NGC 7635, Bubble Nebula
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and mankind is no parent
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So I tried to use image to text software to convert my lab notebook PDFs into a big searchable document.... apparently my hand writing is so unrecognizable that I accidentally made a modern shitpost poem.
Enjoy the completely unedited results.
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There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) American novelist
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"The Goblet of Fire"
Sometimes the mundane events of life hide extraordinary phenomena. This award-winning photograph by Sarang Naik shows yellow-brown spores streaming off a mushroom during monsoon season. (Image credit: S. Naik; via Big Picture Competition)
With the Olympics kicking off today, FYFD will follow our usual tradition of Olympic-themed posts for the next couple weeks, so be sure to come back each day for the latest featured sport!
Read the full article
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Ardeadoris cruenta is a dorid nudibranch species that is about 5cm long and can be found in the tropical western Pacific Ocean. As cute as the nudibranch looks, the name 'cruenta' actually comes from the Latin word 'cruentus', which means 'bloodstained' - referring to the red dots on the slugs mantle!
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Let go of those who bring you down and surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you.
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From the thrill of hearing an ice cream truck approaching to the spikes of pleasure while sipping a fine wine, the neurological messenger known as dopamine has been popularly described as the brain's "feel good" chemical related to reward and pleasure.
A ubiquitous neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain cells, dopamine, among its many functions, is involved in multiple aspects of cognitive processing. The chemical messenger has been extensively studied from the perspective of external cues, or "deterministic" signals. Instead, University of California San Diego researchers recently set out to investigate less understood aspects related to spontaneous impulses of dopamine. Their results, published July 23 in the journal Current Biology, have shown that mice can willfully manipulate these random dopamine pulses.
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The other thing about the replication crisis is that it’s actually composed of multiple and sometimes overlapping factors:
Researchers and/or reviewers doing sloppy work because they’re overworked/stressed/rushing to get publications out
Wishful thinking/prior bias/’but I know this is true’
Poor study design
Actual straight-up cold-blooded fraud (relatively rare)
Real natural variation/statistical probability which means small studies (and sometimes large ones!) simply get different results
Incompetence on the part of economists the people attempting to replicate (nobody likes to talk about this but it is...A Thing, particularly when they’re going outside their field)
I am ultimately of the opinion that science works, bitches, but it isn’t a source of divine truth, it’s a tool used by humans and that comes along with all the other problems of human efforts. Everybody involved has to constantly be committed to doing it better. The flipside of this is not falling into the assumption that nothing is provable, a la tobacco lobbyists or climate change denial.
(If you want further reading on this I do recommend Science Fictions by Stuart Ritchie - it is a very good overview of the most common factors causing studies to be provably wrong, although it doesn’t really address cultural factors/biases.)
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If you enjoyed this meme, visit my blog @sciencefunn for more science memes.🤓
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And then claim you need “faith” to believe evolution is true.
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Friday 23/7/21 - Stem-Birds and Derived Fish
Velociraptor, a stem-bird and a derived fish, Emily Willoughby
Phylogeny is a term used to describe the study of evolutionary history of various living things. You may have seen as a younger student that evolution could be described as a straight line leading to what we have today, but the truth is the tree of life twists and divides, and human beings are only just the latest thing on our specific branch.
When discussing how things are related to one another, there are various terms you can use to bracket related groups together, and because a lot of these terms are vague, you can get really creative with how wide you make the brackets.
The two terms I wanna discuss today are "stem" and "derived". If something is a stem-group, that means it branched off the tree of life earlier, and shares older ancestors with the focus group. If something is derived, that means that it is closer to the end of its specific branch on the evolutionary tree of life.
Let's use some examples.
Confusciornis is what scientists describe as a stem-bird. It is part of a group called the Avialans, which are all dinosaurs closer related to sparrows than to dromeosaurs. Confusciornis was not a true bird, it still had teeth in its beak, and clawed wings.
Confusciornis, Kevin Yan
It is a stem-bird, because in tree terms, it is closer to the trunk than to the actual branch birds were on. But we don't need to be that exclusive with our definitions.
If stem-birds refers to something thats almost a bird, let's broaden that to include the raptors. Velociraptor is a stem-bird, they shared a common ancestor. Tyrannosaurus was a stem-bird, and although it is further up the tree, they branched off fairly recently in evolutionary terms.
A group of loosely related Stem-birds, Douglas Henderson
And if we get silly with it enough, Diplodocus was a stem-bird, since Sauropods are closer related to birds than they were to most plant eating dinosaurs. You could keep going and say Pterodactylus was a stem-bird, but if you wanna be serious, most scientists stop the definition at dromeosaurs. But that's what happens when phylogeny is vague enough.
Archosaur Phylogenetic Tree; the red line representing the line leading to birds. If the definition is vague enough, anything branching from the line could technically be a stem-bird.
Theres this issue with Phylogenetic Bracketing, (giving a name to a group of related organisms) where a lot of names for animal groups do not include all descendants. Clades (a group of living things) can be monophyletic, paraphyletic, or polyphyletic.
I'll give simple examples here. Birds are a monophyletic group. Everything we call a bird shares a common ancestor. Fish are a paraphyletic group. There are some things derived from Fish, e.g. amphibians, that we don't call fish. Worms are a polyphyletic group, because the worm body plan came from many different groups and many aren't even remotely closely related.
Back to "derived" now. We don't have to adhere strictly to every clade rule, because we can use the word "derived" to describe groups outside a paraphyletic bracket.
Cladogram of all land vertebrates, Reptiles highlighted by the green circle.
The term reptile is often used to group snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, and sometimes dinosaurs. But often, birds are left out of that group. We can say that birds are derived (advanced) dinosaurs, and therefore derived reptiles.
Tiktaliik, Liam Elward
As mentioned above, fish is a potentially ridiculously huge clade because every animal with a back bone is descended from fish. Tiktaliik was a very derived lobe-finned fish, related to coelacanths and lung-fish, and scientists think that animals related to Tiktaliik led to land animals with four legs, the tetrapods. So let's see how far we can stretch this definition of derived fish...
Acanthostega, Raúl Martín; Dimetrodon, Highdarktemplar (deviantart); Purgatorius, Patrick Lynch
Acanthostega was an early amphibeon descended from Tiktaliik or its relatives. So let's say that amphibians are derived fish. Amphibians gave rise to early mammal relatives such as Dimetrodon. So stem-mammals are derived fish. Mammals evolved during the time of the dinosaurs, and had split into the beginnings of modern groups at the time; Purgatorius was a stem-primate that lived at the same time as Tyrannosaurs. So primates are derived-fish. And why not make the final leap. Primates gave rise to the current dominant species on Earth, Homo sapiens.
Fish Phylogenetic Tree
Humans are derived fish.
Phylogeny is vague and can get very silly.
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(Image caption: Abnormalities in the cholesterol transport protein ABCA13 have been shown to lead to schizophrenia in a mouse model. Credit: ©Mindy Takamiya/Kyoto University iCeMS)
Large transporter protein linked to schizophrenia
Scientists have suspected mutations in a cellular cholesterol transport protein are associated with psychiatric disorders, but have found it difficult to prove this and to pinpoint how it happens. Now, Kazumitsu Ueda of Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and colleagues in Japan have provided evidence that mice with disrupted ABCA13 protein demonstrate a hallmark behaviour of schizophrenia. The team investigated ABCA13’s functions and published their findings in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
ABCA13 belongs to a family of cellular transporter proteins called ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins, which are involved in moving cholesterol and other molecules into and out of cells. Ueda and his team have been studying ABC proteins for 35 years, giving them extra leverage for uncovering the elusive roles of what is suspected to be the largest of these proteins, ABCA13.
The scientists studied ABCA13 in different types of human cells. They also turned off the gene that codes for the protein in mice. Finally, they investigated the effects of mutated ABCA13 proteins in human cells. The team found that ABCA13 was a large protein localized in cellular vesicles, and helps transport cholesterol from the cell’s membrane into the vesicles.
“We found that ABCA13 accelerates the internalization of cholesterol in cells and that its loss of function is associated with the pathophysiology of some psychiatric disorders,” says Ueda.
Mice lacking ABCA13 looked normal and had a normal lifespan. But a series of behavioural investigations showed abnormal results for the ‘startle response and prepulse inhibition test’. Normally, a weak ‘prepulse’ stimulus, like a sound, can reduce the feeling of being startled by a subsequent stronger stimulus. However, people with some psychiatric disorders, still feel startled by a main stimulus despite being preceded by a prepulse. The scientists found that both normal mice and the mice lacking ABCA13 had a normal startle response. But only the engineered mice were startled when the startling stimulus was preceded by a prepulse.
The scientists further wanted to know how ABCA1 deletion affected nerve cells in the brain. They found that vesicles in brain nerve endings in the mice that lacked ABCA1 did not accumulate cholesterol. Synaptic nerve vesicles are vital for the transmission of information from one nerve to another, so this malfunction could contribute to the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders, the researchers say.
Finally, the scientists studied human cells containing mutated versions of ABCA13 thought to be associated with some psychiatric disorders. They found the mutations impaired ABCA13’s functions and ability to locate within cellular vesicles.
The team suggests further studies on ABCA13 functions could lead to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.
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Can't be fooled
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Centrifugal casting ( 1 ) ( 2 ) ( 3 ), also known as rotocasting, is a process of casting that uses rotation to create thin walled materials. As such, unlike other casting techniques which are used to create unique geometries, centrifugal casting produces rotationally symmetrical parts. In addition to metals, it can also be used to cast glass and concrete.
The two subsets of centrifugal casting are true centrifugal casting, in which the mold is rotated around a (typically horizontal) axis, and semicentrifugal casting, in which the mold is completely filled (in contrast with the hollow parts produced through true centrifugal casting.
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FYI- if you’ve never been seriously wrong, you’ve never actually done science.
If you don’t regularly think about how, right now, you could be wrong about something, you aren’t a part of the world of scientific thought.
You may hold some beliefs that happen to align with the science other people have done, but they _are_ beliefs. They will slowly get out of date and you won’t know, because you don’t doubt, or inquire, or check. You believe.
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Elephant, Bat, and Squid via NASA https://ift.tt/3zoRDDi
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