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deSciphered
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Science graphics and animations
Science graphics and animations

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deSciphered's posts

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Skateboard science

Sometimes you can feel a little #Board in the lab...

For more science animations and infographics see:
http://www.desciphered.com/board-science/

#Science #Friday #Skateboard
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New elements added to periodic table.

In case you missed it, four new elements have been added to the periodic table of elements.

For more info see:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/new-elements-added/

#Periodic #Table #Elements #Animation

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Why do fungi glow in the dark?

Why do fungi glow in the dark? Their super cool bioluminescence is thought to attract insects to help spread their spores in the forest understory. This is important adaptation in forest ecosystems because there is less wind to carry their spores far and wide.

For more information see:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/why-do-fungi-glow-in-the-dark/

#Fungi #Bioluminescence #Animation #Science

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How plankton deal with their boom-bust lifestyle

Salps are jelly-like plankton that can form dense blooms under favourable ecological conditions. In parts of the Southern Ocean, these blooms can be so large that salps outnumber other plankton including the iconic and abundant Antarctic krill.

To gain a deeper understanding of Antarctic salps, genetic variation of the most numerous Southern Ocean salp species (Salpa thompsoni) was assessed by analysing a specific region of the mitochondrial genome called the ‘DNA barcode’.

Results from this work have not only provided an insight into salp genetic diversity but also evidence for a process that is thought to be very rare in animals: mitochondrial DNA recombination. The potential significance of this discovery is illustrated here. It is noteworthy because it represents one of the best-illustrated examples of how mitochondrial DNA recombination may be linked to the life history and ecology of an animal species.

For more info see here:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/plankton-boom-bust-lifestyle/

You can read the article here:
https://wiley.altmetric.com/details/13068612#score

#Mitochondria #Genome #Infographic #Recombination

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Lichens can have two fungal partners!

Lichen can actually have multiple fungal partners, contradicting a view held for over 140 years that it was only one fungus that formed a symbiosis with a photosynthesizing partner!

See more here:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/lichens-can-have-two-fungal-partners/

#Lichen #Fungi #Animation

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Sea life gives a clue about previous glacier position.

New research published lead by British Antarctic Survey scientists shows that marine life may be very much slower to rebound from the last ice age (Last Glacial Maximum – LGM) at the remote island of South Georgia. Barnes et al (2016) report on a very uneven distribution of marine biodiversity and the implications in the Journal of Biogeography.

Spectacular South Georgia is best known for Albatrosses, King Penguins and wrecks of historic whaling stations, but most of its biodiversity lives on the seabed (benthos) in one of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas. Pushed to the edge of the shelf by grounded ice in the LGM, less mobile benthos, such as bryozoans and sponges) have still made little progress back despite having thousands of years to do so. Thus the outer fringe of the shelf of the marine protected area is very much richer in species found nowhere else and we would argue is more important to monitor and manage.

This ancient marginal biodiversity is at least hundreds of thousands of years old and scientists from the Antarctic Seabed Carbon Capture Change project (www.asccc.co.uk) estimate that it accumulates carbon six times quicker that the younger shelf closer to shore. When the slowest race in history finally results in seabed life completely recolonizing the shelf it could treble the carbon drawdown in this remotest wilderness – an amazing free ecostystem service. So when anyone asks so what else does biodiversity do for us?…

For more info see:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/sea-life-gives-a-clue-about-previous-glacier-position/

You can read the article here:
David K. A. Barnes D.K.A, Sands C.J., Hogg, O.T., Robinson, B.J.O., Downey, R.V., Smith, J.A. (2016). Biodiversity signature of the Last Glacial Maximum at South Georgia, Southern Ocean. Journal of Biogeography

Link to the paper:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jbi.12855/abstract

#Biodiversity #Glacier #Animation

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NanoImpact: A new journal on the safety of nanomaterials.

NanoImpact is new International Journal of NanoSafety Research, from publishers Elsevier.

The journal will focus on the safety of "manufactured nanomaterials on human and environmental systems and the behavior of nanomaterials in these systems."

There are four key areas:
1. Human Nanotoxicology - nano-bio interactions and effects on human health;
2. Econanotoxicology - nano-bio interactions and effects on organism and ecosystem health;
3. Exposure - nanomaterial release, fate and behavior in the environment and human/engineered systems;
4. Risk Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment

For more info see:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/nanoimpact-a-new-journal-on-the-safety-of-nanomaterials/

#NanoTech #Nanomaterials #Safety #Infographic #Science


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Importance of diet for climate mitigation.

By eating more healthy meals and wasting less food we can save the world from biodiversity loss and climate change without reducing food security.

For more info click:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/importance-of-diet-for-climate-mitigation/

#Diet #Climate #Change #Food #Security
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Should we turbocharge photosynthesis?

Transferring a turbocharged algal CO2 concentrating mechanism into crops could potentially increase photosynthesis and therefore yields.

However, there are unanswered societal and scientific uncertainties that will need to be addressed first.

For more information see:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/should-we-turbocharge-photosynthesis/

#CCM #GMO #Photosynthesis #FoodSecurity

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The similarities of beer and antibody production.

Antibodies are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize agents that can cause disease. Each antibody is specific and works similar to a lock and key, by recognising and binding to a unique region. Although there are different types of antibodies, monoclonal antibodies (antibodies produced from the same parent cell) are most commonly in the top ten best-selling biopharmaceuticals.

The therapeutic properties of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are used to treat cancer (e.g. breast, lung and prostate) and autoimmune (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) disease. There is no cure for these type of diseases, however therapeutics can treat an early onset. For example, in cancer, monoclonal antibodies can: make cancer cells more visible to the immune system, block growth signals, stop blood vessels from forming and supplying blood and deliver radiation/chemotherapy to cancer cells.

To produce large quantities of monoclonal antibodies to treat patients, cells are engineered to produce mAbs. Cells are put into a vessel for a certain amount of days to secrete the mAbs into the culture broth. After which the broth is centrifuged to separate the cells, purified and packaged into syringes or vials ready for transport. A similar process and equipment is used for beer production in which yeast is fermented and grown to make beer.

In beer production, the way beer is produced (temperature, time, mixing, nutrients) can affect the taste. Similarly, with therapeutics the way it is produced can affect the amount produced, its function (ability to target cancer cells) and stability (ability to maintain its structure). Therefore, being able to analyse the mAb using a range of different analytical techniques can help ensure consistency between different batches.

For more info see our infographic:
http://www.desciphered.com/portfolio/similarities-of-beer-and-antibody-production/

#Antibodies #Beer #Manufacture #Biotechnology #Infographic

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