Making clowns and Mexicans look like amateurs, this is a video of a stick insect performing the ultimate feat of contortionism as it hatches from an egg that seems way too small for its lengthy torso. Apparently the stick insect population has been in a recent decline causing entomologists (insect scientists) to breed them in captivity which has allowed for this unique opportunity for their hatching to be caught on film.
Sorry, but I had to post this. Despite how much I loathe hip hop I thought it was mildly amusing. The robotic girl has to go though...what kind of Japanese sex propaganda is this? Fortunately NASA scientists are much more stoic and mature...as can be seen by this yo-yo on the space station.
This is an image of a Paraplectana duodecimmaculata or Ladybug Mimic Spider. Beauty and color out on display only to cover up the vicious bloodsucking beast that it really is. Seem like a lady to you? Well I’m not here to judge you’re perception of women, but a spider in the kitchen doesn’t bother me at all.
Ladybugs have a distinct aposematic warning coloration that is meant to ward off predators. They also contain toxins and have a foul alkaloid taste which causes most predators to become conditioned not to feast upon them. In an assumed correlation (aka bad science) it seems fair to say that because of this relationship, this spider has coevolved to resemble the ladybug in order to be avoided by potential a predator; which is exactly what I’ll be doing every time I see a lady bug thanks to this freaky picture.
Recently a group of computer scientists have harnessed the power of electronics to produce the first ever venn diagram of 11 sets. If you don't know what I'm talking about because you're either a simpleton or you think I'm a Russian... "Hey! Venn are ve going to drink ze vodka?" ...a venn diagram is simply a representation of sets of things with all the possible overlapping combinations. It may sound simple, but I dare you to make a venn diagram of just 5 sets.
Now I'm not sure if this 11 set venn it's correct, and I don't really know what use it has, but I do know something about M-Theory which postulates there are 11 dimensions and thankfully I now know how to look at all of them in pretty diagram.
Putting Peter Pan in his rightful place, a little boy in tights, a few scientists at the Centre for Quantum Dynamics in Australia have nailed down the holy grail of shadows; that of a single atom. Atoms cast shadows? Well yea, duh. You’re made of atoms and what do you think absorbs all that light when you cast a shadow...your ether? HA! Ether isn’t real you idiot! Even I know that... *sigh*
Anyways...the image above is apparently what the shadow of an atom looks like. Sort of like a ripple in
the universe a pond. To achieve such an image the scientists trapped a single Ytterbium (i-TUR-bee-əm) atom in a quadrupale ion trap also known as a Paul Trap. Essentially they take an atom, ionize it, and use some fancy shmancy oscillating electric fields to hold the atom stationary. They then cooled the atom with a laser, shined a light source into the field, and used a Fresnel lens to focus the bypassing photons, and wham-o blam-o! You’ve got a new profile pic. Well, not quite that simple...I mean it took these guys 5 years to accomplish the feat.
Bored trying to find sunbathing babes caught on the satellite images of Google Earth? Check out the next big wave in composite image mapping; virtual nanoscopy. Just like Google Earth, images of varying magnification are sewn together to form a zoomable interactive image thingy, but unlike the satellites used to take pictures of the earth, this technique melds images of very teeny tiny things taken by an electron microscope. The image above is just a sample of a zebrafish embryo, but you can play with the actually image HERE. Although it takes an enormous amount of work to generate and meld the pictures, once complete the resulting maps have the great advantage of providing a fluid perspective on size. This reminds me a bit of the scale of the universe which, depending on the direction you look, can make you feel vastly gi-normous or insignificantly small.
Some very awesome biologists decided to strap a camera to the back of an Imperial Cormorant to view their underwater escapades; and the results are incredible. The bird actually makes its way all the down to the seafloor where it grocery shops for a fishy treat and then return to the surface. This is a very impressive feat that requires the bird to have water repellent hydrophobic feathers which are generated by production of an oily substance from their preen glands. They also rely on the strength of their feet and necks to move efficiently under the water. Considering birds have a good eye for color, I wonder if they’d go for a fish lure?
“I told you translucent shapeshifters weren’t that far-fetched”...said Mr.Abrams to the same dumbfounded execs that cancelled Firefly before such garbage as Glee and Hell’s Kitchen. *Clenching fists* Anyways...this is a comparative image of two embryos with the one on the right having been treated with a new concoction capable of removing the light scattering qualities of the tissues. The new reagent, called sca/e, leaves the tissue optically transparent and capable of allowing fluorescent signals to penetrate the sample. So essentially, this technique can be used to make an animal transparent whilst allowing an inner organ or structure to be visualized with fluorescent sources. It would be pretty cool if they started producing teaching specimens that had single organ systems dyed, although nothing could replace the excitement and thrill that comes with dissection; ripping a cat’s jaws apart or cutting a bolus out of a pig’s stomach...I feel ya Dexter
Because the key to successfully winning over the prettiest girl is bashing your skull into the opposing cranium of another male, these Bolbometopon muricatum, or Humphead Parrotfish, duke it out in a violent concussion yielding battle under the sea for the
hand fin of a desired ladyfish. This is the first time that their ram-like behavior has been seen as the fish are quite rare and often avoid humans. Although this technique might be effective by leaving the other fish incapacitated, if you´ve ever had a conversation with a professional football player, it only leads to gold diggers and eating out of a straw.
The fact that we can go from a functioning sperm to multicellular blob to pig faced viable thingy to a fully functioning human is simply amazing. To exemplify this so called miracle, the BBC has created this short animation illustrating the transformation from blob to babyface. It’s pretty incredible how we all actually end up looking so similar despite starting out as a malleable putty creature. Well then again some of us actually don’t turn out quite right...“To the belltower with you!”
In an attempt to feel as important as the Human Genome Project, a bunch of scientists have been working on a “Project” of their own in which they funneled money to perform predesigned protocol with the ultimate goal of characterizing the microbial communities found on your body. Considering that we generally consist of 2-5 pounds of sheer microflora, this is actually a really good thing to do. It’s just one of those deals in which the NIH funds go to select researchers that are granted the
cash money honor of being involved. This actually wasn’t all that easy; Many strains cannot survive away from their natural environment of the human body, meaning that researchers had to rely on DNA sequencing to actually determine the existence of these microbials. And this wasn’t just your normal mouth swab either. We’re talking gum probing, vagina swabbing, anal scrapping, armpit smearing, stomach pumping, earwax digging, scrotum wiping goodness. These volunteers were poked and prodded to collect as many microbes as could be found.
Either way, their results were published this past week and to our expected amazement, there is a myriad of bacterial strains out there. In fact, each person averages almost a thousand different bacteria strains in their body. The biggest surprise the scientists discovered was the vast amount of disease-causing bacteria that under normal conditions play nicely, but under certain stresses can act up and cause health issues. They should have tested me; my bacteria are legion! “You just wanted the anal scrapping.” Well community services can have their perks...
See these nice people working at
Massive Dynamic the most sparkling clean lab you’ve ever set your eyes on? They are setting an example of how work is to be done...with robots. PhD student, Daniel Strange, has implemented a Lego Mindstorm kit into his lab with the purpose of relieving him from the repetitive mindless work he had been doing of dipping metal posts into batches of protein/mineral solutions. Now he’s free to “think” (as all good PhD student do...) for much more of his day.
Jobs? Pfft! Who Needs them? I mean, wouldn’t you rather see your potential income go towards building a robotic nation that you can be proud of? No?!? Well that’s very un-Japanese of you! I’m very disappointed.
Because you were too busy hypocritically complaining on Facebook about someone’s personal tendencies that actually arise when a person spends too much time on electronic devices *cough cough*, you probably missed out on a one-in-a-lifetime viewing of venus eclipsing the sun. No joke...This won’t happen again until 2115. No need to frantically regret your entire life...someone took photos...
Quick! Post them on Facebook!