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Minimalist Scientist Posters Celebrate Some Of History’s Greatest Discoveries

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The whole “minimalist poster” meme has been going on for some time now, challenging artists to strip an idea down to its barest essence, represented in sparse visual form. Most often we’ve seen them for popular movies, shows, games, and the like, but some clever bloke decided to apply the idea to a more educational subject. As a result, we get brilliance like this:

Copernicus

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Science Research Will Soon Be Freely Available To The Public

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Chemistry

The U.S. Government isn’t exactly what you’d call an open source of information. I hear you still have to meet down in parking garages if you want to have real conversations. Or maybe that’s just for more lewd forms of behavior. In any case, while there are still a lot of things we probably don’t want to know about, scientific research paid for by American tax dollars seems like an obvious entry in the “things American tax payers should have access to.”

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently released a statement calling for all federal agencies with Research and Development budgets that spend over $100 million to begin preparing to release all scientific research no later than one year after its publication date. The statement says, “The Obama Administration is committed to the proposition that citizens deserve easy access to the results of scientific research their tax dollars have paid for.” I’m sure elderly people getting screwed over by social security and the health care system are aghast, but hey, maybe some of this research will help cure what ails them.

This has been the protocol only for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and only since 2008. The years after that deal went into effect have been filled with attempts to do the same across the scientific board. There are, of course, some disagreements on exactly how things will work, both in terms of the strictness of the 12-month embargo, and the ways in which the articles will reach the public. Should the government set up library websites collecting all the research, it would pull readership away from the publishers themselves. So be sure that more money will change hands in some way or another to keep everyone’s wheels greased up and churning out information to the public like never before. Granted, most of us will have to ask someone what most of it means, but there’s power in that, too.

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Watch Boiling Water Turn To Snow

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You know what isn’t great? When the weather is so cold outside that morgues go out of business. When the temperature drops down to -13°F (-25°C), and then feels even colder, around -29°F (-33°C). Sure, it gets worse in other places, but for the sake of a Geeks Are Sexy writer, whom we’re vicariously living through for this story, those are the particulars. I can count on one hand how many times I remember seeing snow in Louisiana, where I live, because the temperature rarely drops down into the twenties, much less the negative twenties.

And I wasn’t complaining about that until I saw this video of boiling water turning into snow. Granted, I’m perfectly happy not having to shovel snow in order to drive on snow, so I would just want to visit someone’s snowy area in order to do accomplish this feat of natural magic. You’ve done it again, science, you old cad.

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Sadly, These Heroes Of Science Action Figures Are Not For Sale (Or Real)

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Kids are constantly looking for heroes, people who will shape what they believe, and what they believe to be important, as they grown into adulthood. Sometimes those are purely fictional, while others are real: people like their parents or firefighters or sports figures or whatever. Celebrities of various stripes usually have an edge in the childhood idolization department, because many times they’ve got their image stamped on toys and posters and lunch boxes and so on. But what if you want to instill a passion for science into the little ones before they enter the meat grinder of public schooling? Step aside, licensed Transformers movie tie-in action figures, because here comes Albert Einstein, Erwin Schröedinger, and J. Robert Oppenheimer!

Insert

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Big Brother Has a Nose: Nanotech Chip Replicates Dogs’ Ability To Sniff Out Explosives

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Remember the old days, before feline Christmas sweaters, when humans made animals do everything that was too dangerous for humans? How times have changed. I mean, I don’t even think monkeys can smoke 25 feet in front of their own trees anymore. And watch out canaries with dreams of being heroes, your time might be here soon…to live longer. Just over a week after it was announced that mine-detecting robots would be be replacing dolphins, the company SpectraFluidics has patented a chip that may one day render canine bomb detection unnecessary.

The nose knows.

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Scientists Using Acoustic Levitation To Make For Better Pharmaceutical Drugs

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When you see the word “levitation,” the first thing that comes to your mind is probably a magician sweeping a hoop along the length of his hovering assistant, just to show that she’s not dangling from wires. I think it’s probably safe to say that, for most of us, the word “levitation” doesn’t conjure up thoughts of the pharmaceutical industry. But believe it or not, scientists are using a form of levitation — acoustic levitation — to make for better and more potent pharmaceutical drugs.

Argonne scientist Chris Benmore works with an acoustic levitator.