Monday, September 16, 2013

See-Thru Dirt

In Star Trek IV, Scotty famously gives away the chemical formula for transparent aluminum to a 20th-century engineer. The formula for transparent soil is not quite as sexy but it is better because it exists (at least, that engineer's company should be making the transparent aluminum by now, don't you think?). Information here.

Transparent soil can be considered to be even more interesting than a fictional super-hard glass. A menagerie of microorganisms live both on and in roots. Microscopic armies attack roots and kill crops. Now with transparent soil we can watch as it happens, and who knows what we'll see?

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