Luminescense Still Mystery to Science
by Calvin Frazer
ON DECEMBER 28, 1929, the British steamship Talma was off the eastern shores of the Bay of Bengal, en route from Calcutta to the Far East. The weather was calm and clear. Toward seven in the evening an extraordinary display of luminosity was seen in the surrounding sea.
“At first,” says the captain’s report, “what appeared like small globules of phosphorescence rising from below and breaking at the surface were observed. Later these assumed an appearance almost like flashes of lightning under the water, which rapidly formed into regular beams, curved as the curved spokes of a wheel might be, and of a width at the ship of about 30 feet.
SCIENCE NEWS of is MONTH
Chemical of Rage is Discovered.
WHEN we become roused to anger, the adrenal or suprarenal glands, above the kidneys, pour substance into the blood which stimulates the activity of the body; in the more active animals, like the big cats, these glands are especially developed. Physicians at the University of Toronto find a similar property in the drug ergotoxin, which produces tension of the muscles and nerves, with resulting glaring expression. Here is another drug to be added to the vices of mankind.
Unlocking Fortunes from Atoms
by Jay Earle Miller
Now that chemists have discovered the last element, it remains for the research worker to find practical uses for substances which are at present mere laboratory curiosities. Somebody will make a fortune one of these days by finding ways of using gallium, germanium, tellurium, and many other “unpopular” elements.
THE last missing thing that goes to make up our known world was detected recently. Almost simultaneously the next to the last of the ninety-two elements, which had been located last year, was isolated in the form of a metal, and isolation of the last may be expected shortly.
Just How ‘Human’ Are Apes, Anyway?
From a Malayan jungle comes a strange story that may prove they’re more like us than not.
By Lester David
A SCIENTIFIC discovery of global importance may stem from the dark and wild jungleland of Northern Malaya. Here is the bizarre series of events which led to an exciting hunt now in progress: A native workman was tapping a rubber tree on an outlying plantation a few months ago when he felt a pair of strong arms encircling his waist. Startled, he whirled around and stared squarely into the grinning face of a creature half-ape, half-human, whose lips were drawn back over protruding fangs.
Compass Needle is Unreliable
“TRUE as the needle to the pole”
says an old song, meaning that the sailor could depend on the compass pointing out true north. But when Christopher Columbus made his famous first voyage, he found out that the compass does not point in the same direction, in various parts of the world. It then pointed north in Europe, but not in America. And now it points north in America, but not in Europe. Furthermore, there are local variations, due to unknown causes.
Giant Molecules: the Machinery of Inheritance
How Genetics, Youthful Science of Inheritance, Has produced Billions of Dollars of Wealth . . . Big Things that Boil Down to the Minutest Controls.
By BARCLAY MOON NEWMAN
THE remarkable discoveries in the youthful science of inheritance, genetics, have been applied to animal and plant breeding throughout civilization—and with almost incredible success. As regards the United States alone, during the past 30 years, even a conservative estimate of the cash value of the practical application of genetic findings would have to run into billions of dollars. Far greater yields of grains, fruits, vegetables, and cotton; far higher quality both in domestic plants and domestic animals of every description and their products, including milk, meat, eggs, and wool; increased and sometimes perfect resistance to disease; entirely new commercial varieties; and the lessening of the chances of famine: all these are in this story of science.
Radium ~ Science’s Most Mysterious Servant
Radium, the most mysterious element of science, is now accomplishing amazing feats in medicine and engineering. New uses for this marvelous substance are described here.
by ALFRED ALBELLI
FAR off in the isolated hamlet of Cabri, situated in a remote part of the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, a woman suffering from cancer listened to her physician solemnly pronounce her death-knell.
“Madame,” he said, in the somber note of a doctor who must admit that he cannot cope with the unfathomable ravages of Nature, “I am helpless. Our battle is done. There’s only one possible means of saving your life. It is radium.”
Name Elements 99 and 100
Two great scientists who died within the last year, Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi, have been honored by the naming of elements 99 einsteinium and 100 fermium. The symbol for einsteinium is plain E, that for fermium, Fm. Now all discovered elements are named, since 101 was previously named mendelevium after the Russian, D. Mendeleev, who announced the periodic system of the elements in 1869.
“Certain astronomers have suggested that the whole phenomenon of novae is due to collapse of the star, and that the energy released in the explosion was produced by compression within. They argue that the nova is a stage in the star’s evolution, the outburst marking one last splurge before it settles down to enjoy a lengthy old age.
The second outburst of T Coronae, however, clearly proves that the collapse theory is wrong.”
It is true that the nova on T Coronae Borealis which is a recurrent nova was not due to gravitational collapse of the star. However the other supernova they talk about, “Tycho’s Star“, is actually a type Ia supernova and was caused by the collapse of a white dwarf.
When Suns Explode
Ours seems sturdy, but bursting stars reveal illness of others.
By DONALD H. MENZEL
Professor of Astrophysics, Harvard University AN EXPLODING star is not news. Dozens of stars blow up each year, increasing: their brilliance 10,000 times or more. Most of them, however, are extremely faint before the outburst, and even at peak brightness are not visible to the naked eye. Really bright objects are rare. But when a star bursts twice in a century-that is astronomical news! It gives us significant scientific information about such stars.
THE AMATEUR SCIENTIST
On the fascination of microscopy and some curious amateur observations of the moon.
Conducted by Albert G. Ingalls
ADAM’S lack of foresight when he named the creatures of the earth (Genesis 2:19) certainly made things difficult for his scientific descendants. If he had made a list of the animals as he named them, how easy it would now be, for instance, to label a microscope slide! As it is, the rediscovery and renaming of the world’s organisms has been slow, painful work. Aristotle knew about 520 animals and Theophrastus could identify approximately the same number of plants.