Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Curie Temperature

The Curie Temperature is a material specific temperature, where thermal motion of dipoles in a ferromagnetic material overcomes forces aligning the dipoles. Above this temperature dipoles do not align and the material looses its ability to be attracted to a magnet. Interestingly this temperature effect is sharp (I have no idea why) and thus leads to some interesting demonstrations.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not Exactly Rocket Science - Ed Yong

As a continuation of shout-outs to awesome sources of online science snacks, I would like to mention Ed Yong's Not Exactly Rocket Science (NERS) blog. The blog has been active for almost as long as the Bayblab and has changed locations on a couple of occasions. It is currently being hosted at national geographic phenomena, where they also host the complete back catalogue of NERS posts, and which also hosts a few other awesome science blogs. NERS articles are entertaining, accurate and full of links, so it is a good starting place for some science surfing.
In a recent example of an interesting article at NERS, Ed Yong writes about the effects of the gut microbiome on cancer drug efficacy. Ed puts together the work of two groups and simplifies the case for a major role for gut bacteria in modulating anti-cancer treatments in mice. NERS is definitely worth a bookmark if you want to keep up to date on interesting and surprising findings like these.