Yugen | Posts tagged 'biology'

Posts filled under: biology

When you look more generally at life on Earth, you find that it is all the same kind of life. There are not many different kinds; there’s only one kind. It uses about fifty fundamental biological building blocks, organic molecules.

— Carl Sagan (via ikenbot)

staceythinx:

Skull Brain by Emilio Garcia

staceythinx:

Some eerie work by Javier Perez


Research shows binge drinking inhibits brain development
Teenagers who binge drink risk inhibiting part of their brain’s development and many are laying the groundwork for alcoholism down the track a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher has found.
Professor Selena Bartlett, from QUT’s Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), studied the effect excessive binge drinking during adolescence had on a particular receptor in the brain and discovered teen bingeing altered it irreversibly, keeping the brain in an adolescent state.
“The human brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25 and bingeing during adolescence modifies its circuits, preventing the brain from reaching maturity,” she said.
“During adolescence, the brain undergoes massive changes in the prefrontal cortex and areas linked to drug reward but alcohol disrupts this.
“The research, which was carried out on rats, suggests that during ageing, the brain’s delta opioid peptide receptor (DOP-R) activity turns down, but binge drinking causes the receptors to stay on, keeping it in an adolescent stage.
“The younger a child or teenager starts binge drinking and the more they drink, the worse the possible outcome for them.”
Professor Bartlett said recent trends to mix high-caffeine drinks such as Red Bull with alcohol were making the binge drinking problem worse.

Research shows binge drinking inhibits brain development

Teenagers who binge drink risk inhibiting part of their brain’s development and many are laying the groundwork for alcoholism down the track a Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher has found.

Professor Selena Bartlett, from QUT’s Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), studied the effect excessive binge drinking during adolescence had on a particular receptor in the brain and discovered teen bingeing altered it irreversibly, keeping the brain in an adolescent state.

“The human brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25 and bingeing during adolescence modifies its circuits, preventing the brain from reaching maturity,” she said.

“During adolescence, the brain undergoes massive changes in the prefrontal cortex and areas linked to drug reward but alcohol disrupts this.

“The research, which was carried out on rats, suggests that during ageing, the brain’s delta opioid peptide receptor (DOP-R) activity turns down, but binge drinking causes the receptors to stay on, keeping it in an adolescent stage.

“The younger a child or teenager starts binge drinking and the more they drink, the worse the possible outcome for them.”

Professor Bartlett said recent trends to mix high-caffeine drinks such as Red Bull with alcohol were making the binge drinking problem worse.

neurosciencestuff:

‘Tree of life’ constructed for all living bird species

Scientists have mapped the evolutionary relationships among all 9,993 of the world’s known living bird species. The study, published today in Nature, is an ambitious project that uses DNA-sequence data to create a phylogenetic tree — a branching map of evolutionary relationships among species — that also links global bird speciation rates across space and time.

“This is the first dated tree of life for a class of species this size to be put on a global map,” says study co-author Walter Jetz, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Read more

biocanvas:

A cut across the central vein of a leaf from Acrostichum aureum, a mangrove fern, at 20-times magnification.

Image by Daphne Zbaeren-Colbourn.

fuckyeahmolecularbiology:

Played By Humans, Scored By Nature

Meet eteRNA, your new internet addiction. Not only is it a super-fun way to procrastinate on that thing you should be doing, it also helps to advance biology’s understanding of RNA and its synthesis - in a big way. Scientists from Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University have developed eteRNA as a successor to Foldit, a popular internet-based game that proved the pattern-matching skills of amateurs could outperform some of the best protein-folding algorithms designed by scientists. They’re hedging their bets that eteRNA will work similarly - and are even funding the real-life synthesis of the weekly winner’s RNA molecule to see if it really does fold the same way the game predicts it should. 

The scientists hope to tap the internet’s ability to harness what is described as “collective intelligence,” the collaborative potential of hundreds or thousands of human minds linked together. Using games to harvest participation from amateurs exploits a resource which the social scientist Clay Shirky recently described as the “cognitive surplus” - the idea that together, as a collection of amateurs, we internet people make a very good algorithm because we react to information presented in a game, get better at it as we go along, and make informed decisions based on what has or hasn’t worked for us in the past. 

“We’re the leading edge in asking nonexperts to do really complicated things online,” says Dr. Treuille, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon and one of the original masterminds behind the game. “RNA are beautiful molecules. They are very simple and they self-assemble into complex shapes. From the scientific side, there is an RNA revolution going on. The complexity of life may be due to RNA signaling.”

“This [project] is like putting a molecular chess game in people’s hands at a massive level,” he continues. “I think of this as opening up science. I think we are democratizing science.”

And, so far, the democratisation is working. Although the creators warn that game players may start to see legal and ethical issues in gameplay down the road, for now, the collective intelligence is trumping professionally designed algorithms. Significantly, not only do humans outperform their computer adversaries, but the human strategies developed during the course of the game are significantly more flexible and adaptable than those of the algorithms they’re pitted against.

So what are you waiting for? This isn’t procrastination, it’s being a part of a collective intelligence that’s smart enough to take down science’s finest algorithms. Click here (you know you want to) to get synthesising!

Louisiana private school teaches the Loch Ness monster is real to disprove evolution

iheartchaos:

Continuing the trend of encouraging a love of stupidity, a private Christian school in Louisiana has begun including the Loch Ness monster in its biology curriculum. The inclusion of the monster is all about trying to somehow disprove evolution by talking about fake monsters. Because that makes as much logical sense as proving existence with an invisible being.

Read More

logicianmagician:

Neuroscientists reach major milestone in whole-brain circuit mapping project


Neuroscientists at at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory(CSHL) reached an important milestone today, publicly releasing the first installment of data from the 500 terabytes so far collected in their pathbreaking project to construct the first whole-brain wiring diagram of a vertebrate brain, that of the mouse.
The data consist of gigapixel images (each close to 1 billion pixels) of whole-brain sections that can be zoomed to show individual neurons and their processes, providing a “virtual microscope.”
The images are integrated with other data sources from the web, and are being made fully accessible to neuroscientists as well as interested members of the general public. The data are being released pre-publication in the spirit of open science initiatives that have become familiar in digital astronomy (e.g., Sloan Digital Sky Survey) but are not yet as widespread in neurobiology.

logicianmagician:

Neuroscientists reach major milestone in whole-brain circuit mapping project


Neuroscientists at at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory(CSHL) reached an important milestone today, publicly releasing the first installment of data from the 500 terabytes so far collected in their pathbreaking project to construct the first whole-brain wiring diagram of a vertebrate brain, that of the mouse.

The data consist of gigapixel images (each close to 1 billion pixels) of whole-brain sections that can be zoomed to show individual neurons and their processes, providing a “virtual microscope.”

The images are integrated with other data sources from the web, and are being made fully accessible to neuroscientists as well as interested members of the general public. The data are being released pre-publication in the spirit of open science initiatives that have become familiar in digital astronomy (e.g., Sloan Digital Sky Survey) but are not yet as widespread in neurobiology.

Gallup Poll: 46% of Americans Are Creationists

divineirony:

teachthemhowtothink:

This is embarrassing, depressing and terrifying.  The overall 46% is horrible, but it’s the 25% of POSTGRADUATES and 46% of college grads that really astonishes me.  Seriously?  How can we be letting people graduate from college and not know basic science??  You know what, strike that.  How can over 50% of kids just out of high school not know basic science in this country?  Grrrrr….  ~JJ

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June 1, 2012 By Hemant Mehta 

According to a Gallup poll released today, 46% of Americans believe in Creationism, 32% of Americans believe in god-guided evolution, and 15% of Americans are actually right:

We are a country full of deluded people…

Not surprisingly, the less education you have, the more likely you are to believe in nonsense:

Americans with postgraduate education are most likely of all the educational groups to say humans evolved without God’s guidance, and least likely to say God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. The creationist viewpoint “wins” among Americans with less than a postgraduate education.

I love that “wins” is in quotation marks.

Also, to no one’s surprise, Republicans and frequent church-goers were more likely to think God poofed us into existence.

Gallup’s conclusion:

Despite the many changes that have taken place in American society and culture over the past 30 years, including new discoveries in biological and social science, there has been virtually no sustained change in Americans’ views of the origin of the human species since 1982

All in all, there is no evidence in this trend of a substantial movement toward a secular viewpoint on human origins.

… almost half of Americans today hold a belief, at least as measured by this question wording, that is at odds with the preponderance of the scientific literature.

Alright, readers from other countries. Mock us. We deserve it.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

(A slide from Jerry Coyne’s lecture, “Why Evolution is True”)

skeptv:

Men & Femininity

oh, just another one of those sex negative double standards…

VIDEO SUMMARY
In this video LaciGreen talks about the aversion to femininity as expressed through product marketing, increased violence toward male bodied people who are feminine, and shaming of women who are very feminine. She urges everyone to question these notions and explore the sexist sentiments underlying them: that masculinity is more valuable and femininity is shameful. Do what you want, be what you will, and to hell with the gender police. ;)

everyday i’m tumblin’ - http://lacigreen.tumblr.com
be my fwend? http://www.facebook.com/officiallacigreen
tweet me! - http://www.twitter.com/gogreen18

Creation Museum head disputes evolutionary history of horses

christiantheatheist:

While thousands flocked to the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the park was getting less admiring attention from a different quarter.

One of the leaders of the Creation Museum in Petersburg — which supports a young-earth philosophy that decrees men lived alongside dinosaurs — has taken issue with a display at the International Museum of the Horse on the evolution of horses.

Ken, come back when you have an understanding of basic biology.

It’s actually ironic because when you look at Ken Ham you can see that not all of us evolved, some are still just really dumb!

Oh yeah!

My history teacher talked about camels and their evolutionary traits today. I never knew camels and my history teach were so cool! Contrary to popular belief they don’t actually keep water in their humps; It’s just fat that’s all located in one place so that they aren’t too insulated and let out heat in the day time. They have super wide hooves so that they don’t sink into the sand. If they get to eat grass then they don’t need to drink water because they get enough from that. Basically they be ballin’. OH AND SINCE THE USE ALL THE WATER THEY GET THEIR URINE IS ALL PASTY. And their poop is all hard and dry so at night travelers can burn it without having to dry it and get a good fire going (It gets very cold in the desert at night). Oh and they are fluffy to insulate heat at night. I guess fur probably doesn’t insulate as well as fat or something so that’s good during the day?

If we don’t stop putting CO2 in the air and eventually destroy ourselves, plants might make a huge come back, which could lead to animals the size of dinosaurs again. Although I don’t think that there would be enough CO2 in the air for plants to grow as much as they did before the dinosaurs arrived.

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