30
May

policymic:

Paleontologists find bones from the largest creature to ever walk the Earth

A group of paleontologists in Argentina have discovered the remains of a dinosaur that makes Godzilla look like a bit of a wimp. The researchers found the fossilized bones of what’s believed to be the largest creature to have ever walked the Earth.

Based on the length and circumference of the dinosaur’s femur (thigh bone), the crew calculated the animal weighed 77 metric tons, seven more than the previous largest dinosaur record holder, the Argentinosaurus. The creature would have been roughly 130 feet long and 65 feet tall and is believed to have been a species titanosaur — an enormous herbivore dating from the Late Cretaceous period (about 100 to 60 million years ago) notable for their small heads, long necks and long tails. The team believes this creature likely lived in the forests of Patagonia between 95 and 100 million years ago, based on the age of the rocks in which its bones were found.

Read more | Follow policymic 

(Source: micdotcom, via thescienceofreality)

30
May

Possible gamma ray burst detected in Andromeda 

fromquarkstoquasars:

Possible gamma ray burst detected in Andromeda

image

Yes, you read that correctly. Just a little over five hours ago, the Swift Gamma Ray Burst Telescope may have detected a close gamma ray burst (GRB). In our neighboring galaxy M31 (aka Andromeda), SWIFT observed a sudden emission of high-energy photons or gamma rays. Still unconfirmed, this is the closest possible gamma ray discovery to date, at roughly 2.5 million light-years away.

The Swift…

View On WordPress

(via thescienceofreality)

30
May
themagicfarawayttree:

Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 134, f. 100r (devils bite and scratch the damned). Livre de la Vigne nostre Seigneur. France, c. 1450-1470

themagicfarawayttree:

Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 134, f. 100r (devils bite and scratch the damned). Livre de la Vigne nostre Seigneur. France, c. 1450-1470

(via medieval)

30
May
What make glue sticky?
nenineni-bububu

compoundchem:

This is on the face of it a pretty simple question, but the chemistry behind it is actually a little complicated. It’s also complicated further by the fact that different glues will work in different ways.

As one example, superglue contains the chemicals from the cyanoacrylate family, one of which, methyl cyanoacrylate, is shown below. This chemical rapidly polymerises (forms long chains) with other molecules of itself when it comes into contact with moisture - even the moisture in the air is enough to start this process. The polymerisation bonds the joined surfaces together. So, when you get superglue on your skin, the ‘stickiness’ is caused by the polymerisation, set off by the moisture in your skin.

image

Other types of glue can stick things together in different ways. Even an object that feels smooth will have a very rough surface on a molecular level, and liquid glue can seep into microscopic cracks in an object’s surface. ‘Mechanical bonding’ sticks the two objects together as the glue hardens within these crevices.

Intermolecular forces also play a part in the ‘stickiness’ of glue, in particular Van der Waals forces. Electrons in molecules are mobile, and at any point in time there could potentially be more electrons at one end of the molecule than at the other. This leads to what we call a ‘temporary dipole’ - meaning the molecule has one slightly positively charged end, and one slightly negatively charged end. Because electrons in molecules are constantly moving, temporary dipoles are constantly being created. 

If molecules with temporary dipoles get close enough to other molecules, they can create temporary dipoles in those molecules too. These are known as ‘induced dipoles’. In order for this to occur though, the molecules have to be very close together, no more than a few angstroms. An angstrom is a unit of measurement equal to 0.00000001cm. This is why glue being wet is important - so it can spread and flow to ensure this close contact. So, molecules in the adhesive can induce temporary dipoles in the molecules of the surface it is sticking to, increasing the strength of mechanical bonding.

image

This is as much as I’ve been able to dig up on the subject. If anyone has anything else to add, I’d be very interested to hear it!

References & Further Reading

30
May

scinerds:

Scientists discover the first Earth-sized planet in its star’s habitable zone

Since NASA’s Kepler space telescope launched in 2009, it has found hundreds of new worlds within the Milky Way. Now it has spotted the first planet outside our solar system that could support life. The planet, called Kepler-186f, is located about 500 light-years from Earth and orbits a star similar to our sun. Its orbit is within the star’s habitable zone, the region where temperatures should be neither too hot nor too cold, but just right for liquid water to exist—a precursor for life as we know it. Scientists are unsure if the planet is habitable or what it’s made of, but this discovery proves there are worlds like our own that reside in life’s celestial sweet spot.

Watch the video for a tour of Kepler-186f.

Click through the above images for descriptions.

30
May
currentsinbiology:

Mayo Clinic trial: Massive dose of measles vaccine wipes out cancer
Stacy Erholtz was out of conventional treatment options for blood cancer last June when she underwent an experimental trial at the Mayo Clinic that injected her with enough measles vaccine to inoculate 10 million people.
The cancer, which had spread widely through her body, went into complete remission and was undetectable in Erholtz’s body after just one dose of the measles vaccine, which has an uncanny affinity for certain kinds of tumors.
Erholtz was one of just two subjects in the experiment and the only one to achieve complete remission. But the experiment provides the “proof of concept” that a single, massive dose of intravenous viral therapy can kill cancer by overwhelming its natural defenses, according to Dr. Stephen Russell, a professor of molecular medicine who spearheaded the research at Mayo.

“It’s a landmark,” Russell said in an interview last week. “We’ve known for a long time that we can give a virus intravenously and destroy metastatic cancer in mice. Nobody’s shown that you can do that in people before.”


The research, published online Wednesday in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, represents a “benchmark to strive for and improve upon,” according to an accompanying editorial by Dr. John C. Bell of the Centre for Innovative Cancer Research in Ottawa.

The next step is a bigger trial to see if the measles blitzkrieg works in a larger number of patients — a trial that Mayo expects to launch no later than September.

currentsinbiology:

Mayo Clinic trial: Massive dose of measles vaccine wipes out cancer

Stacy Erholtz was out of conventional treatment options for blood cancer last June when she underwent an experimental trial at the Mayo Clinic that injected her with enough measles vaccine to inoculate 10 million people.

The cancer, which had spread widely through her body, went into complete remission and was undetectable in Erholtz’s body after just one dose of the measles vaccine, which has an uncanny affinity for certain kinds of tumors.

Erholtz was one of just two subjects in the experiment and the only one to achieve complete remission. But the experiment provides the “proof of concept” that a single, massive dose of intravenous viral therapy can kill cancer by overwhelming its natural defenses, according to Dr. Stephen Russell, a professor of molecular medicine who spearheaded the research at Mayo.

“It’s a landmark,” Russell said in an interview last week. “We’ve known for a long time that we can give a virus intravenously and destroy metastatic cancer in mice. Nobody’s shown that you can do that in people before.”

The research, published online Wednesday in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, represents a “benchmark to strive for and improve upon,” according to an accompanying editorial by Dr. John C. Bell of the Centre for Innovative Cancer Research in Ottawa.

The next step is a bigger trial to see if the measles blitzkrieg works in a larger number of patients — a trial that Mayo expects to launch no later than September.

(via thescienceofreality)

30
May

jtotheizzoe:

All of the Awesome, None of the Death

In real life, if Saturn were to be ejected from its orbit and pass by Earth at the distance depicted in this awesome video from Yeti Dynamics, our planet would be torn to shreds thanks to tidal forces as Saturn passed within our planet’s Roche limit radius, while simultaneously showering us in our final moments with a destructive rain of icy meteorites thanks to our gravity’s own disruption on Saturn’s ring system.

But luckily, this is just a simulation, so we get to see all the cool stuff without all the planetary death!

Bonus: Check out this Vsauce video, featuring ridiculous(ly awesome) simulations from Yeti Dynamics: What if the Moon Were a Disco Ball?

(via thescienceofreality)

29
Apr

science-junkie:

Blood of world’s oldest woman hints at limits of life

Death is the one certainty in life – a pioneering analysis of blood from one of the world’s oldest and healthiest women has given clues to why it happens.

Born in 1890, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper was at one point the oldest woman in the world. She was also remarkable for her health, with crystal-clear cognition until she was close to death, and a blood circulatory system free of disease. When she died in 2005, she bequeathed her body to science, with the full support of her living relatives that any outcomes of scientific analysis – as well as her name – be made public.

Researchers have now examined her blood and other tissues to see how they were affected by age.

What they found suggests, as we could perhaps expect, that our lifespan might ultimately be limited by the capacity for stem cells to keep replenishing tissues day in day out. Once the stem cells reach a state of exhaustion that imposes a limit on their own lifespan, they themselves gradually die out and steadily diminish the body’s capacity to keep regenerating vital tissues and cells, such as blood.

In van Andel-Schipper’s case, it seemed that in the twilight of her life, about two-thirds of the white blood cells remaining in her body at death originated from just two stem cells, implying that most or all of the blood stem cells she started life with had already burned out and died.

Read more
Image: [x]  Video: slate.com

(via scinerds)