Science, General Stuff

User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1176

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:14 pm

The Chinese have taken an interest in the works of Boston Dynamics and have now their own gimmick

China unveils new four-legged robot that gallops like a horse




User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1177

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:13 pm

Trump administration plans to privatize ISS: report
By Alice Cuddy
last updated: 12/02/2018

“It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” an internal NASA document states.

The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station over to private enterprise after 2024, according to an internal NASA document obtained by the Washington Post.

The document says the decision to end direct federal support after 2024 does not mean deorbiting the lab, which is currently contracted to Boeing and costs NASA between $3 billion and $4 billion a year.

“It is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” it states.

“NASA will expand international and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit.”

The report came ahead of the White House's 2019 budget proposal expected today, in which the Trump administration is set to request $150 million aimed at ensuring that "commercial successors to the ISS" are operational.


http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/12/trum ... ion-report



User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 5798
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1178

Post by Sam the Centipede » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:00 pm

Re the ISS: one narrative of its history is that a key aim was to keep Russian space scientists gainfully employed after the collapse of the USSR so they wouldn't be tempted to develop weapons systems for other countries - perhaps that is overly cynical, I don't know.

But is the ISS of much real use? I sometimes hear apologists talking in vague terms about science done on the ISS, but my impression is always that these are "make work" projects. Of course if you want to know how a spider spins a web in microgravity, the ISS is the place to do it. But that answer isn't worth billions of dollars.

I quite like spacey things and seeing the Shuttle crew repair Hubble was awesome, as were the moon landings so many years ago. But now I think putting people in space is immensely expensive and completely pointless. The Mars rovers and the fabulous probes (Voyagers and their successors) achieve objectives that manned missions could never approach. I think a manned mission to Mars would be a monumentally fuckwitted idea: for the same amount of payload we could send a small fleet of rovers with masses of whizzy equipment and onboard intelligence.

Has anyone concrete answers to the question of what the ISS has delivered, other than refining space station technology?



User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1179

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am

The ants are coming, now this scares me :doh:

Boston Dynamics are at it again




User avatar
pipistrelle
Posts: 4491
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:26 am

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1180

Post by pipistrelle » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:03 am

Bad dogs.



User avatar
neeneko
Posts: 1217
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:08 am

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1181

Post by neeneko » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:33 am

Sam the Centipede wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:00 pm
But is the ISS of much real use? I sometimes hear apologists talking in vague terms about science done on the ISS, but my impression is always that these are "make work" projects. Of course if you want to know how a spider spins a web in microgravity, the ISS is the place to do it. But that answer isn't worth billions of dollars.
At this point the majority of the experiments being done on the ISS are subsidised commercial projects, NASA covers the cost of the launch and astronaut time, private industry builds the experiments. I think they are mostly biomedical and manufacturing in nature, stuff that isn't going to see commercial application for decades but companies are getting their basic research in now.

It is hard to say if it is 'worth the billions' since no private company has the infrastructure to do this type of work on its own, but like a lot of basic research it will probably have economic impacts down the road. The type of stuff no one company can afford to do on its own but the whole industry ends up benefiting.



User avatar
Volkonski
Posts: 16752
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:44 pm
Location: Texas Gulf Coast and North Fork of Long Island
Occupation: Retired Mechanical Engineer

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1182

Post by Volkonski » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:47 am

RTH10260 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:38 am
The ant are coming, now this scares me :doh:

Boston Dynamics are at it again

Soon there will be huge robot armies. :(


Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1183

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:22 pm

a message for our wood workers (from a SciAm mailing)
Stronger Than Steel, Able to Stop a Speeding Bullet—It’s Super Wood!
Simple processes can make wood tough, impact-resistant—or even transparent

By Sid Perkins on February 7, 2018

Stronger Than Steel, Able to Stop a Speeding Bullet--It's Super Wood!
New techniques for “densifying” wood can turn the ubiquitous substance into a super-material suitable for constructing buildings and body armor.

Some varieties of wood, such as oak and maple, are renowned for their strength. But scientists say a simple and inexpensive new process can transform any type of wood into a material stronger than steel, and even some high-tech titanium alloys. Besides taking a star turn in buildings and vehicles, the substance could even be used to make bullet-resistant armor plates.

Wood is abundant and relatively low-cost—it literally grows on trees. And although it has been used for millennia to build everything from furniture to homes and larger structures, untreated wood is rarely as strong as metals used in construction. Researchers have long tried to enhance its strength, especially by compressing and “densifying” it, says Liangbing Hu, a materials scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park. But densified wood tends to weaken and spring back toward its original size and shape, especially in humid conditions.

Now, Hu and his colleagues say they have come up with a better way to densify wood, which they report in the February 7 Nature. Their simple, two-step process starts with boiling wood in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3), a chemical treatment similar to the first step in creating the wood pulp used to make paper. This partially removes lignin and hemicellulose (natural polymers that help stiffen a plant’s cell walls)—but it largely leaves the wood’s cellulose (another natural polymer) intact, Hu says.

The second step is almost as simple as the first: Compressing the treated wood until its cell walls collapse, then maintaining that compression as it is gently heated. The pressure and heat encourage the formation of chemical bonds between large numbers of hydrogen atoms and neighboring atoms in adjacent nanofibers of cellulose, greatly strengthening the material.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... uper-wood/



User avatar
pipistrelle
Posts: 4491
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:26 am

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1184

Post by pipistrelle » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:23 am

Fascinating but "ubiquitous" and "grows on trees" doesn't hint at the devastating effects of logging.



User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1185

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:31 am

deviation in daily politics, SciAm article discusses NASA funding and space research under the current administration, space research planning into the near future
NASA Budget Proposal Defunds Space Station, Space Telescopes and More
The White House’s controversial plans for U.S. space science and exploration could ignite a budgetary battle with Congress

By Lee Billings on February 12, 2018
[description for image in the article]
NASA Budget Proposal Defunds Space Station, Space Telescopes and More
An artist's rendition of NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), a major observatory in development for launch in the 2020s. Ranked by the U.S. astrophysics community as the highest priority of their field in that decade, WFIRST is meant to study dark energy, dark matter and exoplanets. Now, however, it may be canceled according to a White House budget plan. Credit: NASA
The Trump administration is proposing a budget of $19.9 billion for NASA in its request for fiscal year 2019—slightly more than its request for fiscal year 2018. The additional funds would support the administration’s directive to reinvigorate human and robotic exploration of Earth’s moon and other planets in the solar system but would also come at the expense of several other big-ticket items in NASA’s portfolio—namely the International Space Station (ISS) as well as the Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST), a “flagship”-class mission next in line for launch after the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The budget also recommends canceling five NASA Earth science missions as well as the space agency’s Office of Education.

Under the proposal U.S. funding for the ISS would cease in 2025, a year after the station’s current retirement date. That’s years ahead of 2028, however, which many public and private ISS stakeholders have been counting on as the most likely target for an extension of the ISS’s mission that has cost U.S. taxpayers some $100 billion since the 1990s. The station would potentially live on, however, sustained by still-nascent public-private partnerships that could in theory shift the bulk of upkeep costs to private businesses. To that end, the budget also calls for $150 million in 2019 and more in future years to help commercial companies expand their activities in low Earth orbit, although it does not specify the ISS as an explicit part of that spending. In recent years the ISS has become a vital destination for U.S. launch providers such as SpaceX and Boeing, which are competing for NASA contracts to ferry astronauts to and from the orbital outpost. Rockets from SpaceX and other providers already make regular supply runs to the ISS.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -and-more/



User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1186

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:47 am

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:38 pm
on the recent visitor from outer space
Asteroid Portends Quadrillion Trillion More in Galaxy
Reports of the first-ever flyby of a body from another stellar system suggest a vast sea of interstellar shards and a Neptune-like planet around every star in the Milky Way
:snippity:
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ob ... in-galaxy/
a followup article on how astronomers are now preparing for more research on these types of space objects
Will Astronomers Be Ready for the Next ‘Oumuamua?
It may already have arrived. Here’s how scientists are preparing for the next close encounter

By Joshua Sokol on February 13, 2018

Last fall an unexpected out-of-towner blazed a faint but memorable trail through the solar system. ‘Oumuamua, as it came to be called, had dive-bombed the sun from parts unknown, and was witnessed whizzing past Earth on an orbital path that would take it back out to interstellar space. That offered astronomers a brief, first-ever chance to study an object from another star.

As a singular event, ‘Oumuamua was gratifyingly weird: likely made of rock or metal, reddish in color, not gassy like a comet and stretched into an extremely elongated shape. On the off chance that the visitor was a probe with artificial origins, scientists with the Breakthrough Listen project and the SETI Institute even checked to see whether it was broadcasting radio waves. (It wasn’t.) Soon the speeding object had slipped beyond the reach of even our best telescopes.

The encounter with ‘Oumuamua, although brief, was just the iceberg-tip of an entirely new emerging subfield of astronomy: the study of interstellar objects as a population—something theorists previously could only dream about. The lessons from ‘Oumuamua are now forcing planetary scientists and astronomers to reconsider the solar system with new eyes, and presaging the arrival of our next visitor.

For Carlos de la Fuente Marcos at the Complutense University of Madrid and his colleagues, ‘Oumuamua’s passing inspired an immediate question. Its orbital path was hyperbolic, along a curve that sweeps out from the solar system to infinity instead of closing in on itself like an ellipse. Aside from interstellar visitors, local comets and asteroids can also escape the solar system by being bent onto hyperbolic paths by gravitational tweaks from the sun or the planets. Astronomers could rule out a “local” origin for ‘Oumuamua, which was flying too fast and unaligned with the solar system’s planets to have come from anywhere besides interstellar space. Marcos wondered, though, whether other ‘Oumuamua-like objects might lurk within the full set of hyperbolic objects astronomers have observed in the past.

In a letter published February 6 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Marcos and his collaborators considered 339 known hyperbolic objects, using a computer model to rewind their orbits 100,000 years into the past. Of the fastest incoming objects, they found a cluster from the celestial vicinity of the constellation Gemini; these, they posited, are perhaps locals kicked inward from the outer solar system by a close encounter some 70,000 years ago with nearby Scholz’s star. But Marcos’s team also identified eight possible interstellar interlopers with inbound velocities that seem to stand apart, including 2013’s high-profile Comet ISON.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... -oumuamua/



User avatar
Danraft
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1187

Post by Danraft » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:43 pm

THOUGHT I would share... clearing bookmarks, and came across this regarding links to Autism and other disorders and Breastfeeding.
And not the direction you think.
Breastmilk concentrates toxins and has been found to have rates as high as 80x acceptable.


a) In every developed country in which breastfeeding is known to be high, autism has also been found to be high (the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea) (for sources, go to Section 1.2.s.5 at this link); in the European countries with low breastfeeding rates, autism rates have been found to be less than half as high (Ireland, France, Belgium, and U.K.) (Section 1.2.s.4 at preceding link); childhood cancer rates, also, show a close correlation with breastfeeding rates (see www.breastfeeding-and-cancer.info ).

b) The four U.S. states that are highest in autism (MN, OR, ME and UT) are also high in breastfeeding rates (Sections 1.2.s.7 and 1.2.x.1 at this link); of the seven U.S. states that have the lowest rates of breastfeeding, every one of these seven also has an unusually low rate of autism (KY, WV, SC, AR, AL, LA, MS) (Section 1.2.x.5 at preceding link);

c) There is a 50% higher rate of breastfeeding among U.S. whites than among blacks, corresponding with a roughly 50% higher rate of autism among whites than among blacks, and Hispanics are in between in both respects; however, blacks who breastfeed at about the same rate as whites apparently have autism at about the same rate as whites (Section 1.2.s.3 at www.pollutionaction.org/breastfeeding-a ... cancer.htm);

d) Older mothers are more likely to breastfeed, and to do so for longer periods, and toxins built up in their bodies (and therefore in their milk) increase with their years of exposure to the environment; and there is a 20% increase in risk of autism with each 10-year increase in parents' ages (Section 1.2.s.1.b at this link);

e) Autism rates have generally been found to be increasing in recent decades, while breastfeeding rates have image031.jpgalso been increasing. A single exception to that generalization has been found, and that exception merits special attention. Notice the conspicuous stability in the rate of breastfeeding in the UK in the years leading up to 2000, in contrast with the general upward trend or high levels in most countries. A study in the UK found that there had not been an increase in incidence of autism among children born in the years preceding 1999 (3). A study that failed to find increasing prevalence of autism for any time period during the last two decades appears to be unusual if not unique; and it may be more than coincidental that this study was done in a country in which the prevalence of breastfeeding had also (contrary to the general pattern) not been increasing during the relevant period.


http://www.breastfeeding-and-autism.net


We've go work to do, so pull on your sock puppets and Log In!!!- Dr Whom (DNA test prove the M is silent)

User avatar
Volkonski
Posts: 16752
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:44 pm
Location: Texas Gulf Coast and North Fork of Long Island
Occupation: Retired Mechanical Engineer

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1188

Post by Volkonski » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:45 am

This could upend the livestock industry.

Lab-grown 'clean' meat could be on sale by end of 2018, says producer

www.independent.co.uk/news/science/clea ... 36676.html
In vitro animal products, sometimes referred to as “clean meat”, are made from stem cells harvested via biopsy from living livestock, which are then grown in a lab over a number of weeks.

Some environmentalists believe the process could be the key to reducing global warming, with one study predicting it could lower harmful greenhouse emissions by 96 per cent.

And the first products could be available for human consumption within months, according to Josh Tetrick, CEO of clean meat manufacturer JUST.

Chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras created using the technique could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia "before the end of 2018", he told CNN.


Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

User avatar
Volkonski
Posts: 16752
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:44 pm
Location: Texas Gulf Coast and North Fork of Long Island
Occupation: Retired Mechanical Engineer

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1189

Post by Volkonski » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:24 pm

Speciation reversal and ancient lineage fusion happen!

“Reverse speciation” (fusion of species) in ravens

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.co ... in-ravens/
At least a dozen readers have called my attention to a new paper in Nature Communications by Anna M. Kearns et al. (reference at bottom, pdf here), supposedly showing “reverse speciation” in ravens. The paper has received a lot of public attention because it claims to show that two distinct species of ravens have fused back into a single species. And that has excited people because a.) they don’t think this has happened before, and b.) it shows that speciation is not the simple bifurcating tree that Darwin portrayed. Rather, some of the branches can grow back together, fusing into a new single branch.

But, as the authors note, we’ve seen fusion of species before. Often this is connected with anthropogenic habitat change, such as change in climate, local ecology, or the introduction of predators (see a summary paper here). We may be seeing this now with the polar bear and brown bear (“grizzly”). Previously isolated by ecological preference and adaptation (a genetically based “reproductive isolating barrier”), their ecological separation may disappear with climate change. As the brown bear moves north with warmer climate, it will invade the territory of the polar bear, and the two species can hybridize and have done so repeatedly in the wild. If the hybrids are fertile (and I can’t find data on this), the two species may well fuse into one.

But there are other cases of species fusing when humans weren’t responsible. After all, ecological change, climate change, and introduction of predators can occur without the intervention of humans. The problem with finding hybrid species in nature is that one can’t easily detect that they resulted from hybridization if the parental species are both extinct. (The hybrid nature of species is usually detected by seeing that they’re a genetic mosaic of the parental species, and if the parents don’t exist that’s hard to detect.) But we have plenty of example of “hybrid species” that haven’t replaced the parental ones, including many allopolyploid plants as well as diploid hybrid species in butterflies and sunflowers. Further, species do exchange genes more frequently than we used to think, and that “horizontal gene transfer” can mess up phylogenies.

But none of this invalidates the generalization that species nearly always form from geographically isolated populations that genetically differentiate to the point where they can no longer exchange genes, when they’ve evolved barriers to gene exchange like hybrid sterility, ecological preference and adaptation, mate discrimination, and so on. Except in plants, hybrid speciation is the rare exception rather than the rule, and Darwin’s “bifurcating tree” of life, drawn in his notebooks, is still a good description of life:


Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

User avatar
Dolly
Posts: 11815
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:32 pm

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1190

Post by Dolly » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:49 pm

don't know where else to post this.
NASA study: Astronaut's DNA no longer identical to his identical twin's after year in space

A new study from NASA has found that astronaut Scott Kelly’s genes are no longer identical to those of his identical twin after spending a year in space.

Preliminary results from NASA’s Twins Study found that seven percent of Kelly’s genes no longer match those of his twin, Mark. Scott Kelly spent one year aboard the International Space Station during the study, while his brother remained on Earth.

While in space, researchers monitored Kelly’s metabolites, cytokines, and proteins to learn how space travel affects biological systems.

Though most of Kelly’s biological changes returned to baseline levels after returning to Earth, seven percent of his genes point to possible long-term changes, according to the study.
NASA's preliminary findings were validated this week, according to Space.com.

“The Twins Study has benefited NASA by providing the first application of genomics to evaluate potential risks to the human body in space,” according to a release from the agency. <SNIP>
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-enviro ... -identical


Avatar by Tal Peleg Art of Makeup https://www.facebook.com/TalPelegMakeUp

User avatar
AndyinPA
Posts: 1857
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:00 pm
Location: Pittsburgh PA

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1191

Post by AndyinPA » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:29 pm

That's interesting. I would guess the long-term changes are likely to be good.



User avatar
ZekeB
Posts: 14376
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: Northwest part of Semi Blue State

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1192

Post by ZekeB » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 pm

Jebus changed it. It certainly wasn't evolution.


Ano, jsou opravdové. - Stormy Daniels

User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 16472
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1193

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:42 am

ZekeB wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:45 pm
Jebus changed it. It certainly wasn't evolution.
So there is really a Heaven out there above us critters on Earth ?



User avatar
Tiredretiredlawyer
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 2:56 pm
Location: Animal Planet
Occupation: Permanent probationary slave to 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 horse

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1194

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:14 am

https://mashable.com/2018/03/15/steve-a ... XovOJN0sqP
Pics and NASA video too!
New kind of aurora discovered with the help of citizen scientists

"Steve" may be ordinary as it comes with aurora names, but one called exactly that certainly has an extraordinary story. The streaks of purple light which appeared in the sky over Regina, Canada, were the source of curiosity for locals who hadn't seen anything quite like it before.

That wonder over "Steve" led to a project called Aurorasaurus, where locals, or should we say citizen scientists, shared their findings on the mysterious lights. Between 2015 to 2016, there were 30 reports submitted to the project, overlooked by scientists from NASA and the University of Calgary.

It is, in fact, a new kind of aurora, appearing like a line with a beginning and end, as opposed to a typically oval shape like the others. Steve is also purple, with green features resembling a picket fence, unlike those signature greens, blues and reds of a regular aurora. [T]he difference with Steve is in the details. It travels along different magnetic field lines, and appears at lower latitudes closer to the equator.

Steve is also associated with something called the "subauroral ion drift," a stream of fast moving, extremely hot particles which scientists have been studying since the 1970s, but didn't know that it came with accompanying visual effect. While Steve was just a name, it now stands for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement.


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

User avatar
Tiredretiredlawyer
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 2:56 pm
Location: Animal Planet
Occupation: Permanent probationary slave to 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 horse

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1195

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:45 am

https://amp.thedailybeast.com/meet-the- ... new-we-had?
RIGHT THERE THE WHOLE TIME
The Largest Organ We Never Knew We Had


A study published in Scientific Reports on Tuesday suggests that a previously unknown organ has been found in the human body.

More astonishingly, the paper puts forth the idea that this new organ is the largest by volume among all 80 organs—if what the researchers found is, in fact, an organ.

The new organ, he explained, was a thin layer of dense connective tissue throughout the body, sandwiched just under our skin and within the middle layer of every visceral organ. The organ also made up all the fascia, or the thin mesh of tissue separating every muscle and all the tissue around every vein and artery, from largest to smallest. What initially seemed to be a solid, dense, connective tissue layer was actually a complex network of fluid-filled cavities that are strong and flexible, yet so tiny and undiscerning that they escaped the attention of the brightest scientific minds for generations.

This thing they were looking at, struggling to understand with its bizarre structure and rule-breaking form, was the interstitium, a space vaguely described in textbooks as where “extracellular fluid” is found, the fluid that isn’t contained within cells. What doctors had defined as “dense connective tissue” wasn’t dense connective tissue at all. In fact, they were all fluid-filled structures that only appeared to be densely compacted when tissues were made into slides, the fluid draining away, the collagen lattice collapsing onto itself.


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

User avatar
tencats
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:09 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1196

Post by tencats » Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:47 pm

Still Believe an Asteroid Killed the Dinosaurs? Think Again
ALBANY, N.Y. (April 3, 2018)
https://www.albany.edu/news/86204.php

[quot
Professor and evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup and his former student Michael J. Frederick, now of the University of Baltimore, assert that the emergence of toxic plants combined with dinosaurs’ inability to associate the taste of certain foods with danger had them already drastically decreasing in population when the asteroid hit.
:snippity:
The first flowering plants, called angiosperms, appear in the fossil record well before the asteroid impact and right before the dinosaurs began to gradually disappear. Gallup and Frederick claim that as plants were evolving and developing toxic defenses, dinosaurs continued eating them despite gastrointestinal distress. Although there is uncertainty about exactly when flowering plants developed toxicity and exactly how long it took them to proliferate, Gallup and Frederick note that their appearance coincides with the gradual disappearance of dinosaurs.

In addition to studying the proliferation of toxic plants while dinosaurs were alive, Gallup and Frederick examined whether or not birds (considered to be a descendant of dinosaurs) and crocodilians (also considered to be descendant from dinosaurs) could develop taste aversions. They found that the birds, rather than forming aversions to taste, developed aversions to the visual features of whatever made them sick. Still, they knew what they shouldn’t eat in order to survive. In a previous study in which 10 crocodilians were fed different types of meat, some slightly toxic, Gallup discovered that like dinosaurs, crocodilians did not develop learned taste aversions.

“Though the asteroid certainly played a factor, the psychological deficit which rendered dinosaurs incapable of learning to refrain from eating certain plants had already placed severe strain on the species,” said Gallup. “The prevailing view of dinosaur extinction based on the asteroid impact implies that the disappearance of dinosaurs should have been sudden and the effects should have been widespread, but the evidence clearly shows just the opposite: Dinosaurs began to disappear long before the asteroid impact and continued to gradually disappear for millions of years afterward.”
https://www.albany.edu/news/86204.php
[/quote]



User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 5798
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1197

Post by Sam the Centipede » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:58 pm

Excellent news about possible progress towards solving mitigating the world's plastic pollution, in The Guardian:Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
The scientists at Portsmouth University (UK) were investigating a bacterium (probably a strain of Ideonella sakaiensis) that had evolved some ability to metabolize PET plastic (as used in drinks bottles), better than other bacteria and fungi found previously. In fiddling with the enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown, they created a version which was 20% more efficient, which also suggests that more improvement might be possible.

And if this can be progressed, it might become possible to recycle PET into something more like raw feedstock, so it can be used instead of oil from the ground to make new plastic products, rather in the way that iron is recycled, whereas current plastic recycling can only generate poor quality product for making stuff like doormats, bags, etc.



User avatar
maydijo
Posts: 2598
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:23 pm
Location: where women glow and men plunder
Occupation: harassing marsupials

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1198

Post by maydijo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:06 pm

Sam the Centipede wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:58 pm
Excellent news about possible progress towards solving mitigating the world's plastic pollution, in The Guardian:Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
The scientists at Portsmouth University (UK) were investigating a bacterium (probably a strain of Ideonella sakaiensis) that had evolved some ability to metabolize PET plastic (as used in drinks bottles), better than other bacteria and fungi found previously. In fiddling with the enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown, they created a version which was 20% more efficient, which also suggests that more improvement might be possible.

And if this can be progressed, it might become possible to recycle PET into something more like raw feedstock, so it can be used instead of oil from the ground to make new plastic products, rather in the way that iron is recycled, whereas current plastic recycling can only generate poor quality product for making stuff like doormats, bags, etc.
Our banknotes are plastic. When they reach the end of their lifecycle they are recycled into wheelie bins (the big garbage cans you put out for trash and recycling collection.) I think of this every time I take my guns to the curb - my bin probably has more money than I do . . .



User avatar
Volkonski
Posts: 16752
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:44 pm
Location: Texas Gulf Coast and North Fork of Long Island
Occupation: Retired Mechanical Engineer

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1199

Post by Volkonski » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:34 pm

Good corrections of commonly held mistaken ideas about evolution and anti-evolution talking points.

Misconceptions about evolution

https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibra ... faq.php#a1
MISCONCEPTION: Evolution results in progress; organisms are always getting better through evolution.
CORRECTION: One important mechanism of evolution, natural selection, does result in the evolution of improved abilities to survive and reproduce; however, this does not mean that evolution is progressive — for several reasons. First, as described in a misconception below (link to "Natural selection produces organisms perfectly suited to their environments"), natural selection does not produce organisms perfectly suited to their environments. It often allows the survival of individuals with a range of traits — individuals that are "good enough" to survive. Hence, evolutionary change is not always necessary for species to persist. Many taxa (like some mosses, fungi, sharks, opossums, and crayfish) have changed little physically over great expanses of time. Second, there are other mechanisms of evolution that don't cause adaptive change. Mutation, migration, and genetic drift may cause populations to evolve in ways that are actually harmful overall or make them less suitable for their environments. For example, the Afrikaner population of South Africa has an unusually high frequency of the gene responsible for Huntington's disease because the gene version drifted to high frequency as the population grew from a small starting population. Finally, the whole idea of "progress" doesn't make sense when it comes to evolution. Climates change, rivers shift course, new competitors invade — and an organism with traits that are beneficial in one situation may be poorly equipped for survival when the environment changes. And even if we focus on a single environment and habitat, the idea of how to measure "progress" is skewed by the perspective of the observer. From a plant's perspective, the best measure of progress might be photosynthetic ability; from a spider's it might be the efficiency of a venom delivery system; from a human's, cognitive ability. It is tempting to see evolution as a grand progressive ladder with Homo sapiens emerging at the top. But evolution produces a tree, not a ladder — and we are just one of many twigs on the tree.
MISCONCEPTION: If students are taught that they are animals, they will behave like animals.
CORRECTION: Part of evolutionary theory includes the idea that all organisms on Earth are related. The human lineage is a small twig on the branch of the tree of life that constitutes all animals. This means that, in a biological sense, humans are animals. We share anatomical, biochemical, and behavioral traits with other animals. For example, we humans care for our young, form cooperative groups, and communicate with one another, as do many other animals. And of course, each animal lineage also has behavioral traits that are unique to that lineage. In this sense, humans act like humans, slugs act like slugs, and squirrels act like squirrels. It is unlikely that children, upon learning that they are related to all other animals, will start to behave like jellyfish or raccoons.


Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

User avatar
Tiredretiredlawyer
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 2:56 pm
Location: Animal Planet
Occupation: Permanent probationary slave to 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 horse

Re: Science, General Stuff

#1200

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:26 pm

https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/ ... -of-seeds/

Great pics and descriptions.
SCI CANDY GALLERY
A Yearbook Of Seeds
From the Uncarina seed’s fashionable coat to the flowing orange locks of the Bird of Paradise seed, we present this year’s seed superlatives.


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

Post Reply

Return to “Science & Technology”