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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

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Last edited by Fish; 01-07-2013 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:41 PM   #211
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Lesulas are well-known to local hunters, and researchers warn that uncontrolled hunting practices could quickly lead to the species' "catastrophic decline".
Researchers DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY ****ING EXISTED until 2007, yet now they're gonna boo-hoo about the potential decline of the species?

They look tasty, though.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:52 AM   #212
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I recently read this article about Alligators in Florida and Louisiana getting messed up by steroids. Farmers are feeding their animals food that contains steroids and stormwater has caused the roids to leak into the swamp.

What is interesting is that now the female gators are growing faster than the males. Birth defects are increasing etc.

The gators are suffering from the exact same un-natural problems that humans are.

What makes this scary is that this is happening to animal that has survived for thousands of years because it is so tough. An animal that is incapable of contracting cancer or the HIV virus. An animal that heals open wounds normally in the nasty swamp but steroids are screwing them up.



We should be very concerned about this. The steroids in food are not good guys...
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:52 AM   #213
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The matter all around you consists, by far, mostly of empty space.

If an atom were expanded so the orbit of the electron was the size of a typical major league baseball field, the nucleus would be the size of an ant in the middle.

Because there are so many atoms in stuff, it appears solid, and feels solid due to the repulsion between the electrons in whatever you are touching and the electrons in the atoms in your hand.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:21 AM   #214
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I haven't kept up with the thread so I don't know if this has been talked about but it's pretty cool either way.

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_participate.php

It's a project by SETI. You download the program and you can run it as a screen saver or just in the background while you do other stuff and it analyzes noise from space looking for alien signals. It automatically transmits results back to SETI. While reading up on it they said they've only mapped out/listened to approximately 2% of space this way with over 2 million people looking over the last 7 or so years. Has anyone done this?
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:44 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by dmahurin View Post
I haven't kept up with the thread so I don't know if this has been talked about but it's pretty cool either way.

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_participate.php

It's a project by SETI. You download the program and you can run it as a screen saver or just in the background while you do other stuff and it analyzes noise from space looking for alien signals. It automatically transmits results back to SETI. While reading up on it they said they've only mapped out/listened to approximately 2% of space this way with over 2 million people looking over the last 7 or so years. Has anyone done this?
Yeah, I had SETI@home running on several machines at one time. But that was probably 10 years ago.

They've been running that since 1999....
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
Yeah, I had SETI@home running on several machines at one time. But that was probably 10 years ago.

They've been running that since 1999....
What I read said they started around 7 years ago. Granted it was a wiki page so it was probably wrong. I haven't done it. Is there any interaction with it or does it just run on your computer? Say you actually found a signal, would you know?
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:08 AM   #217
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I recently read this article about Alligators in Florida and Louisiana getting messed up by steroids. Farmers are feeding their animals food that contains steroids and stormwater has caused the roids to leak into the swamp.

What is interesting is that now the female gators are growing faster than the males. Birth defects are increasing etc.

The gators are suffering from the exact same un-natural problems that humans are.

What makes this scary is that this is happening to animal that has survived for thousands of years because it is so tough. An animal that is incapable of contracting cancer or the HIV virus. An animal that heals open wounds normally in the nasty swamp but steroids are screwing them up.



We should be very concerned about this. The steroids in food are not good guys...
I think you're a little confused bud. Alligators aren't getting messed up by steroids. There is some indication that other pollutants are affecting the internal sexual steroid production of male alligators. It's not causing females to grow larger, it's reducing the growth of males in some certain ways. Basically, they've found a lower plasma sex steroid level (that's naturally occurring steroids produced by the alligator's body) in males, and smaller alligator dicks from the ones in known contaminated lakes. And the contaminants are not steroids leaked in the water. They're organochlorine contaminants. Usually DDT pesticides, or some variant. The contaminants block the production of the naturally produced steroids in the alligator's body, which controls dick size.

It's not at all from steroids in our food. I'm afraid that has nothing at all to do with the situation. The only thing to get worked up about is the overuse of DDT and other organochlorines in the environment.

Quote:
This 3-year study was designed to examine variation in plasma sex steroids, phallus size, and the standard error (S.E.) associated with these endpoints in juvenile alligators collected from 3 sites within the Kissimmee-Everglades drainage (Florida, USA) with varying concentrations of sediment organochlorine contaminants. We hypothesized that decreased plasma sex steroid concentrations and phallus size would be observed in the higher contaminant site when compared to the intermediate and lower contaminant sites. Furthermore, we hypothesized that greater S.E. associated with these endpoints would be observed for the populations from more contaminated sites. We found that differences existed with females from the higher contaminant site exhibiting lower plasma estradiol-17beta (E2) and testosterone (T) concentrations. Males from the higher contaminant site exhibited smaller phallus sizes than males from the intermediate and lower contaminant sites. Smaller phallus size in this case differed from that reported in Lake Apopka male alligators [Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 116 (1999) 356] in that a significant positive relationship between body size and phallus size existed. No difference among sites was observed in plasma T for males. Lower S.E. was associated with E2 and T concentrations in females from the higher contaminant site and in phallus size in males from the higher contaminant site.
http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...n_Florida_(USA)
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:11 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
Yeah, I had SETI@home running on several machines at one time. But that was probably 10 years ago.
Same here....

Hell, I was sure I was going to find another WOW signal...
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:12 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by dmahurin View Post
What I read said they started around 7 years ago. Granted it was a wiki page so it was probably wrong. I haven't done it. Is there any interaction with it or does it just run on your computer? Say you actually found a signal, would you know?
It looks cool on the screen. But in my understanding, the data is all recorded and sent to SETI, where it is then analyzed. I don't believe it's analyzed at all on the client. Just recording of data. I don't believe you would know if you "Found something". Putting an "Aha! You found aliens!" type of notification probably would be a bad idea....

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Old 09-14-2012, 10:14 AM   #220
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"Males from the higher contaminant site exhibited smaller phallus sizes than males from the intermediate and lower contaminant sites. Smaller phallus size in this case differed from that reported in Lake Apopka male alligators [Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 116 (1999) 356] in that a significant positive relationship between body size and phallus size existed."


I knew living in Florida all my life was a bad idea, but who knew?

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Old 09-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
I think you're a little confused bud. Alligators aren't getting messed up by steroids. There is some indication that other pollutants are affecting the internal sexual steroid production of male alligators. It's not causing females to grow larger, it's reducing the growth of males in some certain ways. Basically, they've found a lower plasma sex steroid level (that's naturally occurring steroids produced by the alligator's body) in males, and smaller alligator dicks from the ones in known contaminated lakes. And the contaminants are not steroids leaked in the water. They're organochlorine contaminants. Usually DDT pesticides, or some variant. The contaminants block the production of the naturally produced steroids in the alligator's body, which controls dick size.

It's not at all from steroids in our food. I'm afraid that has nothing at all to do with the situation. The only thing to get worked up about is the overuse of DDT and other organochlorines in the environment.



http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...n_Florida_(USA)
Interesting read.... When I first started following this project a few years ago, they initially thought the water was being contaminted from stormwater runoff that came from poultry farms which is probably right. I think I got confused about DDT. I was thinking it was a steroid but in reality it's an insecticide commonly used around poultry farms. The DDT has been found in eggs. Other findings do include similar isssues which are happening to humans. This article talks about the female gators growing faster etc.

http://news.ufl.edu/2012/07/19/alligator/

I'll try and find the original article when I get time. It's scary stuff.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:55 AM   #222
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Here it is dude.... This is a good read from a few years back.. It freaked me out a little...

Quote:
Alligators' 'ferocious' immune system could lead to new medicines for people

By David Fleshler

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

August 14, 2006
The alligator's massive jaws and powerful tail mark it as a relic of the dinosaur age, a primitive creature that would appear to have little in common with humans. Yet scientists are studying aspects of alligator biology that could lead to new medical treatments and a better understanding of threats to the environment.

In the bayous of Louisiana, researchers have discovered that alligators have a ferocious immune system that can take down a vast range of viruses, bacteria and other infectious microbes, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

And in the lakes and marshes of Florida, they have found that the reptiles are extraordinarily sensitive to pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants, making them a useful early-warning system of possible hazards to people.

Because of the alligator's potential value to human health, scientists have proposed adding it to the short list of animals whose genes will be sequenced.

"We know so little about the alligator," said Michael Zasloff, dean of research and translational science at Georgetown University Medical Center and an expert on animals' immune systems. "This is an animal that after injury in its swamp, heals. So they can and they should be studied much more extensively to know how a vertebrate in water can experience such severe, terrible injury and recover."

Like the giraffe's neck and the hawk's eyesight, the alligator's immune system is an adaptation to its environment and behavior. Alligators engage in brutal territorial fights in swamps that teem with bacteria and other microbes. After the thrashing stops and the wounded combatants separate, those with the strongest capacity to resist infection tend to survive and can therefore produce offspring.

Mark Merchant, associate professor of biochemistry at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., first wondered about the alligator's resistance to disease as a youth, hunting and fishing in the bayous of southeast Texas. So many alligators were missing legs or had deep scars across the belly. Why did they otherwise seem so healthy?

As a scientist, Merchant headed back to the swamps. He snared alligators, drew their blood and returned them to the water. At the lab, Merchant and his team found that alligator blood serum killed all 16 strains of bacteria exposed to it, while human blood serum killed only six. Among the eradicated bacteria were E. coli and strains that cause dysentery, salmonella, and strep and staph infections. Alligator blood also killed the herpes simplex virus and a strain of HIV.

"Their immune system is very, very broad acting," said Merchant, who has published several papers on the subject. "It takes down practically everything. It kills all types of bacteria, many types of fungi and viruses. So it's of great interest to us."

As a growing number of microbes develop resistance to antibiotics, scientists are searching the animal and plant worlds for sources of new drugs. But it's difficult to translate resistance to disease in animals to resistance in people. You can't, for example, cure AIDS merely by injecting alligator blood into a patient.

As a first step, Merchant and other scientists have begun studying the proteins at the heart of the alligator's powerful immune system. They're short chains of amino acids, called peptides, which attack invading microbes.

Zasloff, the Georgetown immune system expert, said several drugs derived from animal peptides are in development, although none has received government approval for use in humans.

Zasloff said that while peptides from alligators and other animals can kill germs in laboratory experiments, they could be toxic in people or they could fail to function without the specific white cells that deploy them in the original animal's body.

"In the test tube, there's no problem," he said. "But in the body we have to worry about whether the anti-microbial peptides will go where they have to go and kill what they have to kill."

The alligator's potential benefit to human health has led scientists to propose sequencing its genome, the long chains of nucleic acids that make up its DNA. The National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute has paid for the sequencing of several species that have some bearing on human health or basic biology, such as the fruit fly, Norwegian rat and the mosquito that transmits malaria.

Travis Glenn, a biologist at the University of Georgia who is coordinating efforts to sequence the alligator genome, said the National Institutes of Health turned down a proposal last year but appeared inclined to approve it this year or next.

Despite their stout resistance to what nature dishes out, alligators have turned out to be vulnerable to man-made chemicals. In the lakes and marshes of Florida, biologist Lou Guillette in 1994 found some of the first evidence of chemicals that may be disrupting the reproductive systems of animals and humans.

In Lake Apopka, site of a pesticide spill in 1980, he found male alligators with underdeveloped genitals and female alligators unable to produce healthy eggs. As he expanded his research, he found the same problems among alligators in lakes and marshes that hadn't experienced such a catastrophe, including Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades of western Broward County.

Guillette's work was an early indication of the vast range of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that could obstruct the functioning of hormones. Known as endocrine disruptors, these chemicals interfere with the body's production of the hormones that regulate growth, behavior and the development of sex organs.

These problems were most widespread in lakes and marshes near farms, where pesticides and fertilizers would wash into the alligators' habitat. Guillette, distinguished professor of zoology at the University of Florida, and teams of graduate students have spent years exploring polluted and clean lakes to draw blood samples, examine alligators and collect their eggs. They exposed the eggs to minute amounts of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals and found that these substances led to imbalances in estrogen, testosterone and other hormones.

Meanwhile, physicians were recording troubling trends in humans. Using data from the past few decades, they found an increase in testicular cancer, low sperm counts, malformed penises and premature female puberty. Many scientists think the common cause lies in the huge number of chemicals that came into daily life in the last few generations.


"Some of Lou's [Guillette's] early work was really key in bringing attention to this issue," said Elaine Francis, national director of pesticides and toxics research for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "He has consistently demonstrated that this is an ongoing issue that needs to be dealt with."

The EPA plans to screen thousands of pesticides and other chemicals for their ability to disrupt the endocrine systems of people and wildlife. But scientists say it's impossible to pin problems on any single chemical.

"If we can actually show there are problems in these wildlife populations, it raises a flag for our own health," Guillette said. "It doesn't mean that everything we find in wildlife we're going to find in humans, but we have to look at that. If we're finding there are abnormalities in wildlife, we need to address those issues and how we are in fact dealing with the ecosystem and the world around us."

David Fleshler can be reached at dfleshler@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4535.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/bro...,1364003.story
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #223
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Here it is dude.... This is a good read from a few years back.. It freaked me out a little...
Ehh... you can find this type of thing just about anywhere. Not that it's a good thing. We should definitely watch our environmental pollution better than we have been. But I don't think it's a huge cause for concern. Today we're much much better off than we were a few decades ago. Back then regulation was very weak, and nobody cared much for environmental issues like we do today. Back then, you could bathe in DDT, and nobody thought much about it. Most of today's problems are from abuse and ignorance in the past. And the media has a knack for sensationalizing stories like this.

Life is adaptive. It will deal just fine. Floridians will just have small penises and life will go on...
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #224
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Life is adaptive. It will deal just fine. Floridians will just have small penises and life will go on...
That's right ladies... come to Georgia to find normal penises....
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:31 AM   #225
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So I can't figure this out.

If the surface of the earth is 1G, and earths gravitational pull is less the further you are from earth's surface, does that mean earth's gravitional pull increases when you go further into the surface..?
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