Sources of bacteria?

Hi I was wondering if anyone had any good online sources of bacteria? What i mean is does any body know any companies that have bacteria cultures and can ship them?

Question by akinich   |  last reply

Bacteria excrete oil

Looky!Scientists in sunny CA have genetically altered bacteria so they eat garbage and excrete crude oil. They plan to be in commercial production by 2011. Sweet!

Topic by Lithium Rain   |  last reply

Can someone here point me to some bacteria that glow when stimulated with IR light, or any kind of radiation? Answered

The reason I need to know is I think it would be a real cheap alternative to conventional night-vision goggles. I have seen projects to that end that employ digital cameras with the IR filters left off the lens, but I am concerned that those projects have a latency that would make it difficult to function in real time. I would also be grateful if someone could inform me of a material that would allow IR radiation to pass through, but block visible light. 100 internets to the provider of thebest answer.

Question by nruegs   |  last reply

What changes in milks taste chemically as it turns? Answered

I'm not sure what to look fo or I'd just research this myself but: I like the taste of milk that has sat out long enough to get the smoother creamier 'warm milk' taste but not so long as to actually start going off.  (twixt 15 minutes and 30 minutes depending on room temp) What I would like to know is why it changes.  I know it has something to do with the bacteria in it changing it somehow but I don't know how.  Am I tasting the bacteria or some byproduct of their breakdown of the milk?

Question by finfan7   |  last reply

Biocouture: grow your own clothes.

Every so often, a bit of cutting edge science makes you sit back and think; This is so simple! Why didn't they think of this earlier? Instead of using animal parts, or plant fibres, BioCouture aims, ultimately, to grow entire garments in a vat. Right now, they grow mats of bacteria and yeast in a bath of nutrients, which spin mats of cellulose fibres that can be shaped into garments, resulting in a material dubbed "vegetable leather". The use of the material is limited - it cannot be worn in the rain, and it decomposes like any other vegetable matter, but the original team of artists have turned their idea over to "proper" scientists, who are working to modify the final product to be hydrophobic and longer lasting.  Until then, the garments they produce are unique, and transient, since they can end their useful lives on the compost heap. In the mean time, this is stuff grown in bath tubs - any Maker with a spare room and a biological leaning could be producing this stuff themselves. There's a patch for the first member to grow their own Robot t-shirt ;-)

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

How would I make a bacteria costume? Answered

 So basically, for school, we are doing a play in science and our group wants to dress up as different types of bacteria. There are three different shapes of bacteria- rod, spiral and spherical. We need a way to make the costumes and also some help as we live in Australia and aren't very good with costumes. If you have any ideas, please respond. Thanks in advance!

Question by piggleliggle   |  last reply

Bacteria-like projections when shining a laser through a magnifying glass.?

          I was recently shining my new green laser pointer through a magnifying glass, and the beam went through the little circle near the bottom of the lens that magnifies things more than the rest of the lens. The laser dot got very much larger, and there were odd little dark circles surrounded by larger, transparent circles. I also noticed the same thing, but with longer, oval-like projections instead of circles. What are these projections of? I'm guessing dirt, hair, bacteria, etc. Can anyone tell me? I want to know because it's a pretty cool effect and it would be cool to know if I'm looking at bacteria or something like that.

Question by ALogan97   |  last reply

How can I obtain cheap geosmin-scented air freshener?

What's the cheapest (safe and legal) way to obtain a small quantity of relatively pure geosmin? By "small" I mean an amount sufficient to keep a room smelling like rich earth for weeks. By "relatively pure" I mean it won't turn funky or give someone a nasty case of fungal pneumonia. Brew it? I know dehydration and alkali could -help- isolate Streptomyces, but then what? I don't have access to ready-made selective media nor money to buy strange supplies.

Question by    |  last reply

Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

Project made finalist on NatGeo, need your vote!

Hey guys,One of my project had made it to finalist on National Geographic, I would need your vote to make it further!Please spend a minute or two to cast your vote on NatGeo's website!,Peter

Topic by PeterM33 

Hydrogen gas by combining electron- generating bacteria & small electrical charge...

Hi,Pennsylvania State University researchers last week announced that they have developed a method of producing hydrogen gas by combining electron-generating bacteria, acetic acid and less than .2 volt source in a microbial fuel cell. Info at this URL... first heard about this last week on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Here is NPR link -≻=emafThe researcher who led the project Bruce Logan, the director of the Hydrogen Energy Center there said last week on the show that this was actually a relatively simple process.He claims 90 percent efficiency. Also claimed is that the process produces 288 per cent more energy in hydrogen than the electrical energy that is added to the process.I would love to build one small scale and combine it with solar panels. Or maybe try to generate some hydrogen and try using it as a fuel supplement for my car using something like this - . Anyone willing to tackle this one?

Topic by nadsab   |  last reply

Anybody know how to make a plastic digester?

About a year or so, I remember hearing about a kid who used certain bacteria to break down plastics at a very rapid pace. Does anybody know any specifics as to what bacteria or setup this kid used?

Question by FailHorse   |  last reply

What, if any, chemicals does a charcoal filter remove from water?

           I'm working on designing a water filter for third world countries, and I was wondering if a charcoal filter would remove chemicals in a water source.  If so, what chemicals would they be?  I know that charcoal filters kill many bacteria, etc., but that would be of little use if the bacteria were gone but toxic chemicals remained in the water.  Recommendations are appreciated.  Thanks!

Question by mad magoo   |  last reply

food for teeth ?

Hello. I've heard that teeth were able to absorb some substances/molecules thanks to the porosity of the enamel. Unlike bones, as they are not self-regenerating from the outside, I was wondering what substances may be usefull to offset the erosion of the enamel (remineralization ?). Is there something that could be concidered as a "food" for teeth ? Also, about dental caries, as they are mainly caused by bacteria eating "fermentable carbohydrates" who generate acidity, here is a question that may sound stupid, but that is serious : - to make the work of those bacteria harder, is it better to sleep with the mouth wide opened (oxygened mouth) or with the mouth closed (anaerobic conditions) ?

Topic by chooseausername   |  last reply

can you make yogurt without buying any yogurt from the store?

I see that you have already a home made yogurt recipe, but it includes store bought yogurt, is there a "really" home made version? Thanks

Question by    |  last reply

Can you compost fruit that has been in an alcoholic drink like Sangria? Answered

I was just curious if you could compost fruit that has been floating around in an alcoholic drink. I wasn't sure if it would kill off the bacteria in the compost heap or not.

Question by RadBear   |  last reply

Microbial instructable on the cheap

I'm interested in this instructable on isolating plastic degrading bacteria but the author doesn't appear to be active at the moment.I have no experience in this area. Any ideas on if/how could perform a valid experiment on the cheap? The only two prohibitively expensive items seem to be an autoclave (I'm assuming I could use a microwave or pressure cooker) and the Hass Broth: The solution used to feed the bacteria containing all their required elements except carbon, which they get from the plastic.Would it still be a viable experiment if I gave the microbes a banana peel or something and hope they're still hungry for plastic? Also can I get away with using a cheap milligram scale?I know this isn't a typical type of question but any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Question by Refinity   |  last reply

Can I use a microwave to CAN my Food? Answered

If I microwave food in a glass jar till its 160 degrees f and cap it. did I just 'can' the food? Im thinking that the temp will kill the bacteria and can I do it with foods that contain meat?

Question by BluTiger   |  last reply

DIY autoclave? Ideas?

Does anyone know of a way to build an autoclave? I know that they are essentially pressure cookers on steroids, but would a standard pressure cooker truly sterilize something? No, I'm not trying to give myself tattoos or attempt surgery on the cat. It would be mostly for biology experiments, such as swabbing cultures. I could get one on eBay for about $150 minimum, but I don't really feel like spending $150 to grow bacteria. Any ideas?

Topic by CameronSS   |  last reply

How do you like your meats?

How do you prefer your meats cooked? I like any kind of meat, including fish well done, sometimes to the point of drying it out a little. It's not the taste to me that I don't like about not completely cooked food. It's not some worry about bacteria or anything either. I just don't like the texture that you get, especially with fish and eggs.

Topic by mysterygirl154   |  last reply

Making a small wood chip biodigestor to produce methane?

I would like to build a small anerobic biodigestor first and then a larger one that I can use woody debri (chipped wood waste) to charge the digestor along with the right bacteria (some are better than others) and heat that will produce tons of methane gas.....  Any great ideas out there as I have acess to lots of chipped wood.......??? Thanks very much Peter

Question by Bigger battery   |  last reply

Hallowe'en turns educational - free masks to download.

Feel like mixing Hallowe'en fun and science?There's a new website about the five kingdoms of life, with a Hallowe'en theme and masks you can download and make. There's a bat, bacteria, fungi, a pumpkin and more on the way.You can imagine the doorstep scene:"And what have you come as, Billy?"Oh, I'm a Basidiomycota, Mrs Ponderosa, a genus of club-fungus that includes both edible and highly toxic species.

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

How can one make a water cleaner for a well using Titanium Dioxide and UV light? Answered

Hi, I have been looking into cleaning my well water at the source, rather than fed in into the lines. I have looked at making a simple ozone generator by purchasing one online and using a compressor to get it down 40 ft. Then I came across "silver bullet" and what intrigued me was that they produced hydrogen peroxide, which apparently is a a better bacteria killer, perhaps more stable. The reason that I want to kill bacteria and have it in the well at the source is because lots of iron bacteria and iron in my water plugging up my pump every so often is frustrating. This product looks promising, but costly, so researching this I found that they were using UV light, but normally UV light makes ozone with air. Then I dug deeper and then found out they are using a matrix made up of something similar to Titanium Dioxide (there are different forms, such as anatase and rutile which maybe more effective) so that when struck by proper UV light, it gives of an electron which will hit water vapor in air and split up water molecules to form OH- and H2O2 and some O3. So, one can buy TiO2 online, put it into a container that fits a UV lamp inside and blow compressed air through that and down the well, but the powder might get blown down the pipe. So how can one crystalize it around a cylindrical form that fits around a UV light to make it more efficient? I saw a similar post by Ian and he wants to use it for air cleaning, but gluing doesn't appeal to me as the glue itself might react with oxidants produced and give off other contaminants that I do not want in the water. So, can I use a type of glue that is safe around oxidants? Is TiO2 able to crystallize easily? ( I read that it doesn't dissolve in water well, which would rule out supersaturating water and crystallizing it that way) Any thoughts and suggestions?

Question by Hendrik0360   |  last reply

How to make sterile saline for contact lens storage

It would be amazing to learn how to make sterile saline solution for simple contact lens solution. Most commercially available contact lens solutions have harsh detergents (granted, to keep bacteria at bay), and they are expensive and irritating. I've been using plain sterile saline for years without issue but it's just salt and water - can't somebody tell us how to make it for free?NOTE: Nevermind. I just saw this crazy letter. I will stick with store-bought.

Topic by bergersworth   |  last reply

Why is it so bad that the small bakeries disappear more and more...

Everyone loves a good bread roll, a nice and freshly baked bread...But where does it come from and what is really in it?When it comes to bread and bread rolls we tend to think all is fresh, especially when you see that your favourite supermarket has a bakery with a real oven.Our local baker that took over the business from his father not only sees a thread but also is unable to compete with the price.The consumer only too often selects by price only if look and taste seem to be good.A bread roll for under 20 cents, a whole bread for just over $2 and I am not talking toast here...So how is such a price possible or how can a "bakery" provide 30 or more different types of rolls and bread with just one or two small ovens and a tiny kitchen area?The trick on a small scale is to use ready to go mixes, just add yeast and water and you are set to go.On a big scale we talk about dough that is frozen, sometimes pre-baked but alsways already in the shape of the finnished product.Since there is just flour, salt and yeast in it what could the harm?Like with soft drinks and alcohol not all ingredients are legally required to be listed.Enzymes, antioxidants, modifiers and more.The claim is that ingredients that disappear during the baking need not mentioning at all.If we check how these helping substances are made we get everything from bacteria and fungi over chemical compositions that are lab created and even things that are totally engeneered.Why use nature if you can made the substance in a lab...Most countries have authorities that deal with just these things and their use.So as long as every single ingredient is legal and does not require to be listed it is fair game.The problem here is that no one really knows what goes into the dough for these ready to bake frozen products.As we know from our chemistry lessons in school even totally harmless components can combine to a harmful endproduct.Especially enzymes are used to to modify everything from DNA over meat products to modifying the appearence and shelf life of a product.For most if not all the secret ingredients used we are assured they are conform with the local law and food regulations but we will never know where they came from or how they could interact with each other.Every dentist will tell you that cheap, white (so called) bread is pretty much the worst for your teeth.The usual claim here is that it is too soft, might contain too much sugar but in general the carbohydrates convert to harmful sugars and food for bacteria.These bacteria then harm your teeth...This alone however has shown to be a bit of a misjudgement.If you take the official ingredients on their own then their harm on the teeth is basically non existing.It is again the enzymes and their remains that do the hard work by providing the base to convert a lot of contents directly to sugars through these bacteria.If we now go a step further and consider that bacteria do a pretty good in our body to keep a healthy balance and convert nutrients for us we have to wonder...A thing of our modern time is alleries, same for intolerance to certain foods.The sources for these are plentyful but apart from shielding ourselfs agains all bacteria, viruses and germs in general food is a common factor.Regions with limited or no access to processed foods or drinks show little to no signs of our common allergies or common helth conerns like heart disease or obesity.When it comes to our bread products it is obvious that we consume a lot of it and simply trust the claims on the pack.Rich in omega 3 added fibres, wholemeal...A real baker starting shortly after midnight to produce fresh products for his customer will just shake his head.There are many studies that show us the quality of certain foods, also a lot that show how fast food is bad for you.But when it comes to investigating the bread we eat every day we only find meaningless informations.The long term effect of some of the "secret" ingredients in bread are however well studied in animal tests.Digestive problems, failing to make use of certain basic amino acids, an affected central nervous system and even behaviour abnomalities have been observed.Of course we can't really compare a rat or pig on totally overdosed tests with what we eat on a daily base.But if certain enzymes and other ingredients in our frozen bread mixes and also dry mixes can do this then it is safe to asume that some sife effects from long term exposure will happen too.An enzyme that might just cause a less sticky dough might also affect meat.Another ingredient that should keep the dough firm enough for production machines could cause your stomach lining to produce far less liquids that help digestion.And other ingredients that might just try to produce a more uniform expansion of the dough might break down other food products in your intestines so the body can not convert them into as many other building blocks as before.Sure, we trust the claim that the baking will totall remove all traces of all the things that are not required to be listed.But lab test will show quite opposite, especially when it comes to soft, fluffy "bread" in sliced form.Bread is one of the basic food items everyone needs, so if being able to provide it at an "affordable" price is possible than not too many will actually check the product as a whole.Imagine you buy a premium looking steak and on the pack it states it was made with meat glue - another enzyme.You would not buy it...Thankfully most countries banned the use of meat glues after to many cases of related food poisoning happened.Should have been obvious that cut meat will have more bacteria and that gluing such pieces will result in bacteria to grow inside the meat at fast rates.So if you now wonder why such things are not fully regulated and checked ask yourself: why do you buy the cheap bread from your supermarket instead going to support your local baker?Money...Don't trust my words here!Grab a bread from your supermarket and some bread rolls, then do the same at a real bakery and compare the products.After that check for the best time and grab a few cold beer to have a nice chat about factory made bread products with the guy who kowns how to make it.You might be suprised what he will tell you ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 

Building a hair thin Mini hot tip (like soldering)

Building a hair thin Mini hot tip (like soldering) Building a hair thin Mini hot tip (like soldering) Well as you read it I am trying to build a very very small heat controllable mini hot tip (max 40 degrees C) And definitely I am sure you are such an expert in the area that the hair hot tipwill sound like a joke to you. What for? well, long story short I want to put bacteria samples on it & gradually increase the temperature and see how the populations die or survive, and most likely how long they last, to demonstarte if actual dishwashers do a good job. (maximum temp boiling point) I actually want to record the video given to the fact that the microscope I have access at school is wayyyy more powerful than the rest. I know I should use an LED or just heat but what prevents me from doing so is just blowing away the samples from the tip or changing the exposure too much with extra lights. I believe the principle is almost the same as with the coil inside electric bulbs or the same as in ironing clothes but not as hot (in orders of magnitude) I believe the trick is driving voltage and just making variations to it with a dial please help I really want to see those bacteria and film them . All help will be appreciated Thanx Micro Freak apprentice

Topic by dejabox   |  last reply

Greywater reusing Answered

Hello everyone some time ago I started some research about greywater reuse because I understood that it can be very helpful for everybody after some research Icame up with a concept wich is like this:1-the water enters a container after going through a filter wich gets larg particles2-it goes through a ceramic filter for smaller particle for smaller particles 3-A RO filter gets the chemicals and super-small-particles4-A container with a UV lamp wich kills the bacteria But there are some problems1-I cant be sure about the water quality2-I am concerned about the chemicals in detergents

Question by Electronic guy   |  last reply

DNA Plasmids for use in transformation of plant cells? Answered

Recently, I found a kit to transform E. coli with GFP (green fluorescent protein) plasmids, causing the bacteria to fluoresce under UV light. I later found a kit for maintaining an African violet tissue culture, sparking the question if it would be possible to use the plasmids intended for use in E. coli in the African violet tissue, causing the violet tissue to fluoresce, which can then be transplanted to grow into a full glowing violet plant. Would the plasmids be usable in transforming the violet tissue, or would they be specialized to just the E. coli?

Question by ALogan97   |  last reply

Easy Pi Software Programming Language Recommendation Need? Answered

I have a 2011.12 Pi that I was able to Hello On a screen , mouse, keypad, load the appropriate Sandisk from the web. Tried some of the programs and put it away. Now I have a dedicated application that will be running a stepper shield (orbit 4 bacteria tubes) stop every hour and use a 14 bit ADC to measure growth rate by red LED reflection, storing / sending results 24/7 for a month at a time.. I don't do well with 'C' and hate graphic programming.  Machine or compiled Real Basic is my forte. What would you recommend for me please ?

Question by iceng   |  last reply

Is the effluent produced by a biogas generator enough to feed plants in a hydroponic system?

I'm looking at various ways to grow food free/almost free in a small space.  I would like to grow enough veg to feed myself comfortably. Hydroponics in a vertical farm set up would allow me to grow lots of veg in a small space, trouble is I now need nutrients to feed my plants. After much reading, it looks like I could anaerobically digest all my food waste (including meat, diary, plant stems and anything else that decomposes) in a biogenerator. If I use the resulting liquid effluent, would this alone be sufficient to grow healthy plants.  Are all the nutrients they need going to be in sufficient proportion and are they all in an accessible form for plants. Will I need to add bottled nutrients from a store to top it up? Another question is if the effluent is safe or a biohazard?  My reading so far suggests that most pathogens are killed off in the anaerobic process. Is there anyone who has tried anything like this already? So far I can only find people who are fertilising crops in soil with the effluent. Any comments are greatly appreciated. P.S: for those who do not know what a biogenrator does/is.. a quick description.  Its a sealed tank filled with water, waste (shredded) is added, naturally occuring bacteria in the water (not dependent on oxygen to survive) breakdown the waste into their nutrient parts, methane is also produced by the bacteria (methane is CH4, carbon is in the waste and hydrogen is in the water), the methane can be tapped off for burning and the old liquid can also be tapped off, supposedly this liquid is an extremely good nutrient source, though I don't know if it could sustain plants grown hydroponically on its own.

Question by sloth456   |  last reply

Gelli plate substitute

Hi. there is a new craze sweeping the craft and art community with a mono printing plate called a gelli plate. It's made out of some sort of mineral oil or gel of some sort. (i think). It's a flexible, clear mat with a soft feel and a give to it, a bit like jello. There are plenty of homemade versions using gelatin. which works fine for a while but it soon breaks up or bacteria sets in as gelatin is a food substance. Are there any clever boffin types out there that can make a similiar product that doesn't use gelatin and that has a good shelf life. I first thought of Oogoo but it's not pliable enough. This Gelli plate reminds me of the soft silcone gel that is used for scar healing, but is so expensive for small sheets. here is the link to see what I am after.

Topic by Lijesm   |  last reply

How to create underwater fish tank LEDs? Answered

Ever seen those glass pebbles that are somewhat opaque? I would like to place these at the bottom of a 15 gallon fish tank and have it lit up from underneath, probably through the use of LEDs. I am looking for any ideas of creating such a thing that would be safe to place under water, that won't fry the goldfish. Food for thought, could you also use Black light LEDs or would that possibly kill the good bacteria in the tank. There could be a possibility to place it under the fish tank (outside the water), though I would have to remove a structural panel. Would creating an LED mat for underneath the fishtank be easier? Specifications: -Powered from a wall socket -light up and through 1.5" - 2" of the glass pebbles for 1' x 2' aquarium bottom.

Question by jc.021286   |  last reply

Water Recycling with a Hydroponic Bog Garden

Clean water - we all need it.  Treating and reusing sewage and other waste water means reducing the burden on the already limited supply of water from our lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers. Instructables user Biotank posted this excellent Hydroponic bog garden. It's the final step in a series of sewage water treatments, and uses bacteria to clean the water even further so it can be used for irrigation.  This system can be combined with a garden for water-loving plants as shown here, or with a fish pond.  While this bog garden isn't likely to fit in your backyard, it's a great example of thinking outside the box to solve the problem of water reuse!  Check it out, and get inspired. What are you doing to conserve or reuse water?  What would you like to do? This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Topic by canida   |  last reply

Scholarship contest idea: evolving navigation behaviors

I am interested in the evolution of complex navigation strategies. As a first step, I am using the Avida digital evolution platform ( to evolve behavior that corresponds to chemotaxis in bacteria such as E. coli. Although they are very simple organisms, bacteria like E. coli have served as model organisms for studying the molecular biology of behavior, and have been studied extensively. Such simple organisms provide a good starting point for evolving simple behaviors that may eventually serve as a platform for the emergence of more complex behavior. Chemotaxis is a simple orientation behavior, performed by many different organisms, involving moving either toward (positive chemotaxis) or away from (negative chemotaxis) the source of some particular chemical signal, by sensing and responding to the chemical gradient in the local environment.The project I am proposing for the contest would port the software evolved in Avida onto the Create robot, and demonstrate the virtually evolved capability in the real-world environment. Since performing chemotaxis in air would involve dealing with turbulent dispersal of the chemical signal, I propose to use phototaxis or thermotaxis -- orientation to a light or heat source, respectively -- as an analog to chemotaxis. This will greatly simplify the experiments, since the problem will then be one of diffusion rather than turbulence. The robot will follow the light or heat gradient, tracking toward the source.Several things will be necessary to accomplish this. In software, the virtual CPU instructions of Avida will have to be translated to the robot. Because of the runtimes for Avida experiments, the evolution would be done offline; the robot would run the program that is the result of evolution. Hardware implementation would include the addition of photosensors or infared sensors, to allow the robot to sense the light or heat gradient. Care will need to be taken, both in the digital evolution and in the robot experiments, to ensure that the real environment is similar enough to the digital environment during evolution, so that the evolved program can function in the real world environment.Although tactic behavior has been implemented in robots in the past, to my knowledge it has never been done using digital evolution. An evolutionary approach has several advantages: 1) the finished program is discovered through evolution, instead of hand-coded step-by-step; 2) evolution may find novel ways of solving the problem that a programmer might not think of; 3) because of (1) and (2), the evolved solution may be more robust and adaptive than a top-down, engineered solution.

Topic by Laura Grabowski   |  last reply

Is it cheaper to pump water or buy it?

Considering a height difference of say about 15 feet would it likely be cheaper to pump water from a lower elevation (such as a creek or pond) to a higher elevation or would it be cheaper to fill the reservoir with city water which is already under pressure. This is all just theoretical but would the cost of running the pump be more or less than the cost of buying the water?  Of course other factors would play in such as the city water being bacteria and sediment free (in theory) but im ignoring them for now.  Any insight would be appreciated since I have no idea of relative costs for either right now.? Edit: Maybe I made it seem a bit too formal but I am just talking about putting a pump in a lake or creek with a garden hose attached vs turning on a garden hose connected to city water.  Im not trucking it in or anything.  I dont have specifics as said but if the answer depends on specifics then that gives me enough of an answer to know that i will need more research when ready and that its not easily one or the other.  Thanks.

Question by kinderdm   |  last reply

DISCLAIMER for an old instructable

This instructable is missing vital, or rather deadly information: posted a comment on it, but i doubt anybody will read it. if it is already contained in the instructable, and i haven't seen it, please forgive me.: HeLLO!!!!! I lnow i am VERY late with this post, and i hope someone still reads it.NEVER DRINK URINE! EVER! WhY? well, for one, fresh urine contains no bacteria, unless you suffer from bad kidney disease, in which case, you probably couldn't pee why not drink it? because ALL TOXIC WAIST of your body leaks into your urine. those remain inside this primitive distillation device on the soil ,as mineral salts, the water being evaporated and recondesed on the foil, thus recuperated. so, this thing is basically a sun powered water distillation thingie. in emergency situations, you can distilate your urine by other means too, to drink water out of it. just DON'T DRINK URINE, NOT EVEN BOILED. ESPECIALLY NOT BOILED. the water getting evaporated by boiling, the urine increases the concentration of toxines. you can only boil it up to collect the steams, which condense into water. that's what you wanna drink.

Topic by DonQuijote   |  last reply

My Axolotls have really bad markings on their skin, what's wrong with them???

Two of my Axolotls have some kind of open wound sores on their backs. One also has it on his tail. I have isolated them into the fridge in there own waters to help the healing process. The third axolotl that I have is still in the 30 gallon tank. She appears to have a sore forming also on the side of her. I am watching it very closely to see if it may be the water that's doing this to them. I tested the water for the temp. which is at 70 F this is a little higher than normal and as I have researched could also be a factor. have had them for about 4-5 months. We have recently moved changing the tank took about 3-4hrs to it moved and set back up. I kept 1/3 of the water to keep the bacteria. I honestly don't know what else to do. if anyone has any suggestions or knows what exactly is going on re-guarding my axolotls, ANYTHING please email me at Thank You for the Support.

Question by caitlynnmarieee   |  last reply

Controlling anaerobic digesters with arduino

Hi I am new on the Arduino scene and I am trying to build eight anaerobic digester tanks to conduct experiments for my thesis in engineering. The setup will look as follows: -Arduino mega -Arduino motor shield R3 -Two motor stirring the digester at different RPMs. Motors will run at 12 V and around 0.5-1 A. -The motor shield will use the wall jack as power supply via an AC-DC adapter. -Biogas volume measuring device (tipping sensor) -Aquaria air pump to supply Hydrogen Sulphite consuming bacteria with oxygen. This will be controlled with a relay and the volume measuring device. -The pump will use the wall jack as power supply -Temperature sensors DS18B20. -Immersion heater controlled by the temperature sensor and a relay. The digester is supposed to be kept at 37°. Everything will be logged but I haven’t decided if I will connect a Ethernet shield or if I should log on a SD card. I think that I can manage to build it but I have some questions (a lot) but will just post some and post more later. The experiments will run for 4-6 months how will the Arduino, shield and relays handle being on for that long? Do I need something with higher quality? (It would suck to burn down the university) Any spontaneous thoughts that I should know or that could help me?

Topic by joche11   |  last reply

Antibiotic resistance and factory farming

Want to know where the latest MRSA strains are coming from?Not the hospitals- it's factory farms. I know the basics of antibiotic use in factory farming, but seeing the statistics is still appalling. It makes me particularly happy to have scored 55lbs of venison from my uncle this weekend.The bit on testing reminds me of the bit about Mad Cow- US farmers who want to test 100% of their livestock aren't allowed to basically because 1) it would make the untested animals look bad, and 2) they might find something. One BSE-infected cow (or at least proof of such) could shut down US beef exports entirely. Anyway, back to MRSA:The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that at least 70 percent of the antibiotics used in America are fed to animals living on factory farms.Raising vast numbers of pigs or chickens or cattle in close and filthy confinement simply would not be possible without the routine feeding of antibiotics to keep the animals from dying of infectious diseases. That the antibiotics speed up the animals' growth also commends their use to industrial agriculture, but the crucial fact is that without these pharmaceuticals, meat production practiced on the scale and with the intensity we practice it could not be sustained for months, let alone decades.Public-health experts have been warning us for years that this situation is a public-health disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or later, the profligate use of these antibiotics -- in many cases the very same ones we depend on when we're sick -- would lead to the evolution of bacteria that could shake them off like a spring shower. It appears that "sooner or later" may be now. Recent studies in Europe and Canada found that confinement pig operations have become reservoirs of MRSA. A European study found that 60 percent of pig farms that routinely used antibiotics had MRSA-positive pigs (compared with 5 percent of farms that did not feed pigs antibiotics). This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that a strain of "œMRSA from an animal reservoir has recently entered the human population and is now responsible for [more than] 20 percent of all MRSA in the Netherlands." Is this strictly a European problem? Evidently not. According to a study in Veterinary Microbiology, MRSA was found on 45 percent of the 20 pig farms sampled in Ontario, and in 20 percent of the pig farmers. (People can harbor the bacteria without being infected by it.) Thanks to Nafta, pigs move freely between Canada and the United States. So MRSA may be present on American pig farms; we just haven't looked yet.I love Michael Pollan's work. If you haven't read The Omnivore's Dilemma you should. Many of his books started as pieces for the NYTimes magazine: here's a list of books and articles, with links. He's much more of a storyteller than a straight-up reporter, and despite the often dire subject matter his stories are simply fun to read. He's also a journalism prof at UCBerkeley right around the corner from Instructables.

Topic by canida   |  last reply

Closed system-conductive heating of pool with solar

Hi clever folks, We've been reading the Instructables for making solar hot water systems to heat a swimming pool (4000 litres) in our very shaded backyard (in Australia). We like the idea of using a coil of black poly pipe or garden hose laid out in the sun to heat up and then pumping this through the pool during the day, but the thought of bacteria building up in the pipe has struck fear in us! Sooooo....we may need another plan. I've read way too much on Legionalla and now think it would be safer to have a closed system. What we had in mind is a network of thin poly pipe either in 2D or 3D that would float (or be weighted slightly to sit in a good portion of the water "column"in the pool) and connect this to a long length of black polypipe that would receive solar heating. Obviously this would be a heating system that takes place when no one is using the pool (i.e. when the kids are at school). We'd keep a pool blanket on to insulate it too. When someone wants to use the pool, which would typically be in the evening for us, we'd remove this so-called radiator. Hopefully it would not be too heavy as the thin poly pipe network will be filled with water. tempting to try it this weekend. We just would love to hear from folks that have knowledge to share on these topics. Thank you, Elise

Topic by ebb_au 

Provide 1000 cheap, wireless climate data loggers - Citizen Science Contest

The SciStarter Citizen Science Contest is live! This is your opportunity to help millions of citizen scientists contribute to real scientific discovery. Make their experiences better by coming up with solutions to some real annoyances that hinder their participation. To get you started, here is a specific--and very real--challenge sent to us by project organizers. PROVIDE 1000 CHEAP WIRELESS CLIMATE DATA LOGGERS Background: Wildlife of Our Homes provides an opportunity for citizen scientists to help researchers study the species that live alongside us everyday - bacteria, fungi, and insects. By using a sampling kit and answering a few questions, volunteers help researchers create an atlas of microbial diversity in homes across the country. The Problem: Project organizers would love to collect climate data in each of the 1000 homes where volunteers are sampling microbes from 4 common surfaces. Unfortunately, climate sensors are expensive, and more importantly, project organizers don't have an easy way to transfer data from those home sensors (temperature, humidity, etc) to an online database. Currently, they must physically retrieve and download the data. The Challenge: Find a way to log climate data and wirelessly transmit the data to the project organizers. Enter now! Contest closes January 21, 2013

Topic by scistarter   |  last reply

$25 Million for Capturing Carbon

Gore and Branson have teamed up to sponsor an X-prize-like competition for capturing carbon dioxide. I love these types of competitions. Is anyone here on Instructables in a position to enter? With a bit of industry-sponsorship, this would make for a series of fantastic Ph.D projects. From: multi-million dollar prize is on offer to anyone who can invent a device that will remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As one of the largest science prizes on offer, it is likely to attract huge interest globally in a bid to combat climate change.The initiative was launched today by British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and former US Vice-President Al Gore in London.The US$25 million "Virgin Earth Challenge" Prize can be claimed for any invention that will remove "significant" amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - perhaps in the order of a billion tonnes a year. Current global emissions are more than 7 billion tonnes per year."The winner must be able to demonstrate a commercially viable design which will result in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric, greenhouse gases each year for at least ten years without countervailing harmful effects," state the written rules of the competition. It must "contribute materially to the stability of the Earth's climate".The winning entry could be anything from manufacturing bacteria to install in industrial emissions pipes, to creating a system that buries CO2 underground, or even inventing artificial trees to breathe in the gas from the air.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

Parasites for Health?

There's an awesome NYTimes article about coevolution, and the necessity of parasites.Our immune systems developed under a pretty heavy parasitic load, and are built to handle those parasites. Now that we've cleaned up most of our worms and bacteria our relatively unchallenged immune systems basically get bored, and start going after inappropriate targets within our bodies. (This is a good argument for the five-second rule, and for eating street vendor food - keep that immune system properly occupied so it doesn't go looking for trouble.)Anyway, they have actual studies and statistics:About 10 years after improved hygiene and deworming efforts reduced worms in a given population, I.B.D. (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) rates jumped. Weinstock had his hypothesis: after a long coevolution, the human immune system came to depend on the worms for proper functioning. ...epidemiologists had already dubbed this notion "the hygiene hypothesis": as improved hygiene reduced exposure to certain infectious agents, the immune system began malfunctioning. By the late 20th century, autoimmune disorders, characterized by the body's defenses attacking some aspect of the self, had increased markedly, and allergic diseases, defined by an overblown immune response to nonthreatening substances, afflicted almost half the people in the developed world.If eliminating worms led to an increase in disease, could re-introducing worms actually treat these diseases? In mice, the answer was yes. Worms were used to "inoculate" against mouse asthma, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and I.B.D.In 2005, he published results from two human studies. After ingesting 2,500 microscopic T. suis eggs at 3-week intervals for 24 weeks, 23 of 29 Crohn's patients responded positively. (Crohn's disease belongs to the I.B.D. family, which also includes ulcerative colitis.) Twenty-one went into complete remission. In the second study, 13 of 30 ulcerative colitis patients improved compared with 4 in the 24-person placebo group.Scientists around the world are intrigued. Several large studies are under way. If you decide to try this at home, please document the project for Instructables!

Topic by canida   |  last reply

It's IgNobel time again!

The 19th IgNobel Awards were presented this week (Thursday 1st):VETERINARY MEDICINE PRIZE: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.PEACE PRIZE: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for determining — by experiment — whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.(I don't know their conclusions, their paper isn't available for free - anybody care to test for us?)ECONOMICS PRIZE: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.(Seriously, they did!)MEDICINE PRIZE: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60) years.PHYSICS PRIZE: Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA, for analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over.(Possibly "because they have spines"?)LITERATURE PRIZE: Ireland's police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in Polish means "Driving License".(I remember this story breaking - the confusion was immense.)PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.(How many teens are going to use difficulty breathing as an excuse to get into their girlfriend's underwear?)MATHEMATICS PRIZE: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers — from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).BIOLOGY PRIZE: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.(You've got to ask - where did they get the idea to try that?)References (and past award winners) available at

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply

UV filtration in your fish tank or small fish pond

Year after year the topic "I have a fish tank" seems to go more out of control. What was once a hobby just to have some fish can now be a design feature both in your home and inside the tank. Realistic looking lasdscapes, optical illusions that make you think the tank is much bigger and the list goes on. But one thing that now always pops up is the must have thing of UV filtration. Or to be precise: UV-C sterilisation! Now, if we trust Wiki and our big water suppliers then UV-C will literally kill anything alive that comes into contact with. So of course it would be a good thing to have for your tank - or not? UV-C is very dangerous for your eyesight and quite harmful for your skin! Looking into a proper UV-C lamp without protection means you can go blind! Even good sunglasses might not have enough protection in the UV-C range, so only use them for additional protection but never without and glass between you and the lamp! Don't be a fool! Treat UV-C seriously! You would not look into the full sun with your sunglasses and would not expose your eyes or skin to a powerful laser, UV-C is to be treated the same way! Let's start by using some boring text to explain the concept a little bit. On a large scale special and quite powerful systems are used to treat our drinking or pool water. Here special UV-C lights with a wavelenghts of 260nm or below are used to shine through the water passing by. There are two key factors here. a) the wavelenght b) the water flow rate and the corresponding time the water is in contact with the UV light To ensure all bacteria, viruses, algae and other harmful organics are dead the water must circulate for long enough so even the last water molecule had a few seconds of exposure. All this only works good with "crystal clear" water for obvious reasons as otherwise the UV has to be even more powerful to pass through. Single cell organisms literally crack into pieces similar to being exposed to gamma rays, more complex cells like algae have their cell membranes damages and the DNA suffers as well causing reproduction loss and early death. Even some chemicals break down, most importantly here chlorine based substances. Differences within the UV-C range! If you bothered to check Wiki about the topic of UV-C you will already know that only certain wavelengths within this spectrum will actuall be powerful enough to do what we want it to do. And here is the first problem for us hobby users. Most cheaply advertised "sterlisation lamps" you find in places like Ebay are actually totally useless. Stating to be selling a UV-C light to sterilze your water in such a case is still not considered to be fraud though. Simply because it still does what it supposed to do, just very slow and with very little effect. Only the so called "short wave" UV-C range is powerful enough! To avoid loosing business during the times of the biggest hype in 20 years no seller will actuall state the available wavelengths. That means without this info anywhere you can be certain the advertised lamp is of little to no use. Even those advertised to be short wave UV-C might not be the real deal. However, if a decent manufacturer is behind the actual lamp used it is possible to check the datasheet for these performance figures - but again most cheap systems come with no-name lamps inside. Check the prices for a reputable UV-C light with the same lamp fitting, e.g. G23 and you will see it might cost more than your entire system. Ok, you have a poper short wave UV-C lamp or consider getting a canister filter with one in it.... Never, ever test your lamp without proper protection!!!!! UV-C will damage your eye within seconds! If you system or lamp does not provide a viewing port or shine through area then you have to place a piece of glass between you and the light! UV-C won't be able to penetrate normal window glass but will pass through quartz glass. Place the lamp in a box and cover with the glass. How make proper use of UV-C sterilisation... The replacement lights are quite expensive, so let's see how to get the most out of them. As said before exposure is the key factor so the flow rate of the UV system must match tank size and flow rate of your filter system. Canister filters with a build in lamp should be designed to match but I will tell you later what to look for ;) Most of us will prefer to have a in-line system if there is already a good canister filter at work, so I will focus on those and rop in solutions. If you compare in-line system you might notice that some quite small and low power units claim to allow for the same flow rates as for example 40W units. Some are fraud and just want to sell while others use simple physics to make the claim true. A good system will utilise an auger like "ramp" that forces the water to circulate around the tube many times - causing up to ten times longer exposure rates. Others create this sprial effect more like a vortex with some diverters and modified inlets. The later seems to be less efficient though with low power lamps. An in-line system should be on the outlet side of your canister filter so the best quality water will pass through it. A drop in solution should be used alone and without the existing normal filter pump you might have in there. Ok, got it, but how do I actually use it now? Despite common thinking a UV-C system should not run 24/7 like your normal filter. You really only need it to solve problems you should not have in a healthy tank! It is not a magical solution to make your underlaying problems go away ;) Let's start with the most common reason someone buys a UV-C system: An algae or bacterial outbreak causing greenish or milky water. If that developed slowly over a period of weeks then you would be better off to do a good clean of the tank and filter plus a decent water exchange. A few drops of meds will do the rest. And if you constantly get algae growing on your glass, ornaments and plants then your nutrient levels and water quality is not right anyway and needs a good check. But of course there is also the problem of light - too much for too long and unwanted gree appears everywhere. If in doubt reduce the light power, shade out natural light or reduce the on time for your lights. Having said that we now face the problem of a sudden outbreak after introducing new fish or plants. If you don't have a quarantaine tank chances are that sooner or later you get unwanted or even harmful guest into your tank. Here the UV-C will be beneficial, which is why a canister filter with build in light should have a seperate switch or power supply for the light. After an outbreak or while introducing new life into your tank the UV-C will remove a lot of the things that we don't want to bring along. For new life I leave the light on non stop for a week, that is for a small 4ft tank with 200 liters. To control an outbreak it depends on how bad it is. I assume here you can still see the back of your tank  but that the water either appears greenish or slightly milky from bacteria. As a personal thing I prefer to to remove and clean my filter material before treating a severe outbreak. Once done I fill the filter with a mix of activate carbon material and fine filter wool. Reason for this quite simple: The outbreak causing stuff is already in your filter material and will be a constant source of re-infection. And since breaking down all this bad stuff causes even more bad stuff to be produced as biological waste we want to discard it properly once done. Using just fine filter wool and activated carbon also reduces the flow rate bit if compacted ;) Now we can turn on the light and pump and forget about it for a while. It is not recommended to run UV lights on a timer as you want them on all time to prevent short lifespan and have ongoing treatment of the water. Good idea to take a picture at the same of a day from now on to compare and check results. After 3 days the water should definately be clearer, if not then either your filter material is packed too losse or the lamp is no good. Once the water appears to be clear do a readin test - take a newspaper behind the tank and check if the text is clear - blurry means the water is still not clean. You will reach a point where the water quality will not further improve as much as in the days before. This is the time where you discard or clean out to dry your filter material and put the original stuff back in. The activated carbon should be discarded of course. You cleaned filter material will now need a certain time to grow enough good bacteria to go back to the old performance. During this time you should still leave the light on. In most cases with enough fish and plants in the tank a week should be sufficient. After that you can leave the light off and keep the tank fit and healthy. Special case: Algae everywhere! Especially after getting a new plant you can end up with quite pesty algae growth. Be it these long ghost hair types or in a bad case the black stuff growing on plants, ornaments and the glass. I have even seen tanks with algae covering the entire bottom of the tank causing the gravel to look like carpet. Here I can only advise to set up a quarantaine tank for your fish. Then remove all infested material for manual removal and cleaning. Infested plants should be cut clean and what can be boiled should be boiled in water for a few minutes. Now start scrubbing in the tank with ongoing water replacements. I prefer to let everything settle over night without any bubbler or pump running. This way I can suck up a lot of sediment the next day. If you can remove all plants and fish you can now use hydrogen peroxide and add it to your tank water. But this is only feasable for small desktop tanks. Before using the UV as above to cure an outbreak you should consider all water one last time. Allow at least 2 weeks with ongoing water checks before adding plants back in and another week before placing your fish back in the tank. The week before adding fish should be used to monitor the plats for any signs of algae you might have missed - if you find any remove it! A week after the fish is back in you can turn off the UV light. Underwater UV-C light!? In most online stores you will find quite cheap UV lights to be advertised as underwater or in tank use. Although it might sound tempting you should be well aware of the dangers of using them. The glass of your tank will block the harmfull UV rays but the water surface won't, so either don't ever look at it or use proper sunglasses with real UV protection. Apart from the dangers to you these lamps are not just cheap in price but also cheaply produced. That means there is no way of telling how much or how little UV-C is produced. If they are good then you still need to know in what type of tank setup you can use them. As plants can tolerate a bit of UV a placement as far away from the nearest plant should do, especially if you can place a bubble wall betwenn light and plants. The fish is another thing as some seem to be unaware of the danger in their tank. This means they can get too close to the light but I have not found any articles explaining how harmful UV-C is to fish or their eyesight. I guess once your fish starts to bounce into everything you know... ;) My advise is to stay away from the idea of hanging a UV-C lamp in your tank, the risk for you and your tank is just not justified. If you need to go cheap then get two or thre of these lamps so you have spares. But use them externally ;) Meaning: Take a UV proof plastic container of small size and place the light in there. To be really safe tape the lid and all holes for the hoses with black tape. Place the container above the water level of your tank and if you only have an internal filter pump push a suitable sized hose into the outlet to feed into you canister. Check how high you pump can make it and place the outlet or overflow slightly below this level. When to change the light? If you made it all the way down here then you might already had the benefit of using light to "cure" your tank. Now we are faced with the high replacement cost for the lamp itself. Ususally only flouroscent tubes are used. It is always good to check after purchase what type of lamp and manufacturer (if there is one) was used. In some cases the system itself is like an inkjet printer: Just a cheap way to make you buy the consumables. Let's say you new in-line filter was priced at $100 to have a nice round number, some are cheaper some much more expensive. The lamp used might be an exotic type and not even be available easy, so before you buy your system check where you can get spares, not just the lamp of course. A replacement lamp can be as ceap as 20 bucks or cost even more than your system if you need to order it elsewhere. The quartz glass sleeve can break too meaning you then need a lamp and cylinder. Going with a reputable brand and paying a bit more certainly helps to get spares in the future. Let's just assume you either got your system in bulk due to the price of replacement lamps or can get them at a reasonable price. UV-C lamps are not like your normal flouroscent light tubes you have around or maybe even on top of your tank. Consider them like the tubes used in the now unhealthy tanning beds. After a certain amount of time they no longer produce enough of the short wave UV light that we need. As you can't see it and most of us won't have the means to specifically measure it we have to trust manufacturers recommendations. For most good brands the numbers are the same: 8000 hours max. Considering the costs it does make sense to keep written track of the usage. Not too hard since we won't use them like normal lights but instead have them on for a week or more without turning them off. I recommend to have a replacement at hand long before you need it. A lamp can fail premature, crack or simply burn out. The 8000 hours are based on 24 hour usage, so one day on, one day off. This could mean for us the lifetime can be slightly longer but I would not go over 9000 hours. As a rule of thumb: If the water does not show good signs of getting clear on day thre the lamp is due.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply

Yuri's Night Bay Area: updated science/tech/art lineup announced

Prepare for Liftoff! Get ready for something entirely different. On April 13th the Bay Area joins the world in celebration of space exploration in a unique convergence of artists, scientists, astronauts, performers and musicians. Yuri's Night is a commemoration of humankind’s first venture into space, by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. This gathering bridges national, cultural, generational and social barriers to ignite excitement about what is new on the horizon in space exploration and to remind us of the magnificent feats humanity is capable of. Yuri's Night Bay Area will be held at Moffett Field in the NASA Ames Research Center's massive SOFIA hangar, home to the world's largest aerial observatory. Our host for the evening is pioneering space traveler Anousheh Anasari, the first privately funded female to reach orbit. She is joined by Dr. Chris McKay, world renowned expert in astrobiology and terraformation with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center, as they welcome you to a dazzling array of interactive art installations and science demos, interwoven with musical and acrobatic performances by some of the world's finest entertainers. Cutting-edge interactive technology and live demos will include: Neuro feedback games and visualizations including Telekinetic Asteroids and Mind RipplesExplorations of the world through NASA World Wind and Gigapan, the high-resolution panorama projectPortals into Second Life and Burning Man Earth, Google's Black Rock City browserA roofless stargazing lounge, with an exceptional telescope provided by NASASquidlabs' Instructables and ground-breaking kite technologyScience demonstrations and innovations from the worlds of robotics, engineering, biology and astronomy, will also be on display: A talk and interactive demos from a senior SETI scientist on efforts to detect earthquakes from spaceExplorations of Techgnosis by Erik DavisInteractive next-generation science data visualization software from NASA Ames' Astrophysics DivisionRobots from Justin Gray, Carnegie Mellon University, and NASA, including the next generation of roversExclusive heavenly imagery from SloohDisplays of microbial fossils, live microbial mats, and magnetic and fluorescent bacteriaASME's human-powered vehiclesEngage with space-inspired and technology-infused art installations, including: StarZipper, the 200 foot high installation powered by LEDs and Helium created by internationally renowned artist Michael Light and collaborator Dave RattrayPeter Foucault's self-propelled motion sensor Drawing RobotsSpot Draves' collaborative evolutionary high-definition visual algorithm generator, Electric SheepDynamically inflating sculptures by AKAirwaysHypKnowTron and ChakraTron, the interactive light sculptures by GaspoExperience rare video works documenting art in space: Matières Chorégraphiques by Kitsou Dubois, celebrated French dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Ki ProductionsProjects from the Zero Gravity Arts Consortium, Lowry Burgess's monumental project The Seed of the Infinite Absolute, Lorelei Lisowsky, and Frank Pietronigro's 'Drift Painting' in microgravityMeet Japan's space artist Ayako Ono and watch Jean Luc Soret's Space Art videos, direct from Paris's International @rt Outsiders Festival.The Documentary Dome, featuring our planet's greatest space documentariesWitness awe-inspiring space-themed performances by an armada of acrobats and dancers, featuring: KC Bella Fuega and Spiral Hoop Dance (orbital hooping and bellydance)Flowtoys (celestial light performance and UFO flowplanes)VigilAntiUP (intergalactic stilting)A Parade from the Future (with cutting edge Bay Area circuit benders and other worldly creatures).Live dance and acrobatics fused with audiovisual performances, will be coordinated with a world-class lineup of live electronic music: PLAID - Warp Records, UK TELEFON TEL AVIV - Hefty Records, Chicago (special early evening set) BLUETECH - Aleph Zero, Native State, Portland OOAH + BORETA - Glitch Mob, LA/SF SUTEKH - Context, Soul Jazz, Leaf MR. PROJECTILE & JONAH SHARP (aka SPACETIME CONTINUUM) - Merck, Reflective, Astralwerks RD - Designed Disorder, Glitch Mob, LA WELDER - Cyberset MOZAIC - Nexus DR. TOAST - False Profit Music environs will be complimented by a team of visual artists -- including KOSHO, CELESTINESTAR, RECURSIVEVIDEOLAB and VIBERATION -- spinning light into space throughout the night. Meanwhile, outside on the tarmac, the SPACE COWBOYS will have their own dynamic lineup of djs aboard their interstellar party transporter, the UNIMOG. Also on the tarmac will be Playaflies and Rabbit in the Moon's outside VJ set PLUS large scale sculpture and multimedia installations from the bay area's finest and beyond. This year’s theme is the greenification of space. The event is bio-diesel powered, a variety of organic food and drink will be available, waste products will be composted and recycled, and one tree will be planted for every ticket sold in an effort to offset the event's carbon emissions. Come join us in celebrating the accomplishments of mankind on a collective cosmic journey to the depths of space and beyond. Brought to you by Nexus, Symbiosis and so many others. *********************** Friday, April 13th, 2007 Event opens at 6:30pm NASA Ames Research Center* Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA, 94035 Tickets are on sale now. Limited $30 presale tickets still available, but not for long! Purchase advance tickets at: VIP tickets available. Privileges include: VIP room overlooking the main floor, open bar and food throughout the evening, a chance to meet silicon valley innovators and dynamic thinkers, exclusive Bay Area Yuri's Night memorabilia and much more to be announced. PLUS! Space Cadets are invited to go weightless and experience zero-gravity on Sunday, April 22, 2007! This unique VIP experience will provide you with a ZeroG flight flown from San Jose International Airport PLUS exclusive access to all Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 events. 3-2-1 Liftoff! VIP Flight Tickets $5,000.00 each. Email to reserve your seat today. Don't let this zero gravity opportunity to fly float by! As always, please check for the latest… Yuri's Night Bay Area Crew, Over and Out. End Transmission.++++++ Any special requirements for individuals with disabilities should be related to the event staff or security, and reasonable arrangements will promptly be made. An ADA/Handicap parking lot will be available and marked with signs. References to NASA Ames shall not be construed as official NASA approval or endorsement of any non-Governmental or commercial entity or activity.

Topic by lannanh