Join this community to post or comment
Pinned by moderator

Science on G+

Community Policy (MODS only!)  - 
Why Did My Post Get Removed? or How To Write A Good Science Post

This is a huge and fascinating community and the strong guidelines are what we think make it that way.  We heavily moderate this community and you might see your post disappear.  Why?  We want the best science posts possible. 

The number one reason a post will be removed is, it might be what can be called Link Litter or a One Liner.  These are posts that say just one sentence or even just one word describing a link.  "Interesting"  or   "I just found this and wanted to post it"  are not a good lead-in to a post and will usually get the post removed. This is also not a place for memes, there are many other communities devoted to just memes and jokes.  Please no self promotion.

Composition  - Please,  "No links without explanation. Accompany any link with an explanation of why you think it's share worthy. Write a paragraph or two (not just a sentence) that summarizes the key scientific content and why you were intrigued."

Sources - Please check your sources; if you can, find the original research paper and post a link so people who are interested can see what it was that you found so stimulating.  You have the largest library in the world, right at your fingertips.

Videos - Remember that many people read from a mobile device and might not have the bandwidth to view that video you really like.  So give a good description that will entice those people to come back and have a look later.  Also please give full credit to all videos, someone worked hard to make that science video, and they deserve the acknowledgement. 

Asking Questions see

Posting here is not hard, it just takes a little work on your part to make your post one that people will read and comment on.  And, check those comments; please, don't post and run.  

Thanks for reading this far.  We, the moderators and owners, know that it is you that make this community what it is.

Thanks for being a part of this community.

This community, it's moderators, owners and other members make no representation towards the ability to maintain, preserve or protect the copyright as we are users here ourselves. Please contact +Google   for terms of use and permissions thereof.

Here is another of our hard working owners' explanation why we have these guidelines.
Science on G+'s profile photo
Locking comments on this post. Please seperately PM the moderators for any discussion.

Arran Frood

• Ecology/Nature ✿  - 
Did you know that satellites can track toxic algal blooms from space?

This short video explains the ShellEye project, which aims to use satellite data to help the aquaculture industry tackle the toxins from algal blooms that can make people ill and cause huge amounts of food waste. In the video we see a shellfish farmer describe his losses ($50,000 per week), as well as the principle scientists explaining the rationale and details behind the research.

The research is based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, and is funded by BBSRC and NERC. Read more in this feature:

A similar approach by the same team was undertaken in bathing waters and then used in the Scottish salmon farming industry, and a paper on their results is here:

Rachelle Mcphail's profile photo
+Rhys Taylor ohhh funny
Add a comment...

Bruce Elliott

Questions to moderators  - 
Have you considered adding a section for science questions? I recognize that it would deviate somewhat from the intent of this community, but it seems a shame to have to turn away people who are genuinely interested in learning about science.
Peter Edenist's profile photo
Lemme check with the mods group :)
Add a comment...

Fionn Mac Cumhaill

• Mathematics  - 
In a notorious letter sent to Hardy shortly before his death in 1920, Ramanujan introduces a class of very interesting functions which he called "mock theta functions"


Quite a few famous and extraordinarily gifted mathematicians led lives that were tragically cut short. Ramanujan is certainly amongst them. While suffering from a fatal disease, he discovered what he called mock theta functions. Three months before his death in 1920 at the age of 32, he described them in a letter to Hardy that was written under difficulties and is in places very obscure. One fascinating and also frustrating aspect of this story is that from the start the precise definition of a mock theta function has been elusive.

Ramanujan did not give a formal definition but explained what properties a mock theta function should have and illustrated them through several examples. He also gave some of their properties without proof.

Subsequent work stimulated by his letter (and his “lost” notebook discovered later) has been of two somewhat different types. The goal of the first type, beginning with Watson’s cleverly titled address The Final Problem..., has been to prove Ramanujan’s claims on his terms and to give extensions of the same nature. Here the focus is not so much on the definition but rather the examples. The mathematics is intricate and beautiful, but leaves unclear a broader theoretical role for mock theta functions.The second type, which is more recent, has clarified this role. We now understand that mock theta functions can be regarded as incomplete harmonic Maass forms and as so belong naturally to the theory of modular forms. This has led to new results about mock theta functions and, perhaps more interestingly, to a resurgence in the study of other kinds of harmonic Maass forms and their arithmetic properties. Mock theta functions are now seen as interesting examples of a much larger class of mock modular forms. These have applications to elliptic curves, singular moduli and their real quadratic analogues, Borcherds products, Eichler cohomology and Galois representations, amongst others.

Any serious discussion of Ramanujan’s mathematics must contain identities between complex formulas. However, there are also conceptual aspects and my aim is to give a treatment that illuminates both. and of which he gave 17 examples, but no precise definition. By "theta function" Ramanujan meant what we call today a "modular form" and by "mock" something "fake" or "whimsical", and indeed, his 17 functions had visibly properties analogous to those of usual modular functions but didn't belong to any known class.

You can read more info here:
Add a comment...
Oxitec Ltd.’s genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes (OX513A) will suppress the local Aedes aegypti mosquito population in the release area at Key Haven, Florida. Aedes mosquitoes can spread diseases including Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
Trials in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands showed that Intrexon's mosquitoes can reduce localized Aedes aegypti populations by more than 90 percent.
GM mosquito males mate with wild females, their offspring die before reaching adulthood.
Male mosquitoes are physically incapable of biting people.
The FDA is releasing for public comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) submitted by Oxitec, Ltd., that assesses the potential environmental impacts of a field trial of the company’s genetically engineered (GE) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (OX513A) in Key Haven, Florida.
Isabel Traibel's profile photo
Muy interesante !!!! Espero que luego no proliferen y muten
 ·  Translate
Add a comment...

Deep Look

• Biology  - 
VIDEO: Can a New ‘Vaccine’ Stem the Frog Apocalypse?

A deadly fungus that’s been devastating frog populations is still spreading across the globe. In California, the chytrid fungus has moved inexorably across the Sierra Nevada from west to east, leaving thousands of frogs dead.

But Bay Area scientists are trying to turn the tide against the fungus with an experimental treatment, one that could matter to frogs worldwide.

They’re making a last-ditch effort to save the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog by immunizing it against chytrid.

Mountain yellow-legged frogs, found only in California’s alpine lakes, have been in steep decline due to the fungus as well as predation by non-native trout. More than 90 percent of the population has disappeared.

Link to article:

Link to video:
A deadly fungus is devastating frogs, but California scientists are trying out an experimental treatment against it.
Add a comment...

Kam-Yung Soh

• Biology  - 
An opinion article in Nature Reviews Microbiology about treating Zika as a pathogen similar to others that can cross the placenta barrier and infect the fetus. Even if you just skim over it, you will get a great overview of what we know and don't know about how Zika infects the fetus. "Abstract

The recent association between Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy and fetal microcephaly has led to a renewed interest in the mechanisms by which vertically transmitted microorganisms reach the fetus and cause congenital disease. In this Opinion article, we provide an overview of the structure and cellular composition of the human placenta and of the mechanisms by which traditional 'TORCH' pathogens (Toxoplasma gondii, other, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus) access the fetal compartment. Based on our current understanding of ZIKV pathogenesis and the developmental defects that are caused by fetal ZIKV infection, ZIKV should be considered a TORCH pathogen and future research and public health measures should be planned and implemented accordingly."
There are several pathways by which Zika virus (ZIKV), and other TORCH (Toxoplasma gondii, other, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus (HSV)) pathogens, might be vertically transmitted. Pathogens might invade by several routes and these routes can vary depending on the ...
Hashintha Geethadeva's profile photo
A useful post!! Thnx ☺☺☺😊
Add a comment...

ULg Reflexions

• Geology/Earth Science  - 
With rivers providing an abundant supply of fresh water, the upper layers of the #Black #Sea are less dense than its saltier lower layers. A permanent boundary between the two prevents any vertical mixing. The oxygen, derived from the atmosphere and #photosynthesis, remains restricted to these surface waters. However, this precious gas is essential to the development of the majority of living species. Recent research, carried out by the #MAST (Modelling for Aquatic Systems) group at the University of Liège, has shown that this oxic boundary shoaled from 140 to 90 metres between 1955 and 2015. A compression of almost 40 % of the habitable space in the Black Sea, directly linked to its eutrophication and global warming. This phenomenon could be accompanied by major ecological and economic consequences. Furthermore, a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide, an extremely toxic gas, lies dormant in the deepest layers of the Black Sea. For the moment, there is no evidence of a correlation between the compression of the oxic zone and this gas rising. But if the stratification of the water column weakens, even locally, an imbalance could endanger the aquatic life in the surface layer. 
Add a comment...

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

• General/Interdisciplinary  - 
Mayenite is one smart cement. It can be turned from an insulator to a transparent conductor and back. It is also suitable for use as semiconductors in flat panel displays. The secret behind mayenite's magic is a tiny change in its chemical composition. In new work, scientists show how components called electron anions help to transform crystalline mayenite, also called C12A7, into semiconducting glass. For flat panel makers, this may lead to the replacement of indium and gallium with abundant non-toxic elements like calcium and aluminum. Read more at

* * *

Simple cements are everywhere in construction, but researchers want to create novel construction materials to build smarter infrastructure.

A new study, published Aug. 24 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses computer modeling that zooms in at the electron level along with lab experiments. They showed how the small change in composition results in dramatic changes of the glass properties and, potentially, allows for greater control of the glass formation process.

"We want to get rid of the indium and gallium currently used in most flat panel displays," said materials scientist Peter Sushko of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "This research is leading us toward replacing them with abundant non-toxic elements such as calcium and aluminum."

Breaking the glass ceiling: More than a decade ago, materials scientist Hideo Hosono at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and colleagues plucked an oxygen atom from a crystal of C12A7 oxide, which turned the transparent insulating material into a transparent conductor. This switch is rare because the conducting material is transparent: Most conductors are not transparent (think metals) and most transparent materials are not conductive (think window glass).

Back in the crystal, C12A7 oxide's departing oxygen leaves behind a couple electrons and creates a material known as an electride. This electride is remarkably stable in air, water, and ambient temperatures. Most electrides fall apart in these conditions. Because of this stability, materials scientists want to harness the structure and properties of C12A7 electride. Unfortunately, its crystalline nature is not suitable for large-scale industrial processes, so they needed to make a glass equivalent of C12A7 electride.

And several years ago, they did. Hosono and colleagues converted crystalline C12A7 electride into glass. The glass shares many properties of the crystalline electride, including the remarkable stability.

Crystals are neat and tidy, like apples and oranges arranged orderly in a box, but glasses are unordered and messy, like that same fruit in a plastic grocery bag. Researchers make glass by melting a crystal and cooling the liquid in such a way that the ordered crystal doesn't reform. With C12A7, the electride forms a glass at a temperature about 200 degrees lower than the oxide does.

This temperature — when the atoms stop flowing as a liquid and freeze in place — is known as the glass transition temperature. Controlling the glass transition temperature allows researchers to control certain properties of the material. For example, how car tires wear down and perform in bad weather depends on the glass transition temperature of the rubber they're made from.

Sushko, his PNNL colleague Lewis Johnson, Hosono and others at Tokyo Tech wanted to determine why the electride's glass transition temperature was so much lower than the oxide's. They suspected components of the electride known as electron anions were responsible. Electron anions are essentially freely moving electrons in place of the much-larger negatively charged oxygen atoms that urge the oxide to form a tidy crystal.

Moveable feat: The team simulated Hosono's lab experiments using molecular dynamics software that could capture the movement of both the atoms and the electron anions in both the melted material and glass. The team found that that the negatively-charged electron anions paired up between positively charged aluminum or calcium atoms, replacing the negatively charged oxygen atoms that would typically be found between the metals.

The bonds that the electron anions formed between the metal atoms were weaker than bonds between metal and oxygen atoms. These weak links could also move rapidly through the material. This movement allowed a small number of electron anions to have a greater effect on the glass transition temperature than much larger quantities of minerals typically used as additives in glasses.

To rule out other factors as the impetus for the lower transition temperature — such as the electrical charge or change in oxygen atoms — the researchers simulated a material with the same composition as the C12A7 electride but with the electrons spread evenly through the material instead of packed in as electron anions. In this simulation, the glass transition temperature was no different than C12A7 oxide's. This result confirmed that the network of weak links formed by the electron anions was responsible for changes to the glass transition temperature.

According to the scientists, electron anions form a new type of weak link that can affect the conditions under which a material can form a glass. They join the ranks of typical additives that disrupt the ability of the material to form long chains of atoms, such as fluoride, or form weak, randomly oriented bonds between atoms of opposite charge, such as sodium. The work suggests researchers might be able to control the transition temperature by changing the amount of electron anions they use.

"This work shows us not just how a glass forms," said PNNL's Johnson, "but also gives us a new tool for how to control it."

This work was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency and PNNL.

Jivan Guragain's profile photo
Add a comment...

About this community

Welcome to the Science Community on G+ featuring science research, news, and more. New Members: Please read the rules category and pinned post and the Community Policy category before posting. This is not a meme depository. Please do not post collections. This applies to posts and comments. *One liners will be deleted!* : Please cite any work you reference or state as facts. Put effort into your posts. We all prefer intelligent, descriptive posts that tell us what to expect in any links and/or videos. ***Basic Guidelines:*** 1. Post about science only. The science should be obvious 2. No links / videos without explanation of the science and links to reputable sites with references, ideally to the original research papers. 3. No spam, flooding or reposts (English only please). 4. Be civil 5. No plagiarism 6. Please do not self-promote or advertise services 7. No memes or infographics without prior approval from mods. 8. Please do not argue with the moderators. Take the time to make a reasoned discussion (if required) and logic to make your case. Do not remove moderator comments. 9. Please check comments on your own post, do not disable comments unless instructed to by moderators. 10. Not more than one post in 12 hours. (Anti-flooding guideline) *Announcements* Any announcements of events that members of the community are invited to, need to be cleared by moderators. *Questions* We welcome thoughtful questions. We do ask that you have done some work before you ask. If you have a question please read the link below before you ask. This is not a place to do your homework. The moderators reserve the right to ban, remove or carry out any action on posts, which in their view is not as per the community focus, maybe be repetitive or uninteresting and /or does not further the case for science or the community.

Deep Look

• Biology  - 
VIDEO: Watch These Frustrated Squirrels Go Nuts

Squirrels are some of the wild animals we’re in closest proximity to, and we love either watching their antics or shooing them away. But maybe the popularity of squirrel videos also owes to the fact that we see some of ourselves in them.

This is part of what fueled Mikel Delgado’s interest in the fox squirrels she saw on the University of California, Berkeley, campus. Delgado, an animal behaviorist and doctoral student there, likes to quote from Charles Darwin’s book “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,” in which the English naturalist proposed that the differences between humans and other animals aren’t as clear-cut as we might want to think.

“Nevertheless the difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is,” wrote Darwin, “certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”

At the time the book was published, in 1870, Darwin’s idea didn’t catch on, said Delgado.

“It was controversial because people thought animals were machines and didn’t feel pain,” she said.

Link to article:

Link to Mikel Delgado's research:
Add a comment...

Cliff Bramlett

• Health ♥  - 
To The Research! Call for research scientists to determine if a machine like in the photo could reduce the anger-catharsis feedback loop if a sufficient per-item cost and a per-use timer were installed between the person's experience of anger and the actual catharsis event (when the item is released for breaking)

+Dena Ricketts and I were discussing the relative value of breaking things. Her initial argument was that of early research into catharsis, stating that it alleviated anger. My position was more recent research showing a feedback loop of anger + catharsis = more intense anger, and more often.

Dena's original post:

Hell, I'd be emptying this thing on a regular fucking basis. Yes please! - Dena Ricketts - Google+
Merry Gon's profile photo
very nice
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

• General/Interdisciplinary  - 
Is the Science settled? : I often read or hear about people asking this. Is science sure about this? That is the wrong question. To find out more about what the real question should be, read on...

Science is a methodology : Science looks to find answers about us, the place we live in, the way things work. We find out incrementally new things about phenomena everyday. So what we know today to be 'true' is often something we find is not tomorrow.

Does that mean I can't trust science? : The answer is a big resounding NO. Scientific methods lead to better and better answers everyday. The very nature of the process questions the very basis of things we know and looks at alternatives and tests to disprove hypothesis.

Can I therefore say that Gravity should be questioned? : Surprisingly, the straight answer is yes. But it is much more nuanced that that. One needs higher and higher bars on the disproving of a theory which is established. It requires extraordinary proof and peer review by many reputed researchers to pull down an established theory.

Scientists often Hedge their claims : Because they know the pitfalls of being an absolutist. Check the video to see how Prof. Brian Cox. says "This is the best prediction we have. And we get better at it everyday."

Brain Cox explains the scientific method :

Related article :
Add a comment...

R. Emery

• Geology/Earth Science  - 
Maybe earth original hydrogen atmosphere didn't escape into space.
Maybe it just turned into water.

Hydrogen is in relatively short supply in the Venusian atmosphere. A large amount of the planet's hydrogen is theorised to have been lost to space, with the remainder being mostly bound up in sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

The loss of significant amounts of hydrogen is proved by a very high D/H ratio measured in the Venusian atmosphere. The ratio is about 0.015–0.025, which is 100–150 times higher than the terrestrial value of 1.6×10^−4

Oxygen would have been produced in the interior of the Earth by the "smelting" of iron oxide during the iron catastrophe. But it's unclear how much, if any, of the oxygen that was produced would have reached the surface.
Add a comment...
It's the worst short story ever written: “On a dark and stormy night … the end.” The real story – the context, the tension and the motivations – are missing. That’s what it feels like for scientists reading the reaction that uses a cobalt catalyst to produce hydrogen. Dr. Eric Wiedner and Dr. Morris Bullock at PNNL’s Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis wanted to know the rest of the story … and they found out what happened between the first page and the last. Read the full story at

* * *

The challenge was that the intermediate steps, the middle of the story, occur exceedingly fast. This left scientists studying possible routes, but not knowing for sure what happened. To solve the mystery, Wiedner and Bullock used newer techniques to show how the actors form bonds, trade electrons, and free hydrogen.

"We need to know how catalysts work in more detail, so we can change the catalyst to work faster and more efficiently," said Wiedner, lead author on the study.

The scientists worked at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center. The U.S. Department of the Energy's Office of Science funds the centers to accelerate discovery. The centers do so by combining scientific talent with powerful tools to understand and manipulate matter on the atomic and molecular scales.

Methods: To improve the catalysts' ability and speed up fuel cells, scientists need to know how to redesign catalysts and adjust reactions. This often involves understanding the strength with which the hydrogen binds to the catalyst. The tighter the bond, the more energy it takes to free the hydrogen. It also involves the energy involved in shuffling electrons. The less energy needed to move the electrons, the more efficient the catalyst.

Bullock and Wiedner began with a cobalt catalyst that drives hydrogen production. They knew the reaction began with two electrons and two protons and produced hydrogen (formula: H2). To uncover the intermediate steps, Wiedner and Bullock combined two techniques: variable scan rate cyclic voltammetry and foot-of-the-wave analysis, in PNNL's Physical Sciences Laboratory. These electrochemical methods are an easily accessible, widely applicable way of analyzing reactions. Using these methods, the scientists measured the sequence of proton and electron transfers. They then calculated the various bond strengths using density functional theory computations at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

By combining the experimental results and calculations, they filled in the missing pieces of the story. Of all of the possible plotlines, the team found that this is the story of the catalyst:

1. The fuel cell's electrode delivers an electron to cobalt, making it more reactive.

2. Cobalt grabs a proton from the surrounding liquid. This proton is chemically bound to the catalyst's surface.

3. The electrode feeds another electron to cobalt, causing it to share its extra electrons with the bonded proton.

4. The proton bound to cobalt steals two electrons from the metal and gives them to another proton in solution, triggering the release of hydrogen and leaving cobalt empty handed.

In addition to determining the four-step process, where cobalt changes its electronic structure several times, this research helps scientists with the nuances of building better catalysts. By understanding the details of bond formation, scientists can reduce the strength of the bonds and ease the structural changes when electrons come in. These subtle changes can create a different conclusion regarding the energy used and time taken.

Why is this imporant? Fuel cells offer a way to produce electricity without using fossil fuels. Inside a fuel cell, a catalyst drives a reaction that breaks apart hydrogen to produce electricity. Because a fuel cell is rechargeable, the catalyst also "charges" the fuel cell by producing hydrogen. The challenge is in the nuances of designing the catalyst. Wiedner and Bullock focused on a cobalt catalyst and how it forms bonds with hydrogen atoms and shuffles electrons. Changing how bonds form and electrons transfer can cause a catalyst to struggle or succeed.

"You don't focus on the areas where you can make incremental changes," said Bullock, who directs the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis. "You focus on the areas with the big changes."

What's Next? While this work wraps up a series of studies on cobalt catalysts done at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, it marks the start of showing how scientists can use these electrochemistry techniques on other catalysts.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. 
Add a comment...

Griffith Sciences

• Ecology/Nature ✿  - 
But new research, published today in Nature Communications, suggests that devils are evolving rapidly in response to their highly lethal transmissible cancer and that they could ultimately save themselves.

First published -
For the past 20 years, an infectious cancer has been killing wild Tasmanian devils, creating a massive challenge for conservationists. But new research, published today in Nature Communications, suggests that devils are evolving rapidly in ...
Peter Edenist's profile photo
Hello +Griffith Sciences .... we request you provide a little more commentary related to the science behind the post. The article is fascinating, but it got caught in the google spam filters. Please see our community guidelines. Thanks!
Add a comment...
Neurotransmission also called synaptic transmission, is the process by which signaling molecules called neurotransmitters are released by a neuron (the presynaptic neuron), and bind to and activate the receptors of another neuron (the postsynaptic neuron). Neurotransmission is essential for the process of communication between two neurons.

In 1921, an Austrian scientist named Otto Loewi discovered the first neurotransmitter.  In his experiment he used two frog hearts. One heart (heart #1) was still connected to the vagus nerve. Heart #1 was placed in a chamber that was filled with saline. This chamber was connected to a second chamber that contained heart #2. So, fluid from chamber #1 was allowed to flow into chamber #2.

Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve (which was attached to heart #1) caused heart #1 to slow down. Loewi also observed that after a delay, heart #2 also slowed down. From this experiment, Loewi hypothesized that electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve released a chemical into the fluid of chamber #1 that flowed into chamber #2. He called this chemical "Vagusstoff". We now know this chemical as the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.

The Chemical Transmission of Nerve Action - Read & Learn:

Neurons, Synapses, Action Potentials, and Neurotransmission - Read & Learn:

#neuroscience   #neurotransmission   #medicine   #brain   #synapse  
Add a comment...