pHretting over pH

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Acidity is measured on the pH scale. This scale can be a bit counter-intuitive, since the pH value decreases as acidity increases. Click on the image above to learn why. Credit: NOAA PMEL.

If you’ve ever measured the pH of your swimming pool, you understand that a proper pH range is important for anyone going into water. You wouldn’t want to swim in your own pool if the pH was not in a safe range for you. It is no different for the plants and animals that make their homes in the oceans. Continue reading “pHretting over pH”

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Carbonate: The Building Block of Marine Life

Seashells use calcium carbonate to build their shells. Photo Credit: Melissa Ward

Next time you are walking along a beach, pay attention to how many unique types of shells you see: scallops, gastropods (snails), oysters, pteropods, and many other marine organisms rely on shells for protection and housing. Just as humans build our homes from brick and wood, these marine organisms build their homes out of a chemical compound called calcium carbonate. Continue reading “Carbonate: The Building Block of Marine Life”

Tinker, Watch, Repeat

If you’ve read the title of this post, you already have some idea of what it takes to develop and assemble a novel scientific instrument. For the past week or so, my colleague and I have been taking ordinary parts you may find in a lab—tubes, pumps, bottles, a glass cell—and assembling them carefully to achieve a greater purpose. Continue reading “Tinker, Watch, Repeat”