Acidity and alkalinity are measured in units of pH. Pure water, which is neither acid nor alkali, has a pH of exactly 7. Acids have smaller values, the more corrosive the lower the value. The pH of vinegar (a solution in water of acetic acid) is between 2.0 and 3.5. Table 3.2 shows that acidophiles live in environments that span the pH of vinegar, and even down to a pH of 0.7. Battery acid, which is sulphuric acid in water, has a pH of 0.5, so corrosive that it would quickly destroy our skin Alkalis have pH values greater than 7. Alkalophiles live in alkaline environments, such as soda lakes and chalky soils. Acidophiles and alkalophiles live in their extreme environments through processes in their cells that move the pH in the cell towards 7.
Often difficult to gain access to large quantities of freshwater in the field. Acetic acid (i.e., vinegar) effectively removes ascidians (Carver et al. 2003, Locke et al. 2008), but can harm bivalves and other organisms (Forrest et al. 2007, Locke et al. 2008) and may leave some ascidians alive after exposure (Denny 2008). Sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) proved very effective at removing Didemnum vexillum from green mussel seed (Denny 2008) exposing D. vexillum to 0.5 chlorine bleach for two minutes killed 100 of ascidians but left seed mussels relatively unaffected. Other caustic chemicals have been used (formalin, detergents, calcium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, etc.) with varying results.
The oldest vertebrate fossils were fish. Now, when you think of a fish you probably imagine something covered in batter, snuggling up to a pile of chips, and sprinkled with salt and vinegar. Surprising as it may seem, this isn't a bad picture of what the first fish looked like more than 500 million years ago. OK, you can take away the chips (or better still, eat them), and imagine that the batter was its skin. (We'll come back to the vinegar later.) What's inside the batter is fish flesh. The next time you tuck into your plate of fish and chips, look carefully at the fish. It's not a solid single lump of flesh. You'll see that you can pull it apart into segments. If your piece of fish is large enough,
Human visitors aren't the only potential victims of air pollution, and that is part of the reason for our hike today. Some 90 plant species in the park show leaf damage characteristic of ozone injury, and ozone is suspected of slowing the growth of sensitive plants such as tuliptree and black cherry. The park also suffers some of the highest acid precipitation levels in the nation, with sulfur and nitrogen pollutants falling in the form of dry particles as well as rain and shrouding mountaintop spruce-fir forests in fog as acidic as vinegar. Already, some high elevation streams suffer excessive nitrate levels and some forest soils are saturated with nitrogen, a condition that causes leaching of vital soil nutrients such as calcium and makes potentially toxic aluminum more available to trees.4
Extracting fossils can be as simple as picking them off the ground or as difficult as hauling off blocks of stone weighing tons. When blocks of limestone contain many fossils, a paleontologist can break off a chunk and treat it with dilute acids like muriatic acid (HCl) or acetic acid (vinegar). The preparer alternates acid baths with careful washing of the specimen and treatment with chemical hardeners that firm up the fossil as matrix dissolves away. Rock hammers and chisels, when used carefully by those with some experience, can reduce the size of a rock in the field. Huge fossil bones become exposed on one side and then covered by layers of burlap dipped in plaster of Paris. Field workers then undercut a hunk of stone containing the entire bone or
The Miracle Of Vinegar
You may be forgiven for thinking that these passed down secrets had gone for good, washed away with time and the modern age, But they're not. You can now own three of the best traditional did you know style reports that were much loved by our parents and grandparents. And they were pretty smart too because not only will these reports save you time and money but they'll also help you eliminate some of the scourges of modern day living such as harmful chemical usage in the home.