Science Says Don't Pee in the Pool

Favorite
Science Says Don't Pee in the Pool
- -
We've all heard it a zillion times: don't pee in the pool. But why?

Urine contains uric acid, which, when in contact with chlorine, creates cyanogen chloride and trichloramine. These chemicals are bad for your lungs and can cause irritation, especially in indoor pools. So, for the greater good of us all, only pee where other living things pee (ocean: check, forest: check, etc.)!

Could We Make Humans Resistant to HIV?

Favorite
Could We Make Humans Resistant to HIV?
- -
The technique, which is still in experimental stages, takes advantage of a rare mutation that makes one percent of people of European descent resistant to HIV.

Using a new "genome editing" tool, researchers are hoping to be able to insert the mutation into the cells of other people - and they've already proved the basic principles work using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), Peter Aldhous reports for New Scientist.

The new genome editing technique is much more precise than tradition forms of genetic engineering, as it places a sequence of gene into a pre-designated area of the genome, rather than at random locations. By using this technique, researchers led by Yuet Kan from the University of California, San Francico, have managed to alter the genome of iPSCs, which can turn into any cell in the body. As predicted, when the scientists grew these iPSCs into white blood cells, they were resistant to HIV.

NASA's Preliminary Design of a Ship With a "Warp Drive." It's Called the Enterprise.

Favorite
NASA's Preliminary Design of a Ship With a "Warp Drive." It's Called the Enterprise.
- -
NASA engineer and physicist Harold White announced a few years ago that he was working on a potentially groundbreaking idea that could allow space travel faster than the speed of light. Yes, like in "Star Trek."

And now, to boldly go where no designer has gone before, Mark Rademaker — who is collaborating with White — has created a CGI design concept for the "warp ship." They're calling it the IXS Enterprise.

"We wanted to have a decent image of a theory conforming Warp ship to motivate young people to pursue a STEM career," Rademaker said in an e-mail interview. "It does have some Sci-Fi features that might never transfer to a possible final design, unless we really want to."