August 2013 archive

Organism of the week #16 – From tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow

Sequoia sempervirens strobili and seeds [CC-BY-SA-3.0 Steve Cook]

There’s something very satisfying about growing plants from seed, and none more so than growing a monster from next-to-nothing: At the moment, this little redwood seedling is just 18 months old. Given 500 years or so, it’s going to get a wee bit bigger: The seeds of redwoods are absolutely titchy, as you can’t see in …

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Enzymes provide alternative routes to product with a lower activation energy

Maxwell Boltzmann distribution [CC-BY-SA-3.0 Steve Cook]

An enzyme lowers the activation energy for a reaction Like a previous post, the problem here is not so much that this idea is flat-out wrong, but that it’s very prone to misinterpretation. Text-books often state that an enzyme, or any other catalyst, lowers the activation energy of a reaction. The activation energy for a reaction (written …

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The wisdom of crowds

I tried this about five years ago, with more or less the inverse of these results. The nerdy grammar fascist bit of me is pleasantly surprised by the improvement, but poor Karl Albert still has some way to go… Fischer projection: About 38,800 results Fisher projection: [sic] About 8,090 results Lineweaver Burk: About 234,000 results Lineweaver …

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