Building a better cup of coffee
The brave new world of coffee? Think genetics.
UC Davis geneticist Juan Medrano is known for his research on the genetics of milk (and the effect it has on humans), but recently has turned his research efforts towards coffee.
The goal is to understand the variability of coffee genes at the DNA level. This would allow Medrano and others to accurately identify genetic forces that contribute to certain flavors as well as the crucial factor of disease resistance.
The key is to identify the gene regulators that are related to flavor and other qualities, such as how coffee feels in the mouth. Gene regulators are involved in controlling the expression of other genes.
Other variables, like altitude can be crucial in coffee growing. Coffee flavor and aromas change significantly with changes in altitude, as temperature and microclimates vary greatly. The higher-altitude coffees are generally of better cupping quality, Medrano explains.
Drawing a curve, using only straight lines.
1. draw 2 intersecting lines.
2. mark off an equal number equidistant of tick marks on both axes.
3. connect opposite tick marks with a straight line (lowest on the vertical axis with the furthest on the horizontal axis).
optional: using your daughter’s school supplies while “helping” with her homework.
Apollo 15 Moon Rock. Brought to Earth on August 7, 1971.
(at Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)
A core-collapse, or Type II, supernova occurs in massive stars when they can no longer sustain fusion. For most of their lives, stars produce energy by fusing hydrogen into helium. Eventually, the hydrogen runs out and the core contracts until it reaches temperatures hot enough to cause the helium to fuse into carbon. This process repeats through to heavier elements, producing a pre-collapse star with onion-like layers of elements with the heaviest elements near the center. When the core consists mostly of nickel and iron, fusion will come to an end, and the core’s next collapse will trigger the supernova. When astronomers observed Supernova 1987A, the closest supernova in more than 300 years, models predicted that the onion-like layers of the supernova would persist after the explosion. But observations showed core materials reaching the surface much faster than predicted, suggesting that turbulent mixing might be carrying heavier elements outward. The images above show several time steps of a 2D simulation of this type of supernova. In the wake of the expanding shock wave, the core materials form fingers that race outward, mixing the fusion remnants. Hydrodynamically speaking, this is an example of the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability, in which a shock wave generates mixing between fluid layers of differing densities. (Image credit: K. Kifonidis et al.; see also B. Remington)
Workers clean oil offshore after spill on Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Credit: Reuters/Bettmann Newsphotos
Who is to blame for the devastating and still expanding impact of the 10.9 million gal oil spill let loose two months ago in Alaska’s pristine Prince William Sound?
Fingers point obviously to Exxon, owner of the tanker Exxon Valdez that hit Bligh Reef at four minutes after midnight on Good Friday, March 24, and started the disaster. However, there is more than enough blame to go around for Exxon, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., and federal and state governments, says a report just sent to President Bush by William K. Reilly, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Samuel K. Skinner, Secretary of Transportation.
“Government and industry plans, individually and collectively, proved to be wholly insufficient to control an oil spill of the magnitude of the Exxon Valdez incident,” the report finds. “Initial industry efforts to get equipment on scene were unreasonably slow, and once deployed the equipment could not cope with the spill. Moreover, the various contingency plans did not refer to each other or establish a workable response command hierarchy. This resulted in confusion and delayed the cleanup.”
Alaska Oil Spill: Cleanup efforts found slow, confused
Ferrofluid on top of a strong magnet forms peaks which follow the magnetic field.