Thursday, 20 August 2015

Alexander Fleming’s discovery

Species of Penicillium are recognized by their dense brush-like spore-bearing structures called penicilli (sing.: penicillus). The conidiophores are simple or branched and are terminated by clusters of flask-shaped phialides. The spores (conidia) are produced in dry chains from the tips of the phialides, with the youngest spore at the base of the chain, and are nearly always green. Branching is an important feature for identifying Penicillium species. Penicillium is a large and difficult genus encountered almost everywhere, and usually the most abundant genus of fungi in soils.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Cubes and wannabe cubes

Perfect cubic shapes are characteristic of pyrite, although it can also take octahedral forms. It receives its name due to the sparkles it makes when struck against steel. This photo in particular was taken from the face of a pyrite cube and it is interesting to see the imperfections this mineral can develop.

Rock gloss glossing over its pale colour

Who would have thought that such a waste product would be so interesting? Red gypsum is used in many applications, ranging from natural medicine to soil amendment, and it is normally obtained while refining of titanium oxide from ilmenite sand ores.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Apollo, a lifespan of a few weeks only

The Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo) is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. The wing varies in length between 3.4 and 4.0 cm. The rear wing is mostly rounded. The rear wings usually have two round red spots on the top and several at the bottom side. In addition, both the front and rear wings have dark spots. The caterpillars are about 5 cm long, black with short spiky hair and have