adventuresinchemistry:

I know this is horrifically late, but I made one of these for the science side of tumblr!

(via asapscience)

peregrinestar:

I did a thing in class today while the teacher was lecturing.

(via asapscience)

thatscienceguy:

John Conway first theorized that it would be impossible to create a forever-expanding universe using these rules, which was proven wrong by a team at MIT, creating the “glider gun,” which is featured in the third gif. 

Since then, thanks to computers, people all over the world have added new designs to the database, creating amazingly complex designs.

For example Andrew J. Wade created a design which replicates itself every 34 million generations! Furthermore it is also a spaceship (permanently moving pattern) and not only that, it was also the first spaceship that did not travel purely diagonally or horizontally/vertically! These types of spaceships are now appropriately named Knightships.

The simulation has some interesting properties, for example it has a theoretical maximum speed information can travel. Or simply, light speed - as that is the limit in our own universe. The limit is set to 1 cell per generation - after all how can you create something further than 1 cell away in one generation if you can only effect your immediate neighbours? And yet you can get things like the ‘stargate’ (Love the name, huge SG fan here.) which allows a space ship to travel 11 cells in just 6 generations.

Some smart people have even designed calculators, prime number generators and other incredibly complex patterns.

You can create your own patterns here: http://www.bitstorm.org/gameoflife/

All gifs were made from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vgICfQawE

asapscience:

It’s true. We tested it. 
via ScienceDump

New Galactic Supercluster Map Shows Milky Way’s ‘Heavenly’ Home

A new cosmic map is giving scientists an unprecedented look at the boundaries for the giant supercluster that is home to Earth’s own Milky Way galaxy and many others. Scientists even have a name for the colossal galactic group: Laniakea, Hawaiian for “immeasurable heaven.”

Image 1: Scientists have created the first map of a colossal supercluster of galaxies known as Laniakea, the home of Earth’s Milky Way galaxy and many other. This computer simulation, a still from a Nature journal video, depicts the giant supercluster, with the Milky Way’s location shown as a red dot. Credit: [Nature Video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENyyRwxpHo)

Image 2: This computer-generated depiction of the Laniakea Supercluster of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way galaxy containing Earth’s solar system, shows a view of the supercluster as seen from the supergalactic equatorial plane. Credit: SDvision interactive visualization software by DP at CEA/Saclay, France

The scientists responsible for the new 3D map suggest that the newfound Laniakea supercluster of galaxies may even be part of a still-larger structure they have not fully defined yet.

"We live in something called ‘the cosmic web,’ where galaxies are connected in tendrils separated by giant voids," said lead study author Brent Tully, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii at Honolulu.

Galactic structures in space

Galaxies are not spread randomly throughout the universe. Instead, they clump in groups, such as the one Earth is in, the Local Group, which contains dozens of galaxies. In turn, these groups are part of massive clusters made up of hundreds of galaxies, all interconnected in a web of filaments in which galaxies are strung like pearls. The colossal structures known as superclusters form at the intersections of filaments.

The giant structures making up the universe often have unclear boundaries. To better define these structures, astronomers examined Cosmicflows-2, the largest-ever catalog of the motions of galaxies, reasoning that each galaxy belongs to the structure whose gravity is making it flow toward.

"We have a new way of defining large-scale structures from the velocities of galaxies rather than just looking at their distribution in the sky," Tully said.

(via afro-dominicano)

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

In the dark of the ocean, some animals have evolved to use bioluminescence as a defense. In the animation above, an ostracod, one of the tiny crustaceans seen flitting near the top of the tank, has just been swallowed by a cardinal fish. When threatened, the ostracod ejects two chemicals, luciferin and luciferase, which, when combined, emit light. Because the glow would draw undesirable attention to the cardinal fish, it spits out the ostracod and the glowing liquid and flees. Check out the full video clip over at BBC News. Other crustaceans, including several species of shrimp, also spit out bioluminescent fluids defensively. (Image credit: BBC, source video; via @amyleerobinson)

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

In the dark of the ocean, some animals have evolved to use bioluminescence as a defense. In the animation above, an ostracod, one of the tiny crustaceans seen flitting near the top of the tank, has just been swallowed by a cardinal fish. When threatened, the ostracod ejects two chemicals, luciferin and luciferase, which, when combined, emit light. Because the glow would draw undesirable attention to the cardinal fish, it spits out the ostracod and the glowing liquid and flees. Check out the full video clip over at BBC News. Other crustaceans, including several species of shrimp, also spit out bioluminescent fluids defensively. (Image credit: BBC, source video; via @amyleerobinson)

(via sandlogia)

jtotheizzoe:

Why Are Stars Star-Shaped?

Great new video from MinutePhysics that asks why we draw stars as star-shapes, when they’re really just spherical orbs of superheated plasma (and those are much easier to draw, by the way).

We know that stars twinkle because of the distortion caused by our atmosphere miles above your head, but that’s not what gives them their apparent star shape. If that were the case, then why do Hubble images also flare out? Unless J.J. Abrams works for NASA or something…

The actual answer lies in your very own eye. I won’t spoil the rest, but after my video this week (which looked into why goats have such weirdly shaped rectangular pupils), I have to know: What does the ungulate astronomer see?

PS - Which came first, stars… or stars?

Q

tuggywuggy asked:

Is congenital myotonia found in non-domesticated animals?

A

jtotheizzoe:

This question comes from my video about GOATS! so you should watch that first to get an intro on fainting goats (congenital myotonia) and also just because goat science is awesome. 

I just spent half an hour digging through scientific literature trying to find reports of congenital myotonia (“fainting syndrome”) in a wild animal and came up with exactly zilch, zero, and nada. We see it in goats, horses, dogs, cats, people… all of which are domesticated species (except for maybe people), but no reported cases in wild animals. Does that mean it’s impossible?

 

First let me summarize what should happen in a normal skeletal muscle contraction, then I’ll answer that question.

Muscle cells, like nerve cells, actively maintain different concentrations of ions on either side of their membrane. This resting membrane potential is super-interesting, but also pretty complicated, so instead of me turning this answer into a textbook chapter, all you need to remember right now is that the inside of a muscle cell is slightly negative compared to the outside. The ions we need to keep in mind right now are sodium (Na+, higher conc. outside), potassium (K+, higher concentration inside), and chloride (Cl-, higher concentration outside). 

When a nerve impulse reaches a muscle fiber, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine opens a sodium-specific door on the muscle and lets some Na+ ions inside.

Sodium is a positive ion, so it makes the inside of the muscle more positive. Then that initial burst of Na+ leads to an even larger Na+ wave. Positivity breeds positivity, people!

This burst of positive charge into the muscle cell is essentially what makes it contract (although I’m leaving out a bunch of stuff, like how calcium comes into play, to dig into more detail on all this, check out these great illustrations from MDA.org)

Of course, muscles don’t usually stay contracted, unless you’re dead, diseased, or get a cramp. Why not? After a short amount of time, potassium ions flow out of the cell through their own special potassium doors (making the inside more negative again) and chloride ions move in through their special chloride doors (making the inside even more negative).

It’s the return to that original inside-negative state that makes the muscle relax (now maybe you can start to see why loss of salt/electrolytes can lead to cramps?)

Finally we come to the fainting goats. Congenital myotonia leads to a mutation in that chloride channel I mentioned up there (if you’re into gene and protein names, it’s called CLCN1), meaning that those muscle cells take longer to return to their normal negative-on-the-inside charge and stay locked in the “on” state. 

That’s what we see in “fainting” goats, or any other creature with congenital myotonia. The muscles just lock up, and the “fainting” is really just “falling over thanks to suddenly obtaining the flexibility of a statue.” 

So does this mutation exist in wild animals? Probably. There’s no reason a wild animal could gain a spontaneous mutation in its chloride channel gene and have particularly rigid offspring. Only these statue-creatures would be easy pickings for predators, as in “easiest meal evar,” and that mutation wouldn’t be able spread throughout the population. Since we can’t keep track of every single wild animal and their offspring, we probably never see it (although there might be isolated reports out there). Like, what’s happening with this panda? I don’t even know.

On the other hand, we inbreed the hell out of domesticated animals, and thanks to fences, sharp sticks, and sheepdogs, we tend to keep them fairly safe from predators (not to mention that humans don’t have any predators except each other). So whether or not they have the genetic misfortune of crumpling into a heap of myotonic hilarity every time we sneak up behind them, we’ve artificially (and accidentally) amplified this mutation in domesticated breeds (although breeders are often encouraged to not breed “fainting” animals).

So the answer to your question is almost certainly yes, although the Bad Wolves keep the Weeping Angels from taking over.

asapscience:

jtotheizzoe:

thebrainscoop:

Science Needs Women: 
For Women in Science; the L’Oreal Foundation 

I’m sharing this video on any platform I can because when I first found it last week it had something like 1,400 views, but it’s the most beautifully produced and succinctly narrated video addressing some of the most complicated issues facing women in STE(A)M fields I’ve found yet. 

I’m sharing this for every time I’m called a “feminazi.”

…for every time I’m told that my concerns aren’t valid, our that our issues are imagined.

…for every time I hear “women just don’t like science,” or worse - “women just aren’t good at science.”

…for every time we’re told that we can have a family or a career, but not both - and for every time we feel like we have to decide between the two.

…for every time a study comes out saying as many as 64% of women endure sexual harassment during field work

…for the fact that women earn 41% of PhD’s in STEM fields, but make up only 28% of tenure-track faculty in those fields.

…and because we need more women mentors in these fields to stand up for issues that are not “women’s issues” - these are people issues that affect our collective society as a whole.

The women in this video are my heroes and they should be your heroes, too.

Science needs women.

Seconded!