Dec 062016
 
post apocolypse

As the catalyst for the next world war waits patiently in the draft message section of Donald Trump’s twitter account, the world can rest assured that academics are able to ignore imminent global destruction as well as they are able to ignore imminent unemployment.

Considering the majority of tweeting is done from the privacy of a toilet, I take perverted solace in the fact that Donald Trump’s gold plated and diamond bejeweled toilet is ground zero of diplomatic tensions.

Hopefully, before the world is brought into disrepair in 140 characters, we would at least have the science to improve the chances we have of surviving. This would, in an ideal world, include the generation of personal energy (so we don’t have to fight with sharpened stones for whale fat and ear wax candles) and turning wee into drinking water. By the way, when world war 3 eventually breaks out I will not think twice about offering a sexual service in exchange for protection and access to water.

Researchers from The University of New South Wales, Sydney (the city containing the opera house and Hugh Jackman’s virginity) have made a new type of “trendy” solar cell more efficient.

The type of solar cell that these researchers are perfecting are called perovskites (pronounced “fan-see so-lar-sell”). Even though they sound like a leading Russian mafia family, these solar cells are trending in the same way man-buns were a thing. They’re the latest type of solar cell to get researchers wet in the pant region as they have the potential for use in flexible applications such as solar powered vibrating wank mitts.

Speaking at an excuse to get drunk and flirt with your post-docs, also known as the Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference in Canberra, Anita Ho-Baillie, a Senior Research Fellow announced that her team at UNSW has achieved the highest efficiency rating with the largest perovskite solar cells to date. Luckily, the researchers didn’t have to write a paper to get the news of this achievement out there – papers are boring to write. Even though Dr Ho-Baille was happy about the result, her boss looked like he’d just been asked about his erectile dysfunction:

sad looking academic

I’d tell you the numbers but no one gives a shit about the actual efficiency in a quantifiable way. Let’s face it, you’ll be telling someone about this excellent blog post and say “it was, like, um, higher than other ones…I forget the value” – so just say that.

References

  1. Trendy solar cells hit new world efficiency record, UNSW Newsroom
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161201114543.htm

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Nov 082016
 
Trump Stupid Smile

As the US presidential battle comes to an end, we will soon be able to look back in awe at the sorts of commentaries provided by Trump supporters in the name of “Making America Great Again”. They were able to say all sorts of horrible things and get away with it. Unfortunately, in the land free speech, the opinions of these misguided individuals curdle the avocado and tofu scramble in my stomach.

One example of the types of opinions which are apparently OK to flaunt in public, is shown in this vile viral video following a traffic incident in Memphis (United S’s of America):

Now dear reader, please remember that this video was recorded after an accident. We can’t be sure that this poor individual didn’t suffer a concussion and is wandering the streets dazed and confused. Stumbling around while spouting hate speak that he’d accidentally heard on aryanradio.com (yep, that exists) at his cousin’s house. A cousin that he doesn’t like to visit but his mum forces him to visit when the cousin gets out of jail.

Typically, medical doctors would have to rely on a combination of patient symptom assessment and clinician judgement to determine whether something was seriously wrong with the patient. Don’t worry, socially awkward scientists to the rescue! Scientists from Children’s Health Research Institute, a program of Lawson Health Research Institute, and Western University have developed a test to distinguish racists from those in need of medical intervention.

These fancy, lab-coat-wearing, vampires have developed a new, inexpensive, blood test that identifies (with greater than 90 per cent certainty) whether or not an adolescent athlete has suffered a concussion for up to 72 hours. This blood test uses a technique called metabolomics to determine whether someone is concussed.

Metabolomics looks for distinct patterns of chemical markers found in the body to determine if a concussion has occurred. Kind of like the smelling for BO, stale alcohol, and latex in a hotel room to determine if shame has occurred. In the event of a concussion, the researchers can look for sets of as little as 20-40 specific metabolites to diagnose a concussion.

One thing is for sure, based on the number of questionable things trump has said throughout his campaign, it would be interesting to test him for concussion using this new metabolomic test. Let’s face it, there is a non-zero chance that Melania Trump is hitting him over the head with a sizable, sticky dildo every night to help him sleep – every little helps, the campaign trail is quite the marathon.

References

Daley, M., Dekaban, G., Bartha, R. et al. Metabolomics (2016) 12: 185. doi:10.1007/s11306-016-1131-5

https://www.lawsonresearch.ca/western-and-lawson-scientists-develop-game-changing-blood-test-concussions


 

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