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A graduate student has created the first man-made biological leaf. It absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant. He did this by suspending chloroplasts in a mixture made out of silk protein. He believed it can be used for many things but the most striking one is the thought that it could be used for long distance space travel. Plants do not grow in space, but this synthetic material can be used to produce oxygen in a hostile environment. (Video)


Happy National Voter Registration Day, Tumblr.

The number one way of celebrating it? Registering to vote.

Every year, millions of eligible Americans neglect to register, which means that millions of important voices are utterly silent on Election Day. Don’t be one of them. There’s basically a 100% chance that something you care about is on the ballot, something you don’t want to be quiet about.

So be one of the loud ones. Register already. It’s an easy form that you already know all the answers to. No excuses.


Lightning is awesome and today the Department of Awesome Natural Phenomena presents a form of lightning we’d never heard of before: blue jet lightning. This is a form of upper-atmospheric lightning, believed to be electrically induced forms of luminous plasma. It’s also known as a transient luminous event (or TLE) because the various types of electrical-discharge phenomena in the upper atmosphere lack several characteristics of the more familiar tropospheric lightning.

This stunning photo of blue jet lightning was captured by pilot and photographer Thijs Bors while flying over the Northern Territory of Australia during a thunderstorm. Blue jet lightning typically occurs in a narrow cone, projecting from the top of cumulonimbus clouds above a thunderstorm to the lowest levels of the ionosphere 40 to 50 km (25 to 30 miles) above the earth.

[via The Telegraph and Wikipedia]

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