How to Think About Bottled Water

By Damien Knight

It was a hot day for April and I was checking in to Opryland Hotel in Tennessee for my honeymoon. I was parched and on my bed was a bottle of heaven. It was Dasani water. I think back on that day and recall seeing one water fountain in the entire building. Opryland is huge, surely there would be water fountains at every restroom.  Yet it seems water fountains are antiquated. This incident happened in 2006 but according to Reader’s Digest our bottle water consumption has increased 10% since then.

You might think we increased to this point because bottled water is just safer than the tap, right? I mean look at the pristine mountains on Aquafina’s water. The thing is Aquafina’s water comes from the same source as the tap. 25 percent of bottled waters come from Municipal tap water. Not only is most of these bottled waters not safer, they are expensive.

You end up buying this bottle water that is just as good as tap for 1000 times the rate of tap. It’s outrageous when you consider it.  I did not believe this myself, so I went to the Walmart in Bowling Green and a Casey’s in Russellville, Kentucky. I recorded the prices and compared that to Bowling Green’s Municipal. I placed my findings in the chart below.  The price per gallon for tap is 0.01 cent versus Aquafina which $5.12 cents a gallon. My favorite water, Dasani, was cheaper but still outrageous at $3.97 per gallon.

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Asbestos: Commercial Uses

By Damien Knight

Every time one watches T.V. one cannot avoid hearing the commercials for “asbestos” and its dangers. “Have you been diagnosed with Mesothelioma?” the ad asks. This paper discuss what asbestos is and its applications in commercial industries. We will first define “asbestos”, describe the minerals defined, talk about its use in our economy and speak in depth about the serpentine mineral chrysolite.

The confusion over asbestos health risks is due to the term does not refer to a single mineral. Asbestos is an industry term that covers six different naturally occurring minerals. These minerals or “asbestiforms” all have a fibrous habit that is strong and flexible. The fibers are soft like fabric and can be spun into yarn or made into felts. This makes them useful as a fireproofing and insulation material.

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The Dolomite and Aragonite Problem: A Summary

By Damien Knight

A work in progress

The dolomite problem is a problem in how the formation of massive dolomite beds occurred. Dolomite is CaMg [CO3] 2 that differs from limestone in that magnesium substitutes for half the calcium. The problem is dolomite only forms in lagoons or extreme environments in smaller quantities today, the formation of dolomite beds is a mystery. It is hypothesized that these dolomites resulted from extra-terrestrial planting.

The aragonite problem is that aragonite is its more soluble than calcite. It would make sense that aragonite which is formed biologically in seashells not be formed at all. According to the one article I found the aragonite forms in magnesium rich seas. As magnesium increases the amount of calcite decreases until all that is formed is the more soluble aragonite. Continue reading

Human Genome Research Summaries

Written by Damien Knight

2011

 

DeSalle, Rob, and Michael Yudell. Welcome to the genome: a user’s guide to the genetic past, present, and future. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Liss, 2005. Print.

 

Welcome to the Genome: A User’s Guide to  the Past, Present, and Future is a basic introductory to the relatively new field of genomics and its influence on human social and political issues.  Genomics is a merge of many sciences biology included.  The science of genomics started with the ideas of heredity and where we come from. What are our differences or similarities? The answers it came upon were startling. It discussed how race is not biologically supported.  To understand the human genome one has to understand DNA and genetics. Without an understanding of what the building blocks of life were one cannot go forward into genetics. The Human genome itself contains 3 billion units of DNA code that defines the human species. The human genome is 99.9% identical.  Several things had to push the science forward, first basic sequencing of DNA. Then the capability to read the genetic code had to be developed. After which we had to understand how DNA was made. After all this is done we go from examining genes to sequencing the human genome.  The book touches social issues that could be caused by genomics such as genetic discrimination. Still the study of the human genome may help make great strides in the field of medicine. The book also covers how legislation is being made to prevent misuse of genetic information.

The authors are Rob Desalle and Micheal Yudell. Rob Desalle  and Micheal Yudell both have worked at the American Museum of Natural History. Desalle presently works at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics and has assisted in several books on DNA and genetics. Yudell works presently as an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at Drexel University. Like Desalle he has worked on several other books involving the study of DNA. His primary focus is on genetics and health. Welcome to the Genome: A User’s Guide to  the Past, Present, and Future  was published in 2005.

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