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Chips without fats as tasty as normal ones thanks to a new discovery

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French fries, those found at the supermarket, are one of the most popular snacks ever by the public but bad luck has it that they are characterized by a non-negligible fat content.

There are also “modified” versions with a smaller quantity of fats but this characteristic is usually obtained at the expense of the vegetable oil content, an essential element that gives the flavor to the fries themselves and provides that crunching sensation in the mouth so loved.

A group of researchers, led by Stefan Baier (researcher at PepsiCo during the study) and by Jason Stokes of the University of Queensland have therefore developed a technique to analyze the physical characteristics of the chips from the moment they are placed in the mouth until ingestion. Specifically, they analyzed the chips during four phases: the first bite, grinding by the teeth, bolus formation and swallowing.

They then collected various data including the one related to the oil content in each of the four phases. They then used this information to design low-fat chips covered with a thin layer of oil which in turn contained a small amount of emulsifier. This special “Recipe” made the potato chip more similar to the normal one, which is the one with fat, at least according to the participants in the tasting tests.

This potato chip is characterized by only 0.5% more oil than oil or fat-free chips.

Needless to say, this discovery could be used to market fats without fats that have the same taste and the same crunchiness as normal ones.

Bill Stern

I am a professor of Biology at Marquette University and the founder of The Chunk. Throughout my life I have always had a strong interest in science and learning more about how the world works, and have always wanted to eventually become a science popularizer and educator myself. The Chunk, along with my responsibilities as a professor, is my attempt at improving science education and literacy.

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New fabric allows you to control electronic devices through clothes

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A new garment fabric that “allows users to control electronic devices through clothing” was developed by a group of researchers at Purdue University.

The same researchers underline the importance of this study as it is the first time that an efficient technique is shown to create a self-feeding fabric that can contain sensors or even displays using simple embroideries without resorting to the expensive processes that are necessary today to insert electronics or sensors of any kind in clothes, as reported by Ramses Martinez, professor at Purdue and one of the authors of the study which appeared in Advanced Functional Materials.

The fabrics created by Purdue scientists can in fact be resistant to water, and therefore to rain, and can be antibacterial as well as breathable but at the same time they can collect energy from the user himself to feed the electronics embedded in the fabric.

The technology is based on the omniphobic triboelectric nanogenerators (RF-TENG) thanks to which it was possible to incorporate tiny electronic components into the garment.

“It’s like having a wearable remote control that also keeps odors, rain, stains and bacteria away from the user,” the researchers report.

Bill Stern

I am a professor of Biology at Marquette University and the founder of The Chunk. Throughout my life I have always had a strong interest in science and learning more about how the world works, and have always wanted to eventually become a science popularizer and educator myself. The Chunk, along with my responsibilities as a professor, is my attempt at improving science education and literacy.

3560 Sycamore Lake Road, Mayville Wisconsin, 53050
920-387-9926
[email protected]
Bill Stern
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Mass of a huge supermassive black hole calculated with precision by astronomers

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What happens in a black hole? It is not yet known whether the theories are different. For the moment we have to settle for studying what happens in the “sphere of influence” of a black hole, ie the inner region closest to the “edge” of the black hole itself which is not part of the event horizon, that area beyond the which also the light can no longer leave.

A group of scholars is going to use this with the Aracama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) to study this specific region of influence of the supermassive black hole located in the center of the galaxy NGC 3258. The latter is an elliptical galaxy that is located at a distance of about 100 million light-years from us.

The researchers determined the “weight” of the supermassive black hole: 2.25 billion solar masses. This is the most massive black hole measured with ALMA and one of the most massive but identified.

Researchers have shown that with this telescope it is possible to “map the rotation of gaseous discs around supermassive black holes with extraordinary details,” as reported by Benjamin Boizelle, a researcher at Texas A&M University as well as the principal author of the study published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Thanks to these “extraordinary details,” they calculated the weight of the black hole with a precision of better than 1%, a measurement that is considered as one of the most precise black hole mass measurements ever made for a black hole beyond outside the Milky Way.

The same data also shows that the speed of rotation of the disk around the black hole ranges from one million miles per hour in the outer edge, located at a distance of about 500 light-years from the black hole, up to three million miles per hour in the most central regions, at a distance of just 65 light-years from the black hole.

Bill Stern

I am a professor of Biology at Marquette University and the founder of The Chunk. Throughout my life I have always had a strong interest in science and learning more about how the world works, and have always wanted to eventually become a science popularizer and educator myself. The Chunk, along with my responsibilities as a professor, is my attempt at improving science education and literacy.

3560 Sycamore Lake Road, Mayville Wisconsin, 53050
920-387-9926
[email protected]
Bill Stern
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Blue sharks use hot water swirls to dive into the depths of the sea and feed themselves

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An interesting discovery concerning the behavior of blue sharks was carried out by a research group from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Applied Physics Lab of the University of Washington (UW). According to the researchers, these fish use marine vortices, whirling currents that can be generated underwater, to descend into the corpuscular areas of the sea faster, almost accelerating, in order to feed and capture more prey.

In this oceanic layer, according to the researchers, located between 200 and 1000 meters deep, there is the largest fish biomass of any other marine area. The researchers came to this conclusion using locators attached to the body of a dozen blue sharks off the northeastern coast of the United States. The nine-month monitoring showed the scientists that blue sharks used sea vortices with a particular ability to sling hundreds of feet below the surface.

Here they also spent more than an hour looking for food basically composed of small fish or squid and then returning to the surface to warmer waters. Once heated the own body, they returned to accomplish this movement projecting in depth. These movements occurred mostly during the day, as specified by Camrin Braun, UW ocean ecologist and lead author of the study.

It is a behavior similar to that of white sharks that, unlike the blue sharks, are warm-blooded animals.

White sharks use a combination of hot and cold water eddies to dash into twilight areas while blue sharks, cold-blooded animals, rely exclusively on hot water vortices, as Braun explains: “Blue sharks they cannot regulate their body temperature internally to stay warmer than seawater like white sharks do. We think this is why they show a clear preference for hot water vortices – it removes a thermal constraint for deep dives.”

Bill Stern

I am a professor of Biology at Marquette University and the founder of The Chunk. Throughout my life I have always had a strong interest in science and learning more about how the world works, and have always wanted to eventually become a science popularizer and educator myself. The Chunk, along with my responsibilities as a professor, is my attempt at improving science education and literacy.

3560 Sycamore Lake Road, Mayville Wisconsin, 53050
920-387-9926
[email protected]
Bill Stern
Continue Reading

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