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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
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ScienceShot: Spitting for Science
10 June 2010 4:36 pm
Drop a glob of spit on your index finger, press your thumb on top of it, and slowly pull your thumb away. See those little beads that appear as the spit stretches between your digits? Scientists have finally figured out why they form. They reported online 6 June in Nature Physics that a computer model reveals that saliva and other fluids such as shaving cream contain long polymer chains that, when stretched, form beads. Water and other fluids don't contain polymers and don't form the beads. For the beads to form the fluid's inertia has to be large enough and its viscosity small enough, the researchers say. The information could be used to prevent those annoying beads of ink that smear all over documents from inkjet printers. Something to remember the next time you spit on your finger. And don't forget to wash your hands.
See more ScienceShots.