Archive for April, 2019

Wine Making on an Interplanetary Level

Georgia is located between the Great Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, giving it a mild climate that is great for growing grapes. This may be the reason why Georgia is also known for it’s ancient wine making traditions and history traces it back nearly 8000 years. Moving wine making to a new level is a dream that Georgian vineyard owners are hoping will come true with the help of NASA.

In a project that NASA called for ideas about sustained human presence on the Red Planet, had the Georgians responding with the idea of growing grapes on Mars to make wine. The project is backed by Georgian researchers as well as entrepreneurs and hopes to propel Georgian wine making techniques to an interplanetary level.

The manned mission to Mars is planned to take place in 25 years if all goes well with the NASA time table of this mission. In order to transform the lifeless surface of the planet to fertile soil, researchers have collected bacteria from Georgia which grow in extreme ecosystems such as hot sulphur springs and bred them to be capable of surviving on Mars. This is the soil that will help with the science experiment of growing grapes on Mars.

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Visit an Underwater Museum

Just off the northern Greek island of Alonissos lies the remains of a ancient shipwreck. A massive cargo ship went down here centuries ago, carrying with it to the sea bed uncountable archaeological treasures. The ship was discovered in the early 1990’s and studied with great enthusiasm.

It improved the knowledge of ship building in antiquity but what was really impressive about the 5th century wreck was the thousands of amphoras or vases that had probably contained wine to be shipped out for sale. In a bid to protect this national treasure scuba diving was banned in the area till 2005.

However, now it has become the world’s first underwater museum of such a nature. Divers are now guiding tourists through the waters to observe the cargo which has survived the rotting away of the wooden frame of the ship. It has still not been determined how the ship sank, but that does not detract from it’s uniqueness.

This is a perfect place to visit for a science project based on antique ship wrecks. The fragility of the wreck juxtaposed with the formidable cargo it carries is truly interesting to behold. Definitely worth swimming through these waters!

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Industrial Use of Water

When we think about the industrial use of water, we fail to understand that almost every industry that is engaged in making physical goods, has to have access to large amounts of water to process them. Clean water that goes into these factories helps with the chemical reactions that have to take place in the production of the goods. Needless to say that much of the water that is left over afterwards, needs to be treated and cleaned up.

The mining industry is one where water is used constantly to wash through the ores that are being mined. Being the universal solvent, water based solutions manage to dissolve just about everything that is impure and not part of the ore that is being mined for. Only trouble is, the chemical solution that is technically a waste by product is terribly harmful to the local environment.

In past years this water would simply be released into the closest river or lake. It is only when the harmful effect of such practices began to become evident in the local environments, that new policies were designed to safeguard the environment. Despite all the rules, we are still struggling to reverse the harm that polluted industrial water has caused the planet. Unfortunately there is no magic cure for this, only a few slow and steady science experiments that will eventually help the planet.

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Exploring Clean Energy Generation With Waste Water

The number of times you wash your face, hands, have a bath or use the flush, all generate waste water. This is the section of water that gets taken away from your house to a sewage treatment plant. The waste water is then processed in the sewage treatment plant before the harmless by products are then released back into the natural environment. Usually via a canal back in to a local water body.

In the process of this treatment the thermal hydrolysis that occurs helps to reduce solids using high temperature and high pressure. This is where biogas is created as a by product. Biogas is a mix of hydrocarbon gases which can be used as fuels in their own right. By harnessing the biogas in the sewage treatment plant, it is possible to generate this clean energy source with a process that already must take place.

It’s like shooting two birds with one arrow. The waste water is managed and treated, while the biogas is produced and canned for use as a fuel in the future. The only draw back to this science project is the fact that thermal hydrolysis is an expensive proposition for a sewage treatment plant to install. However given the potential good that it will do to the planet and to the environment, it may be a cost well worth considering.

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AI in Your Life

Have you ever wondered if someone can come and take over your chores without cribbing about it? Someone who would do it properly and regularly and never have to be appeased for their boredom? Yes pretty much like a machine that you could command but also had intelligence of it’s own to use and get the jobs done.

If you feel AI is the answer to your problems, you may be right. The use of Artificial Intelligence or AI is only going to increase in your lifetime. The concept of a robot doing everything that you ask it to do seamlessly as in sci-fi novels and movies may not be quite the level that AI has reached today, however there are a number of activities that it can do.

AI is actively involved in the house security systems that have been designed to keep your home safe from intruders. The sensors tied in with security cameras allow you to know when someone is nearby and see exactly who it is. All this via a phone app even when you are physically not present in the location. What else AI can do for you is yet to be explored, but would make a wonderful science project study.

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Techoference : Do You Suffer From It?

Feel tired despite going to bed at time? Get distracted with the alert sounds of your phone while you are eating lunch or dinner? Have the urge to keep checking different apps on your phone even when you have other work to do? Maybe these are all symptoms of Techoference. This is a new term coined by scientists to describe the interference of mobile phones in daily life activities.

At the Queensland University of Technology a study was conducted to determine the increase in the problematic use of mobile phones in Australia. The results of which were published in the science journal Frontiers. 709 mobile phone users were studied in the age group of 18 to 83 years. The findings were that 24% women and 15% men were problematic mobile phone users.

40.9% of the age group of 18 to 24 years and 23.5% of those in the age group 25 to 29 years were found to be suffering from Techoference. The survey system was used to collect data from the group. Survey was first conducted in 2005 and then replicated in 2018. The scientific study found that the number of people suffering from Techoference seems to have increased by 17.2% in these years. Female participants noted a larger decline in their productivity than the males.

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