In the last decade or so, we’ve experienced giant tornados, damaging wildfires, flood-inducing rainstorms, fatal heat waves, and droughts destroying crops and livestock like never before.
At the same time the polar jet stream, a westerly wind generated by solar radiation and the corollas effect (a phenomenon that creates our weather), has been behaving in unprecedented ways. Scientists believe this is not a coincidence, rather it is related.Stock Images of Climate Change, Extreme Weather and the Jet Stream
Normally, the jet stream travels either in a straight line or undulates in waves called Rossby waves. Rossby waves bring warm air northward and cold air southward. This can create a temporary heat wave or a rainstorm.
The jet stream is powered by the temperature differential between the cold arctic air and the warmer air in the lower latitudes. As global warming continues to warm the arctic air, the jet stream is losing its power. The Rossby waves have become larger, expanding mu…
Today alchemy conjures up images of boiling cauldrons and magic elixirs, but the past reveals its lasting impact on the foundation of science.
Alchemy began in ancient Egypt, sometime between the 4th and 3rd century BC, with the aim of transmuting base metals (i.e led) into noble metals, such as gold.
In the 8th century AD, Arab alchemists invented the first laboratories for transmutation, creating complex methods of classification and documentation. Jabir ibn Hayyan and Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi even made breakthroughs in chemistry, discovering sulfuric and hydrochloric acid. Alchemy Stock Photos
Islamic alchemy inspired the later European search for the philosopher’s stone, an object believed to turn base metals into gold and bestow its owner with eternal life. The investigation lasted hundreds of years and although unsuccessful, produced countless experiments and lengthy chronicles of their results.
The pursuit of the philosopher’s stone was echoed in China by the search for t…
In the news: "Insulin levels wax and wane daily" by Tina Hesman Saey Science News February 22, 2013 BU6284 Islets of Langerhorns The islets of Langerhans are groups of specialized cells in the
pancreas that make and secrete hormones. There are five types of cells
in an islet: alpha cells (blue) that make glucagon, which raises the
level of glucose (sugar) in the blood; beta cells (yellow -- shown in
crossection) that make insulin; delta cells (purple) that make
somatostatin which inhibits the release of numerous other hormones in
the body; and PP cells and D1 cells, about which little is known.
Insulin molecules are shown as green spheres; glaucagon molecules as
blue spheres and glucose molecules as gray spheres. Insulin and glucagon
can be seen entering the blood stream through the walls of capillaries.
Degeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells is the main cause of
type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Labeled. Credit:
Carol and Mike Werner / Science…