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Old 05-21-2012, 10:43 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 08:55 AM..
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:29 PM   #241
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I thought this was fascinating. Instead of genetically modifying the mosquito itself, modify the simpler bacteria that lives in the mosquito and let it do the work. Very cool idea..

Quote:
"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." -- Albert Einstein
Mosquito Gut Bacteria to Fight Malaria
Researchers engineer a member of the insect’s intestinal flora to help thwart the malaria parasite before it can infect new hosts.

For years, researchers have been altering mosquito genetics in an attempt to halt the malaria parasite’s lifecycle in the insect before it can spread the disease. But getting the modified gene or genes to spread through a population of mosquitoes has proved to be an intractable problem. Now, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are taking a different approach—introduce malaria-thwarting genetic changes into mosquito commensal flora.

“We thought that it would be easier to introduce bacteria than genes into mosquitoes in the field,” Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena told the blog Not Exactly Rocket Science (authored by Ed Yong, a regular contributor to The Scientist). Plus, the mosquito gut is the site of the malaria parasite’s reproduction, a particularly vulnerable stage of Plasmodium‘s lifecycle.

Jacobs-Lorena and his team chose to work with Pantoea agglomerans, a harmless bacteria common to the mosquito gut, engineering it to fight the Plasmodium parasite. When the researchers introduced the engineered bacteria into mosquitoes in the lab, they found that the number of Plasmodium oocysts, the sporozoite-manufacturing cells that reside in the mosquito gut, were 85 to 98 percent lower than in uninfected mosquitoes. Fewer than 20 percent of the engineered mosquitoes acquired an infection after drinking a contaminated blood meal.

Once again, however, the challenge will be to introduce the bacteria into wild populations of mosquitoes where malaria is still a persistent killer. This problem is compounded by the fact that the engineered bacteria, working hard to produce antimalarial factors, may be less fit than the other commensals in the mosquito gut. “Mosquitoes would therefore have to be continuously exposed to large numbers of these GM bacteria in the field, for the bacteria to stand any chance of becoming a major portion of the microbes that reside in the mosquito gut,” George Dimopoulos, also of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told Not Exactly Rocket Science.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:56 AM   #242
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What is redshift?


  • The term "redshift" arises from the fact that light from more distant objects shows up on Earth more red than when it left its source
  • The colour shift comes about because of the Doppler effect, which acts to "stretch" or "compress" waves from moving objects
  • It is at work in the sound of a moving siren: an approaching siren sounds higher-pitched and a receding one sounds lower-pitched
  • In the case of light, approaching objects appear more blue and receding objects appear more red
  • The expansion of the Universe is accelerating, so in general, more distant objects are moving away from us (and each other, and everything else) more quickly than nearer ones
  • At cosmic distances, the shift can profoundly affect the colour - the factor by which the wavelength is "stretched" is called the redshift
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:14 AM   #243
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This is cool if you've never seen it.


Ant Hill Excavation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFg21x2sj-M
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:49 PM   #244
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:59 PM   #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huffmeister View Post
Yeah, "somehow shielding it from the molten core and suck all the air out". Obviously it would be very hot, but let's assume you could completely insulate the tube from the heat of the core. And in a vacuum, there would be no pressure, right?


Can you elaborate on the acceleration? It should just start out at 9.8m/s/s, right?

Also, I was able to find a link to the original Straight Dope article:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...ough-the-earth

According to him: Perfect vacuum == Falling back and forth forever. But throw a little air resistance in and you eventually get stuck in the center.
yeah, it's only 9.8m/s squared. HOWEVER, do you realize how far it is from the surface of the earth to the core? 6384 km at the equator. in meters, that's 6.384 million meters. you'll hit terminal velocity at a certain point, and assuming you don't have a parachute (which wouldn't work in a vacuum anyway), you would most assuredly die of acceleration alone

(note: I could easily be wrong on this. I'm relying on physics I a few years ago in my undergrad; there's a reason I went into genetics rather than physics--pretty sure my reasoning here is sound, don't feel like digging out a textbook, pen and paper)
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:36 PM   #246
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Ha ha... cats are awesome...

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0">

House cats kill more critters than thought

That mouse carcass Kitty presents you with is just the tip of a very bloody iceberg. When researchers attached kittycams to house cats, they found a secret world of slaughter.

While only 30% of roaming house cats kill prey — two animals a week on average — they are still slaying more wildlife than previously believed, according to research from the University of Georgia.

Wildlife advocates say it is a frightening level of feline foul play. Based on a U.S. house-cat population of 74 million, "cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American birds species are in decline," says George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy.

"The previous estimates were probably too conservative because they didn't include the animals that cats ate or left behind," University of Georgia researcher Kerrie Anne Loyd says.

The cats brought home just under a quarter of what they killed, ate 30% and left 49% to rot where they died.

The carnage cuts across species. Lizards, snakes and frogs made up 41% of the animals killed, Loyd and fellow researcher Sonia Hernandez found. Mammals such as chipmunks and voles were 25%, insects and worms 20% and birds 12%. The researchers will present their findings this week at an Ecological Society of America conference in Portland, Ore.

Seeking a window into the hidden lives of cats, the researchers recruited 60 owners in the Athens, Ga., area. Each owner put a small video camera mounted on a break-away collar on the cat in the morning and let the cat out, then removed the camera and downloaded the footage each night. Each cat's activities were recorded for seven to 10 days. The cats usually spent four to six hours outside every day.

The researchers worked with the National Geographic CritterCam team, which builds tiny mobile data gathering systems to study wild animal behavior. The cat cameras were the smallest they've made to date, National Geographic's Greg Marshall says.

Cats aren't just a danger to others, they're also a danger to themselves. The cats in the study were seen engaging in such risky behavior as crossing roadways (45%), eating and drinking things they found (25%), exploring storm drains (20%) and entering crawl spaces where they could become trapped (20%).

Male cats were more likely to do risky things than female cats, and older cats were more careful than younger ones.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:43 PM   #247
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Why you get away with anal.... scientifically explained....

Sex Makes Everything Less Disgusting

Our biological drive to do it conflicts pretty directly with our biological drive not to get involved with other people's bodily fluids. How do we ignore the obvious grossness of sex for long enough to propagate the species? Maybe, researchers say, by turning off our disgust reflex whenever we get turned on.

Earlier studies have asked this question in a variety of ways. For example, by asking men to "self-stimulate" and then quizzing them on what sex acts or partners they'd be open to... Or by showing men erotic slideshows and then having them stick their hands into cold pea soup or buckets of condoms. Psychology researchers Charmaine Borg and Peter J. de Jong at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands—perhaps feeling less pessimistic than others about their ability to arouse a group of female subjects—decided to study the question in women instead.

The researchers gathered 90 female university students. Rather than just answering questions about distasteful things, these subjects were going to be challenged with some actual gross tasks to see how many they would do.

But first the researchers had to turn their subjects on. Well, a third of them, anyway. One group of women watched a film described as "female friendly erotica." A second group watched a movie that was meant to be non-sexually arousing—that is, heart-pounding but not steamy. These women saw footage of sky diving and mountain climbing. The third group saw a movie about a train ride, meant to not cause any feelings at all. The movies had been previously tested with a separate group to make sure they elicited the right emotions.

As the women watched their steamy, exciting, or boring movies, they were periodically interrupted by an experimenter who showed up and gave them disgusting tasks to do. There were a total of 16 challenges, ranging from picking up apparently soiled toilet paper to sticking a needle in a cow eye. The subjects didn't have to go through with any task they didn't want to, but they did have to rate how disgusting they found each one.

Out of the 16 gross-out tasks, 5 were classified as sex-related. These included touching some "used" condoms, handling "used" women's underwear, and reading aloud a sexual phrase about, um, a dog. (The researchers made liberal use of Halloween-style tools and props, including blood-colored ink, fake feces, coconut milk in the underwear, and one plastic bug. And one real worm, which they rereleased outside when the study was over.)

The groups who watched the train movie and the sky-diving movie didn't differ in their willingness to do the gross tasks, or in how disgusting they rated those tasks. But the women who watched the erotic film rated the sex-related tasks as significantly less disgusting than the other groups. They seemed to find the rest of the tasks less gross too, though the result wasn't quite significant. And overall, the erotica group completed more challenges of both kinds. The turned-on subjects completed 85% of the non-sexy tasks, for example, compared to about 66% in the other two groups.

Charmaine Borg says she was surprised to see that sexual arousal, but not general arousal (the sky-diving kind), "makes us approach stimuli that are in general so disgusting." The way subjects perceived disgusting things seemed to change when they were sexually aroused.

The study focused on a small group of young, heterosexual, dysfunction-free women. It was limited to one method of turning those subjects on (the erotic film) and an odd handful of gross, somewhat sex-related tasks. And the study relied on subjects' own ratings of their arousal and repulsion. But if it proves to be generally true that sexual arousal squelches disgust, it would explain how we manage to reproduce despite our usual instincts—which presumably evolved to keep us safe from disease-carrying stuff.

Borg is more interested, though, in women whose bodies don't let them have sex. She wonders if sexual disorders such as dyspareunia (painful intercourse) or vaginismus (involuntary clenching of the muscles around the vagina, making intercourse difficult or impossible) are rooted in problems overcoming disgust.

"Studies from our lab with women afflicted with vaginismus have shown that they experience disgust responses towards erotic stimulation," Borg says. "Sex-related stimuli appeared to elicit disgust rather than arousal." Since our usual response to disgust is to keep far away from what's causing it, she says the problem could be self-perpetuating as women start avoiding sex altogether.

Borg says her results so far are "very exciting." By carrying on her experiments in the condom-filled, fake-blood-soaked laboratory, she helps to hope women overcome their difficulties and get down to whatever business they want.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #248
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Wow... in just 25 years.. Imagine where we'll be in another 200.....

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Old 09-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #249
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Comet due in 2013 could be brighter than the full moon


Late next year, there will be a new object in the night sky nearly 10 times brighter than the full moon. This temporary attraction, called C/2012 S1, is a comet that has likely never passed through our inner solar system before, so it's larger and more reflective than those our sun has already blasted.

C/2012 S1 won't just be bright; it'll be large enough to see without the need for binoculars or a telescope. Its brightness magnitude is expected to be -16, with the Sun by comparison being -26. Comet Hale-Bopp, seen above, was magnitude -1 when it passed through our solar system in 1997. Astronomers are predicting that C/2012 S1 will appear in the sky near the sun and horizon, so it should be fairly easy to pinpoint without a sky map. Should it contain a large amount of gas beneath its icy exterior, the comet could sprout a massive glowing tail as it nears the sun and the ice is melted away, making it even easier to see — not to mention much cooler looking.


Scientists tracking C/2012 S1 have pointed out that the comet's brightness isn't entirely guaranteed, but even if their estimates are off it should still be visible to the naked eye. That wasn't the case with Kohoutek, a comet that entered our solar system in 1973 and was expected to be brilliant in the night sky, only to disappoint because it turned out to be mostly rock and not highly reflective ice.


http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technolo...004852031.html
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:24 PM   #250
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You all have tiny bugs burrowed into your skin right now! Creepy little bugs that come out at night and crawl all over your face, chewing on your skin cells. Many of them live in your eyelashes right now...

This is a Demodex folliculorum, also known as Demodicids or “face mites”.



They're sensitive to light, so during the day, they burrow down into your hair follicles. The yellow shaft is a human hair. The green things are the tails of burrowed face mites.



Demodex: Mites That Live On Your Face!

Demodex folliculorum, also known as Demodicids and “face mites”, is a species of tiny mites that live in the hair follicles on humans—primarily around your face, near the nose, eyebrows, scalp, but more commonly around the eyelashes. Demodex brevis is another shorter type of Demodex found in the sebaceous glands connected to hair follicles. While mites can be beneficial in the removal of dead skin cells, an overabundance of mites can cause numerous problems. Large infestations of Demodex are called Demodicosis.

Researchers have identified Demodex to be a profound contributor to hair loss and a cause of some skin problems such as acne, rosacea, blackheads, and skin irritations.

These mites have been observed since the 1840s and they are passed on from contact with others starting as early as infancy; e.g. a parent rubbing their cheek on their baby’s face as an innocent gesture of love.


Anatomy of Demodex

Adult mites have a semi-transparent body that is up to 0.3-0.4 mm long and can only be seen by high-powered microscopes. Their bodies are segmented into two with one part having eight short legs. Their bodies are covered with scales for anchoring themselves to the hair follicle. They have pin-like mouth parts for eating skin cells, hormones and oils (sebum) in your hair follicles. Because Demodex is sensitive to light, they leave hair follicles only at night and slowly walk around on the skin at a speed of 8-16 cm/hour.

Both males and females have a genital opening for mating but neither have an excretory opening to excrete waste due to their highly efficient digestive system. In order to repopulate, eggs are laid inside the hair follicle opening or sebaceous glands. After 3-4 days, six-legged larvae hatch and take about seven days to develop into adults. Their total lifespan spans several weeks and at the end of their life, they decompose inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands.

How Demodex Can Affect Our Bodies
Demodex is generally harmless to a large percentage of the population who may not experience skin troubles. Others that are more susceptible to Demodex-related problems may be unaware that it is the underlying cause of or contributor. People with oily skin are particularly prone to having the mites. Signs of Demodex mites are frequent itchiness around your eyebrows, eyelids, or nose, especially at night or early morning.

There is a close association between inflammation and Demodex. It is suggested that skin inflammation and infection results when a large number of mites infest a single hair follicle. The mite is commonly associated with the inflammation of the eyelids, a condition that is known as Demodex blepharitis. Symptoms include itchiness, discomfort of the eyelashes, and loss of eyelashes. Research has shown many as 25 mites can colonize a single eyelash.

Some research suggests that the Demodex mites are not the direct cause of hair loss but rather our body’s reaction to Demodex. In some people, their body reacts by instigating an inflammatory response to reject the mites. The inflammation, however, blocks the hair follicle killing both the mite and the hair follicle.

Another common reasoning for hair loss from Demodex is the severity of the infestation. Because the mites feed off of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells, too many mites feeding off of one hair follicle can cause malnourishment to the follicle resulting in loss of the hair.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:29 PM   #251
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geee thanks for that, now I'm itching all over!
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:29 PM   #252
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awesome thread
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie View Post
Comet due in 2013 could be brighter than the full moon


Late next year, there will be a new object in the night sky nearly 10 times brighter than the full moon. This temporary attraction, called C/2012 S1, is a comet that has likely never passed through our inner solar system before, so it's larger and more reflective than those our sun has already blasted.

C/2012 S1 won't just be bright; it'll be large enough to see without the need for binoculars
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technolo...004852031.html
It's going to pass closest to Earth on December 26th 2013. The religious 'END OF THE WORLD' nuts are going to go balls on bat shit crazy.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:01 PM   #254
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So do these little face mite dudes tails get chopped off when I shave? do they grow new ones or do they live without thier jabba the hut looking tails? wtf?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
You all have tiny bugs burrowed into your skin right now! Creepy little bugs that come out at night and crawl all over your face, chewing on your skin cells. Many of them live in your eyelashes right now...

This is a Demodex folliculorum, also known as Demodicids or “face mites”.



They're sensitive to light, so during the day, they burrow down into your hair follicles. The yellow shaft is a human hair. The green things are the tails of burrowed face mites.



Demodex: Mites That Live On Your Face!

Demodex folliculorum, also known as Demodicids and “face mites”, is a species of tiny mites that live in the hair follicles on humans—primarily around your face, near the nose, eyebrows, scalp, but more commonly around the eyelashes. Demodex brevis is another shorter type of Demodex found in the sebaceous glands connected to hair follicles. While mites can be beneficial in the removal of dead skin cells, an overabundance of mites can cause numerous problems. Large infestations of Demodex are called Demodicosis.

Researchers have identified Demodex to be a profound contributor to hair loss and a cause of some skin problems such as acne, rosacea, blackheads, and skin irritations.

These mites have been observed since the 1840s and they are passed on from contact with others starting as early as infancy; e.g. a parent rubbing their cheek on their baby’s face as an innocent gesture of love.


Anatomy of Demodex

Adult mites have a semi-transparent body that is up to 0.3-0.4 mm long and can only be seen by high-powered microscopes. Their bodies are segmented into two with one part having eight short legs. Their bodies are covered with scales for anchoring themselves to the hair follicle. They have pin-like mouth parts for eating skin cells, hormones and oils (sebum) in your hair follicles. Because Demodex is sensitive to light, they leave hair follicles only at night and slowly walk around on the skin at a speed of 8-16 cm/hour.

Both males and females have a genital opening for mating but neither have an excretory opening to excrete waste due to their highly efficient digestive system. In order to repopulate, eggs are laid inside the hair follicle opening or sebaceous glands. After 3-4 days, six-legged larvae hatch and take about seven days to develop into adults. Their total lifespan spans several weeks and at the end of their life, they decompose inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands.

How Demodex Can Affect Our Bodies
Demodex is generally harmless to a large percentage of the population who may not experience skin troubles. Others that are more susceptible to Demodex-related problems may be unaware that it is the underlying cause of or contributor. People with oily skin are particularly prone to having the mites. Signs of Demodex mites are frequent itchiness around your eyebrows, eyelids, or nose, especially at night or early morning.

There is a close association between inflammation and Demodex. It is suggested that skin inflammation and infection results when a large number of mites infest a single hair follicle. The mite is commonly associated with the inflammation of the eyelids, a condition that is known as Demodex blepharitis. Symptoms include itchiness, discomfort of the eyelashes, and loss of eyelashes. Research has shown many as 25 mites can colonize a single eyelash.

Some research suggests that the Demodex mites are not the direct cause of hair loss but rather our body’s reaction to Demodex. In some people, their body reacts by instigating an inflammatory response to reject the mites. The inflammation, however, blocks the hair follicle killing both the mite and the hair follicle.

Another common reasoning for hair loss from Demodex is the severity of the infestation. Because the mites feed off of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells, too many mites feeding off of one hair follicle can cause malnourishment to the follicle resulting in loss of the hair.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #255
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