Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 4:22 pm
Most of us don't really give it a second thought: We turn on the tap, pour a glass of water and drink it down. But the U.S. has experienced a number of water-related problems this year, from the toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie to a massive water main break in Los Angeles that spilled 20 million gallons of water, and a chemical spill into West Virginia's Elk River that fouled the drinking water supply.
Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 4:57 pm
Explore the soft, smooth-looking surface of a butterfly wing through an electron microscope and you'll see it's actually covered in rugged, textured scales that overlap like shingles on a roof.
Zoom in even more, to the nano scale, and you'll find a labyrinth of hard, transparent architecture — pillars, ridges, archways, and sometimes even spiral loop-the-loops, all made of chitin, the same material that makes crab shells so tough.