mindblowingscience
mindblowingscience:

Pollution Causing Tumors in Endangered Sea Turtles

Pollution from urban and farm runoff in Hawaii is causing tumors in endangered sea turtles, a new study found.
The study, published Tuesday in the journalPeerJ, shows that nitrogen in the runoff ends up in algae that the turtles eat, causing the animals to sprout tumors on their eyes, flippers and internal organs.

"We’re drawing direct lines from human nutrient inputs to the reef ecosystem, and how it affects wildlife," Kyle Van Houtan of Duke University said in a statement.
The disease behind the turtle tumors is called Fibropapillomatosis, and is thought to be prevalent in areas with high levels of nitrogen runoff. Now, researchers want to test the theory that algae can store excess nitrogen that finds its way into Hawaiian waters, and thereby turtles’ stomachs.
"In this paper we drill down on whether excess nitrogen inputs are causing a nutrient cascade in the system that’s ending up in these tumors in green turtles," explained Van Houtan.
Researchers found during their study that algae can store nitrogen in the form of the amino acid arginine, which was found in unusually high levels both in the algae in highly polluted waters and in the tumors of diseased turtles. One non-native red algae species in particular, Hypnea musciformis, had especially high levels of arginine compared to other species sampled. And since this invasive species grows more successfully than native algae, it can make up as much as 90 percent of the turtles’ diet.
Do to these combined factors, the turtles have approximately 14 times more arginine in their systems than they would if they were eating native algae species in less-polluted waters. What’s more, these algae-eating herbivores have to eat twice as much of the invasive algae to get the same amount of calories that they would if they were consuming native species of algae, acting as a sort of “one-two punch for promoting this disease,” the study noted.
How the virus causes the disease is still unclear, but researchers nonetheless hope their findings help scientists better understand how to protect not only sea turtles, but also other marine plants and animals that face similar threats from pollution.

mindblowingscience:

Pollution Causing Tumors in Endangered Sea Turtles

Pollution from urban and farm runoff in Hawaii is causing tumors in endangered sea turtles, a new study found.

The study, published Tuesday in the journalPeerJ, shows that nitrogen in the runoff ends up in algae that the turtles eat, causing the animals to sprout tumors on their eyes, flippers and internal organs.

"We’re drawing direct lines from human nutrient inputs to the reef ecosystem, and how it affects wildlife," Kyle Van Houtan of Duke University said in a statement.

The disease behind the turtle tumors is called Fibropapillomatosis, and is thought to be prevalent in areas with high levels of nitrogen runoff. Now, researchers want to test the theory that algae can store excess nitrogen that finds its way into Hawaiian waters, and thereby turtles’ stomachs.

"In this paper we drill down on whether excess nitrogen inputs are causing a nutrient cascade in the system that’s ending up in these tumors in green turtles," explained Van Houtan.

Researchers found during their study that algae can store nitrogen in the form of the amino acid arginine, which was found in unusually high levels both in the algae in highly polluted waters and in the tumors of diseased turtles. One non-native red algae species in particular, Hypnea musciformis, had especially high levels of arginine compared to other species sampled. And since this invasive species grows more successfully than native algae, it can make up as much as 90 percent of the turtles’ diet.

Do to these combined factors, the turtles have approximately 14 times more arginine in their systems than they would if they were eating native algae species in less-polluted waters. What’s more, these algae-eating herbivores have to eat twice as much of the invasive algae to get the same amount of calories that they would if they were consuming native species of algae, acting as a sort of “one-two punch for promoting this disease,” the study noted.

How the virus causes the disease is still unclear, but researchers nonetheless hope their findings help scientists better understand how to protect not only sea turtles, but also other marine plants and animals that face similar threats from pollution.

mindblowingscience

ucresearch:

Robots that will fold your laundry

This is “Brett” also known as The Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks.  This guy can do simple household chores. Specifically, the robot can fold laundry and is part of an ongoing project by UC Berkeley’s Pieter Abbeel.

Folding towels might seem easy to us humans, but this is actually quite complicated for a robot to do.  In fact it requires a method where the robot learns the tasks by seeing how humans do it.  Abbeel explains:

For robots to be integrated in unstructured or changing environments, such as a typical human household, they must develop the ability to learn from human experts and to even teach themselves.  

The hope is to have these robots perform everyday chores for the elderly or disabled so that they can live more independently.

You can watch more videos of this robot here

scienceyoucanlove

dichotomized:

The catastrophic nuclear disaster the world had long feared finally happened in 1986 at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine. Reactor number four exploded early one morning in April, sending a vast plume of radioactive fallout in the atmosphere. This would contaminate large areas of the western Soviet Union and Europe, with nuclear rain being recorded as far away as Ireland. The initial power excursion was followed by further chemical and has explosions, then fire. Unlike those in most western plants, the reactor building was not a reinforced containment vessel designed to limit the effects of just such an accident. It was therefore destroyed, allowing disastrous quantities of radioactive material to escape. Yet this was an accident that could have been avoided.

Ironically, the catalyst was an experiment carried out to test reactor safety. Operators were worried that a power failure might result in the reactor core overhearing, as vast quantities of cooling water were required and standby generators didn’t get the pumps back up to speed for over a minute. They therefore decided to test wether an emergency core-cooling procedure would work should such a situation arise. Had regulations been followed there would have been no problem, but safety features were disabled in order to complete the test. This decision proved fatal. After complex setup procedures were completed, the test commenced but within seconds the core went critical and a powerful explosion rocked the plant.

The aftermath was horrific, though Soviet authorities initially tried to conceal the scale of the disaster. The town of Pripyat was evacuated the following day and remains a deserted time capsule. The accident site was contained within a vast concrete sarcophagus at the centre of the 30km exclusion some around Chernobyl that is in force to this day.

mindblowingscience

zerostatereflex:

7 Finger Robot

"The device, worn around one’s wrist, works essentially like two extra fingers adjacent to the pinky and thumb. The robot, which the researchers have dubbed "supernumerary robotic fingers," or "SR fingers," consists of actuators linked together to exert forces as strong as those of human fingers during a grasping motion."

Robot tech, YES.

scienceyoucanlove
scienceyoucanlove:

New laser surgery technique can turn your brown eyes blue
Of all the features we notice about a person upon meeting them, their eyes are often the first connection we make. But some people just aren’t satisfied with the color of their peepers, wishing their dark corneas away in favor of a pleasant shade of blue. Those unhappy with brown eyes may find just what they’re looking for: Laguna Beach doctor Gregg Homer has developed a new procedure that can actually convert brown-colored eyes to blue in just a matter of weeks.
The operation itself is fairly straight forward: Using a laser tuned to a special frequency, thedoctor actually alters the cells that produce the brown coloration in the eye. After a few weeks, the darker color begins to fade, revealing the blue pigment underneath. As the doctor explains it, the procedure only works for brown-eyed individuals, as they already have a bluish coloration hiding underneath.
According to Homer, the procedure takes just 20 seconds to complete. And because of the large number of people wishing they were born with baby blues, he has already been contacted by thousands of potential clients. Homer and his company, Stroma Medical, have been working on the technology for over a decade, and say it will be available on a consumer basis within three years.
He estimates the procedures will cost about $5,000 each, and as the brown coloration doesn’t appear to regenerate, your eyes should stay blue for the rest of your days. Unfortunately, that almost means it’s completely irreversible, so if you end up regretting a hasty decision to switch, you’ll never be brown-eyed again.
Not surprisingly, the practice has come under scrutiny by some who believe the color of our eyes is somehow more sacred than other parts of the human body — like the bits that plastic surgeons alter every day. There’s also the risk that long-term damage may result from the procedure, and without longitudinal research, Homer can’t guarantee that problems won’t arise down the road. Still, with would-be patients lining up by the thousands, it’s clear that some people believe the risk is worth the reward.
[Image Credit: Look into my eyes]
(Source)
This article originally appeared on Tecca
via Yahoo! tech news

scienceyoucanlove:

New laser surgery technique can turn your brown eyes blue

Of all the features we notice about a person upon meeting them, their eyes are often the first connection we make. But some people just aren’t satisfied with the color of their peepers, wishing their dark corneas away in favor of a pleasant shade of blue. Those unhappy with brown eyes may find just what they’re looking for: Laguna Beach doctor Gregg Homer has developed a new procedure that can actually convert brown-colored eyes to blue in just a matter of weeks.

The operation itself is fairly straight forward: Using a laser tuned to a special frequency, thedoctor actually alters the cells that produce the brown coloration in the eye. After a few weeks, the darker color begins to fade, revealing the blue pigment underneath. As the doctor explains it, the procedure only works for brown-eyed individuals, as they already have a bluish coloration hiding underneath.

According to Homer, the procedure takes just 20 seconds to complete. And because of the large number of people wishing they were born with baby blues, he has already been contacted by thousands of potential clients. Homer and his company, Stroma Medical, have been working on the technology for over a decade, and say it will be available on a consumer basis within three years.

He estimates the procedures will cost about $5,000 each, and as the brown coloration doesn’t appear to regenerate, your eyes should stay blue for the rest of your days. Unfortunately, that almost means it’s completely irreversible, so if you end up regretting a hasty decision to switch, you’ll never be brown-eyed again.

Not surprisingly, the practice has come under scrutiny by some who believe the color of our eyes is somehow more sacred than other parts of the human body — like the bits that plastic surgeons alter every day. There’s also the risk that long-term damage may result from the procedure, and without longitudinal research, Homer can’t guarantee that problems won’t arise down the road. Still, with would-be patients lining up by the thousands, it’s clear that some people believe the risk is worth the reward.

[Image Credit: Look into my eyes]

(Source)

This article originally appeared on Tecca

via Yahoo! tech news

jtotheizzoe

jtotheizzoe:

skunkbear:

The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.

Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:

Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.

First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:

 …the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.

She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)

You can read more about Kellogg’s experiment, its legacy, and public reaction to it here.

This is the most adorable experiment that has ever been done.