skunkbear:

The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.

Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:

Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.

First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:

 …the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.

She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)

You can read more about Kellogg’s experiment, its legacy, and public reaction to it here.

(via g-rdn)

xysciences:

Coral branches retreating to protect themselves.

(via kobayashimarooned)

jtotheizzoe:

spaceplasma:

xysciences:

A gif representing nuclear fusion and how it creates energy. 

[Click for more interesting science facts and gifs]

For those who don’t understand the GIF. It illustrates the Deuterium-Tritium fusion; a deuterium and tritium combine to form a helium-4. Most of the energy released is in the form of the high-energy neutron.

Nuclear fusion has the potential to generate power without the radioactive waste of nuclear fission (energy from splitting heavy atoms  into smaller atoms), but that depends on which atoms you decide to fuse. Hydrogen has three naturally occurring isotopes, sometimes denoted ¹H, ²H, and ³H. Deuterium (²H) - Tritium (³H) fusion (pictured above) appears to be the best and most effective way to produce energy. Atoms that have the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes (adding a proton makes a new element, but adding a neutron makes an isotope of the same atom). 

The three most stable isotopes of hydrogen: protium (no neutrons, just one proton, hence the name), deuterium (deuterium comes from the Greek word deuteros, which means “second”, this is in reference two the two particles, a proton and a neutron), and tritium (the name of this comes from the Greek word “tritos” meaning “third”, because guess what, it contains one proton and two neutrons). Here’s a diagram

Deuterium is abundant, it can be extracted from seawater, but tritium is a  radioactive isotope and must be either derived(bred) from lithium or obtained in the operation of the deuterium cycle. Tritium is also produced naturally in the upper atmosphere when cosmic rays strike nitrogen molecules in the air, but that’s extremely rare. It’s also a by product in reactors producing electricity (Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant). Tritium is a low energy beta emitter (unable to penetrate the outer dead layer of human skin), it has a relatively long half life and short biological half life. It is not dangerous externally, however emissions from inhaled or ingested beta particle emitters pose a significant health risk.

During fusion (energy from combining light elements to form heavier ones), two atomic nuclei of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium must be brought so close together that they fuse in spite of the strongly repulsive electrostatic forces between the positively charged nuclei. So, in order to accomplish nuclear fusion, the two nuclei must first overcome the electric repulsion (coulomb barrier ) to get close enough for the attractive nuclear strong force (force that binds protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei) to take over to fuse the particles. The D-T reaction is the easiest to bring about, it has the lowest energy requirement compared to energy release. The reaction products are helium-4 (the helium isotope) – also called the alpha particle, which carries 1/5 (3.5 MeV) of the total fusion energy in the form of kinetic energy, and a neutron, which carries 4/5 (14.1 MeV). Don’t be alarmed by the alpha particle, the particles are not dangerous in themselves, it is only because of the high speeds at which they are ejected from the nuclei that make them dangerous, but unlike beta or gamma radiation, they are stopped by a piece of paper.

Some fundamentals of fusion.

carlsagan:

fixed it

(via atearsarahjane)

(Source: caye80, via quintessential-art)

neurosciencestuff:

(Image caption: These images show the movement of patient-derived neural progenitor cells from a sphere of neurons in a migration assay. How far and quickly the neurons move indicates whether they may behave atypically in the brain. Credit: Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies)

New stem cell research points to early indicators of schizophrenia

Using new stem cell technology, scientists at the Salk Institute have shown that neurons generated from the skin cells of people with schizophrenia behave strangely in early developmental stages, providing a hint as to ways to detect and potentially treat the disease early.

The findings of the study, published online in April’s Molecular Psychiatry, support the theory that the neurological dysfunction that eventually causes schizophrenia may begin in the brains of babies still in the womb.

"This study aims to investigate the earliest detectable changes in the brain that lead to schizophrenia," says Fred H. Gage, Salk professor of genetics. "We were surprised at how early in the developmental process that defects in neural function could be detected."

Currently, over 1.1 percent of the world’s population has schizophrenia, with an estimated three million cases in the United States alone. The economic cost is high: in 2002, Americans spent nearly $63 billion on treatment and managing disability. The emotional cost is higher still: 10 percent of those with schizophrenia are driven to commit suicide by the burden of coping with the disease.

Although schizophrenia is a devastating disease, scientists still know very little about its underlying causes, and it is still unknown which cells in the brain are affected and how. Previously, scientists had only been able to study schizophrenia by examining the brains of patients after death, but age, stress, medication or drug abuse had often altered or damaged the brains of these patients, making it difficult to pinpoint the disease’s origins.

The Salk scientists were able to avoid this hurdle by using stem cell technologies. They took skin cells from patients, coaxed the cells to revert back to an earlier stem cell form and then prompted them to grow into very early-stage neurons (dubbed neural progenitor cells or NPCs). These NPCs are similar to the cells in the brain of a developing fetus.

The researchers generated NPCs from the skin cells of four patients with schizophrenia and six people without the disease. They tested the cells in two types of assays: in one test, they looked at how far the cells moved and interacted with particular surfaces; in the other test, they looked at stress in the cells by imaging mitochondria, which are tiny organelles that generate energy for the cells.

On both tests, the Salk team found that NPCs from people with schizophrenia differed in significant ways from those taken from unaffected people.

In particular, cells predisposed to schizophrenia showed unusual activity in two major classes of proteins: those involved in adhesion and connectivity, and those involved in oxidative stress. Neural cells from patients with schizophrenia tended to have aberrant migration (which may result in the poor connectivity seen later in the brain) and increased levels of oxidative stress (which can lead to cell death).

These findings are consistent with a prevailing theory that events occurring during pregnancy can contribute to schizophrenia, even though the disease doesn’t manifest until early adulthood. Past studies suggest that mothers who experience infection, malnutrition or extreme stress during pregnancy are at a higher risk of having children with schizophrenia. The reason for this is unknown, but both genetic and environmental factors likely play a role.

"The study hints that there may be opportunities to create diagnostic tests for schizophrenia at an early stage," says Gage, who holds the Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease.

Kristen Brennand, the first author of the paper and assistant professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said the researchers were surprised that the skin-derived neurons remained in such an early stage of development. “We realized they weren’t mature neurons but only as old as neurons in the first trimester,” Brennand says. “So we weren’t studying schizophrenia but the things that go wrong a long time before patients actually get sick.”

Interestingly, the study also found that antipsychotic medication such as clozapine and loxapine did not improve migration in NPCs (in particular, loxapine actually worsened migration in these cells).

"That was an experiment that gave the opposite results from what we were expecting," says Brennand. "Though in hindsight, using drugs that treat symptoms might not be helpful in trying to prevent the disease."

The next steps to this work will be to increase the sample size to a broader range of patients and to look at hundreds or thousands of patient samples, says Brennand.

(via scienceyoucanlove)

libutron:

Footman Moth

Barsine orientalis (Arctiidae), commonly named Footman moth, is a beautiful Asian tiger moth, with the long front legs looked like frog-legged while resting. In the male the ground color is pale yellowish, with brick red spots on forewing. Female is similar to the male, but larger.

Reference: [1

Photo credit: ©Dr. Namgyal T. Sherpa

Locality: Gangtok, Sikkim, India

(via earthandanimals)

(Source: nuclearharvest, via kreuzfidel)

comic-chick:

wombattea:

sizvideos:

How to catch an emu - Video

LET ME TELL YOU A THING

THIS IS A LEGIT THING

THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT PEOPLE DO TO GET EMUS TO COME CLOSE

Apparently you lie on the ground on your back and move your arms and legs.

And the emus are very curious and come over like, “The fuck is that.”

And that’s literally what it is. They come over wondering what the fuck you’re doing

This might be my favorite piece of information I have ever learned.

(via mediocre-satan)