Questions and answers: is there liquid carbon? Is there gold on the moon?

Does DNA break down in plant or animal foods that we digest?

DNA is a complex and not very strong molecule, so it would be natural to assume that when acid is processed in the stomach, the gene information contained in the cells is destroyed. Nevertheless, one relatively recent discovery refutes this assumption. In 2010, French biochemists examined the DNA of algae-living bacteria in seawater. In particular, a certain sequence of genes was identified that is responsible for the production of enzymes in these microorganisms that decompose polysaccharides, which make up the dense cell walls of marine plants. And then, turning to the scientific bases, the researchers noticed that the exact same sequence had already been described, but it was only detected not in marine bacteria, but in bacteria living in the intestines of the Japanese. Obviously, the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun, eating algae (for example, along with land), swallowed a certain amount of bacteria eating sea grass. And then, in some incomprehensible way, a fragment of the gene code of aquatic bacteria was embedded in the intestinal genome, and these latter began to help their Japanese owners better digest algae food. Such gene transfer could occur only if the DNA or part of it survived during digestion.

Is there any gold on the moon?

Apparently, there is: this is evidenced by an experiment with the bombardment of the lunar surface with a special probe launched by NASA. The raised dust cloud was analyzed by LCROSS, another NASA spacecraft near the moon. There is little gold in the lunar soil, and it is unclear whether it comes from the bowels of our satellite or brought by comets and meteorites.

Does liquid carbon exist?

We associate carbon with substances that have a rigid crystalline structure, and we did not have to deal with liquid. This is not surprising: graphite melts at a temperature of about 4800 °, and so that carbon atoms, atomic bonds of which are destroyed under the influence of ultrahigh heat, remain liquid and not turn into gas, ultrahigh pressure is also required. Therefore, the production of liquid carbon is possible only in a laboratory with special equipment, and its lifetime in this phase is very short.

Why do spark discharges appear on an object with metal parts when put in a microwave?

Microwave heats food using microwave electromagnetic radiation. Accordingly, in the conductive materials that are inside the furnace (especially in metals), electric currents will be induced. Naturally, the characteristics of the currents induced in adjacent conductors can be different. Then a potential difference arises and a breakdown is made through the air. Sparks appear.

Will an airplane take off from a conveyor belt moving in the opposite direction?

During the discussion of this issue on the Web, many copies were broken at one time, but it is still being asked, including in the editorial post. We will probably not consider the entire argumentation of the discussing parties in detail here, but as an answer we can recommend watching the release of the "Legend Destroyers" program, the one that was just dedicated to the experimental testing of hypotheses will take off / not take off. At first, as usual, Jamie and Adam checked everything on small models, and then proceeded to experiment with a manned aircraft. A conveyor belt was a durable fabric that the car pulled out from under a light propeller plane at a certain speed. It turned out to be right those who said that in an airplane, unlike a car, the landing gear wheels are not a mover, and in any case the propeller will pull the aircraft forward. That is why the plane must take off. Well, he took off.

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The article was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 7, July 2014).


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