If you enjoyed this facts, follow my blog @sciencefactss for more interesting science facts.
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Summer Starts in the Northern Hemisphere!
Today is the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere -- the solstice! People located in the Northern Hemisphere will have the longest day of the year today, and people located in the Southern Hemisphere will have the shortest day of the year.
The angle between the Earth’s orbit and the axis of its rotation creates our seasons, tilting each hemisphere toward the Sun during summer in that half of the Earth. This is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter in the Southern Hemisphere. The other half of the year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun, creating winter in the north and summer in the south.
Solstices happen twice per year, at the points in Earth’s orbit where this tilt is most pronounced.
These days are the longest (in the summer hemisphere) and shortest (in the winter hemisphere) of the year, and mark the change of seasons to summer and winter, respectively.
For more Earth science, follow NASA Earth on Twitter, on Facebook, or on the web.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!
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A chiral molecules is a molecule that has a non-superposable mirror image. Chirality in molecules can affect their chemical properties a lot.
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This is ‘a map of the moon’s gravity field’ created by NASA’S Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, which shows many craters on the moon’s surface created by countless impacts.
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Torpedo nobiliana or Atlantic Torpedo Ray
Its ability to deliver an electric shock comes from modified gill muscles that contract in waves, covering the fish. The Ray will trap a fish underneath it, wrapping around it like a taco, and directs the electric current towards its prey. They've also been used in defense and can produce upwards of 50 volts of electricity.
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Scientists confirm discovery of the most distant object of the Solar System
Using the Subaru Telescope, an 8-meter telescope located on top of the dormant volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii, scientists spotted the planetoid Farfarout.
The planetoid is located a whopping 132 astronomical units (AU) away from the Sun. One astronomical unit is the distance between the Earth and Sun, approximately 91.757 million miles.
->Read the article for more cool information<-
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Can COVID-19 Be Eradicated?
Sorry bud, common sense is only a good source to anti-intellectuals.
I did you the favor of gathering some actual information on the matter, since you can’t be bothered, and I’m making a new post so that others can also learn something.
The only virus in humans that has been successfully eradicated is smallpox, which is a huge win, and really important both scientifically and historically.
However, “eradication” is commonly used in place of “elimination,” which is the reduction of an infectious disease's prevalence in a regional population to zero [X].
Polio is another virus that has been eliminated through vaccination. What was once a widespread virus-based disease that could lead to difficulty or inability to walk is now a thing of the past that many young people don’t even know about.
There are tons more virus-based illnesses that have been nearly eliminated through decades of vaccine use.
So, whether or not COVID-19 can be eliminated or eradicated has nothing to do with common sense and everything to do with how it mutates and whether or not we can get everyone to get vaccinated before it breaks off into a ton of new strains, which require different vaccines.
How Do Viruses Mutate?
The reason the flu can’t be eliminated is because it mutates too quickly for one vaccine to last more than a year. In a year, it will mutate many times, making the last vaccine you took for it completely outdated, requiring a new one by the time the next flu season comes around. Sometimes, the vaccine one year may not even work. That’s because each year’s flu vaccine is made to contain about 4 different strains that immunologists and virologists predict are most likely to circulate. If the predicted strains end up being less prevalent than others that have mutated, the vaccine may not stop you from getting the flu.
The way vaccines work is by teaching your body to produce antibodies (the things that fight viruses and whatnot) that recognize what you’re being vaccinated against. Each virus strain has different surface proteins (markers). If you get a vaccine for a flu strain with (A) markers, but come in contact with a flu strain with (B) markers, the vaccine will be ineffective. The antibodies don’t recognize (B) markers from their “training.”
The same way animals evolve based on which traits allowed them to survive long enough to successfully breed offspring, the only viruses that survive vaccination are those that evolve to adapt and avoid the antibodies created by said vaccines - AKA, the cockroach motherfuckers of the virus world. Whatever it is making that strain a cockroach motherfucker is going to be passed on to its ‘children.’
This change in each flu strain is called antigenic drift or antigenic shift, depending on how abruptly and dramatically the genes change.
Now, back to COVID
While it’s true that most virologists and immunologists don’t expect it to be fully eradicated, COVID-19 can likely be eliminated from various regions. However, the most important thing to note about the future of COVID-19 infection is that vaccination will massively impact the intensity of any infection.
The same way we get childhood vaccines for things like measles, mumps, and rubella, we can make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory and prevent it from getting a foothold in the majority of the population. When most people are vaccinated, it makes it extremely unlikely for any two people who aren’t to come into contact while infected with it.
Of course, the current vaccines for COVID-19 were quick to be put together, and we have some fiddling and safety testing to do before we can force children to be vaccinated for COVID as of yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t become possible to do so completely safely in the years to come.
When’s the last time you had a friend come down with the mumps? Unless your friend is a kid with an antivaxxer parent, it’s unlikely you’ve ever met anyone with mumps. In the future, COVID-19 could end up in the same league of obscurity.
If a new strain is mutated that’s still within the realm of antigenic drift (very similar to the original), it’s possible for those who’ve been vaccinated for the original strain to catch it, but antibodies created for the original strain may still recognize some of the new strain’s proteins. That means it will be less effective than for the original strain, but effective enough to lessen the damage done by the virus.
Regardless of whether or not you actually read this, I hope some of my other followers have, because it’s good information to know and makes understanding sickness a lot easier.
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Is your ring finger longer than your index finger?
So I am doing research for my developmental bio class right? And I come across a paper discussing how exposure to low or high levels of prenatal testosterone can cause gender dysphoria (haven’t read it all the way yet but seems to suggest a correlation between low levels of prenatal T in trans women, and high levels in trans men). It talked a lot about a thing called 2D:4D ratios which I had never seen before.
It’s suggested that high levels of prenatal T causes your ring finger (D4) to be longer than your index finger (D2).
“Research suggests that having a longer ring finger compared to index finger reflects greater exposure to male hormones during an individual’s time in their mother’s womb. There are differences between and within sexes in finger lengths associated with relatively more masculine versus feminine development.” (pic is from article linked in quotations)
Translation: if you have a longer ring finger it would suggest higher levels of exposure to male hormones in the womb. If you have a shorter ring finger it would suggest lower levels of exposure to male hormones in the womb. This is not based on what chromosomes you have or your agab.
Science is wild. So much shit happens in the womb that isn’t even determined by your genetics. And so much can happen with your genetics. Again, I still need to do more research. But I just thought I’d share cuz I thought it was cool!
Let me know if your ring finger is longer or shorter than your index finger!
Edit: having one finger be short or longer doesn't mean you're trans or not. It just suggests what levels of male hormones you were exposed to in the womb. It's correlation.
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You’re Always Surrounded by Neutrinos!
This second, as you’re reading these words, trillions of tiny particles are hurtling toward you! No, you don’t need to brace yourself. They’re passing through you right now. And now. And now. These particles are called neutrinos, and they’re both everywhere in the cosmos and also extremely hard to find.
Neutrinos are fundamental particles, like electrons, so they can’t be broken down into smaller parts. They also outnumber all the atoms in the universe. (Atoms are made up of electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are made of quarks … which maybe we’ll talk about another time.) The only thing that outnumbers neutrinos are all the light waves left over from the birth of the universe!
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Pauli Archive, CERN
Physicist Wolfgang Pauli proposed the existence of the neutrino, nearly a century ago. Enrico Fermi coined the name, which means “little neutral one” in Italian, because these particles have no electrical charge and nearly no mass.
Despite how many there are, neutrinos are really hard to study. They travel at almost the speed of light and rarely interact with other matter. Out of the universe’s four forces, ghostly neutrinos are only affected by gravity and the weak force. The weak force is about 10,000 times weaker than the electromagnetic force, which affects electrically charged particles. Because neutrinos carry no charge, move almost as fast as light, and don’t interact easily with other matter, they can escape some really bizarre and extreme places where even light might struggle getting out – like dying stars!
Through the weak force, neutrinos interact with other tiny fundamental particles: electrons, muons [mew-ons], and taus [rhymes with “ow”]. (These other particles are also really cool, but for right now, you just need to know that they’re there.) Scientists actually never detect neutrinos directly. Instead they find signals from these other particles. So they named the three types, or flavors, of neutrinos after them.
Neutrinos are made up of each of these three flavors, but cycle between them as they travel. Imagine going to the store to buy rocky road ice cream, which is made of chocolate ice cream, nuts, and marshmallows. When you get home, you find that it’s suddenly mostly marshmallows. Then in your bowl it’s mostly nuts. But when you take a bite, it’s just chocolate! That’s a little bit like what happens to neutrinos as they zoom through the cosmos.
On Earth, neutrinos are produced when unstable atoms decay, which happens in the planet’s core and nuclear reactors. (The first-ever neutrino detection happened in a nuclear reactor in 1955!) They’re also created by particle accelerators and high-speed particle collisions in the atmosphere. (Also, interestingly, the potassium in a banana emits neutrinos – but no worries, bananas are perfectly safe to eat!)
Most of the neutrinos around Earth come from the Sun – about 65 billion every second for every square centimeter. These are produced in the Sun’s core where the immense pressure squeezes together hydrogen to produce helium. This process, called nuclear fusion, creates the energy that makes the Sun shine, as well as neutrinos.
The first neutrinos scientists detected from outside the Milky Way were from SN 1987A, a supernova that occurred only 168,000 light-years away in a neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. (That makes it one of the closest supernovae scientists have observed.) The light from this explosion reached us in 1987, so it was the first supernova modern astronomers were able to study in detail. The neutrinos actually arrived a few hours before the light from the explosion because of the forces we talked about earlier. The particles escape the star’s core before any of the other effects of the collapse ripple to the surface. Then they travel in pretty much a straight line – all because they don’t interact with other matter very much.
Credit: Martin Wolf, IceCube/NSF
How do we detect particles that are so tiny and fast – especially when they rarely interact with other matter? Well, the National Science Foundation decided to bury a bunch of detectors in a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice to create the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. The neutrinos interact with other particles in the ice through the weak force and turn into muons, electrons, and taus. The new particles gain the neutrinos’ speed and actually travel faster than light in the ice, which produces a particular kind of radiation IceCube can detect. (Although they would still be slower than light in the vacuum of space.)
In 2013, IceCube first detected high-energy neutrinos, which have energies up to 1,000 times greater than those produced by Earth’s most powerful particle collider. But scientists were puzzled about where exactly these particles came from. Then, in 2017, IceCube detected a high-energy neutrino from a monster black hole powering a high-speed particle jet at a galaxy’s center billions of light-years away. It was accompanied by a flash of gamma rays, the highest energy form of light.
But particle jets aren’t the only place we can find these particles. Scientists recently announced that another high-energy neutrino came from a black hole shredding an unlucky star that strayed too close. The event didn’t produce the neutrino when or how scientists expected, though, so they’ve still got a lot to learn about these mysterious particles!
Keep up with other exciting announcements about our universe by following NASA Universe on Twitter and Facebook.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.
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Snailfish, a tadpole shaped and cold-water dwelling fish, are often placed with the lumpsuckers in the family Cyclopteridae. This is because both snailfish and lumpsuckers have modified pelvic fins that act as a suction cup, enabling the fish to attach themselves to surfaces.
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We are attracted to cute things due to a blend of socio-emotional and evolutionary reasons. Some of us may even feel cute aggression when they see cute things. It is said to be a coping mechanism of positive emotions caused by ‘cuteness overload’.
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Day 7 of 12 days of Starry Facts!
Today’s fact: Nuclear Pasta
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Species | Palm-nut vulture
Palm-nut vultures (Gypohierax angolensis) are not only monotypic within their genus, they also have a much cooler name than palm-nut vulture: vulturine fish-eagle.
As all other birds in their family and order, they are classified as bird of prey. Unlike most other birds in their group however, the paln-nut vulture primarily feeds on the fleshy fruit-husks of oil palms, which is how they earned their name. The fruits make up to 60% of the adults diet, and 90% of the juveniles diet. Other food items they eat include, crabs, molluscs, frogs, fish locusts, reptiles eggs/hatchlings, small mammals and sometimes even domestic poultry as well as, of course, carrion
Photo credits: Ricardo Bitran, Phillipe Boissel, Martien Uiterweerd
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In New Delhi, if a tree falls sick, an ambulance is dispatched to treat them. This came into effect in 2009 and takes four people to do the job.
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what forensics and murder cases have taught me
• if you’re burying a person, bury them with a dead animal over them so authorities think it’s what triggered the cadaver dogs.
• if you leave someone out to decompose you’re gonna have to deal with hair mass.
• hair mass - the number of individual hairs, the thickness of each strand, and it’s overall resistance and strength
• hair is often found at crime scenes and used as biological evidence and is helpful when finding a perpetrator
• it’s known to be better to have a larger hair sample than a smaller one. different hairs on the made person can have many different variations
• the average sample of hair submitted as evidence ranges anywhere from 24 to 50 pieces
• if you’re gonna put a body in a wood chipper you should freeze it first so it doesn’t mess up the gears
• chemistry - narcotics, toxicology, mainly in a lab
• biology - medical examiners, dna, death investigators
• forensic examiner - identify, collect and observe photography, fingerprinting, ballistics, blood splatter
• engineer - can determine how a structure collapsed
• toxicologist - tests for poisons
• computer technician - records digital information for safe keeping
• fingerprint expert - identifies patterns in fingerprints
• handwriting expert - determines hand writing patterns
• psychologist - studies crimes and people involved to prevent future issues
• anthropologist - studies bones to find age, race, gender, etc. (identification of skeletized human remains)
• ballistics expert - finds out which gun and ammunition was used in a crime
• medical examiner - performs autopsies
• chemist - analyzes chemicals found
• forensic artist - works with bones in order recreate their faces when the victim has been unidentifiable for decades
• dna can be found under fingernails
• forensic accountant- prepare visual aids to support trial evidence, investigating fraud and marital disputes.
• forensic economics- study and interpretation of economic damage to include present day calculations of lost businesses, earnings, benefits and services (household or medical)
• arsenic can damage and peel the skin, show up in hair, recurring diarrhea, discoloration, paralysis, etc.
• livor mortis can indicate a victims time of death by analyzing discolorationin lowest parts of the body
• smaller people take longer to cremate than larger people due to body fat actually incinerates at high temperatures that cause like a grease fire
• you can’t just dump a body in a water or pieces come off and float up which makes it difficult to find out time of death because if surrounding tempatures
• forensic entomology - study and application of insects and other anthropod biology to criminal matters. (insects in on or around human remains to determine death and if body was moved)
• forensic epistemology- philosophical knowledge in a legal setting typically for understanding behavior
• odontology - study of teeth
• psychology and psychiatry - human behavior studies
• small doses of arsenic can cause a period of illness before death. It’s also very hard to detect in clinical autopsies
• arsonists often use chemicals with distinct scents
• investigators use sniffers to help identify what’s type of substance was used to accelerate the sired of fire
• barrels of guns have its own unique grooves and surfaces, creating a distinct imprint that’s cats as the fingerprint of the gun.
• everytime you delete a file from a computer, the fuel is set aside and hidden, marked as date waiting to be rewritten; computer analyst developed programs to help open and copy this data
• the smell of dead bodies are actually a combination of chemical gasses emittted by the corpse, like ammonia and sulphur
• the government as hired individuals to monitor civilians and those under suspicion of criminal activity
• before fingerprints, police would take at least 11 bodily measurements in order to find a perfect match
• cranial morphology can help investigators find out a victims gender. males have slightly sloping foreheads + females have vertical foreheads
• forensic palynology - study of pollen and spores which tend to stick to a criminal’s clothing and/or body. this is also used as an indicator to his/her whereabouts, based on where that plant grows. traces of pollen can easily link a suspect to the crime scene
• most law enforcers use AFIS ( automated fingerprint identification system ) that matches a record within minutes or seconds
• antifreeze contains ethylene glycol and methanol in which are hazardous to humans.
• wick effect - when clothes or the human body become partially destructed and began to act like a wick after it’s soaked up
• possible fire starters - thermite bombs, kerosene, magnesium + phosphorus, napalm
• spontaneous human combustion - the concept of the combustion of a living human body without having a source of ignition
• signs of blunt force trauma may include lacerated blood vessels, possible crushed organs, or severed spinal or skull fractures
• larynx loses its cough reflex causing a buildup with mucous that’s starts a rattle sound when someone’s dying
• a persons eyes can flatten during death due to loss of blood pressure
• 9 minutes after death eyes can start to dilate and cloud over from potassium in the red blood cells breaking down.
• the enzymes in persons body that would help eat food will eat the body during decomposition
• even after 6 houses of being dead the muscles can still spasm
• lack of exercise can sometimes prevent death
• hair and nails appear to grow as soft tissues of the fingers and scalp dry out and shirk form fingernails and hair roots
• livor mortis occurs when heavy red blood cells pool in the lowe parts of the body that cause purple splotches that can still show even if a body is moved
• 3/5 days after death, deacay can cause blisters to the body and blood will froth from the nose and mouth
• two molecules have been associated with the smell of decaying animals : cadaverine and putrescine
• insects that feed off decayed flesh are called necrophogous. flies tend to arrive at the decomposing body and lay eggs in moist areas like the nose, eyes, anus, wounds, and female reproductive tract 😶
• leading causes of death worldwide are ishaemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections, and chronic obstructive lung disease. other cause may be hiv/aids, diarrheal diseases, and diabetes mellitus
• once the heart stops beating the body will experience algor mortis, as blood cools it becomes more acidic as carbon dioxide builds, causing cells to split and release flesh eating enzymes
• around 830 women die from child birth or childbirth related complications
• those who consume smaller calories ( as long as they don’t have nutritional health deficiencies) live longer than those who eat larger quantities
• forensic podiatry - podiatric knowledge of foot and lower limb anatomy. studies any range of diseases of foot, ankle, and lower extremities. evidence that’s foot related
• forensic optometry - study of glasses or eyewear related to evidence in a crime scene
• buy weapons (rope ,knives, etc. ) in cash for harder identification
• types sod serial killers : hedonistic, mission - oriented, visionary, and power / control
• hedonistic - thrill, sexual pleasure or to gain for example : finance
• power / control - dominance and sex
• mission oriented - revenge, biased towards a specific group (race, sexual orientation, religion), likely sane
• visionary - suffers from a mental illness most times, hallucinations, compelled or commanded to kill, victims are not targeted
• mass murderers kill more than one person at one location during a continuous period of time
• serial killers kill more than 3 people, have a cooling-off period, most victims are killed in different locations, crimes are planned carefully
• spree killers kill more than one or two victims in different locations
• ear prints is a two dimensional reproduction of the parts of the outer ear that have touch a specific surface, most commonly the helix, antihelix, tragus and antitragus eras may touch things such as ( waxes, skin oils, etc.)
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Happy world nature conservation day!
I made a lil infographic to celebrate!!
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