SCIENCE IS SO COOL LIKE
"We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours."

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.
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lindzkrieg:

I think I’m going to be incorporating little rants about molecular biology into my blog. After all, it is my major and it excites me.
This is Hemoglobin, the protein embedded in red blood cells that is primarily responsible for delivering oxygen to your cells. Most proteins become functional at the tertiary structure, but Hemoglobin is an example of a globular protein that becomes operational at the quaternary structure where multiple tertiary structured proteins are modified into one functional protein. In Hemoglobin’s case, there are two alpha-globins and two beta-globins. What gives Hemoglobin the ability to transport oxygen is the addition of a cofactor to each globin, specifically a heme group, named such because it contains Iron. To simplify, Oxygen is attracted to Iron because Iron is positively charged while Oxygen is negative. This attraction is how Hemoglobin delivers Oxygen to the body.

lindzkrieg:

I think I’m going to be incorporating little rants about molecular biology into my blog. After all, it is my major and it excites me.

This is Hemoglobin, the protein embedded in red blood cells that is primarily responsible for delivering oxygen to your cells. Most proteins become functional at the tertiary structure, but Hemoglobin is an example of a globular protein that becomes operational at the quaternary structure where multiple tertiary structured proteins are modified into one functional protein. In Hemoglobin’s case, there are two alpha-globins and two beta-globins. What gives Hemoglobin the ability to transport oxygen is the addition of a cofactor to each globin, specifically a heme group, named such because it contains Iron. To simplify, Oxygen is attracted to Iron because Iron is positively charged while Oxygen is negative. This attraction is how Hemoglobin delivers Oxygen to the body.

(Source: docwarner)

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jtotheizzoe:

Chimps, Bonobos and Us

Closest living relative of Homo sapiens? Easy. Chimpanzees, right? It might not be that simple. With the recent sequencing of the bonobo genome, the distinction between the two species is getting fuzzier, as is the question of who’s a closer relative of humans.

Bonobos are a small population of chimpanzee-like apes that live in a tiny pocket of the Congo. They themselves split off of the lineage of chimpanzees less than two million years ago after their population was cut off by the Congo river. Unlike the rather aggressive chimpanzees, who are far more widespread across Africa, bonobos are … well, rather less so.

Bonobos look so much like chimps (the bonobo is on the right up above) that their behavior is one of the few ways to tell them apart. They are known to settle disputes through sex, the gender combination not always important, with the activity even completed while eating. Sex is their cultural currency. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Chimps do no such thing, to their own recreational detriment.

The sequenced bonobo genome only differs from the chimpanzee genome by 0.4% at the DNA level. That’s within the normal variability of chimp genomes! So are they bonobos or are they chimps? How much of species separation is genetic and how much is behavioral? What, if anything in the small genetic difference leads to those huge behavioral changes? And if they are both so closely related, who is our actual closest relative? This is a debate that will continue.

(via Ars Technica)

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biocanvas:

A confocal view of cells expressing heat shock proteins that are localized to intermediate filaments.
Image by Dr. Alan R. Prescott, University of Dundee.

biocanvas:

A confocal view of cells expressing heat shock proteins that are localized to intermediate filaments.

Image by Dr. Alan R. Prescott, University of Dundee.

(via scinerds)

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centralscience:

Hemerythrin and Hemocyanin, two alternative carriers of O2 in blood

Hemerythrin is used primarily by invertebrates (marine worms, often) and hemocyanin by mollusks and crustaceans.

Hemocyanin (hemo = blood + cyanin = blue) is blue in its oxygenated form; which means that lobsters and octopuses have blue blood.

Hemerythrin (erythrin = red) is pink/purple when oxygenated.

Perhaps cooler though, is that both hemerythrin and hemocyanin are colourless when deoxygenated, unlike hemoglobin which is purple/blue (as you know, just look at your veins).

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medicalschool:

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP for short) is a very rare disease that causes parts of the body (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to turn to bone when they are damaged. This can often cause damaged joints to fuse together, preventing movement. Unfortunately surgical removal of the bone growths is ineffective as the body “heals” itself by recreating the removed bone. To make matters worse, the disease is so rare that it is often misdiagnosed as cancer, leading doctors to perform biopsies which can spark off worse growth of these bone-like lumps. The most famous case is Harry Eastlack whose body was so ossified by his death that he could only move his lips. His skeleton is now on display at the Mütter Museum.

medicalschool:

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP for short) is a very rare disease that causes parts of the body (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) to turn to bone when they are damaged. This can often cause damaged joints to fuse together, preventing movement. Unfortunately surgical removal of the bone growths is ineffective as the body “heals” itself by recreating the removed bone. To make matters worse, the disease is so rare that it is often misdiagnosed as cancer, leading doctors to perform biopsies which can spark off worse growth of these bone-like lumps. The most famous case is Harry Eastlack whose body was so ossified by his death that he could only move his lips. His skeleton is now on display at the Mütter Museum.

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prostheticknowledge:

Biodigital Human 

Online browser-based interactive resource allows you to examine human anatomy:

The BioDigital Human is a 3D platform that simplifies the understanding of anatomy, disease and treatments. Explore the body in 3D!
The BioDigital Human is a 3D platform that simplifies the understanding of anatomy, disease and treatments. Interactive tools for exploring, dissecting, and sharing custom views, combined with detailed medical descriptions provide an unprecedented new visual format to learn about your body.
This app uses the exciting new web standard for 3D - WebGL.

You can try it out here - if you use Chrome, you can get the Chrome app here

(via scinerds)

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fakescience:

Categorizing Mother Nature

VIDEO

skepttv:

The Chemistry of Antibiotics

Recently Jonas found a tick on his shoulder. A couple of days later, a large red ring appeared around the place where the tick had been. The ring is a clear symptom of Lyme disease caused by a bacterium called Borrelia that is transferred by ticks. The outcome of Lyme disease can be very bad if not treated immediately, but if treated in an early stage with antibiotics the infection is easily wiped out. In this video we find out how the antibiotic really works, and why it kills only the bacteria.

(Source: 5min.com, via skeptv)

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dailyfossil:

Repenomamus - the mammal that ate dinosaurs 

When: Cretaceous (~138-129 million years ago)

Where: China

What: Repenomamus is the largest known genus of mesozoic mammal. Two species are known, R. robustus and R. giganticus.  Repenomamus robustus was about the size of a living North American Opossum, and R. giganticus was about 50% as big as this, coming in at about 3 feet (~1 meter) long. This is not very big by today’s standards, but as most mesozoic mammals were rat sized or smaller, this was very large indeed for its time! Repenomamus falls within the group Triconodonta, an extinct clade of mammals that falls between the monotremes and the therians (placentals + marsupials). Their name comes from the three cusps, typically in a row, found on their upper and lower cheek teeth. Fossils of triconodonts are found from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous.  Though the end Cretaceous extinction is commonly thought of as the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, some mammal groups were lost here as well, or at least their numbers drastically redued. 

Speaking of dinosaurs, the skeleton of  Repenomamus robustus was found with bones belonging to a juvenile Psittacosaurus (a ceratopsian) clearly inside its ribs. Proof that this mammal snacked on some baby dinos! The diet of the larget mesozoic mammals has long been controversial, but here is undeniable evidence that at least some of these taxa were carnivorous and ate other vertebrates. On a more personal note, this specimen was described by Yaoming Hu, who tragically died from cancer at a relatively young age, just three years after publishing the specimen. 

(via shychemist)

LINK

zoologygirl65:

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Anguilliformes
Family: Anguillidae
Genus: Anguilla
Species: Anguilla anguilla

Description: Adult European Eels have long, narrow bodies, with a continuous dorsal, anal and tail-fin . The skin is slimy, the lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw, the scales are tiny or absent. The colour of adults depends on their age; they are often brown, black or olive-green with yellowish bellies. Some adults may be silvery (known as ‘silver eels’); the lifecycle stages differ greatly in appearance. Adult individuals may reach a maximum length of 1 m.

Habitat and Distribution: The European Eel varies its habitat dependent on life cycle stage, part is spent in the sea, and part in freshwater rivers. The species is often seen on the shore. Found in the rivers of the North Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas; the European Eel also occurs along European coasts from the Black Sea to the White Sea in Russia. Spawning takes place in the Sargasso Sea in the western Atlantic.

Biology and Ecology: The European Eel has a fascinating life-cycle; it is a ‘catadromous’ species, breeding in the sea and migrating to freshwater in order to grow before returning to the sea to spawn. It is thought that all European Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea. The larvae, which look like curled leaves and are known as ‘leptocephalli’, drift in the plankton for up to three years, and are carried by the Gulf Stream towards the coasts of Europe . They then undergo metamorphosis into young eels; at this stage they are known as ‘glass eels’ because they are transparent. They become darker in colour and start to migrate up freshwater streams in large numbers; they are known as ‘elvers’ at this time and measure around 50 millimetres in length. The eels, now called ‘brown’ or ‘yellow eels’ grow in freshwater, with males and females spending 6 to 12 and 9 to 20 years in freshwater, respectively. Towards the end of this time, they become sexually mature; they turn a silvery colour and migrate back towards the sea on dark, moonless and stormy nights; during this time they are known as ‘silver eels’. Upon returning to the sea, the European Eel lives in mud, crevices, and under stones. Spawning occurs during winter and early spring in the Sargasso Sea. This is a very long-lived species with a maximum life span of 85 years. This eel is predated upon by birds, including cormorants and gulls, as well as a number of species of fish. Remarkably, they can survive out of water for several hours on damp nights; they may travel overland on dark rainy nights.

Status and Threats: The European Eel is classified as Critically Endangered under the IUCN Redlist. The population of the European Eel is threatened at present, and eel stocks have declined in recent years. Despite this there is currently very little scientific knowledge of this species, which would aid its management. The threats facing the species are unknown; however, pollution, overfishing, habitat degradation, parasite infection and changes in climate have all been forwarded as potential causes of the decline.

(Source: lifeasazoologist, via shychemist)