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June 13 2018

New technology has bright prospects for understanding plant biodiversity

Biologists get a new look at plant biodiversity and function with new imaging technology.

Bacterial enzymes: The biological role of europium

Rare earth elements (REEs) are an indispensable component of the digital technologies that are now an integral part of our everyday life. Yet their biological role has been discovered only recently. A few years ago it became apparent that these metals are essential elements for methano- and methylotrophic bacteria. One representative is the bacterium Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV, which was found in a volcanic mudpot near Naples, Italy, and is known to be strictly dependent on REEs such as lanthanum and cerium for its growth.

October 28 2017

Who needs ‘lazy’ workers? Inactive workers act as a ‘reserve’ labor force replacing active workers, but inactive workers are not replaced when they are removed

[open access]

Social insect colonies are highly successful, self-organized complex systems. Surprisingly however, most social insect colonies contain large numbers of highly inactive workers. Although this may seem inefficient, it may be that inactive workers actually contribute to colony function. [...]

Reposted fromlinkage linkage viapaket paket

June 28 2015

June 24 2015

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googles neural net can interpret what is in a picture

but it can also draw new pictures by interpreting too much.

Here the neural net was told to search in this image for animals and humans periodicaly

this is the result

there are more
nature but no wildlife, right?
google neural net found enough

here the net interpreted from nearly nothing an image

there are many more from googles lsd trip:

Reposted fromNeutrum Neutrum viasofias sofias

June 22 2015

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Reposted fromNeutrum Neutrum viaincontrovertible incontrovertible

June 21 2015

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Reposted fromRockYourMind RockYourMind viastonerr stonerr

June 20 2015

Reposted frompischus pischus viamakros makros

June 12 2015

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tiny duckling goes swimming for the first time
Reposted fromRockYourMind RockYourMind viabbsmb5 bbsmb5

Magic mushrooms create a hyperconnected brain

Magic mushrooms may give users trippy experiences by creating a hyperconnected brain.

The active ingredient in the psychedelic drug, psilocybin, seems to completely disrupt the normal communication networks in the brain, by connecting "brain regions that don't normally talk together," said study co-author Paul Expert, a physicist at King's College London.


The research, which was published Oct. 28 in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, is part of a larger effort to understand how psychedelic drugs work, in the hopes that they could one day be used by psychiatrists in carefully controlled settings to treat conditions such as depression, Expert said. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens]

Magic mushrooms

Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is best known for triggering vivid hallucinations. It can make colors seem oversaturated and dissolve the boundaries between objects.

But the drug also seems to have more long-lasting effects. Many people report intensely spiritual experiences while taking the drug, and some studies even suggest that one transcendent trip can alter people's personalities on a long-term basis, making those individuals more open to new experiences and more appreciative of art, curiosity and emotion.

People who experiment with psilocybin "report it as one of the most profound experiences they've had in their lives, even comparing it to the birth of their children," Expert told Live Science.

Making connections

Scientists have long known that psilocybin binds to a receptor in the brain for serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a role in mood, appetite and sleep, but exactly how the drug transforms the whole brain's pattern of communication isn't clear.

In past work, Expert's colleagues had found that psilocybin spurred the brain into a more dreamlike state, and that the drug decreased brain activity.

In the current study, the team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brain activity of 15 healthy volunteers once after they had taken a placebo, and once after they took the hallucinogen psilocybin. (The team chose only people who had reported past positive experiences with magic mushrooms to prevent them from panicking inside the claustrophobic MRI machines.)

The team then compared the brain activity of the individuals on and off the drug, and created a map of connections between different brain regions.

Psilocybin dramatically transformed the participants' brain organization, Expert said. With the drug, normally unconnected brain regions showed brain activity that was synchronized tightly in time. That suggested the drug was stimulatinglong-range connections the brain normally wouldn't make. After the drug wore off, brain activity went back to normal.

Drug's effect

Psilocybin may create a brain state akin to synesthesia, a sensory effect in which one sense stimulus (such as a number) always gets paired in the brain with another (such as a color or a sound), the researchers wrote in the paper. People with synesthesia may see certain colors when they hear music, or always see the number 3 in yellow, for instance, Expert said.

The findings could help scientists who are studying the drug as a potential treatment for depression, Expert said. Past work has found that people tend to be happier even after using psilocybin just once, but scientists would need to get a much better picture of how the drug impacts the brain before using psilocybin to treat depression, Expert said.

The research could ultimately also help answer bigger questions of the mind, like how people construct a sense of self.

"Through studies such as these we can really begin to tackle the questions of how we achieve coherent experiences of ourselves in the world around us, and understand what makes this break down," said Mitul Mehta, a psychopharmacology researcher at King's College London, who was not involved in the study.


Wie aussichtslos und selbstzerstörerisch es ist gegen die Supermacht der Mikroben zu kämpfen, zeigt schon die Tatsache, dass sich die dichteste Truppenstationierung auf dem ganzen Planeten ausgerechnet in unserem Darm befindet. Dass die Funktionen des Darms von höchster Relevanz für die Gesundheit sind ist seit der Antike bekannt, dass Bakterien hier eine entscheidende Rolle spielen weiß die Medizin ebenfalls schon lange – erst die Möglichkeiten der Gen-Sequenzierung aber hat der Mikrobiologie in neuester Zeit die Dimensionen dieser unsichtbaren Welt erschlossen. Nicht nur bei den Milliarden von Mikroben, die in  hunderten verschiedenen Spezialeinheiten ihren Job im Darm verrichten, sondern auch die in die Billionen gehenden Bakterientruppen, die in allen anderen Organen am Werk sind. Noch längst sind nicht alle Funktionen dieses unfassbaren Gewimmels entdeckt und kartographiert, doch schon jetzt hat die Vielfalt dieser Fauna, die in Symbiose mit dem menschlichen Körper lebt, die Forscher dazu gebracht, bei Menschen (und Säugetieren) nicht länger von “Individuen” zu sprechen. Sondern von “Holobionten”. Unser Körper liefert nur den Rahmen, die Gestalt oder das Gefäß für eine Vielzahl verschiedener Lebewesen, die symbiotisch, zum gegenseitigen Nutzen, zusammenleben.  Von dieser Entdeckung des “Holobionten” erzählt Bernhard Kegels Buch anschauslich und auf Grundlage der neusten Forschungsergebnisse.  Es macht deutlich, dass sie nicht nur unsere Sicht auf “Bakterien”, sondern auch unser Verständnis der Evolution ändern muß: nicht “egoistische Gene”, die sich im Kampf ums Dasein durchsetzen, sondern kooperierende Mikroben machen das Leben aus.
Die Weltbeherrscher : Mathias Broeckers
Reposted frome-gruppe e-gruppe via02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

June 07 2015

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Reposted frommatwin matwin viamakros makros

June 06 2015





Chinese scientists have created the world’s lightest material.  


Graphene aerogel that is seven times lighter than air. It is so light that one cubic inch can be balanced on a blade of grass, the stamen of a flower, or the fluffy seed head of a dandelion. (Source & More Information)




this substance was created at zheijiang university. the lead scientist’s name is gao chao.

Reposted fromHorseRotorvator HorseRotorvator

Ask Ethan #91: Does Quantum Gravity Need String Theory? (Synopsis) [Starts With A Bang]

“I just think too many nice things have happened in string theory for it to be all wrong. Humans do not understand it very well, but I just don’t believe there is a big cosmic conspiracy that created this incredible thing that has nothing to do with the real world.” –Edward Witten

It’s a difficult fact to accept: our two most fundamental theories that describe reality, General Relativity for gravitation and the Standard Model / Quantum Field Theory for the other three forces, are fundamentally incompatible with one another. When an electron moves through a double slit, for example, its gravitational field can’t move through both slits, at least not without a quantum theory of gravity.

Image credit: ©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, viahttps://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/research/research-areas/quantum-foundations/more-quantum-foundations.

Image credit: ©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, via https://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/research/research-areas/quantum-foundations/more-quantum-foundations.

String Theory is often touted as the only game in town as far as formulating a quantum theory of gravity is concerned, but in fact there are five viable options, each with different pros, cons, and approaches to the problem. Many of them, in fact, have undergone significant developments in the past 5-10 years, something String Theory cannot claim.

Image credit: flickr gallery of J. Gabas Esteban.

Image credit: flickr gallery of J. Gabas Esteban.

Come read the whole story — by your popular demand — on this edition of Ask Ethan.

Reposted frompsychole psychole

Building and transplanting a bioengineered forelimb

A suspension of muscle progenitor cells is injected into the cell-free matrix of a decellularized rat limb, which provides shape and structure onto which regenerated tissue can grow (credit: Bernhard Jank, MD, Ott Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine)

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has made the first steps towards developing bioartificial replacement limbs suitable for transplantation.

In a Biomaterials journal report, the researchers describe using an experimental approach previously used to build bioartificial organs to engineer rat forelimbs with functioning vascular and muscle tissue. They also provided evidence that the same approach could be applied to the limbs of primates.

“The composite nature of our limbs makes building a functional biological replacement particularly challenging,” explains Harald Ott, MD, of the MGH Department of Surgery and the Center for Regenerative Medicine and assistant professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, senior author of the paper.

The progenitor cells needed to regenerate all of the tissues that make up a limb could be provided by the potential recipient. The problem is that limbs contain muscles, bone, cartilage, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and nerves — each of which has to be rebuilt and requires a specific supporting structure (“matrix”), a step that has been a missing, he explained.

“We have shown that we can maintain the matrix of all of these tissues in their natural relationships to each other, that we can culture the entire construct over prolonged periods of time, and that we can repopulate the vascular system and musculature.”

Engineering a bioartificial limb

Procedure for composite tissue engineering. (1) Vascular endothelial cells are instilled into the vascular system of acellular composite tissue grafts. (2) Myoblasts, fibroblasts and endothelial cells are injected into the muscle compartment on day 2 of whole organ culture. (3) Full-thickness skin grafts are transplanted onto engineered constructs on day 10 of in vitro culture. (credit: B.J. Jank et al. / Biomaterials)

The current study uses technology Ott discovered as a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, in which living cells are stripped from a donor organ with a detergent solution and the remaining matrix is then repopulated with progenitor cells appropriate to the specific organ.

His team and others at MGH and elsewhere have used this decellularization technique to regenerate kidneyslivershearts, and lungs from animal models, but this is the first reported use to engineer the more complex tissues of a bioartificial limb.

The same decellularization process used in the whole-organ studies — perfusing a detergent solution through the vascular system — was used to strip all cellular materials from forelimbs removed from deceased rats in a way that preserved the primary vasculature and nerve matrix.

After thorough removal of cellular debris — a process that took a week — what remained was the cell-free matrix that provides structure to all of a limb’s composite tissues.  At the same time, populations of muscle and vascular cells were being grown in culture.

Bioreactor for growing a forelimb

After vascular and muscle progenitors have been introduced into a decellularized rat limb, it is suspended in a bioreactor, which provides a nutrient solution and electrical stimulation to support and promote the growth of new tissues. (Bernhard Jank, MD, Ott Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine)

The research team then cultured the forelimb matrix in a bioreactor, within which vascular cells were injected into the limb’s main artery to regenerate veins and arteries.  Muscle progenitors were injected directly into the matrix sheaths that define the position of each muscle.

After five days in culture, electrical stimulation was applied to the potential limb graft to further promote muscle formation, and after two weeks, the grafts were removed from the bioreactor.

Analysis of the bioartificial limbs confirmed the presence of vascular cells along blood vessel walls and muscle cells aligned into appropriate fibers throughout the muscle matrix.

Functional testing of the isolated limbs showed that electrical stimulation of muscle fibers caused them to contract with a strength 80 percent of what would be seen in newborn animals.

The vascular systems of bioengineered forelimbs transplanted into recipient animals quickly filled with blood, which continued to circulate, and electrical stimulation of muscles within transplanted grafts flexed the wrists and digital joints of the animals’ paws.

The research team also successfully decellularized baboon forearms to confirm the feasibility of using this approach on the scale that would be required for human patients.

Replicating with human cells

Ott notes that, while regrowing nerves within a limb graft and reintegrating them into a recipient’s nervous system is one of the next challenges that needs to be faced, the experience of patients who have received hand transplants is promising.

“In clinical limb transplantation, nerves do grow back into the graft,  enabling both motion and sensation, and we have learned that this process is largely guided by the nerve matrix within the graft. We hope in future work to show that the same will apply to bioartificial grafts.

“Additional next steps will be replicating our success in muscle regeneration with human cells and expanding that to other tissue types, such as bone, cartilage and connective tissue.”

The study was supported by a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health.

The authors note that more than 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. have lost a limb. Over the past two decades, a number of patients have received donor hand transplants, which also expose recipients to the risks of life-long immunosuppressive therapy.

Ott Laboratory | Rat Tissue Decellularization

Abstract of Engineered composite tissue as a bioartificial limb graft

The loss of an extremity is a disastrous injury with tremendous impact on a patient’s life. Current mechanical prostheses are technically highly sophisticated, but only partially replace physiologic function and aesthetic appearance. As a biologic alternative, approximately 70 patients have undergone allogeneic hand transplantation to date worldwide. While outcomes are favorable, risks and side effects of transplantation and long-term immunosuppression pose a significant ethical dilemma. An autologous, bio-artificial graft based on native extracellular matrix and patient derived cells could be produced on demand and would not require immunosuppression after transplantation. To create such a graft, we decellularized rat and primate forearms by detergent perfusion and yielded acellular scaffolds with preserved composite architecture. We then repopulated muscle and vasculature with cells of appropriate phenotypes, and matured the composite tissue in a perfusion bioreactor under electrical stimulation in vitro. After confirmation of composite tissue formation, we transplanted the resulting bio-composite grafts to confirm perfusion in vivo.

Reposted fromsigaloninspired sigaloninspired

June 03 2015

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Reposted fromkalafiorowa kalafiorowa viae-gruppe e-gruppe
Tubes Of Plasma Floating Above The Earth
disovered by Sydney physics undergraduate Cleo Loi, 23.
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The Best Birth Control In The World Is For Men
 by Jon Clinkenbeard

If I were going to describe the perfect contraceptive, it would go something like this: no babies, no latex, no daily pill to remember, no hormones to interfere with mood or sex drive, no negative health effects whatsoever, and 100 percent effectiveness. The funny thing is, something like that currently exists.

The procedure called RISUG in India (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) takes about 15 minutes with a doctor, is effective after about three days, and lasts for 10 or more years…

Oh, and when you do decide you want those babies, it only takes one other injection of water and baking soda to flush out the gel, and within two to three months, you’ve got all your healthy sperm again.

The trouble is, most people don’t even know this exists. And if men only need one super-cheap shot every 10 years or more, that’s not something that gets big pharmaceutical companies all fired up, because they’ll make zero money on it (even if it might have the side benefit of, you know, destroying HIV).
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“Oh hey Mike. How’s it go-”

Ronny, may I introduce you to my best friend Jesu—NOPE

Ah yes, predatory comb jellies - rather awesome. They’ll then carve up the victim with internal chainsaws made from specialised cilia.

my favorite part is the look on its… uh. face. after it finishes swallowing

*CHOMP* pbrrrllllt

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