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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.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


Last edited by Fish; 01-07-2013 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #106
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Scientist creates lifelike cells out of metal

Researcher says he has created living cells made of metal instead of carbon and they may be evolving.


Scientists trying to create artificial life generally work under the assumption that life must be carbon-based, but what if a living thing could be made from another element?

One British researcher may have proven that theory, potentially rewriting the book of life. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow has created lifelike cells from metal a feat few believed feasible. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that there may be life forms in the universe not based on carbon, reports New Scientist.

Even more remarkable, Cronin has hinted that the metal-based cells may be replicating themselves and evolving.

"I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," he said.

The high-functioning "cells" that Cronin has built are constructed from large polyoxometalates derived from a range of metal atoms, like tungsten. He gets them to assemble in bubbly spheres by mixing them in a specialized saline solution, and calls the resultant cell-like structures "inorganic chemical cells," or iCHELLs.

The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive? Cronin has made a compelling case for the comparison by constructing the iCHELLS with a number of features that make them function much as real cells do. For instance, by modifying the outer oxide structure of the bubbles so that they are porous, he has essentially built iCHELLs with membranes capable of selectively allowing chemicals in and out according to size, much as what happens with the walls of real cells.

Cronin's team has also created bubbles inside of bubbles, which opens the door to the possibility of developing specialized "organelles." Even more compelling, some of the iCHELLs are being equipped with the ability to photosynthesize. The process is still rudimentary, but by linking some oxide molecules to light sensitive dyes, the team has constructed a membrane that splits water into hydrogen ions, electrons and oxygen when illuminated which is how photosynthesis begins in real cells.

Of course, the most compelling lifelike quality of the iCHELLs so far is their ability to evolve. Although they aren't equipped with anything remotely resembling DNA, and therefore can't replicate themselves in the same way that real cells do, Cronin has nevertheless managed to create some polyoxometalates that can use each other as templates to self-replicate. Furthermore, he is currently embarked on a seven-month experiment to see if iCHELLs placed in different environments will evolve.

The early results have been encouraging. "I think we have just shown the first droplets that can evolve," Cronin hinted.

Though the idea of a strange new metal-based form of life rapidly evolving in a lab somewhere on Earth may sound ominous, the finding could forever change how life is defined. It also greatly improves the odds of life existing elsewhere in the universe, since life forms could potentially be built from any number of different elements.

The possibilities are exciting to imagine, even if Cronin's iCHELLs eventually fall short of full-blown living cells. His research may have already blown the door off previous paradigms about the conditions necessary for life to form.

http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/resear...s-out-of-metal
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:18 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Rausch View Post



Imagination and discovery.

THAT IS AMERICA.

A black physicist arguing for more funding from a black president?

This is why we're a great nation. Nationality, ethnicity, race, none of these matter.

Results.

Accomplishment.

These matter.

This is our heart, our soul, our purpose.

Exploration is what we are...
I swear, Rausch, sometimes I think we were separated at birth.

I don't know how many times I've read one of your posts and realized that if I had gotten to the thread first the post would have had my name on it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:20 PM   #108
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Good luck getting through airport security, Mr. Tungsten!
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:31 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by mikey23545 View Post
Scientist creates lifelike cells out of metal

Researcher says he has created living cells made of metal instead of carbon and they may be evolving.


Scientists trying to create artificial life generally work under the assumption that life must be carbon-based, but what if a living thing could be made from another element?

One British researcher may have proven that theory, potentially rewriting the book of life. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow has created lifelike cells from metal a feat few believed feasible. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that there may be life forms in the universe not based on carbon, reports New Scientist.

Even more remarkable, Cronin has hinted that the metal-based cells may be replicating themselves and evolving.

"I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," he said.

The high-functioning "cells" that Cronin has built are constructed from large polyoxometalates derived from a range of metal atoms, like tungsten. He gets them to assemble in bubbly spheres by mixing them in a specialized saline solution, and calls the resultant cell-like structures "inorganic chemical cells," or iCHELLs.

The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive? Cronin has made a compelling case for the comparison by constructing the iCHELLS with a number of features that make them function much as real cells do. For instance, by modifying the outer oxide structure of the bubbles so that they are porous, he has essentially built iCHELLs with membranes capable of selectively allowing chemicals in and out according to size, much as what happens with the walls of real cells.

Cronin's team has also created bubbles inside of bubbles, which opens the door to the possibility of developing specialized "organelles." Even more compelling, some of the iCHELLs are being equipped with the ability to photosynthesize. The process is still rudimentary, but by linking some oxide molecules to light sensitive dyes, the team has constructed a membrane that splits water into hydrogen ions, electrons and oxygen when illuminated which is how photosynthesis begins in real cells.

Of course, the most compelling lifelike quality of the iCHELLs so far is their ability to evolve. Although they aren't equipped with anything remotely resembling DNA, and therefore can't replicate themselves in the same way that real cells do, Cronin has nevertheless managed to create some polyoxometalates that can use each other as templates to self-replicate. Furthermore, he is currently embarked on a seven-month experiment to see if iCHELLs placed in different environments will evolve.

The early results have been encouraging. "I think we have just shown the first droplets that can evolve," Cronin hinted.

Though the idea of a strange new metal-based form of life rapidly evolving in a lab somewhere on Earth may sound ominous, the finding could forever change how life is defined. It also greatly improves the odds of life existing elsewhere in the universe, since life forms could potentially be built from any number of different elements.

The possibilities are exciting to imagine, even if Cronin's iCHELLs eventually fall short of full-blown living cells. His research may have already blown the door off previous paradigms about the conditions necessary for life to form.

http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/resear...s-out-of-metal
It has begun...
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #110
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I thought this was neat. MacFarlane is trying to bring back Cosmos. This little interview explains why. Interesting take from the Family Guy brain...



Seth MacFarlane is creating a folllow-up to Carl Sagan's seminal TV show Cosmos.

Here, he talks to Forbes about why the world really, really needs science.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #111
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It's all in the name of science... I swear...

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Old 06-11-2012, 05:13 PM   #112
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Interesting article on potential commercial space vehicles...

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/08/us/spa...html?hpt=hp_c2
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:33 PM   #113
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How pigeons get to be superstitious

B.F. Skinner is a psychologist best known for the Skinner Box, a kind of sensory-deprivation device which limits the creature inside it to only one form of stimulus at a time. Using one such box, he discovered 'superstition' in pigeons.

One of the troubles with scientific experiments is that researchers need to keep all factors controlled. To keep all the pesky extra factors out of circulation, B.F. Skinner decided to literally shut them out. How? By putting the subject in a box. The Skinner Box took the subject out of a chaotic situation and put it in a blank box. The psychologist could then impose a single condition on the subject, like always giving a pigeon food if it pecks a button. Will it peck again? Only scrutiny will tell. Riveting stuff like that.

In one particular case, Skinner decided to go random on his hungry pigeons. He dropped food into the box at completely random times, independent of any behavior on the part of the pigeons. But the behavior of the pigeons, he found, didn't stay random. After a few drops of the food, the pigeons began exhibiting certain consistent behavior. One circled counter-clockwise, another spun around in circles; seventy-five percent of them exhibited some kind of odd behavior.

Skinner concluded that the pigeons had come to display 'superstitious behavior'. It was like the superstition of gamblers who believe they have a lucky hat. If the gambler wears the hat, they can't lose. If the pigeons circle the cage counter-clockwise, they will bring on food pellets.

This might be an over-statement. The gambler has the capacity to understand rationally that a green hat won't bring good cards. The pigeons, on the other hand, have tiny little pea brains. The only creature who could understand that the food drops were random was the psychologist himself. Misunderstanding the situation is not the same as superstition. The experiment does, however, show that pigeons have a compulsion to search for pattern in events around them, the same way we do.



I love the part in the video, where he talks about gambling, and how it relates to operant conditioning. Gambling and lottery tickets and such are a hilarious example of the operant conditioning affecting humans.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #114
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...on-starts.html

Arthritis breakthrough 'could stop crippling condition before it starts'

First study to prove gut flora plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis

By Claire Bates

PUBLISHED: 03:27 EST, 13 June 2012 | UPDATED: 05:49 EST, 13 June 2012

Comments (8)
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A breakthrough in our understanding of how rheumatoid arthritis develops could help scientists spot those at risk and even stop the condition before it starts.

Researchers have found that billions of bugs in our guts play a role in regulating the immune system.

The team from the Mayo Clinic in the U.S said that larger-than-normal populations of specific gut bacteria may trigger the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

More after the jump.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:43 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by bevischief View Post
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...on-starts.html

Arthritis breakthrough 'could stop crippling condition before it starts'

First study to prove gut flora plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis

By Claire Bates

PUBLISHED: 03:27 EST, 13 June 2012 | UPDATED: 05:49 EST, 13 June 2012

Comments (8)
Share

A breakthrough in our understanding of how rheumatoid arthritis develops could help scientists spot those at risk and even stop the condition before it starts.

Researchers have found that billions of bugs in our guts play a role in regulating the immune system.

The team from the Mayo Clinic in the U.S said that larger-than-normal populations of specific gut bacteria may trigger the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

More after the jump.
Just forwarded the link to the mrs and one of the women at Arthritis Community Services,thanks.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevischief View Post
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...on-starts.html

Arthritis breakthrough 'could stop crippling condition before it starts'

First study to prove gut flora plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis

By Claire Bates

PUBLISHED: 03:27 EST, 13 June 2012 | UPDATED: 05:49 EST, 13 June 2012

Comments (8)
Share

A breakthrough in our understanding of how rheumatoid arthritis develops could help scientists spot those at risk and even stop the condition before it starts.

Researchers have found that billions of bugs in our guts play a role in regulating the immune system.

The team from the Mayo Clinic in the U.S said that larger-than-normal populations of specific gut bacteria may trigger the development of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

More after the jump.
Wow. That's really good news.

I find it really interesting that the more we finally learn about the human body, the more obvious it becomes that bacteria play a huge role in our health and livelihood. Which goes against 100s of years of medical experience. It used to be "Ewww. Kill all bacteria and germs!". Now it's more like "Wait, look at what those bacteria are actually doing! WTF? Maybe those little bugs aren't all bad after all"
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Nzoner View Post
Just forwarded the link to the mrs and one of the women at Arthritis Community Services,thanks.
No problem.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #118
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Wow. That's really good news.

I find it really interesting that the more we finally learn about the human body, the more obvious it becomes that bacteria play a huge role in our health and livelihood. Which goes against 100s of years of medical experience. It used to be "Ewww. Kill all bacteria and germs!". Now it's more like "Wait, look at what those bacteria are actually doing! WTF? Maybe those little bugs aren't all bad after all"
I am always looking out for this type of stuff. Took my wife to a Functional medical team last year and one of the first things they put on was a probiotic among a few other natural things no drugs.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #119
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And sticking with the bacteria theme.. here's one for the ladies....


Bacteria Are Fighting a Giant, Mysterious War in Your Vagina Right Now

No matter how many abstinence pledges you've signed or purity balls you've attended, your vagina anything but pure, according to new research by, uh, vaginologists. In fact, your between-the-legs chute is the perfect hot, wet environment for an ongoing "dynamic battle" between various microorganisms. And scientists are discovering that they more they learn about the miraculous constant bacterial armageddon occurring inside the human vagina, the more baffled they are by it. Women!

LiveScience reports that researchers have discovered that not only does the "bacterial fingerprint" (or, if you want to be gross about it, "micro pussy menagerie") of the human vagina vary from woman to woman, it varies from day to day, from life stage to life stage, and it can change based on who you're ****ing, your menstrual cycle, or because your vagina just feels like being difficult. Bacterial profiles of women's vaginas even varies between women of different races; black women tend to host a different, more diverse set of bacteria than white women. In the words of researchers at the University of Maryland, "We know that different women have different kinds of vaginal microbiota, and now we know that over time the dynamics of the change that we observed vary."

Scientists also found that the dynamism of the vagina exists without as much outside interference as, say, your skin, or even your stomach. Your vagina is sort of a perfect machine in a constant state of flux and chaos, like Jupiter's Great Read Spot or the lyrics to an early Fiona Apple song. You're a bitch, you're a lover, you're a child, you're a mother... in your vagina. But the takeaway from this research isn't just "whoa, vaginas are weird, like dark squishy tomatoes that live inside your pelvis" (even though the average vagina has the same pH as a tomato); rather, this research shines light on the fact that sudden changes in the type of bacteria living in your vagina aren't necessarily a sign of an imbalance that needs to be corrected. In fact, dramatic changes to the vagina's bacterial profile is natural, normal, and healthy. But mysterious. Always mysterious.

The human body is gross and amazing, depending on how much you think about it and how high you are.

BONUS: How to Make Your Vagina Taste Awesome
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #120
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A fish with a transparent head... Awesome and weird...

The big green orbs are the actual eyes.





Transparent-Headed Fish
Photograph courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

February 23, 2009--With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes--topped by green, orblike lenses--in a picture released today but taken in 2004.

The fish, discovered alive in the deep water off California's central coast by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact.

The 6-inch (15-centimeter) barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) had been known since 1939--but only from mangled specimens dragged to the surface by nets.
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