Lance Lafontaine's Blog

A molecular biology student's place for appreciation of the natural and health sciences, freethinking, technology and anything else that he deems remotely interesting.
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Why is it so hard to walk and not spill your coffee? Physicists have the answerIt just so happens that the human stride has almost exactly the right frequency to drive the natural oscillations of coffee, when the fluid is in a typically sized coffee mug. New research shows that the properties of mugs, legs and liquid conspire to cause spills, most often at some point between your seventh and tenth step.

Why is it so hard to walk and not spill your coffee? Physicists have the answer

It just so happens that the human stride has almost exactly the right frequency to drive the natural oscillations of coffee, when the fluid is in a typically sized coffee mug. New research shows that the properties of mugs, legs and liquid conspire to cause spills, most often at some point between your seventh and tenth step.

(Source: mothernaturenetwork, via shychemist)

The BACON gene?
Are you a Ron Swanson when it comes to bacon?  Can’t resist a bbq pulled pork sandwich?  Absolutely salivating just thinking about a big plate of ribs?  Well, a team of scientists lead by Duke University Medical Center want you to know that your love affair with all things pork might stem from your genes.
They conducted an experiment where they requested that a group of people with different levels of a particular odor receptor gene to take a whiff and a couple bites of certain pork products and rate them. The goal was to gauge sensitivity to androstenone, a testosterone-like steroid found in male pigs.
What they found was that people insensitive to androstenone (due to a specific gene variant) had a greater fondness for pork than those with the “more sensitive receptor to androstenone.”
So the next time you get a hankerin’ for all things bacon, you can blame it (at least partially) on your genes!

The BACON gene?

Are you a Ron Swanson when it comes to bacon?  Can’t resist a bbq pulled pork sandwich?  Absolutely salivating just thinking about a big plate of ribs?  Well, a team of scientists lead by Duke University Medical Center want you to know that your love affair with all things pork might stem from your genes.

They conducted an experiment where they requested that a group of people with different levels of a particular odor receptor gene to take a whiff and a couple bites of certain pork products and rate them. The goal was to gauge sensitivity to androstenone, a testosterone-like steroid found in male pigs.

What they found was that people insensitive to androstenone (due to a specific gene variant) had a greater fondness for pork than those with the “more sensitive receptor to androstenone.”

So the next time you get a hankerin’ for all things bacon, you can blame it (at least partially) on your genes!

(Source: genannetics, via shychemist)

Nuclear power is the world’s most sophisticated method of boiling water.

—My physics TA

(Source: gaaranteed, via centralscience)


Electron microscope image of blood on the tip of a hypodermic needle.

Electron microscope image of blood on the tip of a hypodermic needle.

(via centralscience)

We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.

— Brian Cox

‘Supermoon’ Alert: Biggest Full Moon of 2012 Occurs This Week
The moon will officially become full Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT. And because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year’s biggest.
The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon.
And not only does the moon’s perigee coincide with full moon this month, but this perigee will be the nearest to Earth of any this year, as the distance of the moon’s close approach varies by about 3 percent, according to meteorologist Joe Rao, SPACE.com’s skywatching columnist. This happens because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular.
CREDIT: Tim McCord

‘Supermoon’ Alert: Biggest Full Moon of 2012 Occurs This Week

The moon will officially become full Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT. And because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth — it will also be the year’s biggest.

The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, offering skywatchers a spectacular view of an extra-big, extra-bright moon, nicknamed a supermoon.

And not only does the moon’s perigee coincide with full moon this month, but this perigee will be the nearest to Earth of any this year, as the distance of the moon’s close approach varies by about 3 percent, according to meteorologist Joe Rao, SPACE.com’s skywatching columnist. This happens because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular.

CREDIT: Tim McCord

(via shychemist)

mothernaturenetwork:

Looking at the epic canine teeth of these once-fearsome cats of Pleistocene lore, you may wonder whether resurrecting saber-toothed cats is a good idea. Nevertheless, they certainly make good candidates. Not only did they go extinct relatively recently — about 11,000 years ago — but fossil specimens have survived into modern times thanks to the frigid habitats they once roamed. Several intact specimens have also been recovered from ancient tar deposits, like those at the La Brea Tar Pits.14 extinct animals that could be resurrected

mothernaturenetwork:

Looking at the epic canine teeth of these once-fearsome cats of Pleistocene lore, you may wonder whether resurrecting saber-toothed cats is a good idea. Nevertheless, they certainly make good candidates. Not only did they go extinct relatively recently — about 11,000 years ago — but fossil specimens have survived into modern times thanks to the frigid habitats they once roamed. Several intact specimens have also been recovered from ancient tar deposits, like those at the La Brea Tar Pits.
14 extinct animals that could be resurrected

(via scinerds)