Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Permeability: Just for Cell Membranes?

What is permeability? What does it mean when something is permeable? What do we mean when we say something has permeated something else? In class we discuss the semi-permeable cell membrane in detail, but we never really discuss the concept of permeability. It seems that the idea of permeability has to do with the movement of one substance across a boundary, but that is a very general and perhaps incomplete concept. What is a boundary? What is the substance? Does permeability have only to do with size? Porosity? Chemistry? Can we think of permeability in other ways? In common language we use the term permeable in many contexts. For example, we say that people in love are permeated with attraction for one another. Can permeability also relate to vulnerability? In another context we may say that a product has "permeated" the market. Does this imply strength?

As a scientist and an artist I think there are many ways to look at concepts we might otherwise take for granted. We can learn a lot this way. And by exploring "scientific" concepts from different angles, perhaps we can understand more about the properties, propensities, and possibilities of our world.

Here's an example. In this experiment with ceramics I made large balls of newspaper, then covered them with ceramic slip impregnated with salt. I "glued" the balls together with more goopy clay. Once my sculpture was dry I stuck it in the kiln and baked it for a couple of days. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the thing broke apart as I pulled it out of the kiln. But I got to learn a lot about the behavior of my materials.



Look closely at the mess I made and you can see that this is actually an experiment in permeability! How effectively did the slip permeate the newspaper? The thin paper-like formations are actually ceramic "paper," so you can say the permeability of clay slip into paper was pretty effective. Now look at the purple-blue color. That's the salt, vaporized in the heat of the kiln and able to then permeate the almost-molten clay. What do we see here? The salt did not penetrate the whole structure. Reasons unknown. But we have learned more about permeability. To be a bit more "scientific" we have learned something of how a vapor permeates a semi-solid substance in the oxidizing environment of a high temperature kiln.



My next example is from a store window in the incredible Centro Historico of Mexico City. I took this picture when I was preparing for an art residency there, which was supposed to focus on movement and materials of this vibrant market district. Pictured here are bags of plastic objects. The objects themselves are permeated with color. The plastic bags block some of that color and the window glass blocks it more. The lens of my camera blocked more of the color, as did the air between the window and my camera. We could go on. But here the question of permeability arises again. How "permeated" with color is this photo? And how "permeated" with color were the original plastic objects? You can see that in this example we are discussing permeability in a context that is different from my ceramics experiment.




I think we could go on about questions of permeability all day. Probably there have been lots of books written about it. From philosophy to thermodynamics, permeability is a huge question. I like to stay somewhere in between, in the world of biology. I also like to keep my blog posts short. So take a look (or should I say take a sniff) at the photo below. Lilacs. Beautiful luscious harbingers of spring, fragrant, delicious, rich appealing aroma. They permeate the atmosphere with their visual and olfactory generosity. Who says science and art are miles apart?



130 comments:

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  2. Something that is permeable allows another substance to pass through it. An example of permeability can be experienced on a rainy day like today. Raincoats and umbrellas are great examples of two things that are selectively permeable, as they are designed to repel liquids, rather than allowing the liquids to pass through the material. While raincoats and umbrellas are meant to protect us from rain, they are selectively permeable for a reason, as they are supposed to "breath". Even while we are being protected from rain, the jackets and umbrellas still get a bit wet, something that describes porosity.

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  3. We have looked at permeability a lot in class recently. Permeability is the ability of something to carry and transport fluids. An example I can think of is the terrane of a forest. Over time, the landscape changes and creates a path that allow water to flow down a slop and gather at a creek. Perhaps this evolution will eventually create a waterfall. The ground becomes more permeable allowing water to flow more efficiently.

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  4. Permeability is a measurement of how easily something can flow through another object and porosity is the amount of openness there is within the object that is being "flowed through." When I think of permeability I think of water aquifers for some reason. I remember learning about them during my AP environmental science class and how the terms permeability of porosity were important for describing how water flowed underground. In this example, along with most others that I can think of, increased porosity leads to increased permeability. While they are not the same characteristic they are directly related to one another. I think that permeability is dependent on a number of different factors after reading your article because I had never thought of clear materials as "permeable" in the same way that I thought of things like aquifers. The way that you describe how the plastic bags, the glass of the store window, and the glass of your camera lens as permeable suggested that permeability is dependent on a number of factors.

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  5. The first example of permeability that comes to mind is fabric. Since it is raining today I had the opportunity of experience the rain flow through the material of my sweater and saturate my skin. The fabric or yarn that my sweater is knit with is permeable because the water easily transferred through to my skin.

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  6. Although this concept is still new to me, an example of permeability I can think of is dye. When one dyes their hair the dye is permeating the hair molecules. My friend Dani dyed her hair and was not happy with the resulting color so she used “Color Oops” (a product which takes out hair dye) to go back to her natural color. This exemplifies the permeability of the hair molecules because dye was put in and then another chemical was applied so that it could be removed. If the hair molecules were not permeable, the dye would not have stayed in the first place.

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  7. Permeability seems to be happening everywhere in many different cases! An example that comes to mind is when water and/ or soap permeates a sponge. Living in my own an apartment with a kitchen this year, I have gained the responsibility of washing dishes, which requires a sponge! When washing dishes by hand, the water and soap are absorbed by the sponge throughout the process of dishwashing. Then there is the matter of dish drying! In drying the dishes, the water is then absorbed into the towel that I use to dry them. This is yet another example of permeability. It is evident that in many aspects of life, we can observe permeability.

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  8. What comes to mind when I think of permeability is vulnerability, particularly of the mind. I don't exactly know why this is that I think of it this way, but something permeable signals to me something lacking strength as you mentioned above. For example, I think of young children's minds as especially permeable (hence the expression "their minds are like a sponge" - sponges are extremely permeable to different solutes, particularly water). I babysit and nanny for various children who range in age 1-11 years old, and every time I visit with the much younger children, I see they have picked up different habits almost every time, either ones that mimic their parents, siblings, and even myself. Because their young minds are so permeable, I know I have to watch how I conduct myself because any one action or expression I use may permeate their growing thought processes that are currently in a weaker state than my own. I understand permeability in a biological sense, but for me, this example best illustrates the concept of permeability.

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  9. Although I just learned about permeability, a few examples do come to mind when thinking about it. I think of the example of dye and dying ones clothes. I was an art teacher at a summer camp and did a lot of tie dying. I made a mixture of salt, hot water and dye and mixed it to make a strong dye that would stick to clothes. The cloth was porous and easily allowed for dye to go through and to combine with other colors of dyes. Cotton had the most ability to soak in dyes and stayed permanent. The salt made the dye better stick to the clothes.

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  10. When I think of permeability I think of a dog’s sense of smell. I have a chubby dog and when we open the pantry he can smell the food that we have in sealed plastic bags. He smells the molecules that are small enough to make it through the semi-permeable plastic bag. Permeability is the ability of some things to travel through a different medium. There are many factors that affect permeability in different environments, in my example the factor is size. For this reason, not everything is permeable to everything else. If it was the world would not exist. The article suggests that permeability is dependent on many factors due to the multiple different examples provided.

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  11. When I use permeable in a non scientific context it often refers to the containers given in restaurants to hold leftover Chinese food. These containers are white and made of thick cardboard in the shape of a square. By the time I'm home the sauce and grease from my delicious dumplings permeates through the container. This stains the white cardboard and makes a mess.

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  12. An experience that comes to mind when I think of permeability is light, specifically from sunshine during the summer. Light permeates directly on objects when they are located outside in our environment. Light permeates through windows and other see through objects in doors. Even when you try to protect yourself from permeating light out doors, for example with sunglasses, a less harsh brightness of light still permeates through the lens. Or when you are in doors and you try to block out the sun light with a curtain, the heat from the sunlight still permeates through the window.

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  13. The first example that came to mind as an example of permeability is rain and how it can determine and objects permeability. Permeability, in the matter of earth sciences, dictates how much fluid an object allows to pass through it. So as I imagine myself walking around in the rain today I think of how permeability affected me. Luckily, I had an umbrella to walk to class with this morning. I say luckily because an umbrella is made specifically not to be permeable, or allow water to pass through it, to protect us from the rain and getting wet. But then I thought of my light grey sweater and how when I let down my umbrella and rain came in contact with it, the light grey turned to dark because the sweater absorbed the water. The material my sweater is made out of is permeable, and also has big pores which allowed for the water to be absorbed. Because of the thickness and density of my sweater, I did not actually feel the rain on my skin. This is just an example of how permeability, porosity, and other factors affect our day to day lives without us even knowing it.

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  14. I think in my life a version of permeability is vulnerability. I selectively allow certain people into my life. My friends and be represented as the solutes that are received or not received by a cellular membrane. Based on the the person and their value to my life in different ways determines if I all them to become close to me. Science terms can be applied and looked at through all different facets of life.

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  15. Something that is permeable allows other substances to pass through it. An example I can think of is skin. Skin is permeable in many ways. First, it insulates our body but allows for hit to be entered or escape. Our skin also allows things like lotion or a ink tattoo into our skin because our skin is porous. When we sweat our skin allows for the heat to escape our body. Our body contains many things that are permeable and our skin is just one of them.

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  16. A personal encounter I have had with permeability was at the summer camp I worked at. During art one day, the campers were able to tie dye white t-shirts that they had brought in. Before they placed the shirts in the dye, they had to twist and fold their shirts and tie them with rubber bands. This will allow for the die to create cool designs such as spirals and splatter prints. The rubber bands also allow for a single color to permeate a specific area of the shirt. When the campers would place their shirts in the dye, they would only dip a small section of the shirt in one color. However, the dye would then spread out by itself permeating other areas around the initial dipped location. That is the whole purpose of tie dye. One thinks they selectively choose the colors they are using, but when the shirt is all dried and the rubber bands come off, every color has spread out and the whole shirt has become permeated with a rainbow.

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  17. An example of permeability is how snow clothing does not allow water to seep through it. In contrast to a pair of spandex pants, that will allow water though. Permeability is the ability of an object to filter through, to enter, to pass through another object. It is not the same as porosity, but porosity must be considered in talking about permeability. Permeability is determined by the porosity of the object that is being filtered through; this is because porosity is the amount of empty spaces in an object.

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  18. It is similar to vulnerability because sometimes things that you don’t want to be able to permeate do, but not everything that is permeable is bad. For example if you are wearing leather pants they are not very permeable because the material of leather is hard to permeate, but if you were wearing jeans then it would be much easier. I do not think permeability only applies to biological systems for example, paper is not a biological system and it is still related to permeability. In reference to biological systems permeability depends on membrane solubility and the presence of specific proteins. Other factors could be pressure, concentration, and temperature of the molecules or solutes on either side. Also the size of the molecules can also affect permeability.

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  20. When i think of permeability I think of an experiment my high school teacher had my class do. She filled up a tub with water and placed floating balls on its surface so that there were only small spaces between. She showed us how when she added small heavier objects they sunk to the bottom, but when adding a large piece of paper it remained on top of the balls and did not go through the semi-permeable membrane she created. This experiment showed me that permeability was selective, and that molecule size mattered because certain objects were not always allowed to go through as easily. We definitely want to explore this concept further to figure out what affects permeability of an object, and how we can change that.

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  21. Permeability, it seems, has to do with the movement of one substance across another. There are countless form factors of permeability but an example that comes to mind is using a strainer to separate liquids from a solid. A strainer is permeable enough to allow a liquid to flow through it but catches any impurities or solids that were mixed with the liquid at first. This reminds me of the way proteins act as a strainer for the semi-permeable phospholipid bilayer membrane. Proteins allow some things to enter while closing off others. Although a strainer isn't part of any sort of biological entity, it functions in a similar fashion.

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  22. A personal experience that I have had with permeability is the way humidity affects my hair. When I know that it is going to be a humid day, I use a protective spray in my hair that is supposed to coat it and keep the moisture from getting through. But I often notice that the humidity still manages to get through and ruin my hair.

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  23. In my opinion, permeability is the potential characteristic that an object has to interact, and furthermore, share in a particular environment. Furthermore, I relate permeability to generosity, because of the willingness for a particular object to pervade and join in an environment. In this way, I agree with the section of this blogpost that identifies Lilacs as permeable because of the way that they join the atmosphere with their distinct and pleasant scent. This immediately allowed me to discover permeability in a way that I had never thought of before, in a way that doesn’t necessary have to directly apply to science. When thinking of this kind of permeability, I think of sunflowers. Sunflowers are my favorite flower and, in turn, make me very happy. In other words, sunflowers permeate positive energy in my environment and can ultimately provide an emotional change in behavior. Speaking in terms of behavior, I think that permeability can relate to vulnerability. To be vulnerable means to be susceptible to physical or emotional injury. If sunflowers have the ability to permeate a particular environment in a positive way, I can infer that particular objects can permeate a particular environment in a negative way when regarding one’s vulnerability. For example, dry trees can be considered vulnerable in regards to a small fire, because the fire can grow and potentially destroy an entire forest.

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  24. Doug Lewis
    Permeability is an interesting and unique characteristic of life because it can apply to so many mediums and variations of life. For example, as I look outside through the window, I see the fog filling the environment outside the glass. Through the fog I see the buildings, cars, and people only their figures and vibrancy are weakened by the density of the fog. However, even though the fog and the glass have distorted the objects outside, their figures and colors still permeate through, only much weaker than if the fog had lifted. The permeability of the environment outside the window is seems simple at first; just cloud cover, covering up it's surroundings. Upon digging a bit deeper, we can understand how the colors and shapes of these elements are less permeable in this environment due to the glass and fog surrounding them.

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  25. I really like how you tie the terms we learn about to the real world and include nonscientific definitions. It really gives us a holistic understanding of the term. When I think of permeability I think of a screen or filter that allows certain things to permeate through it. For example a screen in a window allow wind and maybe some precipitation to pass through the screen while bigger objects like leafs, branches and twigs are not allowed to pass through the screen.

    Permeability also has appeared in my social life. Especially when dealing with people with big personalities, their energy seems to permeate throughout the room. A good example would be Michael Jordan. Very few people have the kind of gravity that Michael Jordan has so that when he enters the room, his presence seems to reverberate around, permeating the mood completely.

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  26. When I think of permeable, I think of the definition of one object allowing water or another liquid to pass through it. An example of this is a paper towel. When cleaning up a liquid, the paper towel will absorb the water, therefore objects of the permeable sort are often used for picking up messes. One would never consider to pick up a mess with a plastic, non-permeable object, because they are aware of the fact that it will not be efficient in this task. Permeable objects serve the purpose of absorbing or sifting through liquids, while non-permeable objects repel or restrain liquids.

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  27. Permeability is a very interesting topic. I've never thought about how the definition of permeability can apply to almost everything in the world around us. The definition of permeability, the capability of being passed or diffused through, is different from that of porosity, how much of the structure allows for a substance to flow or pass through it. I think that if you don’t look at permeability in a scientific context, the term is synonymous with vulnerability. I’m not quite sure why, but I automatically thought about those giant, colorful sombreros one could buy on a vacation to Mexico. The dyes that make those hats so colorful permeated the straw or fabric. In this example the hat was vulnerable, and was taken over by the dye in a very specific way.

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  28. Yina Cordero

    I think permeability has to do in the way one substance affects the other and how they work together to make something new. For example when you dye your hair for the first time the color is changing the natural hair color and creating a new hair color. These two distinct hair colors came together in a very natural way and can be seen as a permeable substance. Some hair types process the color more easily than others and you can say this is because some hair types are more vulnerable to change than others. I think porosity is different because it’s the amount of open space there is or the void in a particular object but it works with permeability because this is the space permeability goes through in order to become one with other substance. I think most things are permeable to each other but they might need an extra push like a substance in order to better facilitate the permeability. For example some hair types don’t change color right away and might need bleach to quicken the process. The extra push or substance can vary in amounts as well. This article shows that permeability is dependent on many factors such as temperature, distance, and sense. This article also shows how permeability does not only apply in biological systems because colors that transmit beyond a plastic bag can be a form of permeability. Although it may be hard to see this happens all around us.

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  29. I think for me, I’ve never really thought of permeability in science terms before learning about cell membranes in science classes. As the article suggests, permeability can also be seen in other areas, for example the Arts. Usually permeability would trigger more reaction for me in the music area. For example, when playing in an orchestra (in school), the conductor would require us to adapt and compliment each other (different sections of the orchestra). And in the long term, all the music instrument players learn what permeability means in music: to create a holistic piece of music using different instruments, and create chords and cadences through interweaving musical notes. It means for us to not be afraid to play our parts loudly, knowing that overall as an orchestra we’d still sound awesome.

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  30. Something that is permeable is absorptive. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of absorption is a sponge. A sponge is most vulnerable when it is wet. The sponge sucks up the soapy water and left over food particles that float in the sink. When I squeeze the sponge to empty some of the dirty water out, the food and water permeate out of the sponge and back into the sink. When the sponge is dry, it is not permeable to the sink's contents in the same way as it is when it is wet. If I try to wash the dishes with a dry sponge, the left over food on the plate will turn into little flakes that rest on top of the sponge. The same goes for the soap. It will not absorb into the depths of the sponge, rather, it will form a film of stickiness atop the sponge. Thereofore permeability does not only apply to biological systems, it is relevant within all aspects of life.

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  31. The day after the red sox won the world series, I feel it is only fitting to try and relate permeability to the events that occurred last night. Personally, my most recent experience relatable to permeability, is a thick crowd of people. For example, last night the area around Fenway was impermeable because of how many people there were and because of all of the barriers established by the police. As in this example, permeability does pertain to which object is trying to get through. The crowd may be impermeable for a person, but extremely permeable for an ambulance because of its size. Permeability and porosity are different because porosity applies to an object with spaces in which other objects may pass through, as opposed to permeability which does not always mean that there must be open spaces, but rather the object must be weak enough to let other objects through.

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  32. Until reading this blog post, I have always thought of permeability in terms of science and the context in which we learned it this week in lecture. Though the term is usually found in scientific explanations, permeability can be applied to a variety of situations. I think permeability can be applied to art and painting. For example, expressionist painters such as Monet or Renoir use brushstroke techniques that create a sort of textured and specific look that gives their work certain characteristics. When different colors permeate one another they blend to create a certain illusion that is seen at a distance.

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  33. When I think of permeability, I think of fluid motion between barriers. This definition can be applied to many things in our natural world. Many of the posts above speak about the permeability of fabrics and chemicals and their interactions with water. However, the first example that came to my mind was much more abstract. When I think of fluid motion between barriers, I think of movement across a spectrum. The next thing that came to mind was sexuality and human expression. The permeability of human individualism, sexuality, preferences, etc. allows for change and movement between barriers.

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  34. Permeability is when a substance or gas passes through the membrane. When I think of something that is permeable, I immediately think of eggs boiling. The water does not directly pass through the shell of the egg but the water does, in its gas form, heat the egg and change the egg's state from liquid to solid. This would mean that the egg is permeable. Eggs are nonbiological systems that originate from living chickens, which are biological systems. The eggs may be vulnerable to the heat of the water. The article suggests that nonbiological systems like clay can also be permeable. The article also observed permeability in terms of the color of the plastic objects.

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  35. Permeability is when something allows the transfer of fluids or gases. The term is can be used in many different contexts both inside and outside the scientific field. What comes to mind when I think of permeability is an aged piece of wood. When wood gets old, it begins to rot and there are a lot of cracks and holes in it. This makes it more absorbent allowing water to flow through it with less resistance.

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  36. Isabel Vera

    I first thought of permeability only in the context of biology, and the way it permeability impacts the cellular membrane and the cell itself; however, this post has greatly broadened my view of the concept. I now see that permeability is everywhere. Every living and non-living thing is permeating the environment that we are a part of by merely existing in it. When questioned if permeability implied vulnerability or strength, I couldn’t help but think of this environment that we are permeating. Thinking critically about this I can see that, like a cell membrane, our environment has its own semi-permeable characteristic to it. For the past hundreds of thousands of years we have pervaded our planet and influenced it tremendously. There is obvious vulnerability in our semi-permeable environment, as pollution has triumphantly taken a toll on our habitat. Yet, we often forget to consider the strength and resilience of the permeability of our environment that has been able to maintain itself and continue to support living organisms for millions of years. It is interesting to consider permeability in a broader context than the cell membrane.

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  37. When I think I permeability, skin comes to mind. Skin is only selectively permeable, however, as it does not allow everything that is applied to it to pass through. Most moisturizer or lotions are fully absorbed by the skin, but cosmetics sit on the surface, no matter how much or how little are applied. It is through the example of cosmetics that skin is of a selectively permeable nature.

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  39. I have only really ever thought of permeability in the context of science. After read this, however, I realized that even though we use the term permeable a lot in the sciences it really can relate to pretty much everything. I think you brought up the interesting question "what is a boundary?" in the beginning of your post and it is seemingly unimportant, but if you think about it that really is the basis of permeability. How can something go through a boundary if we don't define what a boundary is? One way that struck me when I was ready your article was how powerful permeability can be. I thought of when my grandma's bathroom flooded and the water permeated through the ceiling and and ruined the ceiling and the floor below it and even some furniture below it. Obviously the the "boundary" of the ceiling wasn't enough to keep the water from permeating through it. What is interesting though is had there been a thicker layer of ceiling or if the ceiling had been made out of a different material then the water may not have permeated through the ceiling. I think this article helps you to think about these kind of things particularly in not scientific circumstances.

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  40. When I think of something as being permeable that means it is something that allows things to easily pass through it. Since I do a lot of baking, my example would be the sieve. Whatever you put in the sieve, going along with the baking example with confectioners sugar, the small holes allow the sugar to easily pass through onto whatever like your french toast. Therefore the sieve would be an example of a permeable item.

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  41. One example of permeability that came to mind is a Christmas trees lights through the window of a house. If someone is driving by a street with many houses on it during Christmas time, there are many lights throughout the whole street, but often people see Christmas trees with the lights on it. Is someone is driving in a car, the light is premating through the air between the houses window and the Christmas tree, then permutes through window through more air between the house window and the car window, then through the car window. The fact that the light is still visible, although there are many things in-between that object and us is what makes it permeable. The windows between the light and us absorb some light, making it not as bright, which defines the porosity of this object. The object in between two objects is what defines permeability and porosity. It depend on whether the object is see through, or the shade of color that object is, and whether the objects colors be visible through it.

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  43. When I think of permeability I consider the definition to mean something along the lines of “able to permit things to pass through it.” I see it as a synonym for penetrable or porous. I think of it usually in context with water or some liquid because the visual is easier that way. Abstractly, I think human minds are often very permeable. We hear things, see things, and take in information on a daily basis, but how much of that do we actually store in our brains? I think we as people are very susceptible to permeability because we often let important things slip past our memory. Take for example a college style lecture: we tend to remember the important facts from the lecture and permeate the minute details. However, these details are often more crucial to our understandings of general concepts. I think permeability can be considered, in this context, synonymous to narrow-mindedness or insular thinking. Minds tend to be permeable and important information often penetrates through our brains, making us miss a lot of things that happen around us.

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  45. One thing that comes to mind when considering permeability is butter melting on some sort of food. For example, when one has hot bread and butter is spread on, it permeates through the bread. It melts and then moves through the bread. If left under heated conditions, the butter will all fall towards the bottom of the bread leaving little on top. It permeates through all the layers because bread is a matter that allows that. This makes me think of baking and cooking in general. Another example of this would be when one marinates a sort of meat. This in a way is a form permeability because the spices are being soaked up and moving into the layers of meat. Though with meat, the amount that would be soaked up is limited.
    Gabrielle Kanellos

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  46. When I think of permeability, I think of the ability of water to pass through a given object. Sitting down at the table in lab today, I was asked to read a blog about permeability and all of the different possibilities the definition holds. When thinking about my own example of permeability, I began to think about a variety of objects that allow the flow of water or other substances through them, but as I was thinking, I looked directly in front of me and noticed that directly in the middle of the lab table was a sink with a grate-like surface. The grate is a perfect example of permeability because it allows the flow of water, but rejects any other substance from passing through it. The grate has tiny holes in it that allow the passing of fluids but any solid object would find it hard to pass through.

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  47. I think when we hear the word permeable we automatically think of it in a scientific context. But when we think critically about the words semi-permeable and permeable we realize that they can be used in numerous contexts. After reading the part of the blog post which focuses on the plastic objects that were permeated with color, the first thing that came to my mind was tie-dying t-shirts. Some parts of the T-shirt were permeated with the dye much more than other parts and also certain colors permeate more than others. This level of permeability depends on numerous factors. For example, perhaps more dye was applied to one part of the shirt there for making it permeate faster and stronger. Another factor could be the material of the shirt and whether it was wet or not. Depending on the state of the shirt (more wet or dry) the dye could have permeated through the material better. These are some factors that could determine why the permeability of the dye to the shirt could have differed.

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  48. I usually think if something inanimate as permeable or not, for example a piece of paper, or strainer in the kitchen. I have never really thought about whether or not permeable can apply to a market or peoples feeling like you pointed out. I found it very interesting how permeable in one context means weak and vulnerable while in another it has a strong connotation. I think that what determines is something is permeable is not whether it is a object or a feeling or a person, nor if it comes off as vulnerable or strong, but what determines permeability is how we perceive permeability. Personally when I think of permeability I think of objects and whether or not a liquid can pass through them. I consider this a vulnerable quality. Maybe now with this new insight, I will think of emotions as permeable and the people who effect me in my life as the water that enters me.

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  49. One example of permeability would be the water going through the screen that is covering the sink here in our lab classes. In between the faucet and the drain is a screen that is supposed to stop thing such as clay or big chunks of sand from going down the drain. In this case I think that permeability does not equal vulnerability, because it was made for water to go through. To say that the screen was vulnerable would mean that it did not want water to go through.

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  50. I am a type of person who likes to contemplate on emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Hence an example of permeability that comes to mind is the “permeability of emotions”. Professor Hammer, you suggested “vulnerability” in your “suggested questions to answer”; I assumed you meant it as “the tendency of a biological organism in accepting/denying biological stimuli, and possibly being hurt from it”. I see this in an “emotional” perspective in a sense that a person has a certain “permeability” of emotions. When a person meets another person, there is always a certain level of “permeability”, where they allow (or don’t allow) the other person to “get in” on our emotions. It is only when we are 100% comfortable with someone (like our future spouse) that we finally make ourselves completely emotionally permeable to that person.

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  51. If something is permeable, then it is, by definition, a membrane which allows liquids and gases to pass through it. When I think of permeability, I think of something that absorbs a liquid or gas. A scientific example of this is dirt or sand. When it rains, dirt and sand absorb water and the result is mud or wet sand, as I learned in our water lab last week. In a non-scientific sense, something that I think about when I think of permeability is a car door. A car door acts as a barrier between the car and the outside world. It is opened to both let people in as well as let them out. People move in and out of cars through the door, which acts as a membrane, just as liquids and gasses move through a cell membrane. This comparison helps me better understand the scientific significance of permeable membranes.

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  52. I used to only think about permeability in reference to science. However, after reading this post, I now have a completely different perception of the word. When I think of an example permeation, I think to what we just finished learning in Social Sciences. After the February Revolution resulted in the abdication of Nicholas II, the desperate need for a legitimate governing body permeated all of Russia. Due to the starving peasants, exploited factory workers etc. there were severely miserable conditions in Russia. Russians expressed, or even exuded their need for reforms and authoritative rule, permeating the country.

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  53. Porosity is a measure of how much rock space is open, while permeability measures how easily water can flow through a rock. The more porous and permeable a rock is, the more vulnerable it will be to natural outside effects. Additionally the environment in which a rock is located can greatly affect it's permeability. For example, I'd imagine if a rock was located in the desert, it would become more permeable overtime due to the constant sand and wind hitting the rock repeatedly over it's lifetime. This would create more holes in the rock, allowing water to flow more easily. While sometimes permeability can rely on structure alone, it does not necessarily mean that something has to be a biological system to be porous or permeable. For example, although a water bottle is not very porous, it is quite permeable which allows it to be used as a water bottle in the first place.

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  54. When I think about permeability what immediately comes to mind is the towel I use when I'm painting to wipe off my brush. Although the towel is designed to take the paint and sometimes water off of my brush, it doesn't always allow for the water to not soak all the way through. Sometimes, if I use the towel enough it is really wet and even some of the paint gets through on my hands.... and carpet (sorry dad).

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  55. When I think of permeability I think of something that is weak and can easily be passed through. An example that comes to mind is clothing in water. When your clothes get wet, the water almost always soaks through onto your skin. With certain, thinner, materials, the water soaks through much more easily. With thicker materials, like jeans, it takes more water for you to feel lit on your skin. Then there is also water proof clothing that water can't soak through at all.

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  56. I remember when I was younger my class was often required to make "journals" of historical figures. When I had to write Ponce de Leon's journal I wanted to make it as close to real as I could (as a fifth grader this could be deemed difficult). One thing that I did to make the paper I was using look old was soak it in tea. The tea permeated the paper and gave it a beautiful beige color that made it look aged.

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  57. Permeability has to do with the movement of a substance across a boundary. Permeability can be vulnerable, and it can be strong. Permeability can be a substance in any facet in life, it may be flowers permeating our sense of smell, water permeating through a porous cloth, or someone’s thoughts permeating our minds, the idea of permeation is an infiltration from one being through the next. In the context of the mechanistic theory, permeability does connect many an organisms in the life cycle. May it be from an animal smelling the permeating aroma of its young, or it might be a cell keeping homeostasis and letting the solutes permeate through the proteins of its cell membrane.

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  58. An example of permeability that comes to mind is soil. Permeability is the allowance of an object to let through liquid and gases. Because soil is porous, having minute holes for liquid and gas to pass through, a rainy climate introduces water to the soil and the liquid permeates these pores and saturates the soil.

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  59. Permeability is the characteristic of something that allows substances to pass through it. I believe the permeability can be seen as a vulnerability because of the passive traits an item may have. When I think of this, I think of tie-dying a T-shirt. Rolling the t-shirt into a specific patter and pouring a watered-down form of paint on it allows for permeability because one can physically see the dye permeating the shirt. It travels through the shirt, creating patters, and being visible on both sides of the shirt (meaning when it is inside out). The shirt allows the dye to permeable because of the liquid state of it, however if one were to paint on the shirt with acrylic paint, for example, that paint would not permeate the shirt in a similar style as the dye did. I think that permeability is dependent upon many factors in both biological and non-biological systems. I think that both substances that are interacting in the permeability must contain at least one characteristic that allows one thing to permeate another. Both must interact with each other, suggesting the mechanistic theory form a particular standpoint.

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  60. One example that came to me during this reading was the concept of sunscreen and the protection it allows from UV light. Professor Hammer helped me understand that as sunscreen spf increases the permeability decreases. For example, a 15 spf is more permeable, meaning UV rays can more easily be absorbed by the skin, then a 70 spf (which is less permeable). In this example, an individual would want a sunscreen that less permeable in order to protect the skin from the UV rays. Permeability reflects the ability of something, whether it be sunscreen or flowers, to absorb into its environment. It can be considered a movement or transportation.

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  61. I think of permeability as the process of one thing saturating another. An example that comes to mind occurred at my babysitting job. The girl I babysit and I dyed pasta for the halloween party she was throwing. The boiling pasta was mixed with food coloring, resulting in bright pink, dark green, blue, and orange colored spaghetti. Looking back, I now understand this to be permeability because the color was soaking into the pasta.

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  62. It's hard for me to think of permeability in any sense other than scientific because I was first introduced to the term in a science setting. From there on out, It usually always immediately reminds me of cell walls and cell membranes. However, in a more large-scale, concrete way, I suppose I'd think of different materials, such as a brick wall. A brick wall is impermeable while a beaded curtain is very permeable. A wooden door is impermeable but a screen door is very permeable.
    Abby Danowitz

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  63. The definition of permeability is the ability for a substance or object to allow any fluid to pass through it due to its porosity. High permeability means that a fluid will pass easily through the substance/ object, and low permeability means that it will be harder for the fluid to pass through the object. Since I am en environmental science major, this is very important in instances that involve oil, gas, and aquifers. Also one of the most important aspects of it related to my major is that during heavy rainfall, the storm water picks up many impermeable substances that drain into rivers and lakes and pollute the habitat and cause great dangers to the animals living there. Another example of permeability in relation to day-to-day life is tea bags. The tea is wrapped around a thin paper that is very permeable to water and allow the flavor of the tea to easily disperse into the water.

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  64. Permeability can be described as the rate of flow through a material.. but can it be as diverse as smell.. as colors.. I would like to think also as information or sensibility.
    Let me elaborate: for example, on sustainability projects, focusing mainly on creating user consciousness in a sustainable environment.. how permeable is the information on the design to a simple user who does not know anything related to sustainability..

    This can be changed into the rate of flow of information from the ambience into the users receptor system, brain, eyes, senses etc. How easy to understand can a space become and how can it PERMEATE the information and create consciousness without pointing it directly to the users.

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  65. When I think of permeability in an every day context I think about coffee. Every time a cup of coffee is brewed, water needs to pass through a permeable coffee filter in order to turn coffee grounds into delicious coffee. Permeability is the movement of one substance through or passed a boundary, but this term can definitely be applied to
    things outside of a scientific context. Permeability depends on two things - the nature of the boundary and the nature of the substance passing through the particularly boundary. For example when brewing coffee, the coffee grounds do not pass through the permeable filter, but water does. Permeability also depends on the nature of the boundary. If the coffee filter had larger holes in it the coffee grounds would fall through as well and then coffee would not be able to be produced. In other words, something can in fact be permeable to one thing and not another.
    Permeability can be applied outside of biological contexts. A person can permeate a cultural boundary, or a physical obstacle. The article suggests that permeability can even be applied to art. Permeability depends on several different factors as the article demonstrates.

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. Permeability describes the property of an object to be able to let substances pass through it. Porosity seems like a type of permeability where you are able to visible see the substance pass through the object. For example, a sponge is not a biological system. However, it is still able to portray aspects of permeability and porosity.
    In terms of mechanistic theory, permeability is important to know the manner in which chemical and physical restraints can pass through a biological system.
    When I think of permeability I think of a good rain jacket vs. a bad one. A good rain jacket is one that isn't quite permeable and does not let rain in. (Like the one I just bought.) A bad rain jacket is one that is (unfortunately) permeable and lets rain through. (like the one I wore the other day)

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  68. Permeability is described as the ease at which an object (any substance) can pass through another object. My non-scientific example of permeability would have to be an air conditioning unit. Although it is doesn’t have a heart beat, this unit is very much alive in the sense that it pumps cool air into the environment. An air conditioning unit would be an example of permeability because as air is flowing through its complex system cooling down, it passes through a filter that collects all/most of the bacteria (depending on the quality of AC) and only releases clean, cool air. So in a sense it is semi-permeable because only some particles can pass through the air-conditioning unit, while others are trapped in its filter.

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  69. Permeability is a word I had only heard before, before today I'm not really sure I fully understood the meaning. Now that it has been defined, it seems that all around us, in the natural world, is permeability. How many things in our day to day life are permeable, things we don't even really notice, or consider the reliability of? It seems as though many of my very favorite things about nature, since I was little (my family being avid nature walk goers) are indeed permeable, and I never even thought of it before. And outside nature, permeability is also all around us. You could almost say we, as human beings, are permeable. In the human context, in can be almost thought of as "able to give way", or being vulnerable. No matter how some of us try to deny it, every human being has emotions, feelings, feels happiness, and pain. We struggle how to make our way through the pain, that is part of the human condition (connection to Humanities/the Greek Philosophers!) I encountered permeability just last night, when I helped a good friend of mine sew felt onto his halloween costume. (I created a hammer and sickle, the symbol of Communist Russia, as he donned sunglasses and danced (He's being the communist "party"). As I helped him sew, again and again the needle from my sewing kit pierced the fabric, proof of the fabric's permeability.This is further proof that permeability is indeed all around us.

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  70. The first example that comes to mind for permeability is when I drink my loose leaf tea. I have to put the tea in a metal holder that has very small holes in it. Inside this holder, I place the loose leaf tea and then pour water over top of it. The water trickles down the leafs, taking with it the color and flavor. The water is able to permeate through the metal holder, carrying the small particles of color and flavor. However, none of the loose leaves are able to permeate the metal holder because they are simply too big for the holes. In addition, the water is able to permeate through the leaves and bring out the colors of the leaves and flavor they contain. This demonstrates permeability within the leaves and with the water through the metal holder.

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  71. Permeability is when a substance allows another substance to pass through it. When I think of permeability in my life I think of tea. I drink tea a lot and every time i dip the tea bag into the hot water the water permeates through the bag to get to the tea inside and spread it throughout the glass. In some ways it s the same as porosity because in both cases one thing is passing through another but it is also different because permeability is selective whereas porosity is not. I had never thought about applying permeability to people before but i think i do agree with your example with people being permeably with love for each other. Now obviously this cannot be taken literally because people are not cells with substances passing through them but their mutual feelings of affection can be shared. I also think that cultures can be permeable as well for when two cultures meet one will sometimes take some of the characteristics of the other culture, but not all of them which goes back to permeability being selective.

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  72. Permeability is the ability of something to flow through one object to another. Porosity and permeability are not the same thing because porosity is a measure of how much of something is open space whereas permeability is the ability of something to flow through that open space. When I think of permeability I think of waters ability to permeate most things like my clothes or my hair if I happen to be walking in a rainstorm. I think of smell with permeability to. For example, if a skunk sprays you that smell with permeate your clothes.

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  73. Permeability to me is the measure or ability of passing of one substance through another. It is similar to porosity in that porous things tend to be more permeable but different because porosity is having to do with spaces or holes in something. Permeability applies to so many different situations and environments. I can think of so many different environments where permeability comes into play, not just in biological systems. For example a sandcastle at the beach can easily be permeated with the rush of a wave and destroyed by the water. The sand is extremely permeable. In a cooler filled with ice on a hot day the material either plastic or maybe some type of vinyl doesn’t let the melting ice and water escape, it is not permeable otherwise we would have a mess all the time. Permeably definetly depends on a lot of factors.

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  74. When I think of permeability, I think of it as when one substance flows through another. What comes to mind when I think of this is rain and soil and how this creates a cycle of life. By water flowing through the soil, it allows for seeds to grow into its full potential (whether it be a shrub, flowers, trees etc.). In this case, the soil would be vulnerable because it is allowing for the rain to flow through it. Although this may be a scientific way of looking at permeability, I think it could also be seen as artistic in the way that permeability allows for the development and creation of life. Without permeability, living organisms couldn't grow.

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  75. Permeability: that state or quality of a material or membrane that causes it to allow liquids or gases to pass through it. Off the top of my head, an example of this would be dying a shirt. Every summer I work in the kitchen of a family resort where I used to vacation. For fun, when we have the chance, some of my friends and I drive to the nearest town for Tie Dye Tuesday at the local art gallery. I remember soaking the shirts in cold water (another example of permeability) and then splashing them with all different vibrant colors! Seeing the shirt absorb the colors as well as the dyes mixing with one another was always a fascinating thing to watch.

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  76. Permeability is the ability for a substance to pass through another object. An example of permeability would be walking outside with a sweater on a rainy day like this. While walking to class today, I experienced permeability when the fabric of my sweatshirt transferred the water to my skin. The rain went through the material of my sweatshirt and got my skin wet.

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  77. I would say that permeability is how saturated one area is with another substance. In the case of the plastic objects you photographed in Mexico City, they are permeated with color, but not as permeated as they would be, had you been either inside the store or use a better camera. In this sense I guess I would consider permeability to be saturation in a sense. When thinking about cooking something like a full chicken, you want to make sure that the flavorings you wish to pair with the bird permeate the skin to flavor the meat. When it comes to intercommunication, someone who is more outgoing and personable has a better chance to permeate into multiple circles of friends. This is the same in the professional world: if you are trying to “permeate” yourself into a specific field, say advertising, you must not only practice, but immerse yourself in the field with various internships to connect with others and expand your network.

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  78. Negin Taleb
    NS 201
    When something is permeable, it can allow another substance to flow through it. I find the idea of vulnerability as a form of permeability very interesting. In my opinion, our minds and hearts are very permeable. Every day, we allow a certain amount of information flow through our minds, and it’s not always certain whether or not that information will stay in our minds or simply flow through. Similarly, we allow ourselves to feel several types of emotions throughout a given day. We can feel happy in the morning, sad in the afternoon, stressed in the evening. The list goes on and on. Our minds (and hearts) can be seen as sponges – another permeable substance. We can absorb so much in a small amount of time and, like a sponge, our minds and hearts can be soaking wet, but once we squeeze the sponge, it eventually becomes dry again. Though it is important to learn about permeability in a biological sense, relating the concept to ourselves really helps us conceptualize it and understand how aspects of biology can apply to all aspects of life.

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  79. Permeability is the ability of a substance to allow another to pass through it. Not all materials are permeable and their are varying degrees of permeability. I don’t think its the same as porosity. Porosity sounds like the object has holes in it and because of that liquids are allowed to pass through it. It sounds similar to permeability, but I think the latter has more to do with how easy or difficult a time a liquid has in relation to the material. Many things in life are permeable--for example, soil. Water permeates the soil to reach tree roots.
    Our whole bodies are not permeable, but aspects of it our. Our cells for example are permeable. Cultures can be permeable. Noways there is a lot of culture exchange going on--exchange programs, westernization, traveling abroad. It is important to explore this further because it is important to find a balance with the exchange, it won’t be good for their to be a bid difference in balance.

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  80. Permeability: allowing one thing to become a part of another
    One example of permeability is liquid and a paper towel. The liquid permeates the paper towel and becomes soaked in. The paper towel only has a certain amount of liquid it can hold so it becomes impermeable at that point.
    Are people permeable? In some cases, yes. An example of people being permeable is when we use lotion or moisturizer. The lotion or moisturizer soaks into the skin and rejuvenates the skin. This is also a case of being permeable to one thing and not another. Lotion permeates the skin but water doesn’t as much.

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  81. When I think of permeability, I think of sunshine, especially today when it has been raining all week. The light from the sun permeates through everything that it shines on. Light permeates to help all living things grow, it permeates through glass windows, sunglasses and sometimes even sunscreen. Not only does the light from the sun permeate but also its heat permeates through almost anything. When wearing black in the summer, one can always feel the heat of the sun permeating through one’s clothing.

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  82. Permeability allows liquids to pass through it. Porosity allows liquids to pass through its holes. This is not the same as vulnerability. An example of permeability is the liquid passing through my clothes on to my skin on a a rainy day like today.

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  83. One of the many definitions of permeability is to filter or spread throughout. Each day after high school, I would come home to the smell of my mother’s authentic Moroccan cuisine, an aroma that would permeate throughout my entire home. As I would deeply inhale the appealing scents of my mother’s cooking, it would simultaneously infiltrate my entire essence. I believe permeability is dependent on one or multiple factors. Moreover, in order for a substance to permeate or be permeated, it either depends on infusing another substance or belonging to some substance. For example, in the article’s second example, the objects in the plastic bags depend on the particular dyes of color to permeate color. Furthermore, this example illustrates a process of permeability, “the plastic bags block some of the color and the window glass blocks it more. The lens of my camera blocked more of the color, as did the air between the window and my camera.” In addition, I relate my personal example to the last example of the article. The lilacs possess an enchanting fragrance that permeates the atmosphere. The lilacs depend on their distinct aroma to permeate the atmosphere and they also depend on the atmosphere to obtain an environment to permeate.

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  84. -- Is there one definition of permeability? Is it possible that we all understand permeability in our own unique way? I personally look at permeability in a more scientific or quantitative manner. I see it as the measure of “how well something or some idea is transmitted to an environment”. While there may not be a specific unit to measure how well a new product permeates a market, we can measure how much rain has permeated through a rain jacket in cups or gallons. It seems that the meaning of permeability can change depending on the situation that it is being used. Often times it seems that he term permeability can be replaced with a synonym. For example, does rain permeate through a rain jacket, or does it penetrate the jacket? If we think about it they seem to interchangeable terms in some circumstances. I believe that changing out permeability with another work can help us to better conceptualize permeability.- Chris Falco

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  85. Porosity and permeability are related properties of an object. Both are related to the number, size, and connections of openings in an object. More specifically, porosity of an object is a measure of its ability to hold a fluid. Permeability is a measure of the ease of flow of a fluid through a porous solid. Using a rock as an example, it may be extremely porous, but if the pores are not connected, it will have no permeability. Likewise, a rock may have a few continuous cracks, which allow ease of fluid flow, but when porosity is calculated, the rock doesn't seem very porous. I think permeability can be used in other contexts and applied to different meanings other than science, but I think it makes most sense to use it in a scientific context. The mechanistic theory, which states that life is constrained by chemical and physical condition, applies to the concept of permeability because permeability constrains or allows fluid to run freely throughout objects. Permeability is dependent on more than one factor as suggested by this article because it can apply to more than one aspect of an object.

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  86. When first learning about permeability and the way it affects the cell membrane, I was only able to relate to concept in a scientific way. After reading the article and gaining some more knowledge, I realized that the idea behind permeability and the concept could be related to many of our actions we partake in our everyday lives. I would describe the term permeability as allowing a substance or gas to pass through the membrane. An example of permeability that comes to mind is a tea bag. The tea bag wraps around a thin layer of paper that is permeable to water. Because of that, the tea particles in the bag have the ability to easily disperse into the water creating the final product of the tea. Only the water can enter into the tea bag and leave the tea bag. The actual leaves in the tea bag cannot leave the bag. A substance that is moving from one area that is more concentrated to an area that is less concentrated can be following the concentration gradient; therefore, it tries to maintain the difference between the concentrations.

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  87. Being permeable means allowing things to pass through the substance. An example of this in my everyday life is the tea I had this morning. The tea bag is it's own substance but as soon as I put it in the hot water, the tea from the bag leaks into the water making the tea bag a permeable substance

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  88. One of the biggest examples of permeability that comes to mind is the beach. When you fill up a bucket with ocean water and drag it back to the dry stand and dump it, the water permeates the sand and sinks down. This would hardly be true if you dumped water on pavement, per say, where the water does not permeate nearly as well and instead just sits there.

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  89. One definition of permeability is to "let in" or welcome something. Of course, not everything is let in which is why there is selective permeability which can be seen in cell membranes. This kind of process is like a filter, and I see this definition play out in my life as well. Being a human being, and able to think rationally, I feel as though I am my own filter by choosing who I let into my life. In some ways that is similar to a cellular membrane: only let in what is good and leave out what will unbalance homeostasis. To me, this is key to a positive life.

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  90. An example of permeability is coffee. Coffee when brewed is permeates the water, making the water coffee. The coffee permeates the water when the hot water flows through the coffee grounds. The water molecules allows the coffee to infuse the water, changing the molecules that were originally put into the coffee grounds into a different liquid that many people drink.

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  91. At first I thought permeability is only possible for cell membranes. But, through further understanding I realized that I have actually experienced permeability many times in my day-to-day life. For example, I live in Boston now and it rains all the time. Sometimes I am prepared for the rain and sometimes I am not. When I am not prepared for the rain, my clothing immediately absorbs the rainwater and the water transfers through, eventually touching my skin. When I am prepared for the rain, I have my umbrella or raincoat ready. These items are not permeable because they do not allow the water to pass through and touch my skin.

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  92. One example of permeability is a candle; a candle permeates the air with its delightful aroma. An example of impermeability is a rain jacket, which doesn't allow water to soak through to your clothes.

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  93. Permeability can be seen virtually everywhere. The first example to mind is Boston's recent 'hurricane' taking over the streets. There I was walking to class, backpack closed, when I get to class to find everything is soaked! The material (polyester?) of the backpack seems to be firm and hefty but it's actually permeable by letting water pass through and attack my computer. Of course it isn't as if my backpack were completely open but it's very similar to the cells we study. The zipper lets some rain drops pass through the cracks and protects other drops from getting in.

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  94. Permeability, to me, can mean many different things as the article points out. I think of it as something that sinks into another object, or fills a space. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of permeability is the way water is absorbed into the ground after it rains. I think of the rain permeating the earth. When I picture it, I see the earth almost as a sponge, absorbing an outside substance. In this sense, I think permeability can be synonymous with porosity, however I don’t think it always it. For instance, a smell can permeate a room or area, but that does not make the room a porous thing. Additionally, in a more abstract view, I think people and places can be permeable because they can be infiltrated with ideas, concepts, beliefs, practices, etc.

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  95. My example:

    I love cookies. So yesterday I put a tray of cookies into a hot oven. While the cookies were baking I walked out of my apartment to take out the trash. When I came back inside I was hit by the smell of the cookies. Their aroma had permeated the environment.

    Permeability, in very basic terms, to my understanding, is an objects ability to flow through or puncture an environment. My cookie example works because the smell of the cookies are flowing through and puncturing the air.

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  96. Sounds can permeate the air. It's in a more abstract manner, but things can change based on how much sound surrounds them. The air can be so saturated with sound it becomes white noise, or so barely saturated all is heard is a murmur.

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  97. After reading this exploration of “permeability,” I realize that the term is a flexible word that can apply to many situations outside of the sciences. The word “permeability” is used to describe how one object goes through another. The first non-science example that popped into my mind is an airport where people are either allowed to pass through or denied access through the security gate by the security guards. However, my initial concept of permeability changes after reading the paragraph about the colored objects and the many obstacles between our eyes and the object. My idea of permeability changes as I realize that the definition of permeability is even wider than my definition, and that it can apply to most, if not all, situations. Culture, atmosphere, objects, and such are all permeable and dependent on multiple factors (as explain by the colored object and lilacs paragraphs).

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  98. As a non- Science major, I tend to look at permeability in a non- scientific way. I tend to look at it through a psychological or sociological lens. To me, permeability is ideas and material moving through a certain medium. For example, how do the beliefs and attitudes of a society permeate through its culture? How do our parents attitudes and beliefs permeate into our own belief systems? A classic example of societal attitudes permeating through a culture is, unfortunately, racism. If a society has had negative experiences, attitudes, or perceptions about a certain racial group, then they will probably be biased towards them, discriminatory, and change how they would interact with them. A good example of parental attitudes permeating our lives would be political party affiliation. For example, if our parents are Republican, we will probably be too, and if our parents are Democrats, we probably will be too. When looking at permeability, we must also consider the effects it has on society, not just as a means of transporting ideas and attitudes through a medium

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  99. When I think about permeability, I think about the transferring of particles from one place to another. I also imagine something spreading to evenly spread out. Thinking about permeability in this sense reminds me of making tie dye shirts. When you add even a drop of dye to the white shirt, you can see many things relating to permeability going on. For starters, the dye is combining with the shirt, soaking into the shirt particles. Another thing you can see if the shirt permeated with color. The shirt being able to retain the dye shows that its particles are permeable. Permeability is definitely not just a scientific term meant for labs and lectures considering we see it all around us in everyday life.

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  100. Selective permeability is the state of a material that allows certain liquids or gasses to penetrate, but not others. An example of permeability would be a rain coat. The rain coat fabric repels liquids, particularly water. However, the fabric still allows air and probably other gasses to pass through.

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  101. Permeability can be applied to countries as well as biological systems. A countries permeability has a lot to do with its relations to other countries. For example North Korea has extremely limited permeability when it comes to people and goods entering and exiting the country. Both are so limited and tightly regulated by the government the way a cell is regulated by the proteins in its membrane. Another semi-permeable place is Cuba. The US government does not allow Americans to go to Cuba, an outside force is restricting access. However, the Cuban government does allow Americans to visit Cuba. Therefore, to Americans access to Cuba is possible but through limited ways. In terms of countries, permeability is a kind of interaction that deals with regulated access.

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  102. After reading this blog it has become clear to me that permeability is all around us and not just in our bodies. It's studied the most in our cell membranes, but there are many other ways to view it in action. In simplest terms, permeability means anything (not just a substance) crossing a boundary into something else. What I mean when I say it's not just a substance is that emotions and other human characteristics can also permeate either into our own bodies or someone else's. An example of permeation in terms of substances would be when I put on perfume this morning. IT permeated my clothing as well as skin so the scent can stay with me throughout the day while the air around me was thickly permeated until all of the molecules dispersed becoming undetectable.

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  103. Permeability allows the passing through of one thing through a barrier. On a windy and rainy day like today, one can’t help but think of all the raincoats, rain boots, and umbrellas people have on themselves. Materials like these are what prevent the rain from reaching what is underneath them. They are selectively permeable, preventing the passing of liquid through their material. It is what allows us to stay dry while running from class to class outside.

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  104. When I think of permeability I think of the girl I bought flowers for during this year’s Valentine’s Day. I bought her a bouquet of Oriental Lilies, her favorite flower, and they smelt so strongly that for as long as the lilies lasted, her room as well as part of the hall way smelt like lilies. The word itself, permeable, has many applications, but I find it mainly as something that can be penetrated with something else. As the smell of the lilies permeated my friend’s room, it also penetrated the atmosphere.

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  105. Although permeability and porosity are two different things, they are related to one another. Permeability describes the property of allowing something to pass through a layer of something. Porosity describes how much of a space is open. They are related because if something is permeable, whatever permeates through it fills an open space, and how much open space there is depends on porosity. Permeability can depend on the material of the object and the molecules that make it up. It is totally possible for something to be permeable to one thing and not another. For example, when I dye my hair, the dye is permeating my hair with color, and this is possible because the dye is specially formulated to be a substance that can permeate my hair molecules. However, if I get gum stuck in my hair and use peanut butter to get it out, my hair does not allow the peanut butter to permeate it. The peanut butter would just sit on top of my hair (although the oils in it would probably be absorbed since oil is something that hair allows to permeate it.) People and cultures can be permeable in a sense; once someone is deemed "trustworthy", they are allowed to permeate, and pass through the defensive layers we as individuals or a culture keep around us.

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  106. Permeability is a word that is used in both the scientific and everyday world. It is the movement of one object across another. In the case of a cell membrane, some things may pass through while others are blocked. In a boxing match, a fighters defense may be called permeable if he allows some shots to connect while blocking others. The word permeable can be used in almost any context. Porosity and permeability are not the same thing scientifically. However, when used to describe non scientific things, you could used the word porous in almost all the same places. You could say a fighter's defense is porous ie. full of holes and allowing shots in. In this context they mean nearly the same thing. In the scientific world, porosity may refer to voids that can be filled with air or water. I find it interesting that scientific words such as these are used in everyday conversations and very few people really think about their true meanings.

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  107. For me it's hard to disassociate the word permeability with science as in my experience they have always been used together. Even when thinking of outside examples it seems to always come back to biology or nature. An example of this connection would be my grandmas perfume. She used to literally use 6 squirts of it about 3 times a day and when she was at our house the smell permeated the ENTIRE house for her entire stay as well as about two weeks after. Even this example seems to connect to science as the smell is really how the perfume is acting with its environment but I think that comes back to the fact you can relate almost anything to science.

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  108. Permeability is not just subjected to scientific meanings-- permeability can be found all around us. A soccer game is a good example of permeability. Depending on how good the defense is, the opposing side may or may not get to the goal, showing that sometimes the permeability allows the offense to get through the defense and sometimes it does not. The same occurs with the goalie. If the goalie saves the goal, the goal is not permeable. If he misses, and the other team scores, the goal is permeable.

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  109. Permeability is a very relative term. Our skin is selectively permeable because it does not allow water to pass through it. I wear knitted hats when it rains because the material is selectively permeable and does not allow water to pass through and get my hair wet. Another example would be water color on a plain piece of paper- the colors permeate the water and the combined watercolor permeates the paper.

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  110. I think of permeability in a language context-specifically with borrowed words in between different languages in contact. Somehow, languages allowed some foreign words to be permeated, to pass through many barriers, and not others.

    Alejandra Rodriguez

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  111. Something is permeable when things can pass through it. I experienced permeability when I was walking in the rain. The fabric on my clothing was permeable because it allowed the rain to pass through my shirt and then left my skin wet.

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  112. While reading this article, I thought of Jello. As I am trying to understand what permeability truly means with the examples provided, I began to come up with my own visualization of Jello. Just as the plastic and glass altered the appearance of the beads in the store window, Jello would alter the view of anything past it. Jello being an odd liquid-solid material allows things to pass through it. Heavy things would pass quickly and effortlessly, lighter things would take time sinking through, and hints that are too light may not pass through at all. Obviously Jello is permeable in similar, yet if different, ways as the given examples, and as cell membranes or people. Maybe people are permeable in the sense that they can be very vulnerable in some situations yet very strong or tough in others (just as cell membranes can decide what it wants to pass through effortlessly and what it wants to act like an iron gate to!). It is hard to say whether it is one or many factors that cause permeability in biological and nonbiological systems, yet I think this article tries to draw the conclusion that it is due to many factors and their interplay in a given situation (such as with the newspaper balls, clay, and salt in the kiln).

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  113. I believe that permeability is the ability to have things flow between a barrier without trouble. Although this term is mainly applied to the scientific world, it can also be seen in the everyday world. For example, a window with a screen could be considered permeable. The screen allows for a continuous stream of air to come in and out of the window. This permeability is based off a number of factors that allow for this to happen.

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  114. When I think about permeability I begging thinking of home. It may seem odd that I would start thinking about my hometown when I think of liquid passing through a membrane, but I come from a town that is surrounded by water. Their is a bay on one side and an ocean on the other, with scattered ponds in between. I imagine the surfers going out on the water in the fall, zipped up in their wetsuits. These wetsuits are permeable, they are meant to keep in body heat but the water still soaks through them and the fabric still breaths.

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  115. Permeability is the ability of something to carry and transport liquids. It allows another substance to pass through it. The first example of permeability that came to mind was how rain interacts with our everyday clothing like sweaters, raincoats and umbrellas. Both raincoats and umbrellas are selectively permeable because they are waterproof, thus designed to repel liquids. Material that comes from sweater fabric on the other hand is not made to repel water. It rather absorbs water causing the rain flow through the sweater and further permeates to your skin.

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  116. Permeability allows substances to pass through an object. Porosity is the measure of empty space while vulnerability refers to the inability to withstand an intense environment. I don’t believe they are truly the same exact definition, but they both relate to permeability. Substances can definitely be more permeable to one thing than another. It all depends on the object it’s passing through; some are more selective than others. Permeability doesn’t only apply to objects. They can apply to our own biological systems, humans too! Every day, our own biological systems filter and choose what to let into our system. Human beings choose the kind of people they want to “let in” to their lives and build relationships with. Permeability controls many aspects of our lives, which is why it is so important to learn.

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  117. Permeability has to do with the movement of one substance across a boundary. It is very easy to relate such a concept to anything in the scientific field, but I think the term can also relate to everyday life and experiences. To me, permeability illuminates a special connection between things. The article mentioned that two people in love are often permeated with attraction for one another. This reminds me of my junior hockey team because we all shared a special connection/bond with each other that allowed us to be a great team. In a sense, our teammates were permeated with the same goal: to win. It is an odd way to look at thee term but I think it is applicable in that sense.

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  118. When I think about permeability in everyday life I immediately think of my broken shower drain. When I fill the bathtub up with water, even though the shower’s drain drop to stop the water from passing through, it still does. Slowly but surely the bathtub will empty (annoying, I know). Permeable means, something that allows liquids or gas to pass through. Another exam would be a pasta drainer. When you poor the boiling water and pasta through, the past drainer allows for water to pass through and leave the pasta. We see permeability everywhere in our life, especially on a rainy day.
    An example of permeability in gas that came to me is scuba gear. When you are scuba diving, you use your regulator to breath. This is permeability. The regular is the passageway for the oxygen to pass through, thereby allowing you to breathe.
    Even a straw! A straw allows water to pass through it, or in my case a slurpee.

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  119. The first time I ever heard of permeability was in sixth grade in a biology class. I had never heard of the word before then so the first time I heard it, I immediately associated it with science. Little did I know that the concept of permeability can do with so many other aspects within life. When I think of permeability, a great example would be when someone blows a bubble, and small particles in the air are able to go through the bubble without it popping. Of course, if a particle is too big or if something too solid is merged with the bubble, it will pop. Permeability isn’t completely the same thing as porosity because as in watering a plant, you can make the soil wet but you may not be able to get other solid material through it. Although, it is permeable in many ways. It is obviously possible to be permeable to one thing and not another just like channel proteins only certain things to pass through them. From the mechanistic theory, this is important because selective permeability is what has allowed different things to function properly.

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  120. Like many people, it's hard to disaffiliate the word "permeability" from science. However, thinking of my personal life, two things pop up immediately. Whenever I go to my grandmother's house, it ALWAYS smells like food. Inevitably, when we leave her house, our clothes and hair smell like her house. It permeates our clothing and hair so much that it the food follows us all day long. Also, I'm constantly wearing lotion, so I came to the realization that my the lotion hydrates my skin by permeating my pores.

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  121. When a membrane is permeable substances can pass through it. An example I think of as a rower is the gear we train in. We have long sleeve and short trough which is a much more water resistant substance than regular cloth. Although its much better than just wearing a T-shirt (which arguably is way better during a summer or indoor row) the spandex shirts still allow water to soak through it. On a dry sunny day its more likely sweat or water from splash that permeates through our gear, but on days like this morning when its raining the water just soaks through and you have no chance of staying dry on the water.

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  122. Something is permeable when it allows a liquid or gas to pass through it's membrane or material. Permeability is usually only ever really associated to science. However, things we use in our everyday lives can be great examples of showing what permeability is. For example, face makeup (liquid foundation) permeates the skin when you apply it to your face. Although, face makeup can cover up blemishes and make your skin look flawless and even in skin tone, if it goes into your pores and you do not wash your face properly, it can cause you to break out. The process of makeup going into your pores is an example of permeability.

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  123. I've always though of permeable as a science term and never applied it to my every day life. However, when I consider my personal definition of permeable, it can be applied to any aspect of life. Permeable to me means the ability to let matter pass through matter. One obvious example of a matter that is permeable is a sponge. Due due to the porosity of the sponge, matter move freely into it but because of the density inside it, the matter soaks into the sponge unless force is put upon it to unleash the matter.

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  124. Permeability is something that occurs in our everyday lives whether we are aware of it or not. It is the allowing of something to pass through it. I think it can be related to vulnerability because it is "open to attack". SOmething that is permeable is open to allowing things pass through it. Take for example a knit sweater. It can be permeable in the fact that it lets things pass through its holes. Like air and water can pass through pretty easily. However, the holes being a specific size does not let everything pass through it. This can be related to the cell membrane because the cell membrane is permeable where it lets certain things pass through it but not all things.

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  125. Permeability is how easily liquids or gases can pass through a certain object, while we measure how porous something is, by the size of the holes that allow this transfer of liquids or gases. Permeability is determined by certain properties that the cell membrane has, and so some membranes are selectively permeable. An everyday example of permeability can be seen in the interaction between an umbrella and rain. The umbrella is made of materials that repel most of the water, but some water remains on the umbrella, which describes porosity.

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  126. Permeability is the state of a material that allows liquids to pass through it. The first example of permeability that comes to mind involves water and sand. At the beach, when water is poured onto dry sand, the water moves through the sand and the resulting product is completely new.

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  127. Permeability is the quality of a material that allows water to pass through it. An example that comes to mind when I think of water passing through is my fingers becoming waterlogged. It happens to me really easily, and I often find my fingers to be uncomfortable after just 10 minutes. My skin allows water to pass through so therefore its permeable, but how does it happen? Also, do my fingers get waterlogged quicker in salt water or fresh water? Finally, why do my fingers get waterlogged so quickly and not my arms and legs? I will have to do research to find out answers, but the topic of human permeability is really interesting.

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  128. As mentioned in the article, permeability is more than just a substance being able to move through a barrier. Every second I’m in class my knowledge on the class content is growing. My mind is permeable to the information be fed to me and is able to retain the new content. Or at least most of it. There are some things that get through and other things that get left out. Certain subject matter gets easily retained because my mind has a different level of permeability for different information. Permeability has many different examples throughout life.

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  129. I love the idea of exploring permeability as layers. To me permeability implies entrances or openings to allow the movement of energy and materials. In sustainable design, this seems essential for fluidity, filtration, mimicking natural processes, and accessibility. Nature is porous, on so many levels and layers. Each layer of pore metabolite may serve a slightly different function. For example, in researching the salt water marsh, we see the development of habitat, durability, and expansion through a multi-layered system of permeable spaces. Cities that allow permeability are dynamic and

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    1. ...will be more durable as a result of embracing the flow of goods and materials that can be processed and transformed within a site. This can be applied to varying aspects of design. Using biomimcry as an example, natural systems contain this type of permeability and thus are durable, transformative, adaptive, multi-functional, and thus sustainable.

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