I am pretty pleased by the fact the Frank Lloyd Wright of all people built a gas station hundreds of miles from a major city in Minnesota.
Better put a ring on it. Abell 33. Created when an aging star blew off its outer layers, this beautiful blue bubble is aligned with a foreground star and bears an uncanny resemblance to a diamond engagement ring. This cosmic gem is unusually symmetric, appearing to be almost circular.
Beautiful ‘flowers’ self-assemble in a beaker
With the hand of nature trained on a beaker of chemical fluid, the most delicate flower structures have been formed in a Harvard laboratory—and not at the scale of inches, but microns.
These minuscule sculptures, curved and delicate, don’t resemble the cubic or jagged forms normally associated with crystals, though that’s what they are. Rather, fields of carnations and marigolds seem to bloom from the surface of a submerged glass slide, assembling themselves a molecule at a time.
By simply manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, Wim L. Noorduin, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and lead author of a paper appearing on the cover of the May 17 issue of Science, has found that he can control the growth behavior of these crystals to create precisely tailored structures.
“For at least 200 years, people have been intrigued by how complex shapes could have evolved in nature. This work helps to demonstrate what’s possible just through environmental, chemical changes,” says Noorduin.
Helicoprion is a genus of prehistoric shark-like fish that lived from the late Carboniferous to the Permian mass extinction, 310 to 250 million years ago. They are distinguished by spiral clusters of teeth, called ‘tooth whorls’. These structures may have functioned to allow the teeth to be continually regenerated throughout life. Because these animals had skeletons made of cartilage, not much else in known about their body structure or lifestyle.