Unique flowering plants can change colors


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society explains how some unique species of flowering plants known as Hydrangeas can change the color of their blossoms depending on the pH of the soil.

In other words, the colors of these plants can be transformed by simply changing the soil conditions. Blue flowers emerge from acidic soil, red flowers are grown in more basic soil conditions, and purple flowers can be created somewhere in between.



By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

Koko was an advocate for nature and animals


Today’s Video of the Day from the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is a tribute to Koko, who became a sort of ambassador for gorillas by showing the world her remarkable capacity for emotions – particularly when she cared for kittens.

According to The Gorilla Foundation, Koko died in her sleep on Tuesday at age 46. From a very early age, Koko was taught sign language by animal psychologist Dr. Penny Patterson and used over 1,000 signs to share her feelings.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: Public Broadcasting System (PBS)

How to customize the color of Hydrangeas


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society demonstrates how the unique makeup of Hydrangeas allow their colors to change depending on the pH of the soil that feeds them.

This means that we can manipulate the colors of these plants simply by adjusting the soil. Blue flowers emerge from acidic soil, while red flowers are grown in more basic soil conditions. Somewhere in between, purple flowers can be created.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

What makes the flavor of wine unique?


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society breaks down the science behind the taste of wine. According to the experts, wine is comprised of 98 percent water and ethanol, and it is only the remaining two percent of the formula that gives wine its unique flavor.

The three main factors that play into a wine’s flavor are grapes, soil, and climate. There are more than 10,000 varieties of wine grapes that produce different tastes and aromas. There are also up to 60 elements in wine that can be traced back to the soil where the grapes were grown. Furthermore, a cold climate gives wine a more subtle flavor, while a warm climate produces a more robust wine.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

The chemistry behind teeth whitening


Today’s Video of the Day is part of the Reactions series from the American Chemical Society, and describes how hydrogen peroxide is the secret weapon behind teeth whitening.

While researchers have found that all peroxide-based teeth whitening products are safe to use, the fastest way to whiten teeth is at the dentist’s office. Dentists use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which penetrates the enamel to break down complex molecules and remove stains from teeth.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

 

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

PACE mission will provide unprecedented insight into ocean life


Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard introduces the agency’s most advanced ocean monitoring mission called Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE), which is currently being developed.

The remote sensing program will help scientists understand the relationship between aerosols, clouds, and microscopic marine algae known as phytoplankton. Data from PACE will also give scientists more insight into climate change by demonstrating how the ocean and atmosphere interact and exchange carbon dioxide.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

With every breath, we inhale the dying breath of Julius Caesar


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society features an interview with author Sam Kean as he answers the classic question: Are we breathing some of the same air from Julius Caesar’s last breath?

According to Kean, the simple answer is yes. The author explains that, in each breath we take, there is approximately one molecule of Caesar’s final breath.

Kean explores this and other mysteries about all of the gases in our atmosphere in his book “Caesar’s Last Breath.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

Lava streams from fissure 8 are still pouring into the ocean


Today’s Video of the Day from the U.S. Geological Survey features an aerial view of Kapoho, where lava from Kilauea’s fissure 8 continues to reshape the coastline of Hawaii’s Big Island. A lava delta, which is now over 250 acres in size, completely filled up the Kapoho Bay in just a matter of days.

The USGS has warned that gas emissions from fissure 8 have nearly doubled, as moderate tremors continue at the summit of the Kilauea volcano. Lava flows, which are now mainly directed toward the ocean entry point, have covered more than 5,000 acres and destroyed over 600 homes.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

What kind of germs are on a plane?


Today’s Video of the Day from EurekAlert reveals that the bacterial content found on an airplane is not any more threatening than that of our homes or offices. Researchers from Georgia Tech tested tray tables, seat belt buckles, and bathroom door handles after 10 transcontinental flights and discovered that the microbial content was not much different from the germs that we encounter every day.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: Georgia Tech

What makes seashells so resilient?


Today’s Video of the Day is from the Reactions series by the American Chemical Society and explores the remarkable strength of seashells. Even though they are both made up of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), seashells can be thousands of times stronger than mineral chalk.

The video reveals how mollusks such as oysters and clams are master builders, strategically creating tough layers of crystals and proteins in a process so complex that it is not yet entirely understood by scientists.

Studying hurricanes from within the storm


Today’s Video of the Day comes from NASA Goddard and features a look at how scientists are studying hurricanes from inside the storm.

In 2014, as Hurricane Edouard was gaining strength in the Atlantic Ocean, NASA launched the remotely-piloted Global Hawk aircraft to fly over the storm and measure moisture levels.

In areas where the clouds were to thick to measure, the aircraft dispatched smaller sensors called dropsondes, which fell through the storm and sent back key data on humidity, wind speed, and temperature.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

Preparing the Earth and space for 5G


Today’s Video of the Day comes from the European Space Agency (ESA) and features a look at their Satellite for 5G (S45G) program which aims to prepare satellite and terrestrial services for the next generation of communication.

5G will change the way we communicate and work by providing extra-fast internet connection speeds and shorten delays. You’ll be able to be connected to everything everywhere and download a movie in just seconds.

Satellites will play an important role in allowing enhanced reliability and security to the new 5G revolution that terrestrial networks alone cannot provide.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency