[syndicated profile] science_daily_topsci_feed
Scientists studying microbes from some of the saltiest lakes in Antarctica have discovered a new way the microbes can share DNA that could help them grow and survive. The research, based on 18 months of water sampling in remote Antarctic locations, could throw light on the evolutionary history of viruses. The team discovered some of the microbes contained small molecules of DNA called plasmids.


Virus reprograms ocean plankton

2017-Aug-21, Monday 15:00
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A virus which infects ocean plankton can reprogramme cells and change the way they absorb nutrients - potentially changing how carbon is stored in the ocean, new research shows.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, new research finds. This would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet, and contributed to the mass extinction that marked the end of the age of dinosaurs.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
The moon is likely very dry in its interior according to a new study from researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, published August 21, 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A commonly proposed solution to help diffuse the political and religious polarization surrounding controversial scientific issues like evolution or climate change is education.

Evolutionary arms 'chase'

2017-Aug-21, Monday 15:00
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
In nature, plants engage in a never-ending battle to avoid being eaten. Unable to run away, plant species have evolved defenses to deter herbivores; they have spines, produce nasty chemicals, or grow tough leaves that are difficult to chew. For years, scientists have assumed that herbivores and plants are locked into evolutionary competition in which a plant evolves a defense, the herbivore evolves a workaround, and so on.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Tropical forests contain more than one-half of all plant and animal species on Earth. Unfortunately, they are disappearing at the highest rate of any forests worldwide. Furthermore, many of the most threatened tropical species are restricted to 20 or so biodiversity hotspots, which are sites that have lost more than 70 percent of their original habitat.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
A class of chemicals made by intestinal bacteria, known as indoles, help worms, flies and mice maintain mobility and resilience for more of their lifespans, scientists have discovered.
[syndicated profile] phys_breaking_feed
Mars is buffeted by turbulent snowstorms that occur only at night, according to a study released Monday that revises our understanding of Red Planet weather.
[syndicated profile] associatedpress_usa_feed
PHOENIX (AP) -- Donald Trump was just a few weeks into his candidacy in 2015 when came to Phoenix for a speech that ended up being a bigger moment in his campaign than most people realized at the time....
[syndicated profile] associatedpress_usa_feed
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene....

(no subject)

2017-Aug-21, Monday 11:46
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
My favorite photo I took from my back yard during the eclipse.

My Weekend (with pictures)

2017-Aug-21, Monday 17:25
sareini: "Things I am not allowed to do at Hogwarts, No.61" (Cats and Dragons)
[personal profile] sareini
I got back from seeing my niece and spending too much on yarn on Sunday evening, but I was absolutely exhausted until this afternoon. The train journey back shouldn't have been too bad, but both trains were packed to nearly standing-room only and the sheer amount of people pushed me to my limits. I then got a very talkative taxi driver heading to Ross' place (because I started off the weekend by forgetting my keys, so Ross grabbed them for me so I could pick them up from him when I got back) so I had to stop off at his house for a bit to calm down. Got to meet some of the rattie commune though, and discovered that boy rats grow very big indeed. Most of them were pretty chilled with me and I got to pet them, but Neville the rat got freaked out when he smelled me because by that time I had the scent of four cats on me. Sorry Neville.

So, how was my weekend?

Cats! )

Of course, the other big reason I was visiting this weekend was for the Popup Wool Show. I went last year and got some good yarns, so of course I wanted to go again this year. Plus it's the closest thing I get to a summer holiday. I was quite proud of myself this year - despite having that credit card and all the yarn tempting me at very turn, I managed to stay within my budget.

Pictures of yarn! )

As well as my keys, I also managed to forget to take my niece's cardigan up with me, but I did remember my brother's birthday present, the Rock A-Z cross stitch. Rachael helped me frame it, since my skills are a little lacking in that area.

Cross stitch! )

For the most part my brain didn't short-circuit too much while I was up there. There was the crowds on the trains back to Stoke, of course, and the additional problem that the Virgin Trains' Pendulino train always makes me motion sick, so I step off it in a cold sweat and looking like a wax dummy. The Popup Wool Show was more crowded this year than it was last year, which was somewhat upsetting, but I was with my niece and so I was able to get through it with the only outward symptom being a bad case of aphasia (Every fifth word became "thingy.") Ross sent me regular updates about the cats being fine which also helped (Lily is making me mildly worried by repeatedly climbing into the cat carrier but I'm sure there's nothing actually wrong and it's just me seeing things where there's nothing again). I am however avoiding actual face-to-face or physical contact with other people for the rest of the week now as I recover my strength though.
[syndicated profile] associatedpress_usa_feed
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- A judge walking from his car into the county courthouse was shot by a gunman Monday morning but managed to fire back before a probation officer stepped in and ultimately killed the suspect, authorities said....

Eclipse is underwhelming

2017-Aug-21, Monday 10:07
elf: Smiling South Park-style witch with big blue floppy hat and inverted pentacle (Witchy)
[personal profile] elf
I'm in a partial eclipse zone; wouldn't see the full one anyway. But still...

It's overcast. Solid pale grey sky. Which means any eclipsing is probably resulting in a slight dimming of the already dim day.

This is exactly the same weather as 38 years ago, when I got to "see" the full eclipse. I had a small sheet of treated glass to look through to see it. So I technically got to see the eclipse, because the glass let me see it without the clouds, but... no darkening in the sky (dim solid grey overcast), no watching any changes, just "here, look through this; look around until you see the sun!"

So I looked through this dark hand-sized sheet of glass, and sure enough, there's a darker glowing spot in one place in the sky. And today, I don't even have special polarized glass; I was planning on doing one of the pinhole projector things, but there doesn't seem to be much point.

I don't get to watch the Moon Lord cover the glowing body of the Sun Lady. I haz a sad.

Don't let the clouds fool you, though; it's still the best time to take down Fire Nation.
[syndicated profile] science_daily_topsci_feed
Gut microbes have been in the news lately. Recent studies show they can influence human health, behavior, and certain neurological disorders, such as autism. But just how do they communicate with the brain? Results from a new study suggest a pathway of communication between certain gut bacteria and brain metabolites, by way of a compound in the blood known as cortisol. And unexpectedly, the finding provides a potential mechanism to explain the characteristics of autism.


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