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Monday, June 4, 2018

Greetings Infomaniacs,

Science is the activity through which we attempt to explain that which we do not understand through experimentation and observation. But during science's quest for answers, there are still many scientific mysteries that remain unexplained.

Enjoy!

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

HINT: German theoretical physicist whose work on quantum theory won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.

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RANDOM TIDBITS

Moon Illusion

Have you ever wondered why the moon appears much larger in the sky when near the horizon? Known as the Moon Illusion, it is a phenomenon that has been observed by humans for thousands of years. Some claim that the illusion is because of an atmospheric effect, or that it is related to relative size or apparent distance. Possible hypotheses for this optical illusion go by the names Apparent Distance, Relative Size, Angle of Regard, and Refraction and Distance. The most plausible explanation scientists have come up with lately is called "oculomotor micropsia".

Still, despite countless attempts, there is a lack of agreement on a definitive explanation.

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The Placebo Effect

It's a term used by scientists to describe certain types of treatment that are not supposed to work, but are somehow, working.

A good example is how certain placebo drugs have been shown to relieve the pain of those with Parkinson's Disease. There is nothing in the placebo drugs except an inert material or sugar but they have been statistically shown to relieve people's pain. Patients who expect a certain result, for example that the placebo is a stimulant, a depressant, or a pain reliever, tend to report those results. The field of neuroscience is beginning to offer explanations for this, including the possible explanation that just by taking a pill people's stress levels are reduced so they are more likely to recover. However, this has not been proven.

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All Life on Earth is Right-Handed

All the information needed for cellular structure, replication, and metabolism is stored in each cell's deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA consists of long chains of chemical building blocks called nucleotides and looks somewhat like a spiral staircase. Theoretically, the DNA could wind either to the right or the left.

The odd thing is that all Earth life forms exhibit what biologists call right-handed DNA. Imagine a bolt or a screw; normally the threads are designed such that the screw will bury itself into a piece of wood when you turn it clockwise. Left-handled screws will bury themselves into the wood when you turn them counterclockwise.

Although left-handed helixes have been produced in experiments and there is a very rare left-handed version called Z-DNA, why right-handedness rules are still subject to debate. A possible explanation is that right-handed DNA is more stable.

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Why Do We Have Fingerprints?

While fingerprints have become an important means of identification, scientists really don't have any idea as to why we have them. They're not exactly just wrinkles that appear over time too since we're all born with our fingerprints that are as individually unique as we are. The initial theory was that the tiny grooves on the tips made it easier to grip dry objects. But, that theory has since been disproved, leaving us to wonder, why exactly do we have fingerprints?




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*** Weekly Mind-Scrambler ***

A father and his son were in a car accident. The dad died, and the son had to have surgery; however, the surgeon said, "I can't operate on this boy, he's my son!" How is this possible?

Submit your answer by clicking: TheDailyTease

Answer will be posted in Friday's Trivia Today. Good Luck! If your name appears in Friday's newsletter, EMAIL MICHELE your complete name and address to be shipped your prize.

Be sure to put "Winner" in the subject line.

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WHO SAID IT?

QUOTE: "Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve."

ANSWER: Max Planck