Mass transfer resistance in chemical engineering

Mass transfer resistance is a metaphor for enabling students to better understand the molecular behaviour of liquids near gas bubbles or solids.   Specifically, due to intermolecular force of attraction, a thin layer of liquid would be permanently attracted to the surface of a gas bubble or solid particle. This layer of liquid, for example, … More Mass transfer resistance in chemical engineering

Carbon budget and carbon inventory: can we still use fossil fuels?

Climate change has prompted scientists and policy makers to fathom whether humanity should continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy production. Specifically, considering that a threshold of atmospheric carbon dioxide exists where there would be irreversible effects of climate change on the globe in what is known as dangerous anthropogenic interference (DAI), how much … More Carbon budget and carbon inventory: can we still use fossil fuels?

How to confirm that a microbe could grow in minimal salts medium?

Growth in a minimal salts medium signifies that a microbe has a competitive advantage over other microbial species for nutrients and, more importantly, environmental habitats. But, how should one confirm that a microbe could grow in minimal salts medium? Specifically, should the inoculum contain any trace of a rich medium? The answer to the latter … More How to confirm that a microbe could grow in minimal salts medium?

Obtaining movies of molecular movement of proteins through serial femtosecond crystallography

Seeing is believing; thus, it would be much better if we could observe real-time molecular level movement of proteins during catalysis, where, for example, binding of a substrate to an active site leads to molecular cleavage and enzymatic action. But, this feat is not realized until recent advent of serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX).   In … More Obtaining movies of molecular movement of proteins through serial femtosecond crystallography

Citations on preprints

Preprints is a relatively new class of scientific publications that seek to expedite the publication of results and new ideas in an updatable format. Specifically, new versions of the same article could be posted when ready. Thus, the publication format provides a forum for the discussion of new ideas and data, and allows authors to … More Citations on preprints

Adidas new line of running shoes for moderate runners

Adidas Supernova Boost running shoes represent a new line of running shoes for moderate runners. Specifically, its thick layer of Boost foam marks a distinct change in design philosophy relative to older models such as Supernova Glide Boost series, which was primarily designed for high speed running.   From personal usage experience with the Supernova … More Adidas new line of running shoes for moderate runners

Reusing the first stage of a commercial rocket: Economic cost of retrofitting a used rocket

Rockets for satellite launches remain the most important cost item of the launch process of any commercial satellite project, given the single use nature of the rocket. Thus, commercial space launch companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have endeavoured to develop reusable rocket systems for reducing the cost of commercial satellite launches, and helping … More Reusing the first stage of a commercial rocket: Economic cost of retrofitting a used rocket

Gaining spatial resolution by arranging radio telescopes in interferometric arrays

Interferometry is the way to go in modern radio astronomy. Why? By arranging multiple small radio telescopes in interferometric arrays, spatial resolution of the entire array of smaller dishes is higher than that of a single radio dish of larger diameter.   More importantly, design of interferometric arrays is critical to improving reception of distant … More Gaining spatial resolution by arranging radio telescopes in interferometric arrays

Gut microbiome changes in sync with food intake pattern

Gut microbiome is the consortium of microorganisms that inhabit the mucous membrane lining the large and small intestines, and is responsible for many body functions such as digestion of food and regulation of overall intestinal health. A recent study reported in the New York Times (Link) reveals that the gut microbiome of a population in … More Gut microbiome changes in sync with food intake pattern

Field deployable DNA sequencers

Since its inception in the 1990s, multiple revolutions have occurred in the field of DNA sequencing, where successive iterations of the technology enabled more reliable and less error prone sequencing of increasingly larger segments of DNA from a variety of sources such as human, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc. Indeed, DNA sequencing technology has revolutionized biology … More Field deployable DNA sequencers