cognitivedissonance:

sagansense:

pennyfournasa:

Take a look at the portion of North Dakota highlighted in this image. That isn’t a city, and those lights weren’t there 6 years ago…That’s the burning of natural gas from oil fracking rigs.http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/01/16/169511949/a-mysterious-patch-of-light-shows-up-in-the-north-dakota-dark“From your orbital perspective, you can see that something has unmistakably gone wrong. The dominant organisms, whoever they are—who have gone to so much trouble to rework the surface—are simultaneously destroying their ozone layer and their forests, eroding their topsoil, and performing massive, uncontrolled experiments on their planet’s climate. Haven’t they noticed what’s happening? Are they oblivious to their fate? Are they unable to work together on behalf of the environment that sustains them all?Perhaps, you think, it’s time to reassess the conjecture that there’s intelligent life on Earth.” - Carl Sagan, Pale Blue DotTell Congress You Want To Preserve & Cherish The Pale Blue Dot:http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/



Whoa.

cognitivedissonance:

sagansense:

pennyfournasa:

Take a look at the portion of North Dakota highlighted in this image. That isn’t a city, and those lights weren’t there 6 years ago…

That’s the burning of natural gas from oil fracking rigs.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/01/16/169511949/a-mysterious-patch-of-light-shows-up-in-the-north-dakota-dark

“From your orbital perspective, you can see that something has unmistakably gone wrong. The dominant organisms, whoever they are—who have gone to so much trouble to rework the surface—are simultaneously destroying their ozone layer and their forests, eroding their topsoil, and performing massive, uncontrolled experiments on their planet’s climate. Haven’t they noticed what’s happening? Are they oblivious to their fate? Are they unable to work together on behalf of the environment that sustains them all?

Perhaps, you think, it’s time to reassess the conjecture that there’s intelligent life on Earth.” - Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

Tell Congress You Want To Preserve & Cherish The Pale Blue Dot:
http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/

image

Whoa.

1,401 notes

explore-blog:

How Mendel’s genetics work, in vintage illustrations from the era of Youmans’s chemistry diagrams. 

explore-blog:

How Mendel’s genetics work, in vintage illustrations from the era of Youmans’s chemistry diagrams

(Source: )

1,386 notes

climateadaptation:

Vile.

But why did I post this?

There’s an interesting section in this article, one that environmentalists can readily relate to, and that’s the “jobs defense.”

The Jobs Defense is a common response by businesses that fear new regulation. For those that know a bit of environmental and economic history, this defense been used effectively for centuries to tamp down protest, influence politicians, and garner public support.

The Jobs Defense was used to defend from regulating slavery, child labor, the right to vote, organize unions, pass environmental regulations, and myriad other policies that benefit you today.

In this case, a public meeting was called to democratically discuss how to prevent slaughtering children (dramatic, but that’s the language we’re using up here in New England regarding the Newtown, Ct mass shooting). True, the headline is about some brainless bullies who heckled a dad who lost his 6 year old boy.

But to me, the interesting aspect of this is that the journalist sort of dances around the examining the Jobs Defense.

A gun manufacturer is quoted in the article that his company, “(Pumps) tens of millions of dollars each year into the Connecticut economy.” The journalist does mention that gun manufacturers offered no solutions at the meeting. But the Jobs Defense went unchallenged.

There was no discussion or questioning that his product causes deaths.* There’s no discussion of why “tens of millions of dollars” is a reasonable response to the death of Americans. Isn’t that curious? That we all accept that the Jobs Defense is a so legitimate that it gets a free pass?

Barack Obama uses the Jobs Defense, too. In fact, it’s a primary driver of getting the Keystone XL Pipeline approved - jobs. Indeed, there are thousands of articles discussing jobs in relation to building the oil pipeline, have a look.

None of them, that I found, examined the benefits of environmental protection over the few jobs that the line will create. It’s true that some have examined the claim that the line will create a certain number of jobs. No one can say clearly if the line will create 500 jobs or 20,000.

But this still doesn’t examine the facile and rather weak argument that jobs should be a primary motivation versus incredibly beneficial, American alternatives. From my point of view, the Jobs Defense must be examined. Should jobs be held in reverence over human health? If so, why?

*For those who wish to throw the “What about knives!” trope at me, I’d point out that knives are highly regulated, perhaps more so than guns.
You can’t pass into many buildings with a knife, bring one on a plane, travel with one in a vehicle in certain states, nor legally carry a concealed knife in many communities. The size of certain knives are regulated. And types of knives are regulated, such as butterfly and other spring loaded knives.
You cannot cross a border with a knife, per international and domestic law. And police officers confiscate knives as a matter of routine (some law enforcement agencies confiscate so many knives that they auction them to generate money). And, of course, if you wield a knife, citizens and cops are authorized and protected by countless laws to shoot you.
Note, further, that environmental regulations protect you from these rather benign utensils. Manufacturers are prevented from using certain chemicals and metals that poison your body, like lead and mercury.
In any case, this trope is a whiny and weak diversion, a fallacious straw man that keeps the gun advocate from taking personal responsibility for contributing to actual harms and deaths to their fellow Americans.
That’s what regulation looks like. Thousands of knife laws were passed to protect people from harm. And gun laws aim to do the same. There’s no legitimate reason to limit gun laws, especially not the Jobs Defense.

63 notes

theawakenedstate:

thesciencellama:

Piano notes made visible for the first time

Music is beautiful isn’t it? The team at CymaScope visualized the dynamic sounds of the piano’s first strike and the eventual plateau and decay phase of different notes. You can listen to the sounds here and watch as the geometric shapes come to life.

Here is a list of the geometric glyphs for each noteimage

Cymascope - Sound Made Visible

cymatics <3

50,405 notes

kidsneedscience:

The word gene was first used in English in 1911, derived from the German word Gen, created in 1905 by Danish scientist Wilhelm Ludvig Johannsen (1857-1927) from the Ancient Greek word γενεα (genea) meaning generation or race (of people). The word genome was first used in 1920 by professor of botany Hans Winkler of the University of Hamburg. He patterned the word on the word chromosome, a combination of the Ancient Greek words χρομος (chromos meaning color) and σομος (somos meaning body). Unfortunately he followed the example set by the recently coined words rhizome and biome, both of which took only part of the root suffix for -somos and rendered it -omos. The genome is defined as the entirety or collection of genetic material needed to form an individual. In addition to the word genome, the word gene now forms a part of many more English words: genetic, etc.

Scientists working at the European Bioinformatics Institute recently used the structure of DNA to store data-DNA after all is nothing more than the storage device for all that genetic material. Using the building blocks of DNA, Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman (read about their story by clicking here) converted Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 and sent the result to a gene sequencing lab. A few weeks later they received a test tube with the newly created DNA which when they sequenced gave back their encoded Sonnet. The sonnet they chose was particularly appropriate:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

While Shakespeare had three children, they were not terribly prolific, and the gene pool that issued from Shakespeare ended in 1670 with the death of his last grandchild.

Image of the human chromosome (and therefore genome) courtesy National Human Genome Research Institute, released to the public domain.

Image of William Shakespeare also in the public domain.

506 notes

wetwareontologies:

Cells cultured along origami seams, prodded to self assemble into 3D shapes. Future applications include organ growth and drug delivery.

2,038 notes

neuromorphogenesis:

Newborns’ brains bear signs of adult illnesses
At birth, some infants are already saddled with brains that carry features of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Newborns who carry certain versions of genes already show brain shrinkage reminiscent of that in adults with brain illnesses, a study of 272 newborn babies reveals.
The new results, published online January 2 inCerebral Cortex, illuminate what happens to the brain in the earliest stages of life, says neuroscientist Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., who was not involved in the study. “As we go through life, there are so many uncontrollable factors,” he says. “This is a way to see gene influences before the world steps in.” Until this study, scientists didn’t have a good idea of whether certain brain signatures — such as reduced volume in parts of the brain — were present from birth or whether they accumulated over a lifetime, says study coauthor Rebecca Knickmeyer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
To test this, Knickmeyer and her colleagues looked for the influence of 10 versions of seven genes on newborns’ brains. The researchers chose genes that affect how the brain grows and develops. These gene variants have also been linked to adult brain diseases, such as the ε4 version of theApoE gene, which triples the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, and a version of the COMT gene, which has been implicated in schizophrenia.
Brains of newborns with some versions of these genes had features similar to those seen in the brains of adults with diseases, the team found. Newborns with the ε4 version of the ApoE gene had less brain tissue volume in the temporal cortex, a part of the brain that thins in elderly people and adults who have ε4. Newborns with a variant in COMT also had reduced volume in the temporal cortex, a brain characteristic that turns up in people with schizophrenia.
The implications are that these brain features are a consequence of genetic influences, Giedd says. “I’m trying not to be doom and gloom, but it’s not lifestyle. It’s not parenting.” Things like that won’t change the lower brain volume in a newborn baby, he says.  
But Giedd points out that genes aren’t destiny, and that having a high-risk gene variant doesn’t mean a person will definitely get an illness. Many other things influence how the brain grows and develops, and these factors undoubtedly influence the risk of a disease, he says.
The researchers plan on following the infants in the study until age 8, and perhaps even longer, to see the consequences of these brain features. Such a long-term study could reveal why some people with a higher genetic risk succumb to a disease, and how others avoid it.

neuromorphogenesis:

Newborns’ brains bear signs of adult illnesses

At birth, some infants are already saddled with brains that carry features of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Newborns who carry certain versions of genes already show brain shrinkage reminiscent of that in adults with brain illnesses, a study of 272 newborn babies reveals.

The new results, published online January 2 inCerebral Cortex, illuminate what happens to the brain in the earliest stages of life, says neuroscientist Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., who was not involved in the study. “As we go through life, there are so many uncontrollable factors,” he says. “This is a way to see gene influences before the world steps in.” 

Until this study, scientists didn’t have a good idea of whether certain brain signatures — such as reduced volume in parts of the brain — were present from birth or whether they accumulated over a lifetime, says study coauthor Rebecca Knickmeyer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

To test this, Knickmeyer and her colleagues looked for the influence of 10 versions of seven genes on newborns’ brains. The researchers chose genes that affect how the brain grows and develops. These gene variants have also been linked to adult brain diseases, such as the ε4 version of theApoE gene, which triples the risk of getting Alzheimer’s, and a version of the COMT gene, which has been implicated in schizophrenia.

Brains of newborns with some versions of these genes had features similar to those seen in the brains of adults with diseases, the team found. Newborns with the ε4 version of the ApoE gene had less brain tissue volume in the temporal cortex, a part of the brain that thins in elderly people and adults who have ε4. Newborns with a variant in COMT also had reduced volume in the temporal cortex, a brain characteristic that turns up in people with schizophrenia.

The implications are that these brain features are a consequence of genetic influences, Giedd says. “I’m trying not to be doom and gloom, but it’s not lifestyle. It’s not parenting.” Things like that won’t change the lower brain volume in a newborn baby, he says.  

But Giedd points out that genes aren’t destiny, and that having a high-risk gene variant doesn’t mean a person will definitely get an illness. Many other things influence how the brain grows and develops, and these factors undoubtedly influence the risk of a disease, he says.

The researchers plan on following the infants in the study until age 8, and perhaps even longer, to see the consequences of these brain features. Such a long-term study could reveal why some people with a higher genetic risk succumb to a disease, and how others avoid it.

60 notes

scinerds:

pizzzatime:

BBC: HORIZON :: WHO’S AFRAID OF A BIG BLACK HOLE?

One of my favorite illustrative representations of how the fabric of space time behaves.

scinerds:

pizzzatime:

BBC: HORIZON :: WHO’S AFRAID OF A BIG BLACK HOLE?


One of my favorite illustrative representations of how the fabric of space time behaves.

2,466 notes