Posts filed under ‘General Science’
While the petrolium fuel price is skyrocketing with no end in sight, the search for a reliable alternative energy source is essential. Hydrogen is one of the most popular candidates.
So how does a hydrogen fuel cell work? (more…)
PLA = polylactic acid, is made from fermented plant (mostly corn) starch and considered a better alternative than the traditional petroleum-based plastic, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), used to make bottles. To make PLA, dextrose is extracted from corn starch, and them lactic acid is produced as a by-product in a fermentation process. Lactic acid is converted to lactide. The molecules then link together to form polymers that are polylactic acid. Therefore, PLA comes from a renewable carbon source, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and it does not release toxic gas when incinerated. The idea has been around for decades, but thanks to the technology that can now produce 1 pound of PLA for less than $1, more retailers are looking into PLA as their packaging option.
Don’t get too excited just yet. (more…)
Source: Scientific American’s No Fair! My Serotonin Level Is Low
In the last post, we found out that serotonin controls appetite and metabolism. In fact, 80% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. But the neurotransmitter has many more functions, including roles in depression, anger, sleep, etc. Now the scientists have discovered that it can also affect the perception of fairness.
The subjects in the experiment are offered an amount of money that has been unevenly split. Normally, people would reject lowball offers like 20% or 30% of the money. When the subjects are depleted of serotonin, they turn down even 80% of the money, indicating that their judgement of fairness is seriously skewed.
Serotonin influences so many emotions that it is difficult to pinpoint a single function to study. It is amazing how a small chemical can affect our body, mind, and life.
In response to Blogging — It’s Good for You from Scientific American:
I have been writing blogs since 2004, both in Chinese and English. I maintain multiple blogs to share different aspects of my many interests with the world, including music, movie, literature, science, and most importantly, life. I always find writing to be very therapeutic. When I feel disheartened, I write something, anything, to lift it off my chest. I always feel better soon after. Unlike a personal journal, a blog is an open medium. When I get feedback from my friends or even random visitors from the web, I feel excited and enoucraged to keep on writing. I never doubt the emotional and psychological benefit of blogging.
But now apparently blogging is good for you physically as well. (more…)
We used to think that creativity is a gift that some of us are born with. But apparently it can be trained and developed. We can capture and cultivate inspirations from our surroundings, but the environment could also have a negative impact on creativity. (more…)