Today is May 4th, a day that is beloved by Star Wars fans and pun lovers everywhere, may the force be with you, May the 4th be with you!! There is lots of science to consider when it comes to Star Wars and here’s some for you to think about next time you are watching a Star Wars movie.
Qui-Gon Jinn was astounded by young Anakin Skywalker’s high count of midichlorians, force-sensitive organelles similar to mitochondria . A 2006 study discovered bacteria that parasitized animal cells’ mitochondria—and named the newfound genus Midichloria in Star Wars’ honour.
According to doctors at Denmark’s University Hospital Rigshospitalet Darth Vader’s iconic suit acts as a wearable hyperbaric chamber, aiding him with his chronically injured lungs. The suit also seems to help limit Vader’s risk of infection, given his severely burned skin. Doctors at the hospital have used the Sith lord’s distinctive rattle to help teach medical students how to diagnose respiratory illnesses, given that Vader appears to have them all!!
Biochemist Qinghua Lua has named two proteins he helped discover R2D2 and C3PO after the classic pair of droids. Like their on-screen counterparts, the proteins are excellent helpers, assisting in the process of RNA interference—a cellular throttling mechanism that uses RNA strands to tag protein-making templates for destruction.
If we were to study the Force from a subatomic level, we should consider that like any other interaction we know in nature, there exist force carriers. These are particles that give rise to forces between other particles. For example, the electromagnetic force between two electrons can be explained by the exchange of virtual photons and gravitation by the exchange of virtual gravitons. Therefore the two Force charges should have a carrier. Should we call them Jedi-nos? Should the Large Hadron Collider search for these new particles now that it has found the Higgs particle?
So next time you watch Star Wars, see what other possible science links you can find. May the force be with you !!