Vague Vivacity
Science & Art
gjmueller:

The 14 Best Resources on the Web for STEM Educators
MIT Open Courseware
National STEM Video Game Challenge
How-to-Geek
Tuts+
Wikiversity
Khan Academy
PEOI
Academic Earth
50 Sources of Free STEM Education
The 10 Best STEM Resources for preK-12
STEM to STEAM: Resource Roundup
Top 10 Online STEM Resources for Advanced Students
7 STEM Apps for Higher Order Thinking
The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids

image via flickr:CC | Brookhaven National Laboratory
Oct 19   ·   159 notes

thecreatorsproject:

Science Experiments Create An Artwork In Two Countries At One Time
Oct 19   ·   109 notes

yuckfactor:

Climate change is prompting great migrations north for species big and small. 
From a recent New York Times article, “As the planet warms, scientists say, the range of many plants and animals will change, shifting to cooler climes closer to the poles or at higher elevations. Such changes have already been documented for hundreds of species, including American goldfinches, brown argus butterflies and red oaks.”
An Arizona State microbiologist, Farran Garcia-Pichel, has located new evidence of microorganisms moving too. “This type of climate change impact may occur even among the smallest organisms. Photosynthesizing microbes that colonize arid soils will shift across the Southwest, with more heat-tolerant species moving northward and upward as temperatures increase.”
Check out the video and full article at the link to read more about what a warmer planet means for microbes.

yuckfactor:

Climate change is prompting great migrations north for species big and small.

From a recent New York Times article, “As the planet warms, scientists say, the range of many plants and animals will change, shifting to cooler climes closer to the poles or at higher elevations. Such changes have already been documented for hundreds of species, including American goldfinches, brown argus butterflies and red oaks.”

An Arizona State microbiologist, Farran Garcia-Pichel, has located new evidence of microorganisms moving too. “This type of climate change impact may occur even among the smallest organisms. Photosynthesizing microbes that colonize arid soils will shift across the Southwest, with more heat-tolerant species moving northward and upward as temperatures increase.”

Check out the video and full article at the link to read more about what a warmer planet means for microbes.

Oct 19   ·   12 notes

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo
The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.
Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?
(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

jtotheizzoe:

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo

The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.

Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?

(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

Oct 19   ·   3,282 notes

mindblowingscience:

Cells’ powerhouses were once energy parasites: Study upends current theories of how mitochondria began

Parasitic bacteria were the first cousins of the mitochondria that power cells in animals and plants — and first acted as energy parasites in those cells before becoming beneficial, according to a new University of Virginia study that used next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to decode the genomes of 18 bacteria that are close relatives of mitochondria.

The study appears this week in the online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science. It provides an alternative theory to two current theories of how simple bacterial cells were swallowed up by host cells and ultimately became mitochondria, the “powerhouse” organelles within virtually all eukaryotic cells — animal and plant cells that contain a nucleus and other features. Mitochondria power the cells by providing them with adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, considered by biologists to be the energy currency of life.
The origin of mitochondria began about 2 billion years ago and is one of the seminal events in the evolutionary history of life. However, little is known about the circumstances surrounding its origin, and that question is considered an enigma in modern biology.
"We believe this study has the potential to change the way we think about the event that led to mitochondria," said U.Va. biologist Martin Wu, the study’s lead author. "We are saying that the current theories — all claiming that the relationship between the bacteria and the host cell at the very beginning of the symbiosis was mutually beneficial — are likely wrong.
"Instead, we believe the relationship likely was antagonistic — that the bacteria were parasitic and only later became beneficial to the host cell by switching the direction of the ATP transport."
The finding, Wu said, is a new insight into an event in the early history of life on Earth that ultimately led to the diverse eukaryotic life we see today. Without mitochondria to provide energy to the rest of a cell, there could not have evolved such amazing biodiversity, he said.
"We reconstructed the gene content of mitochondrial ancestors, by sequencing DNAs of its close relatives, and we predict it to be a parasite that actually stole energy in the form of ATP from its host — completely opposite to the current role of mitochondria," Wu said.
In his study, Wu also identified many human genes that are derived from mitochondria — identification of which has the potential to help understand the genetic basis of human mitochondrial dysfunction that may contribute to several diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, as well as aging-related diseases.
In addition to the basic essential role of mitochondria in the functioning of cells, the DNA of mitochondria is used by scientists for DNA forensics, genealogy and tracing human evolutionary history.
Journal Reference:
Zhang Wang, Martin Wu. Phylogenomic Reconstruction Indicates Mitochondrial Ancestor Was an Energy Parasite. PLOS ONE, 2014 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110685

mindblowingscience:

Cells’ powerhouses were once energy parasites: Study upends current theories of how mitochondria began

Parasitic bacteria were the first cousins of the mitochondria that power cells in animals and plants — and first acted as energy parasites in those cells before becoming beneficial, according to a new University of Virginia study that used next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to decode the genomes of 18 bacteria that are close relatives of mitochondria.

The study appears this week in the online journal PLoS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science. It provides an alternative theory to two current theories of how simple bacterial cells were swallowed up by host cells and ultimately became mitochondria, the “powerhouse” organelles within virtually all eukaryotic cells — animal and plant cells that contain a nucleus and other features. Mitochondria power the cells by providing them with adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, considered by biologists to be the energy currency of life.

The origin of mitochondria began about 2 billion years ago and is one of the seminal events in the evolutionary history of life. However, little is known about the circumstances surrounding its origin, and that question is considered an enigma in modern biology.

"We believe this study has the potential to change the way we think about the event that led to mitochondria," said U.Va. biologist Martin Wu, the study’s lead author. "We are saying that the current theories — all claiming that the relationship between the bacteria and the host cell at the very beginning of the symbiosis was mutually beneficial — are likely wrong.

"Instead, we believe the relationship likely was antagonistic — that the bacteria were parasitic and only later became beneficial to the host cell by switching the direction of the ATP transport."

The finding, Wu said, is a new insight into an event in the early history of life on Earth that ultimately led to the diverse eukaryotic life we see today. Without mitochondria to provide energy to the rest of a cell, there could not have evolved such amazing biodiversity, he said.

"We reconstructed the gene content of mitochondrial ancestors, by sequencing DNAs of its close relatives, and we predict it to be a parasite that actually stole energy in the form of ATP from its host — completely opposite to the current role of mitochondria," Wu said.

In his study, Wu also identified many human genes that are derived from mitochondria — identification of which has the potential to help understand the genetic basis of human mitochondrial dysfunction that may contribute to several diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, as well as aging-related diseases.

In addition to the basic essential role of mitochondria in the functioning of cells, the DNA of mitochondria is used by scientists for DNA forensics, genealogy and tracing human evolutionary history.

Journal Reference:

Zhang Wang, Martin Wu. Phylogenomic Reconstruction Indicates Mitochondrial Ancestor Was an Energy ParasitePLOS ONE, 2014 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0110685


s-c-i-guy:

Fruit fly ovary
A fruit fly ovary, shown here, contains as many as 20 eggs. Fruit flies are not merely tiny insects that buzz around overripe fruit—they are a venerable scientific tool. Research on the flies has shed light on many aspects of human biology, including biological rhythms, learning, memory and neurodegenerative diseases. Another reason fruit flies are so useful in a lab (and so successful in fruit bowls) is that they reproduce rapidly. About three generations can be studied in a single month.
Image Credit: Hogan Tang and Denise Montell, Johns Hopkins University and University of California, Santa Barbara.
source

s-c-i-guy:

Fruit fly ovary

A fruit fly ovary, shown here, contains as many as 20 eggs. Fruit flies are not merely tiny insects that buzz around overripe fruit—they are a venerable scientific tool. Research on the flies has shed light on many aspects of human biology, including biological rhythms, learning, memory and neurodegenerative diseases. Another reason fruit flies are so useful in a lab (and so successful in fruit bowls) is that they reproduce rapidly. About three generations can be studied in a single month.

Image Credit: Hogan Tang and Denise Montell, Johns Hopkins University and University of California, Santa Barbara.

source

Oct 19   ·   32 notes

theolduvaigorge:

The Glory of Life in X-ray: a stunning series of X-ray images by medical specialist and artist Arie van ’t Riet explores the inner workings of animals and plants

Arie van ’t Riet has a unique view of life on earth. As a medical physicist based in the Netherlands, van ’t Riet teaches radiographers about radiation physics and safety. As part of his teaching program, van ’t Riet searched for an example to demonstrate and visualise the influence of x-ray energy on the contrast of an x-ray image. The higher the x-ray energy, the lower the contrast. “I arrived at flowers. After some years I started to edit and partly colour these x-ray images. And I added animals,” he says. van ’t Riet now produces a series of x-ray artworks demonstrating the inner beauty of life. 

Each image is produced at his home, where he has an x-ray machine under licence. All the animals imaged were already dead. “It’s not justified to expose living animals to the risk of x-rays,” he says. His work has now given him a new perspective on nature” (read more).

(Source: BBC)

Oct 19   ·   84 notes


Living pod - Light-activated organza coat by Ying Gao

Living pod - Light-activated organza coat by Ying Gao

Oct 17   ·   3,205 notes

error888:

Illustrator and concept artist Piotr Jabłoński
Oct 17   ·   71 notes

Annaleigh Ashford as Essie Sycamore in You Can’t take it with You

Oct 17   ·   420 notes

jump