Daily Archives: November 12, 2011

Science Saturday – October 29, 2011

Science Saturday

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Today’s Science Saturday is a bit short as training for my new job this week has pulled me away from reading and writing for the most part. I did find a few interesting articles however, ranging from a new super-black material to virgin materials of our infant universe recently discovered.

New Super-Black Material Absorbs 99 Percent of All Light That Dares to Strike It
A new blacker-than-black material developed by NASA absorbs virtually all the light in every spectrum. I’m excited to see how much this helps with light back scatter on the next generation of telescopes. I’m sure the military will be interested in finding ways to use the material as well. Some sort of stealth technology could probably be developed from this. Carbon nanotubes are amazing things with such a wide range of uses, I’m excited to see what else they’ll find their way into.

An ‘Operating System’ That Runs on Cells Could Create Whole New Life Forms
Think of your cells as computers. These researchers have just created Windows to install on those cells. Well, on synthetic cells. And it’s probably more on the level of DOS in terms of sophistication at the moment, but I digress. The possibilities with this “software” solution to customizing cells on the fly are quite amazing. The article lists out quite a few, and it really is a situation of your imagination being the limit on this sort of technology. Very exciting to think about, this technology could be massively useful to all of humanity.

Fresh Start: Scientists Glimpse Unsullied Traces of the Infant Universe
For the first time we’ve glimpsed a gas cloud unsullied by star stuff. We are all the stuff of stars, the heavier elements developed within them exclusively. So the discovery of a gas cloud made up of the lighter gases is quite amazing (though as an MIT astronomer says in the article, what’s more amazing is that these unsullied gases seem so hard to find), because it shows just how good our abilities to detect the chemical make up of extremely distant objects has become. Our ability to image the universe around us is absolutely spectacular.