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YouTube / Ri Channel

Why X-ray Crystallography Matters

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YouTube / Ri Channel

I think we can all agree that X-rays are cool, and crystals are, if not cool, at least interesting. X-ray crystallography is a scientific technique in which, you guessed it, X-rays are beamed through crystals, revealing the atomic and molecular structure of those crystals. It has resulted in 28 Nobel Prizes so far, and the technique is now even being used by the Curiosity rover on Mars.

In this video, Ri Channel celebrates X-ray crystallography:

Mentioned early in the video is Lawrence Bragg. Want to see him doing a bizarre demo with sand starting in the late 1950s? Check out this video, also from Ri Channel:

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Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
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Animals
These Strange Sea Spiders Breathe Through Their Legs
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Sylke Rohrlach, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

We know that humans breathe through their lungs and fish breathe through their gills—but where exactly does that leave sea spiders?

Though they might appear to share much in common with land spiders, sea spiders are not actually arachnids. And, by extension, they don't circulate blood and oxygen the way you'd expect them to, either.

A new study from Current Biology found that these leggy sea dwellers (marine arthropods of the class Pycnogonida) use their external skeleton to take in oxygen. Or, more specifically: They use their legs. The sea spider contracts its legs—which contain its guts—to pump oxygen through its body.

Somehow, these sea spiders hardly take the cake for Strangest Spider Alive (especially because they're not actually spiders); check out, for instance, our round-up of the 10 strangest spiders, and watch the video from National Geographic below:

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iStock
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Food
How to Make Perfect Fried Chicken, According to Chemistry
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iStock

Cooking amazing fried chicken isn’t just art—it’s also chemistry. Learn the science behind the sizzle by watching the American Chemical Society’s latest "Reactions" video below.

Host Kyle Nackers explains the three important chemical processes that occur as your bird browns in the skillet—hydrolysis, oxidation, and polymerization—and he also provides expert-backed cooking hacks to help you whip up the perfect picnic snack.

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