06 2 / 2014

amnhnyc:

Today, Madagascar sucker-footed bats are found only on their island home, but new research from the American Museum of Natural History and Duke University shows that wasn’t always the case. The discovery of two extinct relatives in northern Egypt suggests the unusual creatures, which evolved sticky footpads to roost on slick surfaces, are primitive members of a group of bats that evolved in Africa and ultimately went on to flourish in South America.
Read the full story.
Image source

amnhnyc:

Today, Madagascar sucker-footed bats are found only on their island home, but new research from the American Museum of Natural History and Duke University shows that wasn’t always the case. The discovery of two extinct relatives in northern Egypt suggests the unusual creatures, which evolved sticky footpads to roost on slick surfaces, are primitive members of a group of bats that evolved in Africa and ultimately went on to flourish in South America.

Read the full story.

Image source

06 2 / 2014

amnhnyc:

Poison Profile 
Name: Cone Snail (Conus purpurascens)
Found in: Mid-Pacific Region
The Venom: Cone snails may move slowly but their venom acts fast. A barbed “harpoon,” a modified mouthpart known as a radula, is the cone snail’s secret weapon. The harpoon shoots out quickly, delivering a dose of venom to unsuspecting prey. The venom paralyzes the victim by interrupting nerve transmission to the muscles.
Poison Plus: Used medicinally, the cone snail toxins block pain signals from reaching the brain, yielding pain relievers more powerful than morphine. These toxins are also being studied to develop potential medicines for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Learn more about cone snails in this video.

Image ©  Alex Kerstitch/ ASDM Sonoran Desert Digital Library

amnhnyc:

Poison Profile

Name: Cone Snail (Conus purpurascens)

Found in: Mid-Pacific Region

The Venom: Cone snails may move slowly but their venom acts fast. A barbed “harpoon,” a modified mouthpart known as a radula, is the cone snail’s secret weapon. The harpoon shoots out quickly, delivering a dose of venom to unsuspecting prey. The venom paralyzes the victim by interrupting nerve transmission to the muscles.

Poison Plus: Used medicinally, the cone snail toxins block pain signals from reaching the brain, yielding pain relievers more powerful than morphine. These toxins are also being studied to develop potential medicines for epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

Learn more about cone snails in this video.

Image ©  Alex Kerstitch/ ASDM Sonoran Desert Digital Library

06 2 / 2014

jtotheizzoe:

generalelectric:

The Slow Mo Guys captured this footage of the superhydrophobic surfaces scientists are working on at GE Global Research. These materials are being developed to keep ice off aviation equipment and wind turbines, and for self-cleaning applications. 

This needs a soundtrack. The only one I have going in my head is “gluuuuurrp blooorrrrp sploosh”

26 11 / 2013

clearscience:

By connecting zinc and copper discs separated by brine-soaked cloth, a zinc-hydrogen cell in made. Alessandro Volta studied the effect produced when metals were connected this way. One of his papers (from 1769) was called De vi attractiva ignis electrici or “On the attractive force of electric fire.” In the 1800s the concept of a battery began to be developed. By connecting several cells, stacking them, a higher voltage is produced. The word voltage comes from his name.
This is essentially the same idea as a citrus battery, where instead of brine you have citrus juice.

clearscience:

By connecting zinc and copper discs separated by brine-soaked cloth, a zinc-hydrogen cell in made. Alessandro Volta studied the effect produced when metals were connected this way. One of his papers (from 1769) was called De vi attractiva ignis electrici or “On the attractive force of electric fire.” In the 1800s the concept of a battery began to be developed. By connecting several cells, stacking them, a higher voltage is produced. The word voltage comes from his name.

This is essentially the same idea as a citrus battery, where instead of brine you have citrus juice.

04 9 / 2013

jtotheizzoe:

Lego unveils a new female scientist figurine, who looks normal and well-adjusted and is even wearing lab gloves. This is a huge step in the right direction for the company that was behind Lego Friends, which was not exactly an A+ in the feminism department (see this video and this video).
Read Maia Weinstock’s take on the new Lego scientist at Scientific American (she waited in line to get that figurine up there).
I recently released a miniature Lego Joe as a limited edition of one.

jtotheizzoe:

Lego unveils a new female scientist figurine, who looks normal and well-adjusted and is even wearing lab gloves. This is a huge step in the right direction for the company that was behind Lego Friends, which was not exactly an A+ in the feminism department (see this video and this video).

Read Maia Weinstock’s take on the new Lego scientist at Scientific American (she waited in line to get that figurine up there).

I recently released a miniature Lego Joe as a limited edition of one.

(via microculture)

04 9 / 2013

jtotheizzoe:

via smithsonianmag:

Big Claws, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose: Fiddler Crabs Duke It Out

Watch these fiddler crabs - tiny but energetic - battle on a Panamanian beach, full epic soundtrack included.

The video comes courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Ocean Portal. To learn more about the pint-sized warriors, take a look at John Christy’s research about the evolution of fiddler crab claws.

First off, a big round of applause for the Friday Night Lights reference.

This video (by my friend Hannah Waters) is a minute and a half of epically soundtracked “come at me bro” posturing on a crustacean scale. 

So why do male fiddler crabs disobey the almost universal rule of symmetry in nature? Are they, you know, compensating for something?

That claw is heavy, and takes a lot of energy to lug around and wave. But it’s also a good tool to battle other males and attract females. It’s all in the balance of the two. Check out that link from John Christy to find out more about the evolution of this heavy-handed beachcrawler.

Now make sure you keep your left up …

04 9 / 2013

jtotheizzoe:

edwardspoonhands:

colchrishadfield:

If you release 29,000 rubber duckies into the ocean, where do they end up? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees - Our cool world.

How! They all started in the same place and ended up pretty much /everywhere/. So weird!

These 29,000 rubber ducks, lost from a cargo ship in 1992, have taught us a lot about ocean currents and how plastic debris degrades and enters the marine food chain.
This happens in places like the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, which is not the flotilla of lawn chairs and styrofoam cups you might be picturing. Instead, it’s microscopic particles, degraded by salt and sunlight, that cover thousands of square miles of ocean. That’s harmful for most creatures, but oddly beneficial for others. Find out more about the Garbage Patch here.
The story of the lost ducks is a fascinating one, though. Check out this NPR interview with Donovan Hohn, who tracked the ducks worldwide. He wrote a book about it called Moby Duck, which is just about the best title for a book, ever.

jtotheizzoe:

edwardspoonhands:

colchrishadfield:

If you release 29,000 rubber duckies into the ocean, where do they end up? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees - Our cool world.

How! They all started in the same place and ended up pretty much /everywhere/. So weird!

These 29,000 rubber ducks, lost from a cargo ship in 1992, have taught us a lot about ocean currents and how plastic debris degrades and enters the marine food chain.

This happens in places like the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, which is not the flotilla of lawn chairs and styrofoam cups you might be picturing. Instead, it’s microscopic particles, degraded by salt and sunlight, that cover thousands of square miles of ocean. That’s harmful for most creatures, but oddly beneficial for others. Find out more about the Garbage Patch here.

The story of the lost ducks is a fascinating one, though. Check out this NPR interview with Donovan Hohn, who tracked the ducks worldwide. He wrote a book about it called Moby Duckwhich is just about the best title for a book, ever.

04 9 / 2013

amnhnyc:

"A soundbite is useful because it triggers interest in someone who then goes and puts in the effort to learn more." 

Here’s Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson at IFLS Live! on the anatomy of a perfect soundbite: something informative, something that makes you smile, and something so tasty you might want to tell someone else.

01 9 / 2013

geneticist:

Foods imaged with a scanning electron microscope. Guess what foods they are. Click on the photos for the answers. (via)

25 8 / 2013