This fantastic music video by Kim Pimmel is a beautiful merger of art and fluid dynamics. Using household goods (and some slightly more exotic ferrofluid), the video shows how mesmerizing diffusion, buoyancy, Marangoni flow, and other fluid effects can be up close. It may also be the first time I’ve ever seen fluid dynamics—specifically bubbles—used as characters! Also be sure to check out some of his previous videos, many of which also feature cool fluid dynamics. (Video credit and submission: K. Pimmel)

Incredible non-stick coating has solved a universally annoying problem

One of the most frustrating feelings in the world is struggling to get the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle or the last squirt of toothpaste out of the tube.

Now there’s a coating called LiquiGlide that can keep the inside of a container permanently wet and allow its contents to easily slide out.

LiquiGlide was originally created in 2012 by a professor, Kripa Varanasi and his grad students at MIT. They have formed their own LiquiGlide company, and it’s now getting some traction among consumer products.

The reason it’s so difficult to get things like glue and condiments out of their containers is because they are viscous liquids that can’t flow without a powerful push. When these kinds of liquids flow through a pipe or a bottle, the layer of liquids flow at different speeds and create friction and viscosity. The layer at the very center of the container is flowing fastest and the layer that is closest to the container sticks to its surface.

The idea behind LiquiGlide is to create an extra layer between the container and the liquid that will help the liquid slide out easier. LiquiGlide is a liquid coating that binds much more strongly to textured surfaces than to liquids, so when it’s painted onto the inside of a container, the liquid can flow freely over it without creating friction and viscosity.

“We’re not defying physics, but effectively, we are,” one of the MIT grad students, Dave Smith, told the New York Times.

So what’s in LiquiGlide? It depends on the liquid and containers that each batch is made for. For any food containers, the coating is made from edible materials like plants.

Other than solving a universally frustrating problem, LiquiGlide also cuts down on waste. You end up wasting less glue, paint, condiments, etc., because it’s much easier to get out the last few stubborn squeezes. According to a consumer report from 2009, some people end up throwing out up to a quarter of the lotion in a bottle, 16 percent of detergent, and 15 percent of condiments because it’s too much of a pain to coax out the layers that stick to the container.

However, the original intent behind LiquiGlide was not to make it easier to have ketchup with your fries. Varanasi was thinking about industry applications like more efficient oil pumping. For now, the company has found success in consumer products, but it will continue pursuing industry application ideas too.

Elmers Products, Inc. is on board and has already signed a contract with LiquiGlide. An easier to squeeze mayonnaise bottle might be coming out this year, and easier to squeeze toothpaste could be here in 2017. For some reason, ketchup companies have shown little interest.



Biocanvas has our top three favorite research stories here on The Scope for the week of March 23, 2015:

  1. We can breathe a little easier now. Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School have successfully grown three-dimensional “mini-lungs” using stem cells. While not as complex as fully functional lungs (they lack blood vessels), the mini-lungs can imitate their actual counterparts. These results will help advance the study of how organs form, change with disease, and respond to experimental drugs.
  2. Would you like your ice cubed, crushed, or square? Physicists at Ulm University discovered that under high pressure, water can exist as ice even at room temperature. When confined between thin sheets of graphene (an honeycomb arrangement of carbon atoms), the water’s molecules adopt a square configuration as opposed to their normal snowflake-like shape. This is the first time that scientists have been able to depict the structure and behavior of narrowly confined water beyond computer simulation. Pretty cool.
  3. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore may have. They repurposed an older drug used to treat malaria by combining it with an enzyme inhibitor. This new cocktail thwarted a major cancer-related pathway known as autophagy, the process of a cell digesting parts of itself as a nutritional source. The combination drug effectively cuts off the nutrient supply to cancer cells. This could be promising news for bladder and colon cancers, which are frequently developed via this pathway, but more work remains to test this idea.

Image: From our third story. The autophagy-related protein CK1-alpha (red) is removed in cancer cells (blue) as a potential cancer treatment. Credit: Dr. Jit Kong Cheong.


Are We Living in a Simulation?

In science fiction, stories about simulated realities are commonplace. Writers and filmmakers delight in the chance to rattle our notions of reality and perception. Even Kurt Vonnegut toyed with the idea in his novel, Breakfast of Champions. But to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher and co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association, simulated realities are more than just a provocative thought experiment. In fact, he believes it is more than likely that we are all part of one right now.

By: World Science Festival.
Support at:

anonymous asked:

Hello Emily, I am currently behind in two of my hardest classes (organic chemistry and physics). I try to catch up by spending one to two days just on one subject. I come to class I find that I don't understand anything (especially in organic chemistry) like the teacher is speaking a totally different language. My first test I failed it and now I feel extremely hopeless. I really want to understand its so frustrating. I feel like I am never going to catch up. They are both cumulative classes :'(

I’d suggest speaking to your teachers about this before anything else. Their job is to help you - you won’t be the first student to be in this situation and be feeling this way! 

Here are some links:

I hope that helps a little! Good luck xx


Using Viruses for Nano-structures: Making some steam

Legions of viruses that infect the leaves of tobacco plants could be the key to making power plants safer, heating and cooling of buildings more efficient, and electronics more powerful. 

These tiny protein bundles, which were once a threat to a staple cash crop of the nascent United States in the 1800s, are now helping researchers like Drexel University’s Matthew McCarthy, PhD, better understand and enhance the processes of boiling and condensation.

In his Multiscale Thermofluidics Lab, McCarthy and his team design, build and test surfaces that are becoming increasingly better at controlling the formation and removal of vapor bubbles during the boiling process, while also delaying the onset of and undesirable condition that engineers call “critical heat flux.” 

The goal is to create nanostructured coatings for the heat-transfer surfaces that can delay or prevent the vapor barrier from forming in the first place. The ideal structure for higher heat transfer during boiling, according to McCarthy, is one that draws in the liquid and quickly rewets when the water does transform into a vapor -article

Giffed by: rudescience  From: This video