Writing

Hotpot, a shared act of creation

I had a reservation for four at 7 pm on Saturday night. I had reminded the three friends joining me for dinner to be punctual, and we were all at the restaurant as the clock struck seven. Still, we had to wait fifteen minutes before we were finally seated in the crowded restaurant.

Explainer for the question: Can the batteries in your laptop catch on fire?

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner fleet recently because of lithium-ion battery fire incidents. Similar lithium-ion batteries are found in many consumer electronic devices such as laptops, cameras and cellphones. Can the batteries in your laptop catch on fire?

Kopitiam in Boston

As noon approached on a recent Sunday, a line of people began to form outside the multi-purpose room in the M.I.T. Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence. These people were mostly from Singapore, queuing patiently, as Singaporeans are known to do, for good food. The rich aromas of cooking curry mixed with various aromatic spices began to waft from the doors. The chatter grew louder, more animated, until it abruptly fell to an absolute silence as a student came out of the multi-purpose room and calmly began to instruct people what to do once they went in. Then, the line started moving. The kopitiam was open for business.

Take A Mushroom Walk Through Lincoln Woods

Boston University News Service – It was an hour of trekking in the Lincoln woods with George Davis, a retired chemist and president emeritus of the Boston Mycological Club, before I finally spotted our prey: mushrooms. They were right beneath my feet, almost impossible to distinguish from the fallen leaves that covered the ground. Davis quickly classified the bright yellow mushrooms, with rounded caps and rings around their stems, as Amanita, a group of fungi in which many members are known to be poisonous.

Print the Organ that You Need

Imagine printing a picture on a piece of paper, and printing over it repeatedly such that the picture ‘grows’ out of the paper and into a three-dimensional structure. Researchers from University of California, San Diego and collaborators from Zhejiang University did that, but with biocompatible polymers instead of regular ink to form complex three-dimensional scaffolds. The researchers can then inject living cells into these scaffolds to create artificial organs.

Broadcast of the Human Sperm Swimming Olympics

Human sperm’s race to their finish line used to be a private affair. Now, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed a novel technique to view and monitor the sperm’s movement patterns in a dish.

Tofu, contact lens and cartilage

For many people with severely torn ligaments or knee replacements, the ability to run and jump as though they have never been injured before remains a dream. Tissue engineering might lead to the day when damaged cartilage can simply be replaced with synthetic materials that resemble human tissue, giving injured joints new life. In an article published last week in Nature, that day comes closer when a team of eight scientists reported the synthesis of a novel hydrogel that is extraordinarily strong, stretchable and capable of self-healing.

    “The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can't destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don't they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?” - Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone