Monday, 25 May 2015

News Round-Up

Another weekly round-up of science news!

Top Stories


Rest In Peace, Beautiful Mind

Last week saw the tragic death of US mathematician, John Nash, and his wife in a car accident. His unique work on game theory and economics - coupled with his battle with psychological illness - inspired the film "A Beautiful Mind" (starring Russel Crowe).

The Seven Seas Of Space

In other news, the Planetary Society's LightSail craft was launched into space. Bill Nye the Science Guy, CEO of the Planetary Society, has been promoting this event for weeks. LightSail technology hopes to exploit solar winds with a mylar sail, allowing travel through space like sailing ships of old on the high seas. Last week's launch was a test for the spacecraft's sail deployment systems in space, so we won't be sailing anywhere until a scheduled 2016 test. The tiny craft, quoted as being about the size of a loaf of bread, was launched atop an Atlas V rocket along with the US Air Force's secretive unmanned shuttle, X-37b.


Science Jerk Weekly

Monday, 18 May 2015

Back In Action - Weekly Newspaper

We're back in action here at The Science Jerk, with a new home on Google's Blogger. Check out the weekly Science Jerk newspaper, customised for your eyes.

Monday, 23 February 2015

News round-up

There are two stories dominating the science pages of newspapers in the last week, and many variations have been published online, punctuated by the odd video clip of something exploding in the atmosphere over various cities.

Tooth be continued

Boring tooth enamel has made headlines recently as scientists discover that beaver teeth are reinforced with metal to make their enamel one of the strongest kinds found in teeth. That prestigious crown (pun intended) may be stolen from them though, as it has emerged that limpets' teeth are composed of the strongest biological material known to man!

The barnacle-like limpet is actually a snail with a cone-shaped shell. Its teeth are only millimetres long but are used for clinging on to rocks. Researchers hope to fabricate the tough teeth to produce lightweight and strong materials. Previously, spider silk was known as the strongest biological material.

Mars is number One

The Mars One mission, established by Dutch entrepreneur and space enthusiast Bas Lansdorp, has whittled down its thousands of applicants to just one hundred - a handful of these people could be going on a one-way trip to Mars in the next decade. Mars hopeful and Briton, Hannah Earnshaw, told The Guardian:
"When I applied for Mars One, I applied to dedicate my life to the creation of a colony that will have enormous implications for the future of the human race."

The projects intends to send robots and supplies ahead of the first humans, and to fund the entire project with public and commercial endorsements, as well as a reality TV show. For more info on this almost-plausible endeavour, read the Mars One wiki page.

Alan Alda's Marie Curie Play

Famous for his roles as the jovial but haunted doctor, Hawkeye Pierce, in MASH and his sharp-tongued republican in the West Wing, Alan Alda reveals his other great love besides acting: science. His new play, Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, is dedicated the later years of his idol, two-time Nobel prize winner and Polish scientist, Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie. Speaking to The Guardian, Alda reveals his love of asking questions never escaped him, despite poor teachers quenching his curiosity as a schoolchild.