ResearchBlogging editor's selections: wee beer beasties, war mathematics, guillotines for snow, and nematode bomb sniffers

Sep 13 2010 Published by under General science, Science news

skyskull "Dr. SkySkull" selects several notable posts each week from a miscellany of categories. He blogs at Skulls in the Stars.

  • Spontaneous fermentation: the role of microorganisms in beer. The brewing of beer by necessity employs the action of microorganisms, specifically yeast. In the past, however, when the concoctions were not prepared in a sterile environment, other wee beasties could infiltrate the mix, including antibiotic-forming bacteria! In a fascinating post, Katie Kline of EcoTone discusses early brewing processes and their contaminants, both good and bad.
  • The mathematics of war. War might seem like the last place for a mathematician, but Aimee of misc.ience discusses recent research done using "open source intelligence" -- and some counter-intuitive conclusions that are drawn from it!
  • Snow, water, digital imaging, metamorphism…and a guillotine! How does a geoscientist measure the dissolution/melting and precipitation/freezing of water in a thick layer of snow? By using a guillotine, of course! Anne Jefferson of Highly Allochtonous discusses this unusual-sounding technique.
  • Detecting explosives with nematodes. Nematodes -- which include the creatures that cause heartworm in dogs -- are just plain icky. As Michael Long of Phased explains, however, they may play a future role in bomb detection technology!

Check back next week for more miscellaneous suggestions!

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