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Hangouts On Air  - 
Hope you can join us on 4/6! RSVP “yes” if you want to add this event to your calendar.
Please join us on 4/6 for a Developmental Science HOA with Dr.+Matthew Schlesinger, Associate Professor of Psychology at Southern Illinois University and director of the SIU Vision Lab. Matthew Schlesinger received his graduate degree in cognitive development from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995. After spending a year as a visiting lecturer in psychology at Berkeley, Dr. Schlesinger received a Fulbright fellowship to study artificial life models of sensorimotor cognition with Domenico Parisi at the Italian National Research Council in Rome. Dr. Schlesinger continued his postdoctoral work in 1998-2000 with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts, studying machine-learning approaches to adaptive motor control.  He is currently involved in three areas of research:  (1) visual attention and spatial working memory in infants, children, and adults, (2) neural network models of early visual processing and oculomotor control, and (3) neural substrates of working memory and spatial-directed attention. 

RSVP “yes” if you want to add this event to your calendar.

Relevant Links:
Faculty page: 
Lab page: 
Developmental Robotics Book: 
ICDL-EpiRob Conference: 

Relevant Readings:
Schlesinger, M., Johnson, S.P., & Amso, D.  (2014).  Prediction-learning in infants as a mechanism for gaze control during object exploration. Frontiers in Perception Science, 5, 1-12. 

Schlesinger, M., & McMurray, B. (2012). The past, present, and future of computational models of cognitive development. Cognitive Development, 27, 326-348. 

Schlesinger, M., Johnson, S.P., & Amso, D.  (2014).  Learnability of infants’ center-of-gaze sequences predicts their habituation and posthabituation looking time. In Proceedings of the Fourth Joint IEEE Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (pp. 267-272). New York: IEEE.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Science on Google+. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Developmental Science HOA: Episode 5
Mon, April 6, 10:15 AM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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Rajini Rao

Applied  - 
Viruses Help Boiling Water 
How to Boil Water

❉ In breaking news, scientists have figured out how to boil water - at least 3 times more efficiently and producing twice as much steam. Before you shake your fist at "wasteful research spending", this isn't really about your whistling tea kettle! 

❉ Phase change heat transfer processes (boiling, condensation) are a big part of everyday technology from water purification and HVAC units, power plants and cooling electronics.   When water boils, a thin layer of steam can coat the heated surface, insulating it and drastically cutting down on the efficient transfer of heat to liquid. This can lead to surface burnout and a destructive condition known as critical heat flux. What is needed is a surface that discourages the vapor from sticking and wicks in water to quickly re-wet the heated surface. To create a superhydrophilic wicking surface, Drexel University scientist Matthew McCarthy turned to biotemplating with....viruses! 

❉ The tobacco mosaic virus causes mottling of tobacco leaves, as its name implies, but is harmless to humans. It was the first virus ever to be discovered (in the late 1880's) and is constructed simply of repeating units of a coat protein, wrapped around a single, helical strand of genetic material (RNA). A few tobacco plants can produce billions of virus particles, so it's cheap to make. Dr. McCarthy tweaked the coat protein so it sticks to any engineered surface- from silicon to steel. After dunking the surface in a viral broth, nickel and palladium are added to grow a metallic grass

❉ The viral tendrils work like a wicking surface, drawing down water to replace what's boiled away.  It's the same idea behind thermal fabrics designed for athletes which draws moisture away from the body. They say a watched pot never boils. I'd volunteer to test a virally coated tea kettle, how about you? 

Waterproofin' with Hydrophobin: This old post shows how a fungal spore protein can do the opposite, creating a superhydrophobic surface that repels water but allows gases to exchange.

News Story and Short Video:

Ref: M.M. Rahman, E. Ölçeroğlu, and M. McCarthy, "The Role of Wickability on the Critical Heat Flux of Structured Superhydrophilic Surfaces", Langmuir 2014, 30 (37), pp 11225–11234.

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rami raouagi

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
This pocket camera will help the visually impaired people to navigate the world around them, info and video in this link:

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I want one for my grandmother!
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Valerie Bruce

Science Outreach  - 
I had been reading research about PEG-ADA eliminating lung morphogenesis issues, when I wondered if such a treatment could be broadly applied for an autism subset. It appears there is an A(2A) treatment in the works for Parkinson's disease. It has to do with controlling adenosine levels. Thanks for any insight on where they might be with the development of this medication.
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+Valerie Bruce, this interests me. As a nurse, I often see autistic kids with coexistent malformations that occur or become evident well after the immediate postnatal period, It comforts me to know that dedicated minds such as yourself are chasing down answers to the suffering.
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Pierpaolo Vezzaro

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
What do you think about this video? Do you agree with the opinions exposed? I appreciate the clarity with which it exposes this topic anyhow.
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Kathie “Kat” Gifford

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?

That's a question I asked last Saturday. I'm enjoying the discussion, and I hope that you can contribute with your comments and opinions, I'm very interested.
Personally, what I really think is that mathematics is discovered and this existence of the mathematical world is intrinsic. I can go further and say that the mathematical world encompass and includes the physical world. If you look closely to the physical theories, they are ALL an approximation of the mathematics behind it. I am talking about something I do daily, and physics is always an approximation. The use of pi or the exponential or the complex number or infinities etc is basically an approximation. The pure mathematics however is very different, it has the capacity to encompass everything in the universe and go very far beyond it in the precision. The physical world is a partial projection of the mathematical world I claim.
The material universe is one form of existence. This is easy to believe because we see and observe the universe. But this doesn't mean that there are not other forms of existence. In my previous comments I gave strong arguments why the mathematical world exists out there and its existence and essence have special form. 
There is a saying of Niels Bohr where he observed that humans are a way of the universe to observe itself. This remark is very linked to me to consciousness. 
Thus the division of Professor Roger Penrose in his book "The Road to Reality" is very logical to me.
This diagram is taken from his book.
Here's the link of the post, I will disable comments on this post so you write your comments on the original post. This doesn't mean that you can't plus one this post if you like my opinion

#mathematics   #physics   #philosophyofscience   #epistemology    #saturdayscience   #scienceeveryday  
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Kenn Brown (MondoWorks)

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
In Iceland’s DNA, New Clues to Disease-Causing Genes - Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup, discovering a host of previously unknown gene mutations that may play roles in ailments as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and gallstones.
Illustration originally published by Scientific American Magazine.
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Deepanshu Gahlaut

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
So you want to know why you pull back to the ground every time you jump. Well this is gravity and Here are top things you should know about gravity. #science  
To understand Gravity better, Here is a guest post about the top 10 facts, you must know - What is Gravity and how it is related with space and time.
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All we really know about gravity is that objects that are denser than the air they displace, when released into free motion with no applied forces, have a tendency towards motion in an antiskyward direction.
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Sadri Hassani

Science Policy & Practice  - 
Is Big Science Worth the Money?

Back in 2008, when the vast device was first brought to life, one senior British scientist grumbled "the particle physicists seem to get all the money they want". His view was that humanity faces a long list of severe and immediate threats which are more deserving of the kind of massive scientific investment devoted to the research at Cern. Top of his list was clean energy. If we could start with a blank sheet of paper, he said, would we really choose to devote all those billions to particle physics?
David Shukman explores the justifications for the £4bn 'atom smasher' buried under Geneva.
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+Eric Lebigot Thanks for adding the web to the list. It is so pertinent to the discussion.
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Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Three crew members representing the United States and Russia are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 p.m. EDT Friday (1:42 a.m., March 28 in Baikonur).

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend about a year living and working aboard the space station to help scientists better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space.

The one-year mission will focus on seven key areas of human research. Functional studies will examine crew member performance during and after the 12-month expedition. Behavioral studies will monitor sleep patterns and exercise routines.

Visual impairment will be studied by measuring changes in pressure inside the human skull. Metabolic investigations will examine the immune system and effects of stress.

Physical performance will be monitored through exercise examinations. Microbial changes in the crew will be monitored, as well as the human factors associated with how the crew interacts aboard the station.

Each of these key elements carries a potential benefit for populations here on Earth, from functional improvements for patients recovering from a long period of bed rest to improving the monitoring of immune functions of people on Earth with altered immunity.

In tandem with the one-year mission, Kelly’s identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, will participate in a number of comparative genetic studies, including the collection of blood samples as well as psychological and physical tests.

This research will compare data from the genetically identical Kelly brothers to identify any subtle changes caused by spaceflight.

The tests will track any degeneration or evolution that occurs in the human body from extended exposure to a microgravity environment. These new twin studies are a multi-faceted national cooperation between universities, corporations and government laboratory expertise.

For more information about this mission to the space station, visit:

For more information about the research on this mission, visit:

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Science on Google+ is a community moderated by scientists, for all people interested in science, both professionals and the general public. The primary goal of this community is to bring real scientists to the public, for science outreach. A secondary and long-term goal is to create an environment that fosters interdisciplinary collaborations; thus, enabling and promoting cloud collaboration between scientists. See Guidelines and Rules section for additional details.
Klotho is the key for longer life.
Meet The Gene That Keeps Your Brain Young
Klotho is the holy grail of life sciences.

In Greek mythology, the Fates, or Moirae, were the goddesses who controlled humans’ destiny. Three sisters, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, daughters of Zeus and Themis, controlled the thread of human life.
Each Fate had a task : Lachesis measured the thread and decided how much lifetime was to be allowed; Atropos cut the thread choosing when mortals would die; Clotho spun the thread of a person’s life.

Clotho was the inspiration for naming Klotho - a gene that somehow also seems to spin the thread of life.
It was found that by overexpressing klotho in mice, aging was significantly delayed and a longer lifespan was acquired.

Klotho can decrease premature mortality and enhance spatial learning and memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a February 2015 article in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Can klotho delay aging in humans?

Maybe one day we will use klotho to prevent neurodegeneration and keep our brains young.

Read all: Quartz
By: Sara Adaes

#Longevity   #Brain   #AntiAging  
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A limited life span is an adaptation to just about everything causing cancer. The more a cell reproduces the more likely it is that dangerous mutations occur. Don't fear the reaper, enjoy what life you do have.
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Omri Orr Licht

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
A quick read and a slow death. 
  Here at MadBad we love our stupid, yet interesting, questions. Assuming you could dig a hole all the way from one side of the Earth to the other, how long wou...
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And fun!
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sitansu nanda

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Oxidative stress and antibacterial properties of a graphene oxide-cystamine nanohybrid
Oxidative stress and antibacterial properties of ;a ;graphene oxide-cystamine nanohybrid Sitansu Sekhar Nanda,1 Seong Soo A An,1 Dong Kee Yi2,3 1Department of Bionanotechnology, Gachon University, Seongnam, South Korea; 2Department of Chemistry, 3Department of Environmental Engineering, Myongji University, Yongin, South Korea Abstract: Oxidative stress can damage proteins, DNA, and lipids, and is involved in the progression of many diseases. Da...
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Kenn Brown (MondoWorks)

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Unintelligent A.I. - A great read... check it out! Not much I can say as it speaks for itself. Arr Arr... excuse the Crappie pic... Arr Arr....  is this microphone on?
Australian Popular Science
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Juan Carlos

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Magical universe - protoplanetary disks in the Orion Nebula

The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the strongest evidence yet that many stars form their planetary systems. Astronomers have used Hubble to discover long dusty disks around 15 newly formed stars in the Orion Nebula, a region of star birth to 1,500 light-years away. These discs are ..... Click image to read the full article.
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Domingo 29 de Marzo de 2015 El Telescopio Espacial Hubble ha descubierto la evidencia más fuerte hasta ahora de que muchas estrellas forman sus sistemas planetarios. Los astrónomos han utilizado Hubble para descubrir...
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Einstein Disproved with Single Particle Quantum Entanglement Proof

Albert Einstein did not give Quantum Entanglement credit as he called it “spooky action at a distance”. A joined research study developed by Australian and Japanese scientists demonstrated Single Particle Quantum Entanglement for the first time. The research article published in Nature Communications shows how Australian scientists split a single photon with researchers at a Japanese lab. Unlike the regular Quantum Entanglement involving two particles with opposite behaviors, Single Particle Quantum Entanglement considers a unique entangled particle can only be located in one place at a given time but its wave function can be detected at great distances. When the particle is measured or detected at a distance by homodyne detectors, which measure wave-like properties, the wave function will instantly collapse to a set location. Proving Einstein was not correct with particles entanglement gives quantum mechanics a new strength. This result may have a significant application in quantum computing and communications.

Source: Science Alert -
Research Article: Nature Communications - Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using homodyne measurements -

‪#‎quantummechanics‬ ‪#‎particles‬ ‪#‎entanglement‬ ‪#‎Einstein‬ ‪#‎homodynedetectors‬ ‪#‎quantumcomputing‬
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Gary Ray R

​​​Physical  - 
Taking Beautiful Images With an SEM

One of the things I most enjoyed about grad school was learning how to use a Scanning Electron Microscope.  But my images were never as good as this one. 
More below. 
How To Make an Award Winning Image Using a Scanning Electron Microscope

Recently the 14th Wellcome Image Awards were presented on 18 March 2015, recognizing the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images recently acquired by Wellcome Images, as chosen by a panel of judges.  Welcome Images is a leading resource for medical imagery funded the Welcome Trust.  ⓐ

Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement.  ⓑ

I recommend going over to the image awards site and looking at all of them.  They are striking and beautiful as well as full of wonderful science. 

I was particularly taken by the image of the boll weevil, the image you see below.  It was taken by Daniel Kariko with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and enhanced using colors and textures from a series of images taken with a stereo microscope.  Be sure you look at this in full screen, it is a high resolution image. 

A light microscope focuses visible light, while a SEM uses a beam of electrons scanned back and forth over the specimen and the results are analyzed by an electron detector rather than the human eye. 

Light microscopes are limited by the wavelength of light to a maximum resolution of about 200 nm and have a limited depth of field.

A SEM is much better than a light microscope in resolution and depth of field, as well as the ability to perform microanalysis of the sample.

The scanning electron microscope (SEM) provides the competent user with an advantage over the light microscope (LM) in three key areas:  ⓒ

Resolution at high magnification. Resolution can be defined as the least distance between two closely opposed points, at which they may be recognized as two separate entities. The best resolution possible in a LM is about 200 nm whereas a typical SEM has a resolution of better than 10 nm (typically 5 nm).  ⓒ

Depth of field i.e. the height of a specimen that appears in focus in an image - more than 300 times the depth of field compared to the LM. This means that great topographical detail can be obtained. For many users, the three dimensional (3D) appearance of the specimen image, is the most valuable feature of the SEM. This is because such images, even at low magnifications, can provide much more information about a specimen than is available using the LM. The use of "stereo pair" SEM images can give even greater information about the sample.  ⓒ

Microanalysis i.e. the analysis of sample composition including information about chemical composition, as well as crystallographic, magnetic and electrical characteristics.  ⓒ    

One drawback to the use of the SEM is that it operates under vacuum and in many SEMs the samples must be rendered conductive to be viewed. This is often achieved by coating with a very thin layer of metal or carbon.  ⓒ  Also an SEM image is rendered in black and white and has to be manually colorized to include any colors.  SEM’s do not ‘see’ color.  So how did Daniel Kariko get that beautiful color image of the boll weevil below?

From the description of how he took the image:
“The images start as colour digital files from a stereoscope light microscope,” explains Daniel. “I carefully arrange LED lighting, small reflectors and diffusers, in order to achieve a portrait-like effect. Next, the same area of the specimen is imaged with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) because this microscope has much greater depth of field and thus increased sharpness for the entire specimen. In the end, I composite the colour images from the stereo microscope with the monochromatic images from the SEM to complete the portrait, therefore combining realistic colour with the detail of electron microscope imaging.”  ⓓ

So next time you see a beautiful color image taken with a SEM, remember how much work it took to turn a B/W image into award winning color.

ⓐ  Wellcome Images Awards 2015

ⓑ  Wellcome Trust

ⓒ  Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF)
Background information - What is scanning electron microscopy?

ⓓ  Boll Weevil Image by Daniel Kariko

Tip of the hat to +Amanda Rachelle Warren  for finding this image. 

 Image: Daniel Kariko
Scanning electron microscope composite image of the head of a boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) found on the front porch of a suburban house. The boll weevil is a beetle that feeds on and lays its eggs in the cotton plant. These agricultural pests have long curved snouts (often half as long as their bodies) and can destroy entire cotton crops. They develop from egg to adult in approximately 20 days and grow on average to 6–8 mm in length. This is one image in a series of work looking at common household pests found inside homes on the outskirts of town. These images of our often-overlooked housemates are in the style of traditional portraits. The width of the image is 4.1 mm  
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The boll weevil is also the subject of a great old blues song made famous by Brook Benton in the early 60's. Also Tex Ritter‎ did a version of "The Boll Weevil Song".
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muhittin kelesli

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Students use a conductivity probe to measure the conductivity of the groups of these solutions.  By comparing the results, students develop an understanding of strong, weak, and non-electrolytes as well as how these terms relate to different classes of compounds – ionic, molecular, and molecular acids. 
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Shark Kids

Hangouts On Air  - 
Join us for April's Sharks4Kids Marine Science Hangout with world leading manta ray scientist Dr. Andrea Marshall on April 8th at 1:00pm eastern. Learn about mantas and some of Andrea's efforts to protect them. 
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Sadri Hassani

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Springer, one of the world's largest publishers of scientific journals, and the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France, are set to release an open-source piece of software called SciDetect. The software aims to automatically detect papers that are superficially legitimate but are in fact deliberate hoaxes. The need for SciDetect arose, in part, because of another piece of software, SCIgen, that automatically generates such bogus papers. Devised in 2005 by three computer science students from MIT, SCIgen strings together jargon in grammatically correct yet meaningless sentences. The software also generates plots and references. The trio wrote the software to expose the lack of peer-review at certain conferences, but after its release, SCIgen-authored papers ended up in journals, embarrassing Springer and other publishers.
Springer jumps into sham submissions arms race
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From the article: "SCIgen uses a “context-free grammar” to create word salad that looks like reasonable text from a distance but is easily spotted as nonsense by a human reader."

Not impressed. Sarah Palin can do that without any software at all.
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