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Everything posted by The_simpsons

  1. I've always been interested in science, and when i was a kid i was very interested in animals and stuff. So a biologist was my first dreamprofession. Then in middle school, when i was around 14 years old, we had chemistry as a subject for the first time, and since then i was hooked. Today my major interests still are chemistry and biology. And now, at the age of 19, i'm studying chemical engineering (with inclination to pharmaceutical chemistry) at my university.
  2. Bitten by a vipera berus. I live in southcentral Sweden, but very northwest we have a summer cottage. It's close to the norwegian border, so we drove there. Close to the border they have old bunkers and trenches. Norway was occupated by Germany in WWII, hence why Sweden had to be alert. Anyway, i went inside a pitchblack concrete bunker, when i heard a hissing sound. But my thoughts when i first heard the noise was not of a snake, but of a gas can streaming out a flow of gas. My slow reaction led to me being bitten, since i was, judging by the distance of the sound, practically standing on it. It was springtime, so i guess the viper had the bunker as its hibernation-spot. The bite itself wasn't painful. It was the whole venom-ordeal. My leg was completely swollen and inflammed, with some bruising. Felt like a wasp sting, but 10x more painful, and lasted longer. The immediate pain lasted for a day perhaps, and discomfort a week. Luckily, i had help from my friend betamethasone.
  3. Recent findings suggest blue eyes arose from a mutation in some melanin-controlling gene 6000 - 10000 years ago in a population that lived close to the black sea right? And then it spread from there. But how did that recessive trait suceed to spread so well? Im wondering if it was of sexual selection (that it was merely an pysically attractive trait), luck or practically benefiting in survival (i.e improved vision)? A guy i know argued that blue eyes arose in these more northern people because there is less sunlight, and blue eyes are better at absorbing light, so he was quite certain it came about of practical reasons. Personally i didn't quite agree, since when did blueeyed people have significanly better vision in darker areas than browneyed people, enough to aid in survival? That was my thought, i always found it more likely to be because of increased sexual attrativeness or because of a chance event (a successful individual gets the mutation, and also reproduces succesfully indepently of the trait, and the trait just tags along). So folks, what's your opinion concerning why a blue iris came to be so sucessful?
  4. I wonder if this has been done so far, if not, is it today possible/conceivable? Im talking about engineering plants for producing secondary metabolites. Like, for example transplanting genes from a coca plant (the ones responsible for cocaine synthesis), and transfer it to say, a dandelion. So is it possible to make, say a dandelion, to produce cocaine today? Or for example a more useful metabolite such as taxol, cocaine was just a example, even though the idea of a genetically engineered fastgrowing weed producing expensive cocaine sounds tempting:P.
  5. Something i having trouble finding, are there any sources you know of that lists the absorption spectra of organic compounds? What i really need to know is the absorption spectrum of nicotine.
  6. Something i've been pondering on, are the plants in the family Solanacae (like tobacco, potato, chili, datura etc.) C3 or C4 plants?
  7. What about all the pyrethrine-based insecticides? They kill bugs fast, for the insects, these things are the equivalent of our nerve gasses. Raid-spray contain it, and there are bottles with more concentrated solutions of these insecticides readily available in plant shops, maybe that does the trick? Not to mention a lot less hazardous for mammals.
  8. The_simpsons


    Today, bored as i am, i was thinking to attempt the familiar dna extraction experiment, and there is one ingredient i don't have, which is meat tenderizer (protease). Anybody who knows how important the protease enzymes are for the result?
  9. When it comes to neutron stars there's nothing as exotic as those things. Just think of something with a mass of a star crammed into the size of Manhattan. Truly amazingly dense!
  10. On earth, uranium is more abundant then mercury, antimony, silver and cadmium.
  11. I speak swedish and portuguese natively and speak english fluently. I studied spanish for 3 years and speak it quite well, speaking portuguese really made spanish a lot easier to understand. Although i understand spanish very well i's very hard to speak it, and i wouldn't say i speak spanish fluently. I also studied german, but i was terrible at it(mostly bc i found it boring, foul and difficult) and so most of it didn't stick and today i can't speak it, and understand only the most basic stuff. But the pronounciations i still remember almost perfectly though.
  12. That was pretty much the conclusion i finally wrote in the report. The levels of cadmium are far too low and inconclusive, could as far as we know come only from naturally ocurring cadmium in soils. They are far lower then the average cadmium content in vegetables (which was around 20 micrograms/kg, and the tomato contained ca 0.012 micrograms/kg). But tomatoes on average contain 2 mg of zinc per 100 g, it's not so rich in cadmium and zinc of all vegetables. So it's impossible to say if the tomato was anyhow contaminated by for example artificial fertilizer. Btw the measuring appartus we used was a atomic absorption spectrometer, for measuring metals (iron, zinc, cadmium, lead, copper, and aluminium). If i would redo this experiment i probably would have measured these metals in kidneys, livers, mushrooms or mussels.
  13. So i did a laboration in my environmental sciences class, what i did was measure zinc and cadmium levels in ecologically and non-ecoligally grown spanish tomatoes. My problem is the conclusion of it all. There is more zinc in the ecological tomatoes, but with cadmium is the complete opposite. The ecological ones have 0. And the cadmium in the non-ecological tomato is still low, it is very hard to know if it depends on merely the geographic location (natural soil variations) or is it because of the use of fertilizer? Here are the numbers btw, in dry weight: Zn in normal tomato: 0.00056 mg/kg Zn in eco-tomato: 0.0001206 mg/kg (almost double) Cd in normal tomato: 0.00001205 mg/kg Cd in eco-tomato: 0 mg/kg So, what do you guys make out of it all?
  14. Something that crossed my mind recently, can humans digest keratine-proteins (i.e hair and nails) like with other proteins, when they are broken down to individual amino acids?
  15. I woke up 4 o'clock in the morning to see it. Unfortunately there were clouds as far as the eye could see, so i didn't see a thing. Well the next total eclipse is coming up in 2 years, so it ain't that bad.
  16. Some sort of spacecraft capable of interstellar travel at near light speed. Would be so awesome to see for example the first close-up pictures of Centauri A, B & C and maybe possible planets. That would be amazing. Or an effective way to mimic photosynthesis for large-scale energyproduction.
  17. So im doing a project work in my school. The point of it is to compare the amounts of nicotine produced in Nicotiana Sylvestris plants, depending on different environments, developmental stages and also tissue damage/non tissue damage. A question i have is, when it comes to using a sample of the plant to measure the nicotine, which part do i "nip" without the plant signaling it as tissue damage? It is known that these plants produce more nicotine with bug bites, so i don't want to mimic it when taking samples and it screws up the results. And also, i just started seeding them, and i gonna get lamps. Since i live in Sweden, and it's cold, minus degrees and snow this time of the year, im going to need to replace the sun with lampas. But im not sure how strong lamps im going to need. Anybode have an idea of luminosity required?
  18. Well i don't know how to post images on the board so i describe it in words. The icons are the programs i use frequently. My background picture is a image of the beautiful vast Carina nebula, which also is a massive stellar nursery. A sight for sore eyes, it's this picture of the carina nebula i currently have as desktop pic: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0710/EtacarinaeSGL_gendler.jpg
  19. It conducted after we added a higher concentration. If it was a bigger ionic compound than, say sodium chloride, which we compared conductivity with, we figured we needed more of the salt. After 2-3 times more of the unknown salt in relation to sodium chloride, it gave a similar conductivity as the NaCl-solution .
  20. Well i have acess to a high school chem lab, and the project was to identify an unknown solution in my current chemistry course. Today though i found out it was a actually a salt, just a big salt, so it was harder to get a reading with a dip electrode, but with higher concentration it worked. It also gave a strong precipitation with Ba2+, so it's possibly a sulphate or a chromate. So im right on track again. Prepared the salt with several metals and im gonna see next week if the metal ion off the salt change place with the less noble metal.
  21. So i have a unknown chemical compound that is a white powder, very soluble in water (polar). But it doesn't conduct electricity in solution at all so i can probably exclude it's ionic. Also, when you heat it up in a bunsenburner it doesn't melt or combust, it stays pretty much the same, a stable powder. pH seemed kinda neutral in solution. Does anybody have any idea how i can further test for which compound it is? First it seemed like a carbohydrate but since it doesn't melt or combust after prolonged heating i doubt it. Any ideas of what it might be or any new tests i can make to help identify it?
  22. Inside the cells of a onion are several organic sulphuric compounds, among them is aliine, an amino-acidsulfoxide. When you cut or crush the tissue this compound together with enzymes called allinases are released and convert alline to a sulfonic acid. The sulfonic acid is then converted to propanethio-S-oxide. Next step propanethio-S-oxide forms sulfuric acid when it reaches through vapour the moisture of your eye which irritates your eyes, so they produce tears to get rid of the acidic substance. Thiosulfinates (sp?) are also formed which gives onion a strong smell. So when you cut onions, this is why they make you cry.
  23. Snakes can't hear, they do sense vibrations when they move along the ground.
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