Monthly Archives: November 2013
This might be approximately the coolest thing I’ve heard in a while…
First a little background. When a meteor strikes the Earth and actually reaches the surface, creating a crater, there is an immense amount of heat and pressure during the impact–so much, in fact, that clumps of glass can form. Scientists have recently dissected the remnants of the 800,000 year old Darwin Crater and discovered clumps of glass that contain completely preserved organic compounds. These compounds suggest that when the meteor came, it hit a swampy area and when that happened, glass was created and somehow captured tiny particles from that ancient swamp, preserving them indefinitely within the glass.
Trust me, this is cool. When a meteor impacts occurs, it blasts pieces of itself and pieces of Earth off into space. These pieces can then travel vast distances to the moon or even other planets… Yes. You heard that right. Meteor impacts on planets that have life could potentially transport organic compounds to other planets–essentially seeding planets with some of the components necessary for life! (This is referred to as panspermia by sciencey people). With that knowledge, it is reasonable to hypothesize that life on Earth may have originated in a similar fashion.
Okay, I’m going to stop before I hurt myself… Thinking about how life created itself from just a bunch of organic molecules and compounds messes with my brain.
It seems that the world’s recent obsession with vampires has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be. In the coincidence of all coincidences, scientists in Transylvania are making progress on an artificial blood substitute. Apparently vampires decided that they don’t actually like having to bite people to get blood and would prefer to just make it themselves…
Back in real life, artificial blood is one of the holy grails of science. If it can be created with an unlimited expiration date with no possibility of rejection or immune response it would change the way emergency room surgery works today. The days of needing the Red Cross would be over, and serious cases of blood loss could be fixed almost instantaneously.
I imagine that creating a working substitute for blood will not be the end. Once we can create an equal to our natural nutrient and oxygen transportation system, we will look to improve it. Eventually, we will have artificial blood that is more efficient than our own blood. Potentially/theoretically, with more efficient blood the heart muscle may not need to work as hard, reducing fatal heart diseases. Along those same lines, if we can develop artificial blood that will only clot under certain circumstances than we could avoid blocking arteries altogether.
The potential here is enormous! Unfortunately, it’s still a ways away. Check it out here: http://www.newser.com/story/177041/transylvania-scientist-ive-made-blood.html