Dilettante Fascination

Main themes of this blog: ANIME and SCIENCE. Although I like plenty of things which may show up from time to time. Like Doctor Who. Or Sherlock. Or Supernatural. Or Steins;Gate. Or Persona 3/4.
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Posts tagged "science"

compoundchem:

The colours & chemistry of some common pH indicators: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-aM

PDF download via the above link, and also available to purchase in large poster form here.

I vaguely remember using Phenolphthalein for titration experiments in General Chemistry lab. Most people let the burette flow just so they could leave earlier.

(via thescienceofreality)

neurosciencestuff:

First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released
A large international consortium of researchers has produced the first comprehensive, detailed map of the way genes work across the major cells and tissues of the human body. The findings describe the complex networks that govern gene activity, and the new information could play a crucial role in identifying the genes involved with disease.
“Now, for the first time, we are able to pinpoint the regions of the genome that can be active in a disease and in normal activity, whether it’s in a brain cell, the skin, in blood stem cells or in hair follicles,” said Winston Hide, associate professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and one of the core authors of the main paper in Nature. “This is a major advance that will greatly increase our ability to understand the causes of disease across the body.”
The research is outlined in a series of papers published March 27, 2014, two in the journal Nature and 16 in other scholarly journals. The work is the result of years of concerted effort among 250 experts from more than 20 countries as part of FANTOM 5 (Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome). The FANTOM project, led by the Japanese institution RIKEN, is aimed at building a complete library of human genes.
Researchers studied human and mouse cells using a new technology called Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE), developed at RIKEN, to discover how 95% of all human genes are switched on and off. These “switches”—called “promoters” and “enhancers”—are the regions of DNA that manage gene activity. The researchers mapped the activity of 180,000 promoters and 44,000 enhancers across a wide range of human cell types and tissues and, in most cases, found they were linked with specific cell types.
“We now have the ability to narrow down the genes involved in particular diseases based on the tissue cell or organ in which they work,” said Hide. “This new atlas points us to the exact locations to look for the key genetic variants that might map to a disease.”

neurosciencestuff:

First comprehensive atlas of human gene activity released

A large international consortium of researchers has produced the first comprehensive, detailed map of the way genes work across the major cells and tissues of the human body. The findings describe the complex networks that govern gene activity, and the new information could play a crucial role in identifying the genes involved with disease.

“Now, for the first time, we are able to pinpoint the regions of the genome that can be active in a disease and in normal activity, whether it’s in a brain cell, the skin, in blood stem cells or in hair follicles,” said Winston Hide, associate professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and one of the core authors of the main paper in Nature. “This is a major advance that will greatly increase our ability to understand the causes of disease across the body.”

The research is outlined in a series of papers published March 27, 2014, two in the journal Nature and 16 in other scholarly journals. The work is the result of years of concerted effort among 250 experts from more than 20 countries as part of FANTOM 5 (Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome). The FANTOM project, led by the Japanese institution RIKEN, is aimed at building a complete library of human genes.

Researchers studied human and mouse cells using a new technology called Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE), developed at RIKEN, to discover how 95% of all human genes are switched on and off. These “switches”—called “promoters” and “enhancers”—are the regions of DNA that manage gene activity. The researchers mapped the activity of 180,000 promoters and 44,000 enhancers across a wide range of human cell types and tissues and, in most cases, found they were linked with specific cell types.

“We now have the ability to narrow down the genes involved in particular diseases based on the tissue cell or organ in which they work,” said Hide. “This new atlas points us to the exact locations to look for the key genetic variants that might map to a disease.”

(via thescienceofreality)

skunkbear:

Herding Cells - With Electricity!

Researchers at UC Berkeley have managed to use an electric field to herd a flock of epithelial cells — a trick called galvanotaxis. It’s a very blunt tool at the moment, but scientists hope it can be refined and used to help wounds heal.

(via thescienceofreality)

thenewenlightenmentage:


Researchers Show How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons
First report in preclincal study showing extended wakefulness can result in neuronal injury.
Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive performance. For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Continue Reading

thenewenlightenmentage:

Researchers Show How Lost Sleep Leads to Lost Neurons

First report in preclincal study showing extended wakefulness can result in neuronal injury.

Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive performance. For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Continue Reading

(via scinerds)

jtotheizzoe:

doctordisneybatman:

adriofthedead:

dragonmaw:

jtotheizzoe:

Eat Your Tardigrades or You Don’t Get Dessert!
You know this little guy, right? It’s the mighty tardigrade, as featured in the new Cosmos. Tardigrades, also known as water bears, also known as FREAKIN’ MOSS PIGLETS, are microscopic eight-legged animals that can withstand temperatures from near absolute zero to boiling water, absorb extreme doses of radiation, go without food or water for ten years, and even survive the vacuum of space. They can even be completely dried out and ride on the wind to a new home, where they rehydrate and go about their tardibusiness. Tardigrade rain, folks.
In other words, they are BAMFs (bad-ass microfauna).
Oh, and you’ve probably eaten them. Thanks to Meg Lowman, I found out that these water-dwelling super-critters live not only on wild mosses and wet plants, but on grocery store produce like lettuce and spinach. Do you think that a mere rinse or shake under the faucet (or even cooking) is enough to dislodge a radiation-eating space pig? Ha! Not by a long shot, according to Lowman.
So yeah… trying to go strictly vegetarian? You’ve almost certainly eaten some tardigrades. Sorry. Don’t worry, though. They’re totally harmless. I like to imagine that when I eat them, I absorb their power, and become a little bit mightier.
New motto: For strength, eat your vegetables and eat your tardigrades.
Meg Lowman has more about your local tardigrade friends. Also check out Lowman’s awesome research project that helps wheelchair-bound students climb to the top of the forest canopy where they help study tardigrade biodiversity. Science is for everyone!

i love its stupid face

noot

did you know england sent them in to space and called it tardigrades in space and shortened it down to tardis

UPDATE: I just looked that last part up and yes, the European Space Agency did launch tardigrades into space to test their supposed invincibility as part of a mission called “Tardigrades In Space” that they did abbreviate as TARDIS.
Well played, Europe.
Read about that 2007 mission here and here.

jtotheizzoe:

doctordisneybatman:

adriofthedead:

dragonmaw:

jtotheizzoe:

Eat Your Tardigrades or You Don’t Get Dessert!

You know this little guy, right? It’s the mighty tardigrade, as featured in the new Cosmos. Tardigrades, also known as water bears, also known as FREAKIN’ MOSS PIGLETS, are microscopic eight-legged animals that can withstand temperatures from near absolute zero to boiling water, absorb extreme doses of radiation, go without food or water for ten years, and even survive the vacuum of space. They can even be completely dried out and ride on the wind to a new home, where they rehydrate and go about their tardibusiness. Tardigrade rain, folks.

In other words, they are BAMFs (bad-ass microfauna).

Oh, and you’ve probably eaten them. Thanks to Meg Lowman, I found out that these water-dwelling super-critters live not only on wild mosses and wet plants, but on grocery store produce like lettuce and spinach. Do you think that a mere rinse or shake under the faucet (or even cooking) is enough to dislodge a radiation-eating space pig? Ha! Not by a long shot, according to Lowman.

So yeah… trying to go strictly vegetarian? You’ve almost certainly eaten some tardigrades. Sorry. Don’t worry, though. They’re totally harmless. I like to imagine that when I eat them, I absorb their power, and become a little bit mightier.

New motto: For strength, eat your vegetables and eat your tardigrades.

Meg Lowman has more about your local tardigrade friends. Also check out Lowman’s awesome research project that helps wheelchair-bound students climb to the top of the forest canopy where they help study tardigrade biodiversity. Science is for everyone!

i love its stupid face

noot

did you know england sent them in to space and called it tardigrades in space and shortened it down to tardis

UPDATE: I just looked that last part up and yes, the European Space Agency did launch tardigrades into space to test their supposed invincibility as part of a mission called “Tardigrades In Space” that they did abbreviate as TARDIS.

Well played, Europe.

Read about that 2007 mission here and here.

kqedscience:

Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks Asteroids With 9-Year-Old Boy In Michigan

During a question-and-answer session, a 9-year-old boy named Jacob got into a riveting exchange with famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the various ways to stop an asteroid headed toward Earth. But the kid doesn’t simply ask his question, sit down and listen to the answer. Nope, he’s ready for this moment, peppering the host of the Fox TV series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" with followup questions and alternate scenarios."

(via huffingtonposthttp://goo.gl/tnNgX7)

"It’s a non-Newtonian solid"

THE KID’S 9!

Granted, there’s no such thing as a non-Newtonian solid (as far as I know), although you can understand the point he’s trying to get at. He understands the idea that the asteroid isn’t a typical solid.

What’s great about this is the kid’s curiosity and posing “what if” scenarios. More people need to do that.

(via scinerds)

Asker feenomeena Asks:
So I see your post about Evolution with NDT. But Joe. You have to undrstand, as the devils advocate right now (being me), how do you explain the semantics of this argument. If it is fact, why not call it so. Gravity isnt a theory. It is a law because it is observable. The Law of gravity. The laws of thermodynamics. These arent theories, they are postulates. Why if the scientific community is forthforward about gravity, cant they accept it as fact as with these other observable laws?
nighthart001 nighthart001 Said:

jtotheizzoe:

(FYI, we’re talking about this post)

Thanks for being the devil’s advocate. Nobody ever stands up for that guy!

You ask an important question about the difference between a scientific theory, a scientific fact, and a scientific law, and in doing so you may have inadvertently caught a mistake in Cosmos. We’ll get to that, but first, let’s untangle these confusing terms.

A scientific theory begins life as a hypothesis. And a hypothesis is born when an observation comes together with a possible explanation  in the womb of the mind. That hypothesis is fed further observations, and if all remains correct, one day it grows up into a theory. The more a theory can explain, the stronger it is. It can be modified or proven wrong by future observations. What is special about a theory is that it ultimately allows us to predict what will happen and also explain why it is happening. 

A scientific law is fairly similar to a theory, except that it doesn’t explain the why. Let’s take the Law of Gravity as an example. It has been incredibly well supported by observation,and it has been revised over time to adapt to new observations (like spacetime), but nothing about the Law of Gravity explains why gravity does its gravitational things. We usually capitalize them because it makes them look more important.

A scientific fact, the way I interpret it (its philosophical definition has been debated many times), is an observation that no one has been able to disprove and that we expect two people would observe in exactly the same way regardless of when or where or how they observed it. For instance, it is a scientific fact that the jellyfish green fluorescent protein emits light at a wavelength of 509 nm when it is excited by 395 nm light. This is just a thing that happens. It is an observation that can then be applied to a more general theory of fluorescence. Got it? Good.

So what is evolution? It’s a scientific theory. It is a thing that we can see happening (yes, I mean actually observe it happening) and it also allows us to explain why it is happening. The theory of evolution encompasses all the chemistry of DNA, the random action of mutations, and the mathematics of selection. It’s a what and a why

What about gravity? Why did Neil call it a “theory”? Here’s the mistake in Cosmos that I think you’ve identified. He shouldn’t have called gravity a theory. It’s a law. We know a lot about the what of gravity, from how mass interacts at a distance to curvatures in the fabric of spacetime, but we don’t know why gravity gravities. So you’re right that gravity is a law. Neil was wrong, at least on this week’s show.

By this time you’re all probably thinking “Joe, this is a load of semantic bulls**t!!" You are absolutely right. It is a load of semantic bulls**t. It’s actually the very definition of semantics, the study of meaning. I’d forgive some of you for thinking this is all a worthless waste of verbal and cognitive energy, because what’s wrong with just saying something is or isn’t

Well, that all depends on what your definition of “is” is.

jtotheizzoe:

It’s a big day for physics.
A team of astrophysicists reported today that they have directly confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, first predicted by Einstein and whose fingerprints tell tales of the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after our universe came into being. This discovery, one of the most significant of the past 50 years, could explain a few more mysteries of just why things are the way they are in the universe today.
Using a beefy-sounding telescope near the South Pole called “Bicep”, the scientists peered almost 14 billion years into the past, studying the Cosmic Microwave Background, that distant radiation left over from the beginning of the universe itself, its wavelength stretched from unthinkably hot plasma to chilly microwaves as our universe expanded from a subatomic scale to the vastness of today.

(Cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations, via ESA)
The Bicep team detected peculiar fluctuations in that radiation, not in its temperature, but in its polarization. Like visible light waves, this early radiation can be polarized, wiggling and oscillating in a given direction, or even in a spiral. By analyzing the particular pattern of that polarization, we can then walk backwards and figure out what gave rise to those patterns in the very, very early universe.
This discovery is especially important to deciphering those earliest universal events because in its first 380,000 years the universe was dense enough to be opaque to light, meaning we have no distant radiation fingerprints older than the CMB to tell the early tale. These gravity waves may just decode that story. In essence, it’s the earliest look at the universe we’ve ever gotten.
Long story short, this confirmation of gravitational waves gives the strongest support yet to the idea of “cosmological inflation”, the real “Bang” of the Big Bang, where our universe expanded faster than the speed of light itself, growing so many orders of magnitude in so short an amount of time that it truly boggles the mind. Aatish Bhatia put it like so:

This has implications for everything from multiverse theory to the long search for dark energy and dark matter (and its origins) to why our universe is so flat and even at its observable edges to the quantum scale blips and fluctuations that gave rise to everything from stardust to galaxies. Like any science, this monumental result needs to be confirmed by other groups (which should happen later this year), but this is champagne-worthy science.
Confused? There’s a lot of awesome science to take in. For more in depth explanations, check out the following links (because this has pushed my biologist’s brain to its mushy limit):
Ethan Siegel has a great explanation at Starts With A Bang
Dennis Overbye was there with the scientists and got their reactions, along with a great coffee analogy
Sean Carroll goes into a few of the more technical aspects and what it means for physics at large
Also check out great summaries and interpretations from Phil Plait and Matt Francis
I think my favorite part of this is this little tidbit of scientific history from physicist Alan Guth, one of the first to propose the concept of inflation: Back in 1978, when he had just gotten his Ph.D., he scribbled a “spectacular realization” in his lab notebook that predicted the results reported today:

It was a long time coming, but that “eureka!” moment has arrived.

jtotheizzoe:

It’s a big day for physics.

A team of astrophysicists reported today that they have directly confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, first predicted by Einstein and whose fingerprints tell tales of the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after our universe came into being. This discovery, one of the most significant of the past 50 years, could explain a few more mysteries of just why things are the way they are in the universe today.

Using a beefy-sounding telescope near the South Pole called “Bicep”, the scientists peered almost 14 billion years into the past, studying the Cosmic Microwave Background, that distant radiation left over from the beginning of the universe itself, its wavelength stretched from unthinkably hot plasma to chilly microwaves as our universe expanded from a subatomic scale to the vastness of today.

(Cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations, via ESA)

The Bicep team detected peculiar fluctuations in that radiation, not in its temperature, but in its polarization. Like visible light waves, this early radiation can be polarized, wiggling and oscillating in a given direction, or even in a spiral. By analyzing the particular pattern of that polarization, we can then walk backwards and figure out what gave rise to those patterns in the very, very early universe.

This discovery is especially important to deciphering those earliest universal events because in its first 380,000 years the universe was dense enough to be opaque to light, meaning we have no distant radiation fingerprints older than the CMB to tell the early tale. These gravity waves may just decode that story. In essence, it’s the earliest look at the universe we’ve ever gotten.

Long story short, this confirmation of gravitational waves gives the strongest support yet to the idea of “cosmological inflation”, the real “Bang” of the Big Bang, where our universe expanded faster than the speed of light itself, growing so many orders of magnitude in so short an amount of time that it truly boggles the mind. Aatish Bhatia put it like so:

This has implications for everything from multiverse theory to the long search for dark energy and dark matter (and its origins) to why our universe is so flat and even at its observable edges to the quantum scale blips and fluctuations that gave rise to everything from stardust to galaxies. Like any science, this monumental result needs to be confirmed by other groups (which should happen later this year), but this is champagne-worthy science.

Confused? There’s a lot of awesome science to take in. For more in depth explanations, check out the following links (because this has pushed my biologist’s brain to its mushy limit):

I think my favorite part of this is this little tidbit of scientific history from physicist Alan Guth, one of the first to propose the concept of inflation: Back in 1978, when he had just gotten his Ph.D., he scribbled a “spectacular realization” in his lab notebook that predicted the results reported today:

It was a long time coming, but that “eureka!” moment has arrived.

jtotheizzoe:

Some claim that Evolution is just a theory, as if it were merely an opinion.

I have discovered further supporting evidence for my Tyson Theories of General and Special Relative Awesomeness, they are basically fact at this point.

Our Cosmic Address

(via sciencenote)