Jan. 29, 2013

Flatow File: Spider Webs, Tractor Beams, and Beer

by Ira Flatow

Click to enlarge images
This week, I'm focusing on some really geeky—I should say Benjie*—research that caught my eye. Be ready for some gorgeous graphics and hi-tech talk. 
  • How the Spider Catches the Fly - Spider silk is among the strongest materials found in nature—pound for pound stronger than steel. Now, for the first time, scientists at Arizona State University have been able to probe and understand all the important properties and interactions of an intact spider web. 
  • Scientists Turn Light Into Tractor Beam - For you Star Trek fans who have been dying to build your own tractor beam (to lock on to wayward star ships) you'll be pleased to know that scientists are making progress in that field, if only on the microscopic level. Gizmag has the details of the research published in Nature Photonics. Live long and prosper.   
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  • Could Beer Hops Help Cure Cancer? - Home Alone was a popular movie. But a humalone is a substance in beer that helps give its bitter taste. In a paper by researchers including Dr. Werner Kaminsky at the University of Washington, the authors point out that while humalones have "documented health benefits," until the "handedness" (which concerns molecular strucure) of the compound was understood, its real medicinal benefits could not be explored. Now it is...and now they can. If you're considering testing the healthful claims of beer, the authors point out, "Excessive beer consumption cannot be recommended to propagate good health."  
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*Benjie - A term to replace "geek." Named after Benjamin Franklin, it denotes a more holistic view of technology encompassing not just the appreciation of the technical concept but its intrinsic beauty and place in nature. 
About Ira Flatow

Ira is the host and executive producer of Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.
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                                                 ^
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Entity: line 1: parser error : SYSTEM or PUBLIC, the URI is missing

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Code:
line 1: package tmpevalpackage;
line 2: sub doEval { 
line 3: 	my($parent);
line 4: 	
line 5: 	if($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'SEGMENT.nickname'}) {
line 6: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'SEGMENT.nickname'};
line 7: 	}
line 8: 	elsif($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'VIDEO.nickname'}) {
line 9: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'VIDEO.nickname'};
line 10: 	}
line 11: 	elsif($LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'DOCUMENT.nickname'}) {
line 12: 		$parent = $LayoutManager::url_resolved_values{'DOCUMENT.nickname'}
line 13: 	}
line 14: 	
line 15: 	if($parent) {
line 16: 		my(@books) = &Database::SelectClause('BOOK',"parent = $parent");
line 17: 		if(!@books) {
line 18: 			$parent = '';
line 19: 		}
line 20: 	}
line 21: 	
line 22: 	if(!$parent) {
line 23: 		my(@sel) = &Database::SelectClause('GLOBAL','record all ""');
line 24: 		if(@sel) {
line 25: 			$parent = 'GLOBAL.' . $sel[0];
line 26: 		}
line 27: 			$main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "FEATURED READING";
line 28: 	}
line 29: 	
line 30: 	 = '';
line 31: 	
line 32: 	if($parent) {
line 33: 		my(@books) = &Database::SelectClause('BOOK',"parent = $parent");
line 34: 		0 = 0;
line 35: 		my $dots;
line 36: 		foreach(@books) {
line 37: 			my(%data);
line 38: 			&Database::GetRow($_,'BOOK',\%data);
line 39: 			my($status,$title,$author,$url,$image,$width,$height) = &SciFri::Schema::getAmazonItem($data{'isbn'});
line 40: 			if($data{'title'}) {
line 41: 				$title = $data{'title'};
line 42: 			}
line 43: 			if($data{'author'}) {
line 44: 				$author = $data{'author'};
line 45: 			}
line 46: 			if($status eq 'ok') {
line 47: 				 .= "<div class=\"box-2x1-item box-slide\" data-href=\"$url\">";
line 48: 				 .= "	<div class=\"box-2x1-item-photo\">";
line 49: 				 .= "		<div class=\"image-wrapper\" data-jsclass=\"imageWrapper\" data-align=\"right\">";
line 50: 				 .= "			<img src=\"$image\" data-width=\"$width\" data-height=\"$height\">";
line 51: 				 .= "		</div>";
line 52: 				 .= "	</div>";
line 53: 				 .= "	<h4>$title</h4>";
line 54: 				if($author) {
line 55: 					 .= "	<p>by $author</p>";
line 56: 				}
line 57: 				 .= "	<div class=\"box-2x1-more-button\"><a href=\"$url\"><img src=\"/images/v1/icon_text_more_white.png\" width=47 height=15 border=0></a></div>";
line 58: 				 .= "</div>";
line 59: 				++0;
line 60: 			}
line 61: 		}
line 62: 	}
line 63: 	if($parent eq "GLOBAL.1") { $main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "FEATURED READING"; }
line 64: 	else { $main::ENV{'reading_header'} = "RELATED READING"; }
line 65:  };
line 66: &doEval();
line 67: 1;

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