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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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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.