Ion Engine Breakthrough Could Take Us To Mars At A Fraction Of The Fuel | IFLScience


“Scotty set course for the Red Planet and engage Ion engines on my command!” (The study was published in “Applied Physics Letters”

Source: Ion Engine Breakthrough Could Take Us To Mars At A Fraction Of The Fuel | IFLScience

#Neuroscience of #Chicago #Cubs Fans – YouTube

C2ST Artist in Residence Aaron Freeman pretends to interview Stanford University Neurobiology professor Robert Sapolsky on the difference between the brains of Chicago Cubs fans and those of lesser beings.  According to Sapolsky part of the difference may have  to do with higher sustained levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

#Asthma, #Comics & Metaphor w/Dr. AlexThomas

C2ST Artist in Residence Aaron Freeman talks with comics artist, pediatrician and allergist Dr. Alex Thomas about the importance of metaphor to his work as an asthma specialist and medical science communicator. The interview is a intro to the topic of graphic medicine leading up to Comic Nurse MK Czerwiec’s workshop, “A Picture is Worth 1000 Words – Teaching Science with Comics”. The workshop will be hosted on Tuesday 12 November at Northwestern University’s Hughes Auditorium 303 East Superior St. in Chicago.

Water BoosterShot Comic videos: Here and here

Thanks for watching – please like and comment! – a

When I threatened the police – YouTube

All lives matter. This is a story from long, long ago.

I’ve never shot or shot at any human being. This is the tale of a threatening phone call my mom told me to make in 1969 when I was 13 years old.

I LOVE the police, especially the ones here in Highland Park and Highwood Illinois. I get scared when I see a light top car in my rear view mirror. But when on my front porch with my bride I am reassured to see a marked car cruise by. We always smile and wave.

Alan Alda’s ‘Flame Challenge’ Illuminates Importance of Communicating Science – YouTube


Clarity, specificity and humor are among the best tools for making kids grasp even simple questions like “What is a flame?” Science correspondent Miles O’Brien talks to actor Alan Alda and scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson about the need to explain science concepts to the public.

via Alan Alda’s ‘Flame Challenge’ Illuminates Importance of Communicating Science – YouTube.

American farmers have to stop juicing their pigs to meet China’s food safety standards


For years, the US pork industry has stood by the safety and efficacy of a controversial growth drug banned in nearly 200 countries. But now, thanks to Chinese regulations, the National Pork Board is quietly encouraging American pork producers to stop using it.

Ractopamine is a beta-agonist, a drug that changes animals’ metabolism so that they develop more muscle instead of fat. The result is a meat that is both leaner and, because muscle is heavier than fat, heavier. That translates into benefits for consumers looking to cut the fat in their diets, as well as producers, because hogs can get heavier on less food.

But ractopamine is far from a dream drug. “The drug has triggered more adverse reports in pigs than any other animal drug on the market,” Helena Bottemillerreported for the Food & Environment Reporting Network in 2012. Documented effects include “hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, inability to walk and death.” The FDA said the data didn’t establish cause and effect, and the National Pork Producers Council and National Pork Board have both said the drug is safe. But health and animal-welfare advocates have been sounding the alarm for years, noting that its impacts on human health are largely unknown and that the approval from Codex, the World Health Organization’s international food safety body, is based on a single study of six men, one of whom had to drop out because he experienced negative health effects.

American farmers have to stop juicing their pigs to meet China’s food safety standards ‹ Reader —

#GMO Mosquitos abort offspring AFTER they hatch


Every year, mosquitoes infect 400 million people with dengue fever, causing severe headaches and joint pain. Since a 2009 outbreak in Key West, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has spent $1 million a year to try to curb the primary vector: Aedes aegypti. Last July, another mosquito-borne virus reached U.S. shores: chikungunya. Now officials are considering a radical—and highly controversial—approach to control the spread of tropical disease: genetically modified mosquitoes.

My Inner Particle – Symmetry: Dimensions of Particle Physics

A lot of us physics groupies look to quantum physics as the coolest theory. We believe the physicists who say classical ideas don’t cut it when you go nuclear. We get that quantum stuff is so weird the only way you can convince anyone you’ve really studied it is to endlessly repeat, “I don’t know.” We, the civilians, accept that a rock is really a cloud composed mostly of empty space and sprinkles of tiny particles.

But what exactly are we supposed to do with the knowledge that everything we know from everyday life is different at the subatomic level? How should evidence of extra six or seven dimensions inform our days? Where in my head and worldview am I supposed to put antimatter?

I want to get in touch with my inner particle and let it point the way.

Particle logic–mysterious, counterintuitive, seemingly insane–pretty much describes life as I live it. And since we are so mind-numbingly small compared to the rest of the universe it makes sense to me to think of individuals as particles.

I want to reason like an electron, to be all over any task from every direction at once. I want to philosophize like a meson, yin and yang, opposites contained in a unified whole. I want to dream like a neutrino, limitless, unstoppable.

As individuals we display a kind of wave-particle duality. While the positions of our bodies are measurable with a high degree of accuracy at any given time our images–audio, video and photographic–spread out around the world via the Internet, existing everywhere at once. For millions of people appearing on TV, broadcast television images spread out, wave-like, across the galaxy in all directions at the speed of light.

Like quarks we are attracted to one another by a strong force: love. We are kept within our social shells by weaker but still potent bonds of commerce and culture. Geography attracts us, like gravity, in ways that are destiny-producing across the vastness of time. Civilizations reared amid bountiful and fertile soil are destined for one kind of history. Peoples arising on land that happens to contain oil will chase another fate. But like gravity acting on a gluon, the effect of geography on individuals is difficult to measure.

Race is an artificial and misleading social construct. My skin is not actually black nor is my wife’s genuinely white. Physics might help us categorize populations more usefully. Maybe we’d be well served by a Standard Model of Particle Humans. Top humans, for example, are the leaders of the industrial west. They’re certainly massive in terms of their ability to warp global resources. Tops are produced by powerful collisions and often decay quickly. Bottom humans would be the other ninety-nine percent of us.

Charm humans include athletes, politicians, performers–folks who make us believe. The strange ones are artists, academics and scientists–those who sit alone pursuing queer gods.

Folks in uniforms and guns certainly are the equivalent of force carriers. Though we may have to check whether some cops are more bozos than bosons.

My late father and sister have gone off to join our ancestors among the neutrinos. It’s unlikely that I will see them again in the visible particle world.

We humans are perhaps most particle-like in our slavish submission to the principle of uncertainty. Everyone who’s ever sat down to write a letter knows you can form in your mind precisely what you want to say, yet still be surprised by what you ultimately write. Uncertainty is what makes every day an adventure.

I believe accessing my inner particle will help me deal with the uncertainty of my life. My inner particle does not know how the world should be and is thus untroubled by how it is. It desires neither certainty nor comprehension. Thus my inner particle is far wiser than I.

Perhaps my inner particle will grant insights into all manner of human phenomena. Maybe I’ll be a faster cyclist by embracing my photon self. Maybe I’ll start to see the womb as a human Higgs field wherein eggs, like particles, acquire mass.

Then again, if the string theorists are right, maybe all I’ll get from my inner particle are some good vibrations.