Japanese Distillery Sends Delicious Whiskey to Space to Age in Zero Gravity

Krystian Science SpaceIt’s a good thing I’m not a trusted astronaut aboard the International Space Station, because instead of conducting important experiments and exploring our universe I’d probably be the first person to get drunk in space. Japanese distillery Suntory announced it’s shipping booze to Kibo, Japan’s module on the ISS – you know… for science.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 1.00.16 PM

Suntory’s award-winning whiskey will be off limits to astronauts, the group is just curious how zero gravity might effect the aging process.

H-II Transfer Vehicle No. 5, commonly known as “Kounotori5” or HTV5, launched from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center on August 19 carrying alcohol produced by Suntory to the ISS, where experiments on the “development of mellowness” will be conducted. Suntory hopes to find a scientific explanation for what ‘mellows’ alcohol over time.

A company spokesman said that the samples will include both a 21-year-old single malt whiskey (YUM) and a beverage that has just been distilled. The first samples will return to Earth after one year, while the other group of samples will remain in space for at least two years.

Do you want to get your hands on space-aged whiskey? Me too… but,  Suntory says they have no plans to make the unique specimens available for public purchase.

Bill Murray Scotch

Japanese Distillery Sends Delicious Whiskey to Space to Age in Zero Gravity

A New Tasty Sensation Has Been Added to the Human Palate: Sweet, Sour, Bitter… FAT!

KS HealthWhen we eat we have come to recognize a few basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and the newly recognized ‘umami.’ But, according to a new study from Purdue University, fat should be considered a sixth taste called ‘oleogustus’ – “oleo” being the Latin root word for oily or fatty, and “gustus” referring to taste. Fries

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t confuse the taste of fat with the creamy, smooth feel of fat.

Most of the fat we eat is in the form of triglycerides, which are molecules comprised of three fatty acids… Triglycerides often impart appealing textures to foods like creaminess. However, triglycerides are not a taste stimulus. Fatty acids that are cleaved off the triglyceride in the food or during chewing in the mouth stimulate the sensation of fat,” said Richard D. Mattes, distinguished professor of nutrition science.

Mattes says fat itself has a generally unpleasant flavor, but low concentrations of fatty acids in food may add to their appeal just like unpleasant bitter chemicals can enhance the pleasantness of foods like wine, coffee, and chocolate. This mouth-watering revelation could possibly lead to better tasting food!

The taste component of fat is often described as bitter or sour because it is unpleasant, but new evidence reveals fatty acids evoke a unique sensation satisfying another element of the criteria for what constitutes a basic taste, just like sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. By building a lexicon around fat and understanding its identity as a taste, it could help the food industry develop better tasting products and with more research help clinicians and public health educators better understand the health implications of oral fat exposure,” said Mattes, who studies the mechanisms and function of taste.

There are no familiar words to describe the taste of fat, which is why the 102 study participants monitored by Mattes had trouble placing it. They were given multiple cups of solutions each containing a compound that tasted salty, sweet, umami, bitter, sour, or fatty. They were then asked to sort the solutions into groups, often misplacing the fatty samples with the bitter group. Eventually, when asked to sort samples including bitter, umami, and fatty stimuli, panelists grouped the fatty acids together correctly.

The findings were published online in the journal Chemical Senses. Archer Fat GIF

A New Tasty Sensation Has Been Added to the Human Palate: Sweet, Sour, Bitter… FAT!

Hope You’re Not Afraid of Spiders, Because This Species Can Change Color!

KS Strange ScienceA species of crab spider has the ability to slowly change color based on its background. More specifically, the female whitebanded crab spider changes from white to yellow (and the reverse) to ambush prey when hunting.

The crab spider’s color-changing abilities have been detailed for the first time in a new scientific paper, published this week in the journal Ecological Entomology.

Gary Dodson, a Ball State biology professor, and Alissa Anderson, who graduated with a master’s degree in 2012 from Ball State, were the first to measure the rate of color change in the whitebanded crab spider (Misumenoides formosipes).

‘This species of spider crab is one of the few that can reversibly change their body colour in a manner that to the human eye results in a match to the flowers on which they ambush prey,’ Dodson said. ‘We knew that females, but not males, can switch between white and yellow depending on the background. But we did not how quickly that happened.’

Using Adobe Photoshop, researchers measured the color-changing process of various female whitebanded spider crabs. They discovered that white spiders had a much easier time switching to yellow, versus yellow spiders changing to white. It is possible morphing from white to yellow is less physiologically damaging than the reverse.

FUN FACT: This species of crab spider exhibits one of the most extreme examples of sexual size dimorphism across all animals. Females, which are the size of a ‘fat kernel of corn,’ are 20 times larger in mass than males.

Hope You’re Not Afraid of Spiders, Because This Species Can Change Color!

Biohackers Test Eye Drops That Give You NIGHT VISION – And They Look Super Creepy

KS Strange ScienceHave you ever wanted to be recruited by Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters? Well, that’s not terribly realistic, but you can totally LOOK like an X-Men!

New night enhancement eyedrops were tested by a group of independent researchers known as Science for the Masses, based in California, with lead researcher Gabriel Licina as their guinea pig.


These liquid black drops are a simple combination of Chlorin e6 (Ce6) and insulin in saline, with the addition of dimethlysulfoxide (DMSO). The drops were based on a patent filed in 2012 that claimed this mixture, when applied to the eye, will absorb to the retina and act to increase vision in low light.

Eyedrop Chemical Breakdown: Ce6 has light amplification properties, and has been used as a therapy agent in cancer treatment. The insulin is used to allow absorption of the Ce6 into the chamber of the eye. DMSO is used in cell preservation and in medication application. In this case, its primary ability is to cause increased permeability of the cellular membrane, allowing free passage for the chemicals in the eye drops to reach the eye.

Licina’s eyes were flushed with saline to remove any micro-debris or contaminants. Then they were actually pinned open to remove the ability to blink. Ce6 was then added to the eye via micropippette. After the drops disappeared he was given special lenses and black sunglasses to ensure increased low light conditions and reduce the potential for bright light exposure.

The drops began to work in as little as one hour, with the effects lasting for many hours afterwards. Licina was able to see more than 164 feet (50 meters) in almost total darkness. And it looks like it didn’t even hurt! Licina told Mic, “To me, it was quick, greenish-black blur across my vision, and then it dissolved into my eyes.”


Nightcrawler - Marvel's X-Men

Licina and four subjects from the control group (people who did not use the drops) were taken to a ‘darkened area’ for testing. Three forms of subjective testing were performed. These consisted of symbol recognition by distance, symbol recognition on varying background colors, and the ability to identify moving subjects.

Turns out, Licina’s special vision allowed him to recognize symbols the control group couldn’t see! The Ce6 drops allowed Licina to identify distant figures 100% of the time, while the control group got it right just 33% of the time.

But, as cool as this experiment sounds, these revolutionary drops have people worried. Increased light amplification may cause damage to the eye if used improperly. Science for the Masses stresses the fact they conducted this experiment for research and informative purposes only. So don’t try this at home.

CLICK HERE to view the full report from Science for the Masses.

Biohackers Test Eye Drops That Give You NIGHT VISION – And They Look Super Creepy