incredible ideas that could literally save the planet. The luminous planet idea is still at an early stage but scientists are excited by the potential of this radical idea.

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How will humans evolve? https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/how-will-humans-evolve/ Sat, 13 Feb 2021 10:34:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1447 Evolution is the process of how living organisms have changed over time. The theory of evolution is now widely regarded as fact thanks to the work of Charles Darwin who showed how different species diversified based on their needs. There is evidence of evolution all around us in nature. The giraffe is an incredible example […]

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Evolution is the process of how living organisms have changed over time. The theory of evolution is now widely regarded as fact thanks to the work of Charles Darwin who showed how different species diversified based on their needs. There is evidence of evolution all around us in nature. The giraffe is an incredible example as to eat from the tallest trees he needed a larger neck. As different giraffes mated overtime those with the longest necks were able to provide better for the family and so were more successful. Overtime those with larger necks had babies with even longer necks. This is the process of evolution.

Experts argue that the tailbone is a perfect example of human evolution. While we have a bone at the stem of our back that likely once was used for a tail, we no longer have a tail. We have evolved from animals that used to use a tail to swing from trees and to balance but we no longer need a tail in modern society. Some have looked at this and posed questions about our future. In the strange specialized sedentary lifestyle we now live – how will humans evolve?

It is a fair question to ask. When humans were hunter-gatherers we evolved to have incredible endurance, to be athletic, and to survive in the wild. While many of us may like a jog in the park on a Sunday it is not really a survival need. This means that we may slowly lose our ability to run long distances over time (a lot of time). Humans will likely get fatter as they become more sedentary, our eyesight may adapt to become better at looking at screens.

It will likely take a million years to take place and will entirely depend on how our lives change over that time. As we will depend on technology it may not even matter anymore. Technology may replace the randomness of biology and people may start to choose what their babies will look like when they grow up. Imagine being able to alter the DNA of your child to determine its height, eye color, and more in the future.

The other very likely scenario is that humans may go to space. If in a million years the Earth is destroyed and the entire human population lives on Mars, it will likely look very different. If humans were to colonize on Mars the atmosphere would be very different. Experts say that we can start to judge how we would react based on how some animals changed when they ended up on different islands but this is not true. Animals accidentally went to an island with no preplanning. We would be the first species to move the planet and would likely build a system to make the change as easy as possible for us. Still, there would be something that would be different that we could not account for. While we could live in systems where the gravity was adjusted the different gravity on Mars would likely take its toll on humans overtime making our bones weaker and easier to break. This may make Mars humans have stronger bones over time compared to those on Earth – a little like how Superman is stronger than those on Earth too.

Whether we will get superpowers by going to Mars or simply get fatter because technology allows us to live a lazy life remains to be seen. Evolution is something that appears to take place slowly and surely over millions of years yet the exact way it operates is still a mystery to most. 

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The bionic eye is now real https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/the-bionic-eye-is-now-real/ Sat, 06 Feb 2021 10:13:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1444 Technology is doing amazing things every day. At times we are guilty of thinking that the world moves slowly and nothing ever changes. However, slow your day or week is going keep in mind that technology is changing at a rapid pace. Moore’s law is the best example of this. The law states that the […]

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Technology is doing amazing things every day. At times we are guilty of thinking that the world moves slowly and nothing ever changes. However, slow your day or week is going keep in mind that technology is changing at a rapid pace. Moore’s law is the best example of this. The law states that the number of transistors in a dense circuit doubles every two years or so. This law has proved correct for the past 30 years. This has meant that (to put it too simply) while a chip that would fit on your finger could once hold 1MB it can now hold 1TB. This advancement in technology has allowed us to change so much and to continue to innovate. Today we are only at the beginning of the most innovative time the world has ever seen.

The first stage of innovation came with the introduction of the internet. It allowed large scale innovation to take place but was largely capped by the hardware that went with it. Then the smartphone was introduced and finally, there was a device that could capture some of the speed of information and use it in a meaningful way. Yet still, this hardware was limited by the speed of our fingers, the size of our hands, and more. Today as we break new boundaries in the cloud, mobility, big data, and artificial intelligence we see that the boundaries that we once had are collapsing. Technologies like virtual and augmented reality or augmented humanity will change how we perceive everything.

Augmented humanity is the idea of enhancing the body with technology. Some argue that the smartphone was the first step in augmented humanity as for many people it became a permanent attachment. However, in the next decade, we will go a step further and actually mix technology with our biology. Imagine no longer needing a smartphone because a hologram will appear on your own forearm when you want it to based on changes you made to your own body. Imagine no longer using an app to chart your sleep and health because there is a chip inside you that measures your health all the time. At the moment these things are just concepts but there is little stopping them from becoming real. Over the next ten to twenty years these things will happen and more.

One technology that is already underway is the bionic eye. Eyesight is something that humans depend on massively yet a large percentage of the world population have issues with their sight. At least 1 billion people in the world have some issues with their sight, whether they are short-sighted, far-sighted, or blind. There are an estimated 40 million blind people in the world today. The bionic eye will change this. The eye looks and operates like a normal eye but inside there are technologies at work. They will connect the eye to the brain like fibers and make it perform exactly as a normal eye would – only far better.

While this technology will start as a solution for those who need to aid their sight it will soon become a solution for those who want to augment their sight. This eye could be overlaid with augmented reality so that you could use it to perform tasks on the internet within your eye. Your eye could become the new browser.

These are strange and unprecedented times in the world of technology. The bionic eye is scheduled to be available to the wider market within the next five years. While we can barely predict the advances that will be made in the next year there is one thing for certain. Change is coming.

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What to do about rainwater https://www.sciencepicker.com/en/what-to-do-about-rainwater/ Sat, 30 Jan 2021 10:16:00 +0000 https://www.sciencepicker.com/?p=1441 One of the biggest issues for any town or city council is how to manage the water supply and it is a concern for homeowners and renters too. The water supply does not simply mean how you ensure you are getting enough water into your home each day (although this is a considerable issue for […]

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One of the biggest issues for any town or city council is how to manage the water supply and it is a concern for homeowners and renters too. The water supply does not simply mean how you ensure you are getting enough water into your home each day (although this is a considerable issue for those in hotter climates). Water supply also means ensuring you are keeping that water supply clean and that it is not being contaminated. Let’s assume for this article that we are in a country where there is plenty of rainfall. This presents both solutions and problems. Read on to find out more.

Rainwater seems like the best solution to all of life’s water problems. There is literally free water falling from the sky. Why can’t we simply take this and use it for our water needs? Well, it just isn’t so simple. While we have all opened our mouths and faced them towards the sky on a hot day during a sun shower this is not an acceptable or practical method of water collection. Most rainwater hits our roof, our driveway, and our garden. The rainwater that hits our garden is perfect, it is already doing a good job by watering our plants and grass so there is nothing we need to do there. The rainwater hitting our roof and driveway is going to waste. These are surfaces that we need to collect the water from.

One of the most common ways of doing this is by capturing the rainwater in a drainpipe and having it run down and into a barrel. This is a great way to capture rainwater and there are other systems available or that you can build that will allow you to do this from your drive or patio as well. Now that you are collecting rainwater you need to understand how useful it really is.

Rainwater comes from the sky and therefore must be totally clean and healthy. In theory yes but in practice no. That rainwater hits your roof or your patio and it captures so many bad bacteria in this process that when it finally sits in your barrel it is far from healthy. This means that normal excess rainwater is bad for you and should not be used for drinking, it is bad for your plants and crops and should not be repurposed for them and it is simply unsafe. As rain droplets fall they collect dust and airborne particles so even that stuff you are catching right from the sky in your mouth may not be that clean but the excess runoff that washes down your roof and catches some dead bugs, some leaves, and bird feces are especially unclean.

This is a huge problem for most councils as if there is excess rainwater it will carry all of these nasty things into the sewage system causing it to overflow and it may end up into local bodies of water. Actually, most experts say there is no maybe, this is where it will end up. To help with this issue local councils ask that we avoid using water outside as much as possible, ensure our trash is firmly locked and secured, dispose of our pet’s waste in a conscious way, and look after our cars to ensure there are no oil leaks draining into the sewage system. From a home perspective if you want to use that water that you are catching you need to filter it and treat it. For every gallon of water, you should have a small amount (perhaps one-eighth of a teaspoon) of bleach included. This water will then be good for your plants.

Rainwater is both the solution and the problem when it comes to water supply issues. If we plan properly and are a little more thoughtful in our day to day lives we can save the environment with rainwater. 

The post What to do about rainwater appeared first on Science Picker.

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