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a2k Science News Depository and Library

 
 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 05:09 am

In a first, surgeons attached a pig kidney to a human, and it worked!
(nyt)
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2021 06:25 am
Quote:
Aurora borealis could be visible on Saturday because of large solar flare

A large solar flare erupted Thursday and is set to reach Earth Saturday, which could result in a strong
geomagnetic storm and cause the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, to be visible across the US and
Europe.

NOAA issued a G3, or "strong" geomagnetic storm watch, for Saturday and Sunday ahead of the flare
slamming into the Earth. The scale for geomagnetic storms runs from G1, or minor storm, to G5, an
extreme storm.

This geomagnetic storm could cause voltage irregularities and false alarms on some protection devices,
NOAA warns. It also could cause high frequency radio blackouts and loss of radio contact on the
sunlit side of the earth.
(cnn)
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Oct, 2021 08:05 am
@izzythepush,
Nardoo, prepared from a water fern, contains thiaminase an enzyme that breaks down thiamine, a necessary vitamin. Cooking breaks down the thiaminase making the resulting plants safe to eat. A lack of thiamine in your diet is fatal. Unfortunately the party of Wills and Burke while watching the Aborigines consume the Nardoo neglected to see that they were cooking them first.

Now, many freshwater fish contain thiaminase, so it must be cooked to break down this enzyme. This would most likely only concern people who are interested in making sushi from freshwater fish. However, some snake fanciers especially those that like water snakes or garter snakes learned from experience that you must be careful when feeding these snakes freshwater fish to avoid those that contain thiaminase . I read have of people raising garter snakes who lost large number of them from feeding them the wrong type of freshwater fish.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 05:42 am

life imitating art...
Quote:
NASA launches mission to crash into a near-Earth
asteroid to try to change its motion in space


A NASA spacecraft that will deliberately crash into an asteroid has successfully launched.

The DART mission, or the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off at 10:21 p.m. PT on
November 23 (1:21 a.m. ET November 24) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg
Space Force Base in California. Live coverage of the event aired on NASA TV and the agency's
site. The Falcon 9's booster returned for a vertical landing on Earth.

But the true test for this asteroid deflection technology will come in September 2022, when
the spacecraft reaches its destination, to see how it impacts the motion of a near-Earth
asteroid in space.

The mission target is Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos. This
will be the agency's first full-scale demonstration of this type of technology on behalf of
planetary defense. It also will be the first time humans have altered the dynamics of a solar
system body in a measurable way, according to the European Space Agency.
(cnn)

https://iili.io/5rIfpI.jpg
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 07:58 am
I've shelled bur oak acorns, then boiled them with a number of water changes. I then added a sweetener to the acorn and they were good but it's way too much trouble.

Bur oaks are white oaks, which have less tannic acid than the red oak acorns. Squirrels will eat red oak acorns, but only the top half because the bottom half has too much tannic acid even for them. The embryo is right at the bottom and heavily protected by tannic acid.

Red Oak acorns have to have a winter dormancy to sprout, but white oak acorns sprout almost immediately, which is a problem for squirrels. If they bury them, they will sprout before they have a chance to eat them that winter. So they have a habit of biting through the embryo and killing it so it won't sprout.
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 11:46 am
@coluber2001,
Fascinating!
I can just imagine all the clinical trials the squirrels conducted in their laboratories before discovering the proper technique needed to inhibit sprouting of white oak acorns before it became ingrained habit, or perhaps even expressed in some meta genomic fashion.
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2021 01:05 pm
@Leadfoot,
It's hard to believe something like that could have occurred naturally, that squirrels could have learned how to do that.

But weird things happen. I've seen an Ammophila wasp fill in a burrow and tamp it down with a stone. How is behavior like that learned? That was after humans were defined as the only tool-using species. They had to revise that definition.

Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 04:39 am

and so it begins...

Quote:
World's first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say

The US scientists who created the first living robots say the life forms, known as xenobots, can now reproduce -- and in a way not seen in plants and animals.

Formed from the stem cells of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) from which it takes its name, xenobots are less than a millimeter (0.04 inches) wide. The tiny blobs were first unveiled in 2020 after experiments showed that they could move, work together in groups and self-heal.

Now the scientists that developed them at the University of Vermont, Tufts University and Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering said they have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction different from any animal or plant known to science.

"I was astounded by it," said Michael Levin, a professor of biology and director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University who was co-lead author of the new research.

"Frogs have a way of reproducing that they normally use but when you ... liberate (the cells) from the rest of the embryo and you give them a chance to figure out how to be in a new environment, not only do they figure out a new way to move, but they also figure out apparently a new way to reproduce."

Robot or organism?
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the ability to develop into different cell types. To make the xenobots, the researchers scraped living stem cells from frog embryos and left them to incubate. There's no manipulation of genes involved.

"Most people think of robots as made of metals and ceramics but it's not so much what a robot is made from but what it does, which is act on its own on behalf of people," said Josh Bongard, a computer science professor and robotics expert at the University of Vermont and lead author of the study.

"In that way it's a robot but it's also clearly an organism made from genetically unmodified frog cell."
(cnn)
Leadfoot
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 05:37 am
@Region Philbis,
Quote:
Robot or organism?
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the ability to develop into different cell types. To make the xenobots, the researchers scraped living stem cells from frog embryos and left them to incubate. There's no manipulation of genes involved.

"Most people think of robots as made of metals and ceramics but it's not so much what a robot is made from but what it does, which is act on its own on behalf of people," said Josh Bongard, a computer science professor and robotics expert at the University of Vermont and lead author of the study.

"In that way it's a robot but it's also clearly an organism made from genetically unmodified frog cell."

And so it begins??

Made?

Can You actually read this piece of **** (written by a hack reporter no doubt) and conclude 'we' have made a new form of robot life? Does the reporter remember back in 1996 when they scraped a mere skin Cell from a sheep’s udder, implanted it in a mama sheep and Dolly the clone sheep popped out? Was THAT a 'robot sheep'?

So they got embryonic cell(s) to reproduce. Yes, they were in the process of doing that anyway. They even admit they didn’t do **** to them other than scrape them from the already developing embryo!

Is it any wonder people are so easily convinced that 'life is simple to make'?
Then again, I’ve been saying for years now that biological life is an intelligently engineered phenomenon. But the clowns in the article did not do it.
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 05:39 am
@Leadfoot,

aren't you a bundle of joy...
Leadfoot
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 05:40 am
@Region Philbis,
****'n A.

Sorry, I just get tired of crap science reporting.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Nov, 2021 06:06 am
@coluber2001,
There is a species of butterfly that migrates across the Americas, stopping at the same places each time to pupate.

The thing is, the butterflies have never been there before, the tree they go to is the one where their great grandparents hatched.

Yet they go to the same places time and again.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2021 05:05 pm

United Airlines just became the first airline in history to
operate a passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel

(businessinsider)
Leadfoot
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2021 08:44 pm
@Region Philbis,
I notice they never quote the cost or the carbon footprint of production of the biofuel compared to Jet A fuel.
All they need to do is get government to pay for the difference and I’m sure all the airlines will be glad to switch. And net CO2 production be damned.

Looks like we’ll repeat the same folly for planes as we did with 'green ethanol' in cars.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2021 09:13 pm
@Leadfoot,
Probably.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Dec, 2021 05:27 pm
@Region Philbis,
I think you should regail DOBBy with the fact that the XENOBOTS have learned to replicate themselves on thier own.

0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 03:49 pm
Quote:
Bees found a way to survive
Sealed themselves in hive as volcano erupted in Spain

About 50 days after the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands erupted in September, unleashing lava flows and destroying homes, churches, and stores, a beekeeper returned to one of the devastated villages to see what the volcano had done to his hives.

What he found shocked beekeepers and delighted scientists: Inside five hives that had been covered in volcanic ash were tens of thousands of bees, still alive and buzzing away.

Not only had the bees managed to survive the heat and noxious gases of the volcano, but they also had avoided starvation by feeding off stores of honey inside the hive, said Antonio Quesada, a beekeeper in the Canary Islands and a spokesperson for the Gran Canaria Beekeepers Association.

Their survival provided a glimmer of good news for La Palma — a resort island in the Canary archipelago of Spain — which was devastated by the eruption, which continues to spew lava. The island of about 80,000 people employs more than 100 beekeepers who manage hives that hold millions of honeybees and who are vital workers in the local ecosystem and key economic players for those who sell honey throughout the region.

The bees’ ability to stay alive in such dire conditions was also a reminder of their toughness, a characteristic that is often overlooked amid news stories about the very real threats they face from pesticides, parasites, and the loss of habitat.

“It’s incredible how such a tiny animal that has been around for hundreds of thousands of years can maintain that resilience, that ability to survive,’’ Quesada said.

The bees, known in the region as the Canary black bee, used propolis, a resinlike mixture sometimes known as bee glue, to seal themselves inside the hive, he said.

“They protected themselves from the gases’’ of the volcano, Quesada said. The bees also made sure to leave open a tiny pathway to the outside that they could later use to get out, he said.

That behavior is typical of honeybees, who use propolis, which they produce from substances they collect from plants and buds, to plug tiny gaps in the hive to protect it from rainwater and drafts, said Nathalie Steinhauer, a researcher in the department of entomology at the University of Maryland.

Still, the fact that the bees on the island managed to spend weeks inside the hive insulating themselves from such oppressive conditions was surprising — and even inspirational, Steinhauer said.

“It is a very empowering story,’’ she said. “It tells a lot about the resilience of honeybees.’’

For more than a decade, beekeepers and researchers have raised alarms about bees — which play a critical role in agriculture — dying at high rates, even during the summer when bees are producing food and caring for their young.

Honeybees are not endangered, and beekeepers are able to replace lost colonies throughout the year, said Steinhauer, who is also a science coordinator for the Bee Informed Partnership, a consortium of universities and research laboratories.

But the high mortality rate is concerning and especially stressful for beekeepers, who must spend considerable time and money replacing dying colonies.

In the United States, the mortality rate has been particularly high, even though the total number of honeybee colonies has remained fairly stable over the past 20 years, according to the Bee Informed Partnership.

Still, honeybees remain adaptable and resourceful, said Keith Delaplane, director of the Honey Bee Program at the University of Georgia and a professor of entomology.

Stories abound of honeybees that survived forest fires after the worker bees, fanning their wings, managed to lower the temperatures of the hives. When a fire destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a beekeeper who kept several hives on the roof was thrilled to find that the bees had stayed alive by gorging on honey.

Delaplane said entomologists often traded stories of colonies that survived after their hives were swept away by floods.

In the case of the hives in La Palma, the bees were also lucky. The volcanic ash that fell on the hives was porous and light, which allowed for oxygen to enter, Elías González, president of the ADS Beekeepers of La Palma, told EFE, a Spanish news agency.

Hundreds of other hives were also saved and have been taken to other parts of La Palma. Those bees cannot return to where they once were because so much of the vegetation they rely on is covered in volcanic ash, Quesada said.

The story of the bees is likely to become famous among entomologists, Delaplane said.

“You can’t get much more dramatic than volcanic ash burying beehives and the bees surviving,’’ he said.
(nyt)
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Dec, 2021 03:56 pm
Just goes to show there are a lot of life forms whose instincts are better than humans. During a wildfire or a flood, you see animals running away, but there are always some stupid, stubborn people who decide to stay and then need rescuing, putting the rescuers at risk.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2021 01:23 pm
Strange things appear in nature. It's like, if something is possible to happen, it has probably already happened in nature.

I wrote a short essay lately about why the wheel hasn't occurred as a means of propulsion in nature. It turns out that it has, and probably is the most common means of propulsion, but on a microscopic level. A lot of bacteria use flagella to propel themselves in liquid, and it looks like they're waving back and forth, but actually they're rotating in sockets like a corkscrew or boat propeller. But there is at least one macroscopic animal that does propel itself like a wheel more or less.

That is the wheel spider of the Namib Desert in Namibia. This desert is very arid and it's landscape is typically composed of dunes with one gradual side and one steep side. The spider digs a vertical tunnel in the gradual slope and stays in it for protection. However, there is a wasp that preys upon the spider, and it has learned to dig a parallel tunnel to collapse the spider's tunnel and unearth the spider.
The spider now exposed and in great danger throws itself down the steep side of the dune at the same time folding up its legs to form a wheel of its body. This accelerates the speed of a spider rolling down the dune and the wasp unable to follow it loses its prey.

tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2021 02:01 pm
@coluber2001,
Quote:
The spider now exposed and in great danger throws itself down the steep side of the dune at the same time folding up its legs to form a wheel of its body. This accelerates the speed of a spider rolling down the dune and the wasp unable to follow it loses its prey.

Find a new home and go to it, wheel spider. You're drunk.
0 Replies
 
 

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