A Wizard In The Lab

by Txchnologist staff

GE’s progress reporter demonstrated a plastic foam developed by the company during a 1955 episode of General Electric Theater. The segment, called House of Magic, featured Don Herbert. Some might remember him as Mr. Wizard, TV’s original science guy.

At the time, the plastic foam that Herbert was presenting was being used for aircraft and rocket insulation. Its special chemicals could grow more than 150 times in volume when mixed, and the concoction changed from a liquid to a solid. 

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Your Internal Fiber Optic Network

The above image is an SEM of a section through the sciatic nerve, showing Myelinated Nerve Fibers (axons). Myelin (blue) is an insulating fatty layer that surrounds the nerve fiber (brown). This increases the speed at which nerve impulses travel. Much like the insulation on household wiring, myelination helps prevent the electrical current from leaving the axon. It has been suggested that myelin helped permit the existence of larger organisms (like humans) by maintaining agile communication between distant body parts.

Click to see more Myelinated Nerve Fibers

Myelin is formed when Schwann cells wrap around fibers, depositing layers of myelin between each coil. The outermost layer consists of the Schwann cell’s cytoplasm and is known as the neurolemma or sheath of Schwann. During human infancy, myelination occurs quickly, leading to a child’s fast development, including crawling and walking in the first year. Myelination continues through the adolescent stage of life.

View scans showing Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the protective myelin sheath is attacked by the immune system, due to what is thought to be a virus or defective gene. When this myelin covering is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop. This results in a variety of symptoms including muscle spasms, loss of balance and coordination, numbness, and muscle weakness.  

Image above © Steve Gschmeissner / Science Source

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Ecovative Mushroom Tiny House

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Here’s how it works. Mushroom Insulation grows into wood forms over the course of a few days, forming an airtight seal. It dries over the next month (kind of like how concrete cures) and you are left with an airtight wall that is extremely strong. Best yet, it saves on material costs, as you don’t need any studs in the wall, and it gives you great thermal performance since it’s one continuous insulated wall assembly.” - Mushroom Tiny House

Continue reading about the Mushroom Tiny House.

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