The Brain Scoop: Cheetah scan
Last Saturday, The Brain Scoop team, along with Anna Goldman and anthropologist/conservationist JP Brown (not pictured because he was photographing) ventured to The University of Illinois Chicago Hospital Radiology department in order to create a CT (computed topography) scan of a skinned, pickled cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). The skeleton from the renderings will be 3-D printed and articulated as part of our upcoming biomechanics exhibition, opening next year.
The possibilities are really endless for this procedure! JP has an incredible amount of experience with scanning and printing specimens and artifacts from The Field Museum’s collections. In the past he’s scanned mummies in order to be able to study every level of their topography without ever having to open a casket or peel back an encasing, and the body never has to be touched by human hands. In the case of this cheetah, we wanted a way to share our biomechanics exhibit with other museums across the world without having to worry about laws or restrictions on transporting a large protected feline or its remains. In addition to that, 3-D printed bones don’t require the same level of care, since (if funding was ideally endless) we could always print another one.
Thanks to JP Brown for the photos! Click them for descriptions.
how the hell did we get the idea pink isn’t a cool colour
because scientifically speaking pink doesn’t even exist; it fits between violet and red on the spectrum but actually what goes there is infrared and ultraviolet and all those things we can’t see
pink is the ambassador of an otherworldly and unknowable realm it is the most badass colour out there
Sixteen-year-old Elif Bilgin of Turkey has developed a way to replace traditional petroleum-based plastic with banana peels.
The Turkish teen took home a US$50,000 prize for her project “Go Bananas!” Thursday after winning the second annual Scientific American Science in Action Award, associated with Google Science Fair.
“My project makes it possible to use banana peels, a waste material which is thrown away almost every day, in the electrical insulation of cables,” Bilgin said in a media statement.
“This is both an extremely nature-friendly and cheap process, which has the potential to decrease the amount of pollution created due to the use of plastics, which contain petroleum derivatives.”
Bilgin spent two years developing the bio-plastic, which does not decay. She said the process is so easy that it is possible to repeat at home, with special care taken for chemicals used in the production process.
In September, the teen will compete at Google’s California headquarters for the overall Google Science Fair prize for 15-to-16 year olds. She will also have access to a one-year mentorship.
Has anyone else noticed how many brilliant breakthroughs in science are coming from the minds of teenage girls the last few years? Between this story, the four girls in Nigeria who invented a generator that runs on urine, the California girl who invented a twenty-second cell phone charger… Who knows where we’d be today without the patriarchal interference of men, stealing or hiding the brilliance of women?
Our future is in the hands of teenage girls, and I for one feel really good about that.
When I was about 7 I wanted to invent a thing that purified water based off of fish gills. I went to the school library to do research like a good little inventor and one of my teachers asked me what I was doing, and then told me that there were some new barbie books in, and that I’d probably be better off with those.
Don’t forget the girl who invented a torch that’d light up just from the heat of your hands
basically everyone should stop shitting on teenage girls because they do awesome things when you let them
Lovely scientific rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars” in this Girl Scouts PSA for engaging girls in STEM, reminiscent of the wonderful You Are Stardust – the illustrated story of the universe by a female author and illustrator.
Top with these illustrated biographies of exceptional women scientists.
This is great! I added a few lines:
"When you see the stars sublime,
You’re really looking back in time.
Dwarves and giants from brown to red,
They’ll still be there when you’re dead.
As we gaze up please take my hand,
Hold on to me now before the entropic heat death of the universe occurs as a result of the very fabric of space and time continuing to expand.”
Looks like there’s a rave on Saturn. The (top) ultraviolet image of the southern polar region of Saturn, with its rave-like aurora, was taken on January 28, 2004 by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Imaging Spectrograph.
On Earth, auroral storms may develop in as little as ten minutes and last for no more than a few years. On Saturn, however, the rave lives on - it can last for days.
Saturn’s auroral storms are primarily caused by the pressure of solar wind, a stream of charged particles from the Sun. When the aurora becomes brighter and more powerful, the ring shrinks in diameter.
Unfortunately, the ultraviolet representation is a little misleading - it does not properly represent what you would see if you were flying around up there. The above drawings are an artist’s conception what one might see, but we can be fairly confident that if the ultraviolet was excited that the visible spectra would be excited as well.
Interactive WebGL demo to customize the appearance of a planet - you can even add your own texture data:About: PlanetMaker allows you to create and tweak your own planet using image textures, lighting, and more importantly, your imagination.Instructions: Create your planet using the controls on the top right. You can:
- Change the surface and clouds images
- Modify lighting and atmospheric properties
- Add and adjust rings
- Upload your own custom surface textures by clicking “setCustomTexture”
Try it out for yourself here
A beautiful rant about misguided public science education and how the fear of punishment kills curiosity, especially for minorities because they tend to receive harsher punishments, and for the poor because punishments end up being harsher on them when something like bail ends up putting their families even farther in debt.
Bilateral gynandromorphism: a really fancy way of saying “half male, half female”.
This genetic anomaly is usually restricted to arthropods, but has been known to express itself in birds, as well. More interesting reading here.
(Source: , via feels-like-fire)
A robot suit that can help the elderly or disabled get around was given its global safety certificate in Japan on Wednesday, paving the way for its worldwide rollout.
The Hybrid Assistive Limb, or HAL, is a power-assisted pair of legs developed by Japanese robot maker Cyberdyne, which has also developed similar robot arms.
A quality assurance body issued the certificate based on a draft version of an international safety standard for personal robots that is expected to be approved later this year, the ministry for the economy, trade and industry said.
The metal-and-plastic exoskeleton has become the first nursing-care robot certified under the draft standard, a ministry official said.
Battery-powered HAL, which detects muscle impulses to anticipate and support the user’s body movements, is designed to help the elderly with mobility or help hospital or nursing carers to lift patients.
Cyberdyne, based in Tsukuba, northeast of Tokyo, has so far leased some 330 suits to 150 hospitals, welfare and other facilities in Japan since 2010, at 178,000 yen ($1,950) per suit per year.
“It is very significant that Japan has obtained this certification before others in the world,” said Yoshiyuki Sankai, the head of Cyberdyne.
The company is unrelated to the firm of the same name responsible for the cyborg assassin played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1984 film “The Terminator”.
“This is a first step forward for Japan, the great robot nation, to send our message to the world about robots of the future,” said Sankai, who is also a professor at Tsukuba University.
A different version of HAL — coincidentally the name of the evil supercomputer in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” — has been developed for workers who need to wear heavy radiation protection as part of the clean-up at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Industrial robots have long been used in Japan, and robo-suits are gradually making inroads into hospitals and retirement homes.
But critics say the government has been slow in creating a safety framework for such robots in a country whose rapidly-ageing population is expected to enjoy ever longer lives.
A tip from your favorite nurse
(that’d be me)
Always have eggs in your fridge
You just never know when someone will split their head open
Or cut their finger while cooking
And so on
See that membrane there?
While the blood is gushing - hold pressure and crack open an egg
Peel that there membrane off and put it on the wound (continue holding pressure)
The membrane will harden and keep the wound closed until you can get to the ER for stitches
If you even need them that is
Nature: 1, Band aids: 0
I did some research on this (because I do that now, fucking science get out) and it seems that this was done in the early 1900s somewhat frequently. It was used as a way to treat just about any kind of skin wound, from burn to cut to in at least one case an ulcer. It actually helps the wound heal not by preventing blood loss but by replacing part of the skin tissue and helping it grow.
It also helps in healing scars and reducing their visibility.
Overly Honest Methods: Uncovering the hilarious truth behind how science actually gets done
Earlier this week, in a fit of comedic inspiration, a postdoc named Leigh tweeted a funny lab confession and included the hashtag #overlyhonestmethods. By the end of the day, dozens of scientists had joined in, and the result is nothing short of hilarious.
Science is an incredibly painstaking and difficult process, and in addition to being quite funny, these tweets pull back the curtain on just how human a process research really is. Some of them had me raising my eyebrows right after I finished giggling, because please tell me you didn’t actually do that. Others had me nodding sagely in agreement, because sometimes you drop a tube or run out of a chemical and the world has to keep on turning, man.