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Eric Smith

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
 
.                                    Make Your Own Rainbow!

We all hear that rainbows are made by sunlight behind us illuminating the raindrops ahead of us, but how many of us use that to make our own for our photos?

This photo was made by simply using a modern garden hose spray nozzle with the "shower" setting. The many streams break up into water drops just like raindrops. Towards evening,  with the sun at my back, I faced an area shaded by my trees, and aimed the shower up in the air and slightly to my right with my left hand while holding my camera with my right hand. The "grainy" look is from the "raindrops".  (:

The rays of light from the sun enter the nearly spherical "raindrops", get refracted slightly differently according to wavelength, suffer total reflection from the back of the water sphere, and are refracted again on their way out, with the paths of the different colors now separated.

.                                                 Have fun !


#rainbow   #refraction #internalreflection #optics #doityourself #fun #scienceforeveryone #photography #scienceeveryday   #notspam  
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Massimo Luciani

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Five studies that were just published in the journal "Science" describe some results obtained by the international consortium Tara Oceans in an expedition accomplished between 2009 and 2013 around the oceans. A group of more than 200 people traveled on the 36-meter schooner Tara to collect more than 35,000 samples in the waters of the Earth's seas to study even at the genetic level the presence of various types of plankton.
A blog about technologies, sports, books and other stuff, especially science fiction
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Didier Mourenas

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
There are still new things to discover in space!...
Here, an unexpected missing wave energy able to fine-tune "killer" electron fluxes which pose a threat to GPS and other satellites...
The distribution of the density of whistler wave energy W (in mV2 m−2) is displayed in the (L,θ) space. Data are shown for two ranges of magnetic latitude (the near-equator region with |λ|∈[0°,20°] and the high-latitude region with |λ|∈[20°,40°]), for day and night sectors, and for low (Kp<3) ...
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Nick Mansolas

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria is one of the most interesting autoimmune conditions I have ever come across and I decided to write a short article on my blog to describe the genetics and medicine behind the condition.  If you are interested in biology and genetics, give it a read!  Hope you enjoy
Don’t forget to become a Google Plus subscriber on my blog and I will do my best to keep you up to date with some of the most interesting medical conditions! Thank you.
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+Koos Swart why?
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Vaishnav Rao

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
 
 
Ok my video's out! 
Comments are open.
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Alexander Biebricher

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
 
I love to see these things come to be. We need to harvest the energy of the sun directly, if we can.

Thanks for the link goes to the Centre for Environmental Change & Human Resilience at the +University of Dundee

http://ow.ly/NdP3W

+CleanTechnica
+European Union

#technology #solar #power #Morocco #EU
Morocco's ambitious Noor-Quarzazate project has received financial backing from the European Union. The European Union (EU) has granted a $47.8 million loan to the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) for the 150 MW Noor III concentrated solar power project. According to media reports, the agreement was signed by EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel, Arias
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Noam Angrist clearly has his eyes set on something tectonic: 

"I gave that up [i.e. becoming a marine biologist] when I realized that I could do the same thing as a social scientist and entrepreneur [i.e. discovering the unknown]. That’s the job. Being on the cutting edge, discovering what others haven’t, bringing coherence to chaos, and catapulting into existence ideas and programs previously thought impossible, or not thought up at all.”

After a blood clot threatened to take his life, and required a three-week hospital stay, he saw “the jarring failures in our health care system.”  When my elderly mother took ill in 2012, and spent countless weeks in two hospitals, my family and I certainly saw those failures, plus excesses and insensitivity.  So, behind those eyes, Angrist positioned his considerable intellect, energy and compassion, and looked at overhauling the big picture of things. 

One caveat, though: 

Eventually, Angrist wants to help establish what he envisions as “the equivalent of the FDA for social policy—a regulatory arm committed to ensuring that only social programs that add value, evidenced via research showing clear causal chains from interventions to social impact, ‘go to market,’ so to speak.”

Research can systematically demonstrate cause-effect relationships (if any such relationship exists) between two main variables.  Because it's impractical for social researchers in particular to study an entire population - say, all teens in the US - they focus their efforts on a properly selected, sufficiently large pool of teens and then work at generalizing their findings to that population.  In turn, some policy makers and agency leaders look to research to determine what actually works: for example, whether an educational initiative to reduce HIV incidence among teens (Independent Variable) actually reduces HIV incidence among teens (Dependent Variable).

The caveat is this:

Populations are not necessarily similar or uniform.  Even populations that fall under the same umbrella, such as all teens in the US, may be extraordinarily diverse, that is, on race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational level, family composition, and geographical location.  In short, what research shows as an effective program for one population may or may not necessarily be an effective program when delivered with another population. 

More specifically to my point, I argue that social researchers, policy makers and agency leaders alike must not rest their laurels on preconceived notions, preexisting evidence, or scientific "proof" about how well something works.  Indeed, they can all draw on their knowledge base, best practices, or previous experiences.  But the crucial evidence that Angrist emphasizes - that is, that something actually works - really cannot be obtained a priori to some event, initiative or delivery. 

So I trust that Angrist and his many colleagues understand this point, and have gathered evidence that their "sugar daddy awareness" class has actually helped the 29,000 young people at 343 schools across Botswana.

The reason I say "trust" is because this article doesn't mention anything about specific evidence of effectiveness.
We canvassed the world of the social and behavioral sciences, looking for rising stars whose careers promise to make a lasting mark. We'll be profiling the top 30 throughout the month of April.
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Anthony Giallourakis

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
 
On or about July 5th, 2020 Mercury, Venus, Earth (and the Moon), Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will all find themselves within a narrow alignment (arc) relative to the Sun. If you were on Mercury looking back towards the Earth (at night), this would be a spectacular event.

#planets   #alignment
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+Anthony Giallourakis While unlikely, it's not statistically impossible.
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Valerie Bruce

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
In consideration of health history of an individual with a first diagnosis of autism, it became plausible to consider autoimmune issues caused various medical conditions. In learning this, I stumbled upon a second possible pathway to explain "doublets" forming in the lower airways of 49 children with autism. #anergy #autoimmuneautism #autismfirstdx  
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Understanding Animal Research

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Octopuses can see with their skin. Octopus skin contains light-sensitive pigments also found in the eyes, making it responsive to light. Octopuses are thought to rely mainly on vision to bring about changes in colour and patterning of their skin to camouflage – despite apparently being colour bling. However, this study suggest that the skin cells responsible for the colour changes, called chromatophores, could also respond independently to light of different wave length. The chromotophores react differently to white, red and blue light. 

http://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2015/may/20/octopus-skin-contains-light-sensors
Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/parksjd/
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+m3sca1 your suggestion is quite appealing! However, there is no evidence that the light sensing is in any way linked to the camouflage activity. I read the paper, and the findings are quite basic. Everything else in the press is just speculation. The authors themselves admit: "However, while cephalopods are unique among mollusks for their body-patterning abilities, we know that most other mollusks, especially bivalves, gastropods and chitons, are able to sense light with their skin. There is rich literature describing behaviors like phototaxis or shadow responses and physiology linked to light sensing in the skin of other mollusks (Ramirez et al., 2011). We do not yet know if or how cephalopods use their light-sensing skin for these other more typical molluscan behaviors." 
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Rajini Rao
owner

Life  - 
 
The Social Life of Corals: Can they teach us a thing or two about human relationships? :)
Rajini Rao originally shared to The GIF of Science!:
 
Coral Cohabiters: Time for a Status Update?

Symbiosis derives from the terms sym for together, and biosis for life. The coral reef appears to be a poster child for a lifetime of togetherness. The soft tissues of coral polyps are embedded with hundreds of single-celled, free-swimming dinoflagellates, captured from nutrient poor, crystal clear tropical waters. Photosynthesis by dinoflagellates provides 95% of the organic food used by the polyps. In return, the dinoflagellates are housed in a safe environment where their hosts supply them with carbon dioxide and minerals needed for photosynthesis. 

Friends with Benefits: Like a Facebook status, the relationship of coral symbionts is complicated. Clearly, the coral benefits: oxygen and sugars produced by trapped dinoflagellates enable these corals to grow as much as three times faster as those without symbionts. But the converse is not true: in the symbiotic relationship, it takes ~70 days for the dinoflagellates to double, in contrast to a mere 3 days outside the coral. So symbiosis has a fitness cost for the algae. In reality, the coral host is more like an active farmer, who lures and engulfs the free-living dinoflagellates into captive domestication. When the coral is stressed, it loses control of the delicate energy balance in this relationship and expels its colorful guests en masse. Coral bleaching devastates the entire reef ecology and is a symptom of climate change which brings warmer, more acidic, nitrogen rich waters.

● All relationships lie along a continuum: from truly mutualistic, where both partners benefit and the success of one is tied to the success of the other, to commensalism, where one partner benefits but the other is neither harmed nor helped, and the extreme cases of parasitism, in which one organism exploits and harms the other. Isn't there a parallel with human relationships as well? 

The more we learn about the diversity of life and the structure of genomes, the more it appears that much of the evolution of biodiversity is about the manipulation of other species—to gain resources and, in turn, to avoid being manipulated (John Thompson, 1999). True mutualism may be rare in nature. Evolutionary selection tends to maximize individual fitness and conflict of interests are inevitable!

REF: Is the coral-algae symbiosis really ‘mutually beneficial’ for the partners? S.A. Wooldridge (2010) Bioessays 32: 615-625

IMAGES: Check out more stunning coral photographs by +Daniel Stoupin at http://www.microworldsphotography.com/

#ScienceSunday  
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+Rajini Rao
Thank you!
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Rami Raouagi

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
A new brain implant is going to revolutionize the way robotics limbs works, Erik is a paralyzed man for 13 years, and now, thanks to this new invention, his is able to move his arms and drink his beer just by the power of thinking, or "intent to move": info in this post and video: http://bit.ly/1JI6sTQ

#brainimplants #roboticlimbs
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Sadri Hassani

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Politics of climate change

After two years of Republican Party effort, the America COMPETES Act (HR 1806) has passed the House, with voting mostly along party lines. The goal of the bill is to define priorities for NSF, the Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The primary changes are to shift funds away from climate and geosciences research and to add restrictions to the way NSF makes grant application decisions. President Barack Obama has said that he will veto the bill as it currently stands, but it still needs Senate approval.
Promised White House veto and lack of Senate version make its future uncertain
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The GOP and tough choices? Ban tough choices, problem solved! Way to elect a bunch of cowards America. Maybe the GOP can pass a law that the next Congress, SCOTUS and the POTUS can't wear pants. then you'd complete your mission of making us look like a nation of clowns.
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Hussain Nashydhu Moosa

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
 
This is a deminer ... 
Its made from bamboo and biodegrade plastic ... 
Its propelled by the wind ... 

© Massoud Hassani
Mine Kafon wind-powered deminer.
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One word... Shrapnel 
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Jacob Pourat

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Novel therapy that terminates cancer cell proteins and prevents resistance
In work that heralds a new, more potent form of targeted therapy for cancer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have devised a chemical technology that doesn't just disable malevolent proteins in tumor cells, as current agents do, but destroys them.
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What edible plants are in your backyard?  Here at CIMI we love to eat homegrown leafy greens like this sour grass.  While we definitely don't recommend putting just any old plant in your mouth, it's extremely fun to learn what plants are ok to eat.  Some plants like #Miner's lettuce, were eaten during the #GoldRush   to help get vitamin C and prevent scurvy.  In addition to plants found growing on #Catalina, we also enjoy planting our own gardens and eating vegetables we grow ourselves.

To learn about more edible plants you can sink your teeth into, check out: http://cimioutdoored.org/edible-plants/
Catalina is already in full bloom with growth. Some of the plants are edible and all of them are delicious. Check out these yummy treats here.
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Dan G.
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The Oxalis species, Wood Sorrels, Sour Grass plants

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=OXALI

contain oxalic acid and though can be consumed in small quantities, it is perhaps best to forego eating it in large quantities. It might be considered as a garnish.

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/oxalic-acid-foods-8447.html

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalis
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Siyavash Nekuruh

​​​Physical  - 
 
 
quantum weirdness: Is Schrödinger's cat is "both alive and dead" or is it "either alive or dead"?

There were Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, who developed the Copenhagen interpretation, that is what we read of quantum theory in textbooks. And there was Albert Einstein, who had rejected the Copenhagen interpretation. He believed that the particles' wave functions were incomplete. And there was this famous letter by Schrödinger on Einstein on what we call "Schrödinger's cat" (I quote from the main article):

 _Imagine that a cat is enclosed in a steel box. And imagine that the box also contains a sample of radioactive material that has a 50% probability of emitting a decay product in one hour, along with an apparatus that will poison the cat if it detects such a decay. Because radioactive decay is a quantum event, wrote Schrödinger, the rules of quantum theory state that, at the end of the hour, the wavefunction for the box's interior must be an equal mixture of live cat and dead cat._

“Crudely speaking,” says Fedrizzi, “in a psi-epistemic model the cat in the box is either alive or it's dead and we just don't know because the box is closed.” But most psi-ontic models agree with the Copenhagen interpretation: until an observer opens the box and looks, the cat is both alive and dead.

An there is a Bohmain mechanics (also called de Broglie–Bohm theory or the pilot-wave theory), which is another interpretation of quantum theory, an alternative to Copenhagen interpretetion. And what does it say? Here the particles particles have definite locations and properties, but are guided by some kind of 'pilot wave'. This would explain the double-slit experiment because the pilot wave would be able to travel through both slits and produce an interference pattern on the far side, even though the electron it guided would have to pass through one slit or the other.

In 2005, de Broglie–Bohmian mechanics received an experimental boost from an unexpected source. Physicists Emmanuel Fort, now at the Langevin Institute in Paris, and Yves Couder at the University of Paris Diderot gave the students in an undergraduate laboratory class what they thought would be a fairly straightforward task: build an experiment to see how oil droplets falling into a tray filled with oil would coalesce as the tray was vibrated. Much to everyone's surprise, ripples began to form around the droplets when the tray hit a certain vibration frequency. “The drops were self-propelled — surfing or walking on their own waves,” says Fort. “This was a dual object we were seeing — a particle driven by a wave.”

I hope I could motivate you to read the full article here:

http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-physics-what-is-really-real-1.17585

More on Bohemian mechanics:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Broglie%E2%80%93Bohm_theory#Quantum_trajectory_method
A wave of experiments is probing the root of quantum weirdness.
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+DonE Mitchell  The question is if our minds are weird enough for quantum mechanics!
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Simon Barke

​​​Physical  - 
 
Einstein was wrong!* His general theory of relativity is the most successful cosmological theory to date. Yet it cannot fully explain all observations and many paradoxes arise when one tries to combine general relativity with results from quantum mechanics.
This is part 5 of Einstein's Succession. (Other parts: https://plus.google.com/collection/AP7WX)

*not entirely correct in every single detail
 
Einstein's Succession, Part 5
(Other parts: https://plus.google.com/collection/AP7WX)

All cosmology described in the previous parts (http://goo.gl/sSto2p) is solely based on the Einstein field equations. It turns out, our universe not only seems to be flat, but could actually have zero total energy [23]. This leads to the speculation that it may have been created in a coincidental quantum fluctuation. Such a closed system would not require any higher structure to provide a trigger mechanism for the big bang. Yet predictions of quantum mechanics seem to contradict predictions from general relativity, and suddenly the picture becomes much more complicated.

Black holes for example are a solution of the Einstein field equations and describe a massive singularity surrounded by a gravitational field so strong that – within a well-defined surface known as the event horizon – even light cannot escape. Nevertheless, the quantum field theory predicts that black holes evaporate over time due to quantum vacuum fluctuations (creation of particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles) at the black hole’s event horizon. The escaping particle is known as Hawking radiation [25] and causes the black hole to lose mass and energy. It can be shown with currently accepted theories that this particle must be entangled with its infalling antiparticle that is swallowed by the black hole, as well as with all the Hawking radiation previously emitted by the black hole [26]. Since quantum mechanics forbids any particle to be fully entangled with two independent systems, the combination of general relativity, quantum mechanical unitarity, and quantum field theory creates a paradox [27]. The very same Hawking radiation might even prevent black holes from forming in the first place [24], yet we know from observations that black holes do exist.

There is another—much simpler—gedanken experiment that also tells us that the universe cannot be described by Einsteins field equations alone: the horizon problem. Naturally, we can only retrieve information from within a certain volume that is defined by the cosmological horizon which represents the boundary of the observable universe. Due to the nature of an expanding universe, this horizon has a radius of 46.2 billion light years [28] although light from that distance only traveled for 13.75 billion years (which represents the age of the universe). Light from outside this horizon had no chance to reach us yet. Thus it is obvious that we are embedded in a much larger unobservable structure that could have a different shape and where our local geometry only seems to be flat. Other parts of this larger structure, beyond our cosmological horizon, might host additional local universes of widely differing curvatures. The figure below shows Region A and Region B which both lie within our observable universe, but the local universes for both regions cover different parts of the overall universe and do not fully include each other. (Please note: These many local universes are very different to the parallel universes as a result of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics [29] where new universes pop into existence for every possible outcome whenever an observation is made.)
This cosmological horizon imposes another paradox. We know that—due to its small size—the early universe was so dense and therefore so hot that photons scattered at free electrons. It took until 380,000 years after the big bang for protons and electrons to finally combine and form neutral hydrogen atoms. It was at this time that the universe became electromagnetically transparent. Today the light from this last scattering can be observed—now red shifted due to the cosmic expansion—in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. It tells us details about the conditions 380,000 years after the big bang. (This time represents the earliest direct observation currently possible as we have no way to observe the universe prior to that time.)
Due to the random nature of the initial conditions the temperature of this radiation should be very different for different directions in the sky. Similar to the figure below, distant regions in space back in the time of the last scattering had no causal contact. Light sent out from opposite patches of the origin of the CMB just reached Earth, which is positioned half way between them. Thus those patches can not know anything about each other. The distance between Earth and the origin of the CMB expanded to 46 billion light years. Thus even with a constant expansion of space at the current Hubble constant, light that just reached Earth could never reach the other side of the CMB: space in between Earth and the origin of the CMB expands so fast that both points seem to recede from each other faster than the speed of light. There is no change that an equilibrium was formed or could ever form and the initial temperature fluctuations should still be observable. Yet the CMB radiation has a surprisingly uniform temperature, isotropic to roughly one part in 100,000 over the entire sky, with a very fine fluctuation pattern that may have seeded the growth of structure in the universe. This cannot be explained by the standard ΛCDM model.

Learn how scientists try to resolve this paradox in the next parts. Subscribe to https://plus.google.com/collection/AP7WX


[23] L.M. Krauss. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing. Atria Books, 2012.
[24] Laura Mersini-Houghton and Harald P Pfeier. Back-reaction of the
hawking radiation ux on a gravitationally collapsing star ii: Fireworks
instead of rewalls. arXiv preprint arXiv:1409.1837, 2014.
[25] Stephen W Hawking. Black hole explosions. Nature, 248(5443):30–31, 1974.
[26] Don N Page. Information in black hole radiation. _Physical review
letters,_ 71(23):3743, 1993.
[27] Ahmed Almheiri, Donald Marolf, Joseph Polchinski, and James Sully. Black holes: complementarity or rewalls? Journal of High Energy Physics, 2013(2):1–20, 2013.
[28] J Richard Gott III, Mario Juric, David Schlegel, Fiona Hoyle, Michael Vogeley, Max Tegmark, Neta Bahcall, and Jon Brinkmann. A map of the universe. The Astrophysical Journal, 624(2):463, 2005.
[29] Hugh Everett. The theory of the universal wave function. 1973.
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+Sir Steve Davis exactly. And that's how science makes progress. Basically all we do all day is to test theories to find tiny discrepancies that will lead to new and even more accurate theories. 
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