Astronaut Chris Cassidy on a space walk outside the International Space Station in May 2013.
Christopher J. Cassidy was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2004 and is a veteran of two space flights, STS‐127 and Expedition 35. During STS‐127, Cassidy served as a Mission Specialist and was the 500th person in history to fly into space.
This mission delivered the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM‐EF) and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section (ELM‐ES) to the station.
For Expedition 35, Cassidy and the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano had their unplanned spacewalk to replace a pump controller box cut short when Parmitano had cooling water leak into his helmet.
Scientists discover world's oldest colour – bright pink. Pigments found in 1.1bn-year-old rocks beneath the Sahara desert shed light on ‘major puzzle’ about early life.
The colours were discovered by a Phd student, Nur Gueneli, who had crushed the rocks to a powder. She then extracted and analysed molecules of ancient organisms from the substance.
Gueneli said the pigments were more than half a billion years older than previous discoveries.
“The bright pink pigments are the molecular fossils of chlorophyll that were produced by ancient photosynthetic organisms inhabiting an ancient ocean that has long since vanished,” she said in a statement.
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Regrowing a missing limb is no big deal — to a starfish or salamander, creatures that are well-known for using regenerative "superpowers" to replace missing arms and tails. But they aren't the only animals that can rebuild body parts that are destroyed or damaged. Deer can re-sprout as much as 66 lbs. (30 kilograms) of antlers in only three months. Zebrafish can regrow their hearts, while flatworms have demonstrated that they can regenerate their own heads.
For humans, though, what's lost is lost — or is it?
Photo by Samuel Zeller via Unsplash.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Albert Einstein | 14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).
His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.
Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led him to develop his special theory of relativity during his time at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern (1902–1909). However, he realized that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and he published a paper on general relativity in 1916 with his theory of gravitation. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photontheory of light. In 1917, he applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe.
Except for one year in Prague, Einstein lived in Switzerland between 1895 and 1914, during which time he renounced his German citizenship in 1896, then received his academic diploma from the Swiss federal polytechnic school (later the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zürich in 1900. After being stateless for more than five years, he acquired Swiss citizenship in 1901, which he kept for the rest of his life. In 1905, he was awarded a PhD by the University of Zurich. The same year, he published four groundbreaking papers during his renowned annus mirabilis (miracle year) which brought him to the notice of the academic world at the age of 26. Einstein taught theoretical physics at Zurich between 1912 and 1914 before he left for Berlin, where he was elected to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.
In 1933, while Einstein was visiting the United States, Adolf Hitler came to power. Because of his Jewish background, Einstein did not return to Germany. He settled in the United States and became an American citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he endorsed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt alerting him to the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type" and recommending that the US begin similar research. This eventually led to the Manhattan Project. Einstein supported the Allies, but he generally denounced the idea of using nuclear fission as a weapon. He signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto with British philosopher Bertrand Russell, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. He was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.
Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers and more than 150 non-scientific works. His intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with "genius".
Education University of Zurich (1905), ETH Zurich(1896–1900)
Awards Nobel Prize in Physics, Copley Medal, Max Planck Medal
New Brain Research Shows Why You Should Face Your Fears
Whether it's to get over an irrational fear of spiders or a perfectly rational fear of jumping out of an airplane, the common advice is to face your fears head-on. If you do, the logic goes, you'll find out they're not so scary after all, and you may even learn to enjoy them.
Of course, that's not always the case — sometimes forcing someone to re-experience something traumatic just causes further trauma. With that risk, anyone offering the advice to "face your fears!" should be absolutely sure that it really can be helpful. Luckily, new neuroscience research is giving the practice a green light by demonstrating just what happens in your brain when you face your fears.
The musician on film scores, technological developments and the natural highs behind his new album, Singularity
British physicist Brian Cox is challenged by the presenter of Radio 4's 'Life Scientific', Jim Al-Khalili, to explain the rules of quantum mechanics in just a minute.
via BBC News
Scientists identify how the body develops coping behaviours for sustained pain
Researchers from Harvard Medical School recently published a study in Nature on the internal signals associated in response to pain. They tested the defensive and coping behaviours of mice in response to touching a hot or cold surface. Some mice had specific neurons in their spine demolished so they could not use certain genes thought to be linked with pain responses. They found that two specific genes in the spinal neurons of mice were responsible for driving coping responses associated with sustained pain (i.e, licking of the painful area and learning to avoid touching a hot surface, called ‘conditioned aversion’). Interestingly, they found that using/not using these genes had no effect on the actual initial defensive reflexive response to pain (e.g, withdrawing the finger/foot quickly after touching the hot/cold surface).
What does this mean?
This means that the nerve signals responsible for coping mechanisms of sustained pain (e.g persistent licking and conditioned aversion) do not play a role in the reflexive response to the pain.
What's the impact of this?
The human body’s response to pain remains relatively poorly understood, so learning more about what’s happening internally could lead to significant improvements in pain relief medication.
“We explore because we are curious, not because we wish to develop grand views of reality or better widgets.”
Brian Edward Cox OBE, FRS (born 3 March 1968) is an English physicist who serves as professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. He is best known to the public as the presenter of science programmes, especially the Wonders of... series and for popular science books, such as Why Does E=mc²? and The Quantum Universe. He has been the author or co-author of over 950 scientific publications.
Credit - Sebastian Nevols
Source - Wired
🇸🇪Aiming to capture the incredible beauty of microscopic life, hoping to inspire engagement in our planet's hidden treasures.
What am I looking at?
This is "Winston", a sculpture created by Terra Cederroth, a Swiss-born contemporary artist, Pathologist and Professor in Forensic Science with an MD from Tufts University. Terra draws upon her profession as a Pathologist to create sculptures of skulls using found materials such as turquoise, broken mirror, glass, and seashells. Unsurprisingly, the theme of her art is mortality and mourning; she uses broken pieces to recreate anatomically correct representations of human skulls.
Why should I care?
As an up and coming artist, Terra’s first pieces are currently on sale at a fair price of $1000, so it’s a great chance to get your hands on some original science art!
image credit: Terra Cederroth
Incredible turquoise ice crystals can be seen on Lake Bailkal when the lake freezes over during Winter. Not only is Lake Baikal the oldest lake in the world but it’s also the largest freshwater lake on the planet that contains around 20% of the Earth's freshwater. So, when the lake freezes, large shards of transparent ice form on the surface, giving the appearance of spectacular turquoise ice.
Source: Isha Jalan
It's a beautiful idea, when you think about it: You can leave the old you behind and become a completely new person every seven years. Unfortunately, it's just not true. Chances are you can't actually remember where you heard this, but the truth is that the seven-year myth isn't even a rough average of every cell's lifespan.
The Birth of a Cell
To understand how often your cells replace themselves, you need to understand how cells come into being in the first place. Your body can make new cells in a couple of ways. First, existing cells can divide via a fairly simple process called mitosis. During mitosis, a parent cell splits into two new cells. These new cells, called daughter cells, are basically copies of the original cells.
The second way that cells are created is from stem cells. These are special cells found throughout the body, although in lower numbers. They're able to….
image credit: agawa288 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Opinion - Dave Featherstone, Professor of Biology/Neuroscience (RIP)
Both science and art are human attempts to understand and describe the world around us. The subjects and methods have different traditions, and the intended audiences are different, but I think the motivations and goals are fundamentally the same.
I think one of the most primitive innate 'needs' of humans is to understand the world around us, and then share that understanding.
We need to understand because we are terrified by things that are unpredictable, that don't make sense. I don't care how crazy you say you are, how much you think you like adventure. Unpredictability and senselessness are stressful. They drive people to suicide. It happens in war. It happens as a result of neurological diseases like schizophrenia. Scary movies are all about unpredictability and things that just cannot be real. We crave order. We crave predictability.
We share because we are social creatures. The success and failure of others is meaningful. We are bound up in this world together. All in the same boat, so to speak. Thus, when we have information, we like to share it. Even if it's trivial. Who doesn't gossip? Who doesn't like to be the bearer of news? Who doesn't like to show off some new insight? Everyone loves to talk about themselves, share their viewpoint, make their opinion heard. Quora and Facebook and telephones and books and movies are all about sharing our points of view and seeing the world through another's eyes and experiences.
At this point, I could make up some evolutionary 'just so story' about how sharing our perceptions with others made us successful as a species. And you would like it, because it would make sense. And you would like it because I shared it. And we would all feel good about it, even though it's complete nonsense that I just pulled out of my ass.
So... does that make it science or art?
It doesn't matter. Both artists and scientists strive to 'see' the world in new ways, and communicate that vision. *
When they are successful, the rest of us suddenly 'see' the world differently. Our 'truth' is fundamentally changed.
Both scientists and artists with nothing new to reveal are failures. Scientists and artists who cannot communicate their insights are failures. It takes both skills to make a successful scientist or artist. Scientists who can communicate but have nothing new to say are frauds and hypsters. Artists with new views of the world but who cannot communicate them effectively are crackpot fringies.
Scientists tend to struggle more gaining the new insights. Artists tend to struggle more with the communication. Both often work hard to gain the background and skills that will help them be successful. That's why there are prestigious schools of science and art.
Scientists do experiments over and over and over, trying to pin down some new aspect of reality. Once they have their new understanding, there are pre-arranged traditional modes of communication that make that part easier.
Artists often start with the new vision, then work through 'periods', in which they explore how best to get the message across. They have shows. They seek feedback to help them understand what 'works'.
Artists and scientists often need to invent new concepts and technologies to accomplish their goals.
Both science and art have useful 'spin offs.' Applied science is technology. Applied art is decoration. Technology and decoration are applications of science/art for practical purposes. Technology and decoration make life easier. But they don't change how we fundamentally perceive what is around us. Science and art do.
Art = Science.
* I used visual art analogies, but I think this is true for any art medium, including music, written word, spoke word, dance, mathematics, and cooking.
Images show dopamine captured with polarized light microscopy by UPROSA Scientist Ingrid Parrington