This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
My last post about the ocean-dwelling virus that is likely the world’s most abundant “living” thing could be accurately summarized with this GIF, no?
Might be my favorite picture ever.
A Bacterium on a Diatom on an Amphipod
I see a lot of science stuff, and it’s pretty hard to get me to say “wow” … Just kidding, I say it all the time!
Definitely said it when I saw this brain-melting illustration of the scale differences between the domains of life. In one electron microscope picture!! Just remember, there’s about a trillion of those little bacteria on and in you all the time, just that tiny.
If you like this, you’ll definitely like this interactive “scale of the universe” tool.
(tip o’ the electron microscope to my Twitter friends who shared this)
Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) (AKA phenylthiourea (PTU))
PTC is a molecule that looks like .
The story of this molecule is as follows. One day, Arthur Fox was using some PTC powder and accidentally made a mistake, leading it to disperse in the room. A colleague complained about the bitter taste of the molecule while Fox tasted nothing.
This led to him testing this bitter taste on family and friends, and found a strong familial (therefore genetic) correlation. At this time, DNA tests were not developed yet, and PTC taste tests were used as paternity tests.
In 2003, the PTC gene (TAS2R38) was discovered, and the ability to taste the bitterness is a dominant (or incomplete dominant) allele. People have been noted to taste different degrees of bitterness, to some believe it is incomplete dominance.
Under EU classification, PTC is very toxic.
PTC is also said to inhibit melanogenesis and is used to grow transparent fish.
PTC paper can be used to test, but because of its toxicity, should only be tested once.
Monkeys apparently have a similar trait, but the gene regulating it it different.
People who call astronomy astrology.
People who doubt that we’ve been to the moon.
People who say evolution is just a theory
Nano Cupid’s arm is the width of a human hair.
Russian Meteor Strike, February 2013
I need a computer monitor for each one! These are amazing!
[Click on each photograph]
Solar powered sea slug
Elysia chlorotica not only obtains chloroplasts from the algae it feeds on, it has incorporated algal genes into its own genome.
More on this animal: http://eol.org/pages/450768/overview
(photo: Patrick Krug, via Catologing Diversity in the Sacoglossa)