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I believe I’ll be getting this one for me and my older son to peruse.
Surprisingly, how bubbles form is poorly understood. It’s not an area that has received a lot of study. In fact, until recently, there wasn’t an established understanding of the physics of blowing bubbles.
The phenomenon, the researchers found, can be explained as a contest between the pressure the gas jet exerts on the film and the surface tension of the film, which resists any increase in curvature. Bubbles form when the jet’s pressure is large enough to deform the film into a hemispheric dimple of the same width as the jet. At that point, the film has reached its maximum curvature, and the bubble can fill with gas and float away.
From Science magazine comes news of a fungus which turns frogs into sexy zombies. And what, exactly, does it mean for a frog to be a sexy zombie? Well, “A fungal disease that has killed amphibians worldwide may be spreading by making the mating calls of infected males more attractive to females.”
The fungus, known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), causes disruptions of the immune system, destroys skin, and causes heart failure. And while there is evidence of some frog species adapting to the 40,000 year old fungus, others are being killed off due to lack of defenses. For more details on the fungus and its impact on amphibians, see the full article at Science magazine’s web site.