What We're Reading
by Exploratorium Staff • August 7, 2015
Communications Specialist Maria Zilberman offers up some of her favorite science reads from the week. It's like staff picks at a bookstore — only different.
Water striders never break the surface tension of water -- even when they jump. (Trisha Shears)
I’ve long been fascinated by water striders – those light-as-air water walkers that I would watch leap around in my neighborhood creek. Turns out, some scientists from Seoul National University were also intrigued by these tiny jumpers. They recently published an article in Science about the mechanics behind how water striders do what they do. The researchers even teamed up with some Harvard scientists to create a robot strider they could further study.
For those of us who won’t make it to Mars, the Austrian Alps might be the next best thing. The Kaunertal Glacier, near Feichten, Austria, has terrain that’s similar to Mars. Astronauts recently did a mission simulation there.
When it comes to understanding the effects of radiation on the body, “data from Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors—including those who were exposed to the bombs’ radiation while still in the womb—is often the best researchers can get,” writes Katie Palmer. In this article published on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Palmer explores the scientific legacy of the survivors.