"Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception."
Carl Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God (via theoriginofthespecies)

Food, Inc.

sixpenceee:

If you thought the post on twins sharing consciousness was awesome, wait until you hear this.

A 44-year-old French man one day went to the trip to the doctor’s because he felt a pain in his left leg. He’s a married man with two kids and a steady job.

Doctor’s found that he had hydrocephalus as a child (when your brain is filled with fluids) so they decided to run some brain scans.

What they found was that the majority of his head was filled with fluid. Over time, the buildup caused his lateral ventricles to swell so much that his brain had been flattened to a thin sheet.

Doctors estimated that his brain mass had been reduced by at most 70%, affecting the areas in charge of motion, language, emotion, and, well, everything.

Shockingly, he was fine. While his IQ was only 75, he wasn’t mentally challenged. He held a steady job, raised a family, and didn’t have trouble interacting with others.

Over time, his brain had adapted to all that pressure, and even though he had fewer neurons that most, Jacques was still a fully functional human being.

The doctors drained the fluid and while his brain is much smaller now, he is still a healthy individual with a normal life.

SOURCE

pbstv:

All of our skin organs form from simple folds in skin tissue. Once this process was in place, it was modified to produce all kinds of skin organs — from a reptile’s scale to a bird’s feather to a mammal’s mammary glands.
Learn more tomorrow with Neil Shubin when Your Inner Fish continues tomorrow (4/16) on PBS at 10/9c.

pbstv:

All of our skin organs form from simple folds in skin tissue. Once this process was in place, it was modified to produce all kinds of skin organs — from a reptile’s scale to a bird’s feather to a mammal’s mammary glands.

Learn more tomorrow with Neil Shubin when Your Inner Fish continues tomorrow (4/16) on PBS at 10/9c.

"Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in."
Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519)
sagansense:

Earth’s upper atmosphere—below freezing, nearly without oxygen, flooded by UV radiation—is no place to live. But last winter, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that billions of bacteria actually thrive up there.

Expecting only a smattering of microorganisms, the researchers flew six miles above Earth’s surface in a NASA jet plane. There, they pumped outside air through a filter to collect particles.

Back on the ground, they tallied the organisms, and the count was staggering: 20 percent of what they had assumed to be just dust or other particles was alive. Earth, it seems, is surrounded by a bubble of bacteria.
Now what? Read the whole story over at PopSci…

sagansense:

Earth’s upper atmosphere—below freezing, nearly without oxygen, flooded by UV radiation—is no place to live. But last winter, scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that billions of bacteria actually thrive up there.

image

Expecting only a smattering of microorganisms, the researchers flew six miles above Earth’s surface in a NASA jet plane. There, they pumped outside air through a filter to collect particles.

image

Back on the ground, they tallied the organisms, and the count was staggering: 20 percent of what they had assumed to be just dust or other particles was alive. Earth, it seems, is surrounded by a bubble of bacteria.

imageNow what? Read the whole story over at PopSci

fromquarkstoquasars:

How We Can Create Artificial Daylight at Night?
What would it take for us to make daylight at night on the Earth? What would we need to eliminate “night” altogether?
In reality, this is a bit of a silly question. If we actually did this, not only would it require massive amounts of energy, it would seriously interfere with the lives of an untold number of species. Nevertheless, it is interesting to think about. So, what would it actually take? Could we really do it?
Find out at http://goo.gl/Uao75a
Image before editing: NASA

fromquarkstoquasars:

How We Can Create Artificial Daylight at Night?

What would it take for us to make daylight at night on the Earth? What would we need to eliminate “night” altogether?

In reality, this is a bit of a silly question. If we actually did this, not only would it require massive amounts of energy, it would seriously interfere with the lives of an untold number of species. Nevertheless, it is interesting to think about. So, what would it actually take? Could we really do it?

Find out at
http://goo.gl/Uao75a

Image before editing:
NASA

scienceyoucanlove:

A terrible disease and yet maybe a hope against osteroporosis?"Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva" (FOP) skeletonizes body tissue and makes the victim imprisoned in its own body.What you see in the photo is complete bone tissue.You might not think about your bones very often unless you break one. When you break a bone, the bone heals itself and begins to regrow. But, what if your muscles, tendons and ligaments turned to bone? What if you formed a skeleton on top of the one you already have? That’s what happens with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or FOP.FOP patients’ bones fuse together, essentially forming a second skeleton out of the tendons, ligaments and muscles- a true metamorphosis. The skeleton is almost one solid piece, and sheets of bone exist where they should not.In FOP patients, extra bone formation almost always starts at the neck, spine and shoulders. Only then does it move to the other joints. Eventually, people with FOP will probably lose most of their mobility. Joints lock, and bones can twist into odd positions. Often, the jaw fuses together either spontaneously or as a result of an injection for dental work, which makes eating and brushing teeth extremely difficult. The skeleton will fuse into one position, and that is the position a person with FOP will stay in for the rest of his or her life. Any attempt to remove the extra bone only leads to more extra bone re-formation. Only 700 people worldwide are known to have FOP, which makes this disorder extremely rare. The reason for this disease seems to be a mutation in the gene encoding Activin receptor IA (ACVR1), that is important for the regulation of ossification (the production of bone tissue). This gene helps control bone morphogenetic proteins, or BMPs. In FOP, the gene is active without BMPs- operating like a leaky faucet. When BMPs are present, the faucet explodes with activity and lacks inhibition. So it initiates ossification processes that can’t be regulated anymore.However, the positive aspect of this syndrome is: This genetical clue might someday help scientists figure out how to make extra bone for people who need it, like people with osteoporosis.Article: http://tinyurl.com/nmjzlkyImage found on wikipedia
text source 

scienceyoucanlove:

A terrible disease and yet maybe a hope against osteroporosis?
"Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva" (FOP) skeletonizes body tissue and makes the victim imprisoned in its own body.

What you see in the photo is complete bone tissue.

You might not think about your bones very often unless you break one. When you break a bone, the bone heals itself and begins to regrow. But, what if your muscles, tendons and ligaments turned to bone? What if you formed a skeleton on top of the one you already have? That’s what happens with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, or FOP.

FOP patients’ bones fuse together, essentially forming a second skeleton out of the tendons, ligaments and muscles- a true metamorphosis. The skeleton is almost one solid piece, and sheets of bone exist where they should not.

In FOP patients, extra bone formation almost always starts at the neck, spine and shoulders. Only then does it move to the other joints. Eventually, people with FOP will probably lose most of their mobility. Joints lock, and bones can twist into odd positions. Often, the jaw fuses together either spontaneously or as a result of an injection for dental work, which makes eating and brushing teeth extremely difficult. 

The skeleton will fuse into one position, and that is the position a person with FOP will stay in for the rest of his or her life. Any attempt to remove the extra bone only leads to more extra bone re-formation. Only 700 people worldwide are known to have FOP, which makes this disorder extremely rare. 

The reason for this disease seems to be a mutation in the gene encoding Activin receptor IA (ACVR1), that is important for the regulation of ossification (the production of bone tissue). This gene helps control bone morphogenetic proteins, or BMPs. 

In FOP, the gene is active without BMPs- operating like a leaky faucet. When BMPs are present, the faucet explodes with activity and lacks inhibition. So it initiates ossification processes that can’t be regulated anymore.

However, the positive aspect of this syndrome is: This genetical clue might someday help scientists figure out how to make extra bone for people who need it, like people with osteoporosis.

Article: http://tinyurl.com/nmjzlky
Image found on wikipedia

text source 

futurist-foresight:

Just because its Yuri’s Night Out.

sci-universe:

53 years ago today (April 12), Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, became the first human to travel into space and change history, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth.

So on April 12, Gagarin, who became an international celebrity and hero, is being commemorated for paving the way for future space exploration by the International Day of Human Space Flight (Cosmonautics Day).

I really recommend looking him up. There’s so much to know about him and the history-making flight.

My favourite thing is probably the landing to an unplanned site: A farmer and her daughter observed the strange scene of a figure in a bright orange suit with a large white helmet landing near them by parachute. Gagarin later recalled, “When they saw me in my space suit and the parachute dragging alongside as I walked, they started to back away in fear. I told them, don’t be afraid, I am a Soviet citizen like you, who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!”

Happy International Day of Human Space Flight!

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

NPR’s Skunk Bear Tumblr has a great new video on the schlieren visualization technique. The schlieren optical set-up is relatively simple but very powerful, as shown in the video. The technique is sensitive to variations in the refractive index of air; this bends light passing through the test area so that changes in fluid density appear as light and dark regions in the final image. Since air’s density changes with temperature and with compressibility, the technique gets used extensively to visualize buoyancy-driven flows and supersonic flows. Since sound waves are compression waves which change the air’s density as they travel, schlieren can capture them, too. (Video credit: A. Cole/NPR’s Skunk Bear)

coolsciencegifs:

Pouring an ice cube using supercooled water:
The temperature of the liquid water is reduced below its freezing point, without becoming a solid. The ice wont form without the presence of a nucleation point (a crystal or impurity around which an ice crystal can begin to grow). However, on contact with another surface, the water instantly freezes. Check out how to make instant ice at home in this video: http://youtu.be/sBFK5-JvBAc
(via Ross Exton)

coolsciencegifs:

Pouring an ice cube using supercooled water:

The temperature of the liquid water is reduced below its freezing point, without becoming a solid. The ice wont form without the presence of a nucleation point (a crystal or impurity around which an ice crystal can begin to grow). However, on contact with another surface, the water instantly freezes. Check out how to make instant ice at home in this video: http://youtu.be/sBFK5-JvBAc

(via Ross Exton)

"Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know."
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate)
A message from suigintoulampe
Woah, you really know about early medicine and it's history!!! Do you have any readings recommended? Or books? By the way what course did you take?

biomedicalephemera:

I don’t know anywhere near as much as I want to know! I’m always learning :D

I studied Biology and Dairy Science in school.

For some interesting History of Medicine stuff, the National Library of Medicine has a good site - check out their collections and education resources for some really quick and fun lessons.

If watching things is your bag, “Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery" is one of my favorite BBC documentary series.

My favorite authors that you guys might love:

Everything by Mary Roach, especially Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Also everything Carl Zimmer, especially Parasite Rex

I’ve liked everything I’ve read by Richard Preston, too, especially The Hot Zone. Haven’t read every single one of his books, though.

Amy Stewart has the best bugs, plants, drinks…and illustrator. Wicked Plants is great.

Other good books:

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA

Women in Science: Then and Now

Madame Curie: A Biography (by Eve Curie)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Zooborns (…shush)

A Little Book of Sloth (…stay shushed)

For fiction, Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore (especially Fluke and Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove), Terry Pratchett, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Marion Zimmer Bradley are my favorites.

CATCH THE FLESH EATING READING BACTERIUM TODAY!

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