Degrees of Separation

From pricey mold to deep-sea pollution.

By Lacy Schley|Tuesday, May 09, 2017
SampleofpenicillinmouldpresentedbyAlexanderFlemingtoDouglasMacleod19359672239344
SampleofpenicillinmouldpresentedbyAlexanderFlemingtoDouglasMacleod19359672239344
Wikimedia Commons

£11,875: The price of a sample of the same mold Alexander Fleming used to create penicillin, sold at a recent auction. (Based on exchange rates at sale time, that’s roughly $14,600.)

69%: The bump in the energy-generating capacity of mitochondria — our cells’ power plants — seen in older participants aged 65-80 after 12 weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval workouts.

215 petabytes: How much data researchers can now store using just 1 gram of DNA. (In case you’re wondering just how much that is, a petabyte equals 1 million gigabytes.)

90 years: What experts think could be the new global life expectancy for those born in 2030 — but only for South Korean females. Sorry, everyone else.

50,000 samples: The latest major deposit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, based in the Arctic. Conservationists house these seeds as insurance for global food security in the face of war, natural disaster and climate change.

10,250 meters: The depth (a little over 6 miles) at which marine experts have discovered human-caused pollution in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world’s oceans, located in the Pacific.

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