Battling those Bugs

Battling microbes is becoming increasingly important, since bacteria that are immune to antibiotics are now showing up in some food products. Since cutting boards and kitchen work surfaces are common bacterial breeding grounds, it’s important to carefully clean these. Wouldn’t it be nice to always count on having a microbe-free work surface? Well, this is…

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Life In Your Microwave Oven

Microwaves are super high frequency electro magnetic waves often used in communication systems. Most of us meet microwaves when we cook in a microwave oven.  Microwave ovens generate super high frequency waves and scatter them throughout the oven.  The frequency of microwaves is just right to give energy to water molecules.  Microwaves cause them to…

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Explosives

An important application of chemical energy is the use of explosives. Any substance that undergoes a very rapid chemical reaction which has a strong heat-liberating quality, or that produces a large volume of gases from a solid or a liquid, is potentially an explosive. The destructive power of an explosion is due to the shock…

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Nature is Full of Sticky Problems

Anyone who’s washed dishes knows that eggs stick to pans.  Egg white is mainly made up of water, and a water soluble protein called albumin.  As the egg is heated, a familiar popping sound occurs, as water comes off rapidly as steam. When albumin loses water, it coagulates and works into the many minute crevices…

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Let It Snow!

Snow provides more than winter fun.  It supplies a measured supply of water to underground water reserves as it slowly melts and percolates down to the water table.  In contrast, rain water is often carried away quickly as surface runoff along with an accompanying soil erosion. Falling snow also purifies the air.  Every snow flake…

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Lap-Chee Tsui

Lap-Chee Tsui is a Chinese Canadian molecular geneticist. His research team is responsible for finding the gene for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Born in China and educated in Hong Kong, Dr. Tsui undertook his doctoral studies in biological sciences in the United States. After receiving his PhD, he became interested in genetics. He immigrated to Canada,…

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Chemical Evolution

This time, Dr. Humphreys and Ron Hughes discuss the improbability of Chemical Evolution, which is a major problem for the theory of Biological Evolution. Ron Hughes:  People think of Biological Evolution, starting with single celled aquatic creatures and ending with man, but what most people don’t think is Chemical Evolution.  I mean, all the building…

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Houston, We’ve had a Problem

The Apollo 13 space accident was dramatically documented in a popular 1995 movie. The three astronauts aboard survived a four day struggle, involving numerous near misses with death. It was on this flight that Commander Jack Swiggert made the famous under statement “Houston, we’ve had a problem here”. Like many of the space accidents the…

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Turn That Noise Down!

As a parent I always told my kids that loud rock music would damage their hearing.  But as a scientist I was on flimsy ground. I ignored experiments that compared hearing loss in people who regularly attended rock concerts with control groups who didn’t listen to this kind of loud music.  An insignificant hearing loss…

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Edible Explosives

Before my life-transforming heart by-pass operation, I controlled angina pain by taking tablets containing nitroglycerine. Since this is a highly explosive substance, one of my friends speculated that I might be banned from flying if I got too close to the sniffer dogs at the airport! Nitroglycerine is so easy to detonate that it wasn’t…

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