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Steve Esterly
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Steve Esterly

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Dunes, ripples, and dust devil tracks. On Mars.
 
A piece of Mars: So much wind. There are dark swirly tracks of dust devils that have passed by, ripples covering dunes, wind scours around rocks, and of course dunes. Dune crests have a different color than other regions: are they less covered in dust? made of a more grayish sand that is more ...
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Canals..
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Squid eggs, or ???

Huge, mysterious, and spooky, this is certainly nothing like the egg masses of our local market squid that I've seen on the ocean bottom.

+Danna Staaf, since you are cited in the article and have seen giant egg masses of the Humboldt squid, do you have an opinion?
 
This giant egg mass dwarfs the divers. No surprise to read they approached with "a mixture of both excitement and fear."

HT +Craig McClain 
Oh July 9th, 2015 a group of lucky divers happened upon something truly remarkable--A 4-meter-wide clear sphere floating off the coast of a small town in
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+Steve Esterly +Danna Staaf I was wondering that because that extra volume has to come from somewhere; it's certainly not coming from the squid. Like some plastics absorb water and expand greatly, becoming a gelatinous mass if you leave them in water long enough.
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A very readable piece about the Crispr-Cas9 gene-editing technique: where it came from, why it is hugely important, and what some potential implications, good and bad, might be for the future.
 
We now have the power to easily alter DNA. It could eliminate disease. It could solve world hunger. It could get really out of hand.
We now have the power to easily alter DNA. It could eliminate disease. It could solve world hunger. It could get really out of hand.
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Speaking of corvids, who doesn't want their very own giant fog-breathing laser-shooting robotic crow?
 
This giant fog-breathing & laser-shooting robotic crow is one of the most quirky creations we've ever seen.
Artist David Cranmer's "Stakcgrox" is a 3.5 meter tall robotic crow with a rotating head and glowing eyes that shoot lasers.
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+sreejith s ! ;)
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Look out, Pacific Northwest.
A bit of beautiful science shows the Pacific Northwest is destined and overdue for an inevitable disaster of almost unprecedented magnitude when the Cascadia subduction zone ruptures. A fascinating and horrifying read.

Even worse than the earthquake will be the tsunami. A FEMA director says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”
The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent. Credit Illustration by Christoph Niemann; Map by Ziggymaj / Getty
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+Steve Esterly Your comment above needs to be a post in its own right methinks. This is pretty grave.
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In just one hour last Sunday, researchers on one of the Farallon Islands (just offshore San Francisco) counted 93 humpback whales, 21 blue whales and one fin whale. 
Whales’ feeding frenzy at Farallones a feast for the eyes In one magic hour Sunday, researchers stationed at the South Farallon Islands counted 93 humpback whales, 21 blue whales and one fin whale, according to Mary Jane Schramm of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. [...] onlookers at Land’s End saw eight to 10 humpbacks just a mile offshore — pectoral fin slapping, lob tailing and both singular and serial breaching, reported N...
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California to become the first state with an official state lichen: the lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii)

On July 15, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law AB 1528, a bill designating lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) as the State Lichen of California! The law will take effect on January 1, 2016. California is the first state to have a state lichen. CALS would like to thank everyone who worked on this ...
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+Daniel Sprouse - there are some beautiful marine flatworms to choose from, eg http://www.calacademy.org/blogs/project-lab/nudibranch-imposters
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Fermi Paradox

A clear, well-written assemblage of the top explanations for the Fermi Paradox: if we aren't special and life is common in the universe, why haven't we detected signs of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations? Some explanations are rather mundane, and some are quite frightening.

By Tim Urban of the excellent https://waitbutwhy.com. This actually came out last year, but for some reason I didn't see it then—perhaps it got buried in the noise of all the other posts about the popular Fermi paradox. 
Scientists estimate that there are over 100,000 intelligent alien civilizations in our galaxy alone—but we've never heard anything from any of them. Here are 13 possible explanations for why.
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Fabulous piece. One of the best blog entries I've ever read!
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Corpse Flower

A rare opportunity to experience a "corpse flower," 5 ft tall and smelling of warm decaying mammalian flesh, at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. Its flowering stalk is growing inches a day, and should open fully towards the end of this week. Adding to the appeal, the scientific name Amorphophallus titanum means "giant misshapen penis."

Also see the Titan Arum tabs at http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/titan-arum/#tab-1-2-special-visiting-hours

The giant titan arum plant produces a putrid stench to lure in its pollinators. Turns out it's a big draw for morbidly curious humans, too.
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The bloom fully opened today, and is expected to last for just a few days. 
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For all you fans of crows, ravens, jays, jackdaws, magpies, etc., head on over to the +California Academy of Sciences' site, where they are kicking off their second annual Corvid Week.

Today we kick off Science Today’s second annual Corvid Week.
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A reasoned assessment of GMOs in Slate. Highly recommended for laypeople concerned about the application of GMO technology. 
Is genetically engineered food dangerous? Many people seem to think it is. In the past five years, companies have submitted more than 27,000 products to the Non-GMO Project, which certifies goods that are free of genetically modified organisms. Last year, sales of such products nearly tripled. Whole Foods will soon...
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One of our MPs said in debate "I'm afraid gene from tomato will jump on me".
Probably he wouldn't know we share more about 70% of genes with tomatoes anyway
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Adorabilis on display

Remember the cute "Adorabilis" octopus? +MBARI used an ROV to collect 5 of them, and +Monterey Bay Aquarium plans to have them on display for the public.
 
MBARI researchers found five "Adorabilis' octopuses yesterday that will go on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the near future!
Scientists found a species of octopus in the Monterey Bay that very little is known about. 
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Have him in circles
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