Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution

Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution, “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

Glasgow scientists studying Robot Controlled Chemical Evolution have created a robotic system where chemicals can evolve. I read about this in Gizmag, but followed it up with a quick read from the horses mouth at Nature magazine. The featured image is a picture looking down at the heart of the researcher’s robot.

Dry Ice In Water

Observing The Reaction Of Dry Ice In Water

I always wanted to try this (put dry ice in water) and last year I got the opportunity. When I bought some meat from Donald Russell it was delivered packed in dry ice. Dry Ice is frozen CO2 i.e. solid carbon dioxide.

This dry ice was used to keep the meat cool in transit. The meat and dry ice are transported in a polystyrene box which provides lots of insulation. However, over time, the heat does percolate a package like this and the dry ice sublimates. (That means it turns to vapour with no intermediate liquid state.)

Usually there is some solid CO2 left in the package on arrival. If There wasn’t any left the meat temperature may rise too high and the meat would be spoilt. So this is my source of dry ice.

The first thing I wanted to do, as soon as the meat was stored in a cool place, was put the dry ice in water and watch it bubble away and the vapour flow out and down the side of the container. I caught it on video below:

As far as I am aware the visible vapour is the water vapour giving the air its humidity cooled until it condenses.

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Tin Whiskers in a Wireless Thermostat Receiver


Tin Whiskers are a crystalline growth made of the element tin. They are in the form of a very thin straight hair with one end attached to the tin from which they are formed.

They often form on lead free solder used to fix components to circuit boards now that lead is banned.