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Reblogged from thecraftychemist

kem-ist:

thecraftychemist:

GelSight sensor gives robots touch

Researchers at MIT and Northeastern University have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable and insert it into a USB port.

The sensor is an adaptation of a technology called GelSight, which was developed by the lab of Edward Adelson, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Vision Science at MIT, and first described in 2009. The new sensor isn’t as sensitive as the original GelSight sensor, which could resolve details on the micrometer scale. But it’s smaller — small enough to fit on a robot’s gripper — and its processing algorithm is faster, so it can give the robot feedback in real time.

Full article

GIF video source

And we’ll never have to struggle putting something in the wrong side of a USB port again.

(via chroniclesofachemist)

Reblogged from biomorphosis

biomorphosis:

Sapphirina copepod, a.k.a. "sea sapphire" is a tiny shrimp like crustacean that makes up the bottom of the food chain. The microscopic layers of crystal plates inside their cells catch light and reflect back different hues, from bright gold to deep blue that resembles like a gem. 

When they’re abundant near the water’s surface the sea shimmers like diamonds falling from the sky. Japanese name this kind of water, “tama-mizu”, jeweled water. Combine this nifty trick with the sea sapphire’s impressively transparent body, and you have an animal as radiant as a star in one moment, and invisible in the next.

(via dynamicoceans)

Reblogged from mothernaturenetwork
thecraftychemist:

mothernaturenetwork:

How the scent of sandalwood heals woundsResearch has found that skin cells react positively when exposed to the smell, which could have applications in curing diseases.

I’ve read blood/skin cells can sense light, but skin cells smelling?

The term “olfactory” may bring the nose to mind, but skin cells also have olfactory receptors. Your skin can’t technically smell, but when those receptors are exposed to sandalwood — a scent in perfumes, incense and other items — changes in cell activity promote wound healing.
Research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that people have about 350 olfactory receptors in their noses but these receptors also are present in sperm, the prostate, kidneys and intestines.
The study showed that when those skin receptors were near the scent of synthetic sandalwood, they became active and prompted cell proliferation and migration.

thecraftychemist:

mothernaturenetwork:

How the scent of sandalwood heals wounds
Research has found that skin cells react positively when exposed to the smell, which could have applications in curing diseases.

I’ve read blood/skin cells can sense light, but skin cells smelling?

The term “olfactory” may bring the nose to mind, but skin cells also have olfactory receptors. Your skin can’t technically smell, but when those receptors are exposed to sandalwood — a scent in perfumes, incense and other items — changes in cell activity promote wound healing.
Research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that people have about 350 olfactory receptors in their noses but these receptors also are present in sperm, the prostate, kidneys and intestines.
The study showed that when those skin receptors were near the scent of synthetic sandalwood, they became active and prompted cell proliferation and migration.
Reblogged from saddest-summer
After the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being - and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth. Carl Sagan  (via wanduring)

(Source: saddest-summer, via fuckyeah-stars)

Reblogged from laboratoryequipment
laboratoryequipment:

Biofuel Research Leads to Human GutScientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine, researchers report.Their study, reported in PNAS, is the first to use biochemical approaches to confirm the hypothesis that microbes in the human gut can digest fiber, breaking it down into simple sugars in order to ferment them into nutrients that nourish human cells. These findings have significance for human health but also for biofuels production, since the same sugars can be fed to yeast to generate ethanol and other liquid fuels. The human microbes appear to be endowed with enzymes that break down a complex plant fiber component more efficiently than the most efficient microbes found in the cow rumen, the researchers report.Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/biofuel-research-leads-human-gut

laboratoryequipment:

Biofuel Research Leads to Human Gut

Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine, researchers report.

Their study, reported in PNAS, is the first to use biochemical approaches to confirm the hypothesis that microbes in the human gut can digest fiber, breaking it down into simple sugars in order to ferment them into nutrients that nourish human cells. These findings have significance for human health but also for biofuels production, since the same sugars can be fed to yeast to generate ethanol and other liquid fuels. The human microbes appear to be endowed with enzymes that break down a complex plant fiber component more efficiently than the most efficient microbes found in the cow rumen, the researchers report.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/biofuel-research-leads-human-gut

Reblogged from neuromorphogenesis
Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities—that’s training or instruction—but is rather a making visible what is hidden as a seed…
To be educated, a person doesn’t have to know much or be informed, but he or she does have to have been exposed vulnerably to the transformative events of an engaged human life…
One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.
Thomas Moore (via neuromorphogenesis)

(via neuromorphogenesis)

Reblogged from wildlife-pirate

wildlife-pirate:

These and other range maps and info can be found HERE, from GrayWolfConservation.com

This is an interesting visual depiction of the change in wolf ranges over time. North America waged war against wolves and was determined to exterminate all of them. By 1960, the only wolves left were in Michigan and Minnesota; they only survived by hiding from people.  It wasn’t until 1974 that the gray wolf was listed under the endangered species act and the population could start a slow recovery.

Sadly, even though the current range isn’t particularly large, and is completely encompassed within their historical range (i.e. where they belong), local people have a lot to say about wolf conservation- namely, they hate it. There are even Facebook pages dedicated to killing wolves; The only good wolf is a dead wolfSmoke a pack a dayHunt wolves and, Wolves are profane vermin not sacred animals are some of them. 

So, what gives? From what I can tell, the most vocal people (at least, online) aren’t the ranchers whose livestock are being killed, it’s the hunters who don’t like that wolves kill the animals they want to hunt. And to boot, these folks are all over the internet talking about how wolf hunting is good because it restores “balance" between wolves and game species. Which, needless to say, ignores the fact that nature does a pretty good job of that itself. 

Seems like we’ve got a long way to go in North America before people realize non-human animals have just as much a right to be here as we do… 

Reblogged from 13lolcats
spinningyarns:

doctorbee:

xwidep:

Scales

This is because Fahrenheit is based on a brine scale and the human body. The scale is basically how cold does it have to be to freeze saltwater (zero Fahrenheit) to what temperature is the human body (100-ish Fahrenheit, although now we know that’s not exactly accurate). Fahrenheit was designed around humans.Celsius and Kelvin are designed around the natural world.Celsius is a scale based on water. Zero is when water freezes, 100 is when water boils.Kelvin uses the same scale as Celsius (one degree, as a unit, is the same between the two), but defines zero as absolute zero, which is basically the temperature at which atoms literally stop doing that spinning thing. Nothing can exist below zero Kelvin. It’s the bottom of the scale.So.Fahrenheit: what temperatures affect humansCelsius: what temperatures affect waterKelvin: what temperatures affect atoms

Why didn’t my science teachers ever see fit to toss off this little fact?

spinningyarns:

doctorbee:

xwidep:

Scales

This is because Fahrenheit is based on a brine scale and the human body. The scale is basically how cold does it have to be to freeze saltwater (zero Fahrenheit) to what temperature is the human body (100-ish Fahrenheit, although now we know that’s not exactly accurate). Fahrenheit was designed around humans.

Celsius and Kelvin are designed around the natural world.

Celsius is a scale based on water. Zero is when water freezes, 100 is when water boils.

Kelvin uses the same scale as Celsius (one degree, as a unit, is the same between the two), but defines zero as absolute zero, which is basically the temperature at which atoms literally stop doing that spinning thing. Nothing can exist below zero Kelvin. It’s the bottom of the scale.

So.
Fahrenheit: what temperatures affect humans
Celsius: what temperatures affect water
Kelvin: what temperatures affect atoms

Why didn’t my science teachers ever see fit to toss off this little fact?

(via andrea-infinite)

Reblogged from quantumaniac

quantumaniac:

Formerly Unknown Mathematics Professor Receives “Genius Grant”

The MacArthur Fellows Program, commonly known as the “Genius Grant” just announced their recipients for 2014. As always, they are extremely impressive experts at the top of their respective fields - but for me, one in particular stuck out.

The Simons Foundations starts telling the story like this: 

On April 17, a paper arrived in the inbox of Annals of Mathematics, one of the discipline’s preeminent journals. Written by a mathematician virtually unknown to the experts in his field — a 50-something lecturer at the University of New Hampshire named Yitang Zhang — the paper claimed to have taken a huge step forward in understanding one of mathematics’ oldest problems, the twin primes conjecture.

Unknown ‘experts’ are always making similarly large claims to prestigious institutions, but this paper was different. The reception Zhang received was incredible: “The main results are of the first rank,” the author had proved “a landmark theorem in the distribution of prime numbers.”

Zhang was a researcher that no one seemed to know, his talents had been overlooked his entire career: “after he earned his doctorate in 1991 that he had found it difficult to get an academic job, working for several years as an accountant and even in a Subway sandwich shop.”

“Basically, no one knows him,” said Andrew Granville, a number theorist at the Université de Montréal. “Now, suddenly, he has proved one of the great results in the history of number theory.”

Read more about Zhang’s incredible discovery here and here.  

Follow Quantumaniac on Twitter

(via mathematica)

Reblogged from whats-out-there
Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth. Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth (via whats-out-there)

(via asapscience)

Reblogged from sagansense
Reblogged from ucresearch
ucresearch:

Neuroscience could alter feeling disappointed
Finding an antidote for feeling let-down may now be possible. Researchers at UC San Diego have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as feeling depressed.
“The idea that some people see the world as a glass half empty has a chemical basis in the brain,” said senior author Roberto Malinow. “What we have found is a process that may dampen the brain’s sensitivity to negative life events.”
Because people struggling with depression are believed to register negative experiences more strongly than others, the study’s findings have implications for understanding not just why some people have a brain chemistry that predisposes them to depression but also how to treat it.
Read more about the finding here →

ucresearch:

Neuroscience could alter feeling disappointed

Finding an antidote for feeling let-down may now be possible. Researchers at UC San Diego have identified a control mechanism for an area of the brain that processes sensory and emotive information that humans experience as feeling depressed.

“The idea that some people see the world as a glass half empty has a chemical basis in the brain,” said senior author Roberto Malinow. “What we have found is a process that may dampen the brain’s sensitivity to negative life events.”

Because people struggling with depression are believed to register negative experiences more strongly than others, the study’s findings have implications for understanding not just why some people have a brain chemistry that predisposes them to depression but also how to treat it.

Read more about the finding here →

Reblogged from astronemma
Reblogged from we-are-star-stuff
we-are-star-stuff:

Why do we have blood types?
More than a century after their discovery, we still don’t know what blood groups like O, A and B are for. Do they really matter? Carl Zimmer investigates.

When my parents informed me that my blood type was A+, I felt a strange sense of pride. If A+ was the top grade in school, then surely A+ was also the most excellent of blood types – a biological mark of distinction.
It didn’t take long for me to recognise just how silly that feeling was and tamp it down. But I didn’t learn much more about what it really meant to have type A+ blood. By the time I was an adult, all I really knew was that if I should end up in a hospital in need of blood, the doctors there would need to make sure they transfused me with a suitable type.
And yet there remained some nagging questions. Why do 40% of Caucasians have type A blood, while only 27% of Asians do? Where do different blood types come from, and what do they do? To get some answers, I went to the experts – to haematologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, virologists and nutrition scientists.
In 1900 the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner first discovered blood types, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research in 1930. Since then scientists have developed ever more powerful tools for probing the biology of blood types. They’ve found some intriguing clues about them – tracing their deep ancestry, for example, and detecting influences of blood types on our health. And yet I found that in many ways blood types remain strangely mysterious. Scientists have yet to come up with a good explanation for their very existence.
Transfusion confusion
My knowledge that I’m type A comes to me thanks to one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine. Because doctors are aware of blood types, they can save lives by transfusing blood into patients. But for most of history, the notion of putting blood from one person into another was a feverish dream.
Renaissance doctors mused about what would happen if they put blood into the veins of their patients. Some thought that it could be a treatment for all manner of ailments, even insanity. Finally, in the 1600s, a few doctors tested out the idea, with disastrous results. A French doctor injected calf’s blood into a madman, who promptly started to sweat and vomit and produce urine the colour of chimney soot. After another transfusion the man died.
Such calamities gave transfusions a bad reputation for 150 years. Even in the 19th Century only a few doctors dared try out the procedure. One of them was a British physician named James Blundell. Like other physicians of his day, he watched many of his female patients die from bleeding during childbirth. After the death of one patient in 1817, he found he couldn’t resign himself to the way things were.
“I could not forbear considering, that the patient might very probably have been saved by transfusion” he later wrote.

[Continue Reading →]

we-are-star-stuff:

Why do we have blood types?

More than a century after their discovery, we still don’t know what blood groups like O, A and B are for. Do they really matter? Carl Zimmer investigates.

When my parents informed me that my blood type was A+, I felt a strange sense of pride. If A+ was the top grade in school, then surely A+ was also the most excellent of blood types – a biological mark of distinction.

It didn’t take long for me to recognise just how silly that feeling was and tamp it down. But I didn’t learn much more about what it really meant to have type A+ blood. By the time I was an adult, all I really knew was that if I should end up in a hospital in need of blood, the doctors there would need to make sure they transfused me with a suitable type.

And yet there remained some nagging questions. Why do 40% of Caucasians have type A blood, while only 27% of Asians do? Where do different blood types come from, and what do they do? To get some answers, I went to the experts – to haematologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, virologists and nutrition scientists.

In 1900 the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner first discovered blood types, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research in 1930. Since then scientists have developed ever more powerful tools for probing the biology of blood types. They’ve found some intriguing clues about them – tracing their deep ancestry, for example, and detecting influences of blood types on our health. And yet I found that in many ways blood types remain strangely mysterious. Scientists have yet to come up with a good explanation for their very existence.

Transfusion confusion

My knowledge that I’m type A comes to me thanks to one of the greatest discoveries in the history of medicine. Because doctors are aware of blood types, they can save lives by transfusing blood into patients. But for most of history, the notion of putting blood from one person into another was a feverish dream.

Renaissance doctors mused about what would happen if they put blood into the veins of their patients. Some thought that it could be a treatment for all manner of ailments, even insanity. Finally, in the 1600s, a few doctors tested out the idea, with disastrous results. A French doctor injected calf’s blood into a madman, who promptly started to sweat and vomit and produce urine the colour of chimney soot. After another transfusion the man died.

Such calamities gave transfusions a bad reputation for 150 years. Even in the 19th Century only a few doctors dared try out the procedure. One of them was a British physician named James Blundell. Like other physicians of his day, he watched many of his female patients die from bleeding during childbirth. After the death of one patient in 1817, he found he couldn’t resign himself to the way things were.

“I could not forbear considering, that the patient might very probably have been saved by transfusion” he later wrote.

[Continue Reading →]

(via neuromorphogenesis)

Reblogged from libutron
libutron:

Globemallow Leaf Beetle - Calligrapha serpentina 
The Globemallow Leaf Beetle may look like a type of Lady Bug, bit it is not. As a member of the leaf beetles family (Chrysomelidae) the diet of Calligrapha serpentina is plant-based, unlike the carnivorous diet of Lady Bugs. In fact, many leaf beetles are considered pests due to the extensive damage they inflict on the plants they are eating. 
As its common name suggests, the preferred vegetation of Calligrapha serpentina are plants in the mallow family, specifically the bushy, bright, desert-growing Globemallow.
This species occurs in the southwestern of the United States and Mexico.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Dave Beaudette | Locality: Fort Huachuca, Cochise County, Arizona, US (2014)

libutron:

Globemallow Leaf Beetle - Calligrapha serpentina 

The Globemallow Leaf Beetle may look like a type of Lady Bug, bit it is not. As a member of the leaf beetles family (Chrysomelidae) the diet of Calligrapha serpentina is plant-based, unlike the carnivorous diet of Lady Bugs. In fact, many leaf beetles are considered pests due to the extensive damage they inflict on the plants they are eating. 

As its common name suggests, the preferred vegetation of Calligrapha serpentina are plants in the mallow family, specifically the bushy, bright, desert-growing Globemallow.

This species occurs in the southwestern of the United States and Mexico.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Dave Beaudette | Locality: Fort Huachuca, Cochise County, Arizona, US (2014)

(via somuchscience)