cravatfiend

sixpenceee:

A graduate student has created the first man-made biological leaf. It absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant. He did this by suspending chloroplasts in a mixture made out of silk protein. He believed it can be used for many things but the most striking one is the thought that it could be used for long distance space travel. Plants do not grow in space, but this synthetic material can be used to produce oxygen in a hostile environment. (Video)

via Space.i09:

If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around how scientists could’ve been confused by dust when they thought they detected gravitational waves earlier this year, Olena Shmahalo has a slick infographic in Quanta Magazine. The infographic is part of [Natalie Wolchover’s] article on the mechanics of how scientists could’ve mistaken dust for signals from the Big Bang.

via Space.i09:

If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around how scientists could’ve been confused by dust when they thought they detected gravitational waves earlier this year, Olena Shmahalo has a slick infographic in Quanta Magazine. The infographic is part of [Natalie Wolchover’s] article on the mechanics of how scientists could’ve mistaken dust for signals from the Big Bang.

quillery

disneyconceptsandstuff:

James Lopez, a veteran Disney animator (The Lion King, Pocahontas, Paperman), is currently trying to raise money for his traditionally animated project Hullabaloo. Hullabaloo is a steampunk short film which Lopez is hoping will help save the cause of 2D animation, and possibly lead to a TV series or film. So, if you’re interested in badass steampunk ladies or traditional animation, may I recommend you give a dollar or two. Hullabaloo's IndieGogo page is over here, visit to donate and learn more! And I’ll conclude with the plot: 

Hullabaloo is the story of Veronica Daring, a brilliant young scientist who returns home from an elite finishing school to find her father—the eccentric inventor Jonathan Daring—missing without a trace! The only clue left behind points Veronica toward Daring Adventures, an abandoned amusement park used by her father to test his fantastical steam-powered inventions. There she discovers a strange girl named Jules, a fellow inventor who agrees to help Veronica in locating her missing father and discovering the secrets of his work.

Together, Veronica and Jules learn that Jonathan Daring has been kidnapped by a mysterious group of influential persons, who seek to use his latest invention for nefarious purposes. These villains are wealthy and influential and neither Veronica nor Jules can stop them openly. But determined to save her father and holding true to the family creed that technology should be used for the good of all, not the greed of some, Veronica assumes the secret identity of “Hullabaloo”, a goggled crusader who uses wits and science to combat evil and oppose the nefarious conspiracy that has taken her father.

"In addition to helping save 2D animation, Hullabaloo aims to encourage girls to explore science and adventure. The film’s two protagonists are both young women and both scientists who use their intellect, wits, and courage to fight greed and corruption."

••••••

2D adventure film with female scientist leads? There’s nothing about this that’s not awesome.

…If the question is whether I think that there is a person who has created Heavens and Earth, and responds to our prayers, then definitely my answer is no, with much certainty.


If the question is whether I believe that “God” is a powerful something in the people, which causes a lot of disasters but also a lot of good, then of course I believe it. In fact, I am extremely curious about religion. I think that we should study what is religion much more than what is done. There is a sort of taboo in this, a sort of respect towards people who “believe in God”, which makes it difficult to understand better.


I think that viewing the “belief in God” just as a bunch of silly superstitions is wrong. The “belief in God” is one form of human religious attitude, and human religious attitude is something very general and universal about our functioning. Something which is important for man, and we have not yet understood.

…you can be great in solving Maxwell’s equations and pray to God in the evening. But there is an unavoidable clash between science and certain religions, especially some forms of Christianity and Islam, those that pretend to be repositories of “absolute Truths.” The problem is not that scientists think they know everything. It is the opposite: scientists know that there are things we simply do not know, and naturally question those who pretend to know. Many religious people are disturbed by this, and have difficulty in coping with it. The religious person says, “I know that God has created light saying, ‘Fiat Lux.’” The scientist does not believe the story. The religious people feel threatened. And here the clash develops. But not all religions are like that. Many forms of Buddhism, for instance, have no difficulty with the continual critical attitude of science. …

Response from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli, to the questions: “Do you believe in God?” and “Are science and religion compatible?”

August 21, 2014

…Einstein, Heisenberg, Newton, Bohr… and many … of the greatest scientists of all times … read philosophy, learned from philosophy, and could have never done the great science they did without the input they got from philosophy, as they claimed repeatedly. You see: the scientists that talk philosophy down are simply superficial: they have a philosophy (usually some ill-digested mixture of Popper and Kuhn) and think that this is the “true” philosophy, and do not realize that this has limitations.

Excerpt from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli of Aix-Marseille University and the Intitut Universitaire de France.

August 21, 2014

••••••
A beautiful interview, in many ways. Although I understand why it happens to an extent, it’s still baffling to see such an agitated response against philosophy, from some students of science.
Science stemmed from philosophy, from the human desire to understand the world around us. And it is a cycle: science does not only produce technologies, but philosophies as well. When we gain a new understanding of our universe, we also learn how to better respond to nature — how to live better. Philosophy in action.

What is the “mystery of the universe”? There isn’t a “mystery of the universe.” There is an ocean of things we do not know. Many of them we’ll figure out, if we continue to be somewhat rational and do not kill one another first (which is well possible.) There will always be plenty of things that we will not understand, I think, but what do I know? In any case, we are very very very far from any complete comprehension of everything we would like to know.

I have no idea what “absolute truth” means. I think that science is the attitude of those who find funny the people saying they know something is absolute truth. Science is the awareness that our knowledge is constantly uncertain. What I know is that there are plenty of things that science does not understand yet. And science is the best tool found so far for reaching reasonably reliable knowledge.

Responses from an interview with physicist Carlo Rovelli, to the questions: “Can physics—or science in general—ever completely solve the mystery of the universe?” and “Can science attain absolute truth?”

August 21, 2014

I Contain MultitudesOur bodies are a genetic patchwork, possessing variation from cell to cell. Is that a good thing?
By: Kat McGowan    Art by: Olena ShmahaloAugust 21, 2014

Your DNA is supposed to be your blueprint, your unique master code, identical in every one of your tens of trillions of cells. It is why you are you, indivisible and whole, consistent from tip to toe.But that’s really just a biological fairy tale. In reality, you are an assemblage of genetically distinctive cells, some of which have radically different operating instructions.

I Contain Multitudes
Our bodies are a genetic patchwork, possessing variation from cell to cell. Is that a good thing?

By: Kat McGowan   
Art by: Olena Shmahalo
August 21, 2014

Your DNA is supposed to be your blueprint, your unique master code, identical in every one of your tens of trillions of cells. It is why you are you, indivisible and whole, consistent from tip to toe.

But that’s really just a biological fairy tale. In reality, you are an assemblage of genetically distinctive cells, some of which have radically different operating instructions.

proofmathisbeautiful
mothernaturenetwork:

Scientists get first glimpse into workings of Higgs boson particlesWhat role do the Higgs bosons play in scattering and sticking to atoms?

••••••
MNN:

So far, the team has seen hints of just 34 W-boson scattering events, which showed that the Higgs boson does play some role in this scattering process. But there is still too little data to say exactly how “sticky” the Higgs boson is to these W-bosons, which would reveal how sticky the Higgs field is. That, in turn, could help reveal more details about how the Higgs field gives other particles their mass, … If follow-up data reveals that the Higgs Boson doesn’t seem to be sticky enough, that’s an indication that other subatomic particles may be involved in W-boson scattering, …

mothernaturenetwork:

Scientists get first glimpse into workings of Higgs boson particles
What role do the Higgs bosons play in scattering and sticking to atoms?

••••••

MNN:

So far, the team has seen hints of just 34 W-boson scattering events, which showed that the Higgs boson does play some role in this scattering process.
 
But there is still too little data to say exactly how “sticky” the Higgs boson is to these W-bosons, which would reveal how sticky the Higgs field is. That, in turn, could help reveal more details about how the Higgs field gives other particles their mass, …
 
If follow-up data reveals that the Higgs Boson doesn’t seem to be sticky enough, that’s an indication that other subatomic particles may be involved in W-boson scattering, …

mucholderthen

mucholderthen:

THE OPERATING SYSTEM
Created by Olena Shmahalo

Far-long ago, in a distant space-time,
a n0thing exploded over eons,

rippling into the here-now.

Over billions of years, anxious bits vibrated into “being”,
in every direction stacking and multiplying,
creating branches of { Unimportance },
of complexity and necessity, until, eventually,
that explosion became themselves.

See and read the entire “Operating System”

Your father was a space rock;
you were born a cosmonaut.

You are a cosmic accident —
a system of instructions,
 achieving self-recognition. 

You are nature looking in, 
at once mundane and sublime.

See and read the entire “Operating System” …

RIGHTS: Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

Thanks for featuring my site!

scientificillustration

molecularlifesciences:

popmech:

10 Scientific Images That Changed How We Look at the World

Any conversation about progress in science will include visualization.

•••••

The 5 images above:

  1. Robert Hooke’s Flea Drawing
    Date: September 1665
    This is the most important individual flea of all time. Coming from Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, a collection of illustrations he drew in 1665 that currently resides in the National Museum of Health and Medicine, this drawing is a work of art. But more importantly, it demonstrated the power of the microscope that allowed Hooke to depict the pest in minute detail.

    [This drawing predates Anton van Leeuwenhoek’s (“father of Microbiology”) observations by just under a decade, and Nicolas Andry’s subsequent theory (1700) that microscopic “worms” were actually responsible for disease.]
  2. Hubble’s eXtreme Deep Field
    Date: September 25, 2012
    You are looking at the beginning of the [known] universe. The Hubble telescope captured this image of distant galaxies 13.2 billion light years away—the latest in a series of Deep Field images that started in 1995—after an exposure time of 23 days. Hundreds of galaxies, billions of stars, all collected into one photograph.
  3. "Earthrise"
    Date: December 24, 1968
    Considered to be the most important environmental photograph ever taken, “Earthrise” was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders on Christmas Eve, 1968. Above the barren horizon of the moon, the photo captured the entirety of the beautiful, living Earth, changing the way we looked at our own world.
  4. Darwin’s Phylogenetic Tree of Organisms
    Date: 1837
    Scrawled in one of his famous notebooks (“red transmutation notebook B”), this is the first branching diagram of the lineage of organisms. The best part is the “I think” scribbled up top. “I think…this may become one of the most important discoveries in human history.”
  5. Copernican Model of the Solar System
    Date: 1543
    …Copernicus [removed] Earth from its position as the center of the universe in his famous book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium…
subatomicuniverse

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons createphyd within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

Aaron Freeman (via indecenciesandobscurities)
Stop Using Quantum Mechanics as Evidence for Magic
Esther Inglis-Arkell

Quantum mechanics is a beautiful and still-controversial idea. It is rightly popular. What’s not right is the way people use it to justify any reality-bending idea in their novels, their TV shows, or their personal philosophies. “Quantum” does not mean anything you want.

••••••
This, one hundred times over.
The funny thing is, my interest in science deepened thanks to the New Age Quantum Woo, by first slogging through it and wanting to believe — because it offered some form of hope. But I had asked questions: why does that work? How? Is that quite right? Is it 100% true? And I found that it didn’t hold. However “positive” their “intentions” may be, it’s still “snake oil”.

Stop Using Quantum Mechanics as Evidence for Magic

Esther Inglis-Arkell

Quantum mechanics is a beautiful and still-controversial idea. It is rightly popular. What’s not right is the way people use it to justify any reality-bending idea in their novels, their TV shows, or their personal philosophies. “Quantum” does not mean anything you want.

••••••

This, one hundred times over.

The funny thing is, my interest in science deepened thanks to the New Age Quantum Woo, by first slogging through it and wanting to believe — because it offered some form of hope. But I had asked questions: why does that work? How? Is that quite right? Is it 100% true? And I found that it didn’t hold. However “positive” their “intentions” may be, it’s still “snake oil”.