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18 | Taiwanese-American | Cis woman | Pansexual
Advocating rationality since 1995.

I now have a fandom blog. For the purpose of blogging fandoms.

medicalschool:

How a human lung is kept alive and breathing for a transplant
Lung in a box. Very cool.
To extend the time an organ can last before it’s transplanted into a recipient, engineers have developed the Organ Care System — which is essentially a box pumping blood and oxygen to the lung.   
As Gizmodo explains: 
What’s especially neat about the OCS is that they can actually be used to improve imperfect donor lungs by flushing it with antibiotics and nutrients. Like refurbishing a lung, sort of. Putting donor lungs through the OCS helps increase and improve the number of potential donor lungs. Not every donor lung is usable, donor lungs that go through the OCS may be.
Learn more about lung transplants at Al Jazeera America. 

medicalschool:

How a human lung is kept alive and breathing for a transplant

Lung in a box. Very cool.

To extend the time an organ can last before it’s transplanted into a recipient, engineers have developed the Organ Care System — which is essentially a box pumping blood and oxygen to the lung.   

As Gizmodo explains: 

What’s especially neat about the OCS is that they can actually be used to improve imperfect donor lungs by flushing it with antibiotics and nutrients. Like refurbishing a lung, sort of. Putting donor lungs through the OCS helps increase and improve the number of potential donor lungs. Not every donor lung is usable, donor lungs that go through the OCS may be.

Learn more about lung transplants at Al Jazeera America

(via sinidentidades)

— 2 days ago with 12006 notes
#science  #gif  #gore  #??how do i tag 
Scientists Just Brought Us One Step Closer to Speaking With Dolphins →

On April 1, humans learned that they had made their first successful communication with dolphins. Despite its peculiar timing, this scientific breakthrough is no joke. Researchers testing a human-to-dolphin translator reported that last August, they had their first effective verbal interaction with the species after a bottlenose dolphin pointed out a piece of nearby seaweed to a scientist using human-taught dolphin language. 

The device, called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (Chat), is a pair of underwater microphones that emits audio similar to dolphins’ clicks and high-pitched whistles. While the device doesn’t turn dolphin-speak into human language, it gives researchers the ability to teach dolphins words humans have made as well as detect otherwise undetectable dolphin noises, according to The Independent.  

Read moreFollow policymic

(Source: policymic, via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

— 2 weeks ago with 302 notes
#science  #this is of utmost interest to me 

coolsciencegifs:

Naeglaria fowleri, The brain eating amoeba

The term “brain-eating amoeba” makes the amoeba sound like a tiny zombie stalking your skull. But brains are accidental food for them.

There are many species of Naeglaria all over the planet which are present in warm soils and warm fresh standing water, however, only one species can infect humans. Like other amoebas, Naegleria reproduces by cell division. When conditions aren’t right, the amoebas become inactive cysts. When conditions are favorable, the cysts turn into trophozoites — the feeding form of the amoeba. After infection, it attacks the human nervous system and brain, causing deadly primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)

Naeglaria fowleri was discovered in 1965. Since this date, only around 144 cases have been officially documented worldwide. At only 8 micrometers to 15 micrometers in size, depending on its life stage and environment (roughly 1/3 the diameter of a human hair), it’s hard to believe that infection by this amoeba has a 95% mortality rate. Even though infection is relatively rare, mortality is extremely high. There is no vaccine or standard treatment method.

 How do you catch it?!

The parasite exists in very warm standing water and sediment, so many people have caught the parasite from swimming or doing water sports in water that contains it, e.g. lakes and swimming holes. A whole glass of Naegleria water can be swallowed without incident, as your stomach acids make short work of burning them up. However, when people jump or fall into water, the pressure can force water (and therefore the parasite) up the nasal passages of the nose. This gives Naegleria easy access to the olfactory nerves in the nose and a quick route to the brain.

It eats brains?!

Yep. Braaaaains. In the first big gif above, you’re looking at Naegleria fowleri consuming human nerve cells. When the parasite has access to a host’s nerve and brain tissue it’s in its ideal habitat- somewhere warm and safe with lots of food. Studies suggest that N. fowleri amoebas are attracted to the chemicals that nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Once infected, the parasite moves its way into the brain where it multiplies and starts feasting. It is only usually discovered days after infection- when tissue damage starts to cause symptoms (and it’s too late).

In the second gif above, you can see a Naegleria fowleri amoeba destroying a cell. The organism begins to consume cells of the brain, piecemeal, by means of an amoebostome, a unique actin-rich, sucking apparatus extended from its cell surface. It attaches itself to the cell surface and chemically makes a cut in the cell wall. When the contents of the cell spills forth the parasite consumes them by breaking them down with enzymes that dissolve protein. It eventually causes necrosis (tissue death) and haemorrhaging. 

In response to this, the body sends out its A-team, the white blood cells, to deal with the attack. As you can see in the second gif, the white blood cells attempt to attack the Naeglaria fowleri organism, but are thwarted. The amoeba grows a ‘coating’ that the white blood cells cannot adhere to so they cannot attack it, which it then discards and uses to escape. The immune system goes into overdrive at this point and causes inflammation and swelling of the brain. 

Despite such a large mortality rate, studies show that many people may have antibodies to N. fowleri. That suggests that they became infected with the amoeba but that their immune systems fought it off.

So what are the symptoms?! 

Symptoms include: Problems with taste and smell, headache, fever, stiff neck, loss of appetite, vomiting, altered mental state, coma and seizures. It takes two to 15 days for symptoms to appear after N. fowleri amoebas enter the nose. Death usually occurs three to seven days after symptoms appear. The average time to death is 5.3 days from symptom onset. Only a handful of patients worldwide have been reported to have survived an infection.

How can I NOT catch N. fowleri?!

Firstly, be really careful when swimming in fresh standing water during warm weather when N. fowleri loves to multiply. Also, if you’re swimming or doing water sports, you can wear nose plugs and make sure you don’t swallow on any water. When drinking water from lakes, or performing nasal irrigation (yes…I know), always use boiled or distilled water. Boiling water kills off the parasite. If you own a pool, make sure that it is chlorinated and if you drink water make sure that it is treated. 

It’s VERY RARE to be infected N. fowleri and develop PAM. However, not allowing this remarkable little creature access to your brain is the first step to not having it eaten.

Another thing to think about…. N. fowleri LOVES warm water. As temperatures rise, more cases could be seen in more temperate areas that are less favourable to its growth. Be careful with any standing water, wherever you are, in warm weather.

gif sources

source

source

(via winterlitany)

— 2 weeks ago with 446 notes
#not an april fool's joke  #gif  #science  #long post 
Forests Around Chernobyl Aren'€™t Decaying Properly →

(via scinerds)

— 1 month ago with 324 notes
#science  #environment 

rhamphotheca:

Earth Sheltered Homes

The earth sheltered house uses the ground as insulating blanket which effectively protects it from temperature extremes, wind, rain and extreme weather events. An earth sheltered home is energy-efficient, quiet, freeze-proof and low maintenance. Aesthetically an earth sheltered home blends in with the natural environment, leaving more yard space and more space for wildlife.

Fifteen feet below ground the soil maintains a fairly constant temperature equal to the annual average temperature of the area’s surface air. If the average temperature in your area is 55, that means the soil temperature at 15 feet is 55 degrees and in the winter you will only have to bring the temperature inside your earth sheltered home up thirteen degrees, to bring it up to a comfortable 68 degrees. Versus bringing up the inside temperature 68 degrees, if your home is above ground and the outside windchill is 0. In the summer, that 55 degree soil will also keep your home much cooler than an above ground home. Many earth homes incorporate passive solar designs lessening even further the need for fuel for heating or cooling…

(read and see more: Inspiration Green)

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

— 1 month ago with 15941 notes
#science  #environment 
gelunnucifera:

positive-press-daily:

This lamp absorbs 150 times more CO2 than a tree

It’s still in the “so crazy it just might work” stage, but these microalgae-powered lamps, invented by French biochemist Pierre Calleja, could absorb a ton of carbon from the air every year. That’s as much as 150 to 200 trees. [x]


YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. This is ingenious.
The design is a light bulb surrounded by a glass casing. The glass is filled with (water based) media and microalgae. The top is permeable to gasses so that gas exchange can occur. All of the wiring is linked to the grid underground.
Since the light source is inside, it gets scattered and “dimmed” by the water and algae. This makes it less glaringly bright and scatters the light wider, which is good for a street light. It is not longer white light as well, which helps make it easier on the eyes while still providing light.
At the same time, it provides the light for photosynthesis in the algae, so they are continuously exchanging CO2 for O2, not just in the day. It also provides a source of heat, which helps keep the algae from going dormant during cold weather (as in the snowy picture above).
And notice how I did not specify permeability - that’s because NOx’s (NO and NO2) are also permeable and can be used as nitrogen sources to microalgae. In fact, algae are relatively low maintenance. As autotrophs, they don’t require super complex media, not does it really need to be changed/added to. (I’m actually fairly certain that there would still be algae in these tanks a year later; it may need to be cleaned or something, but there would be some living algae.)

gelunnucifera:

positive-press-daily:

This lamp absorbs 150 times more CO2 than a tree

It’s still in the “so crazy it just might work” stage, but these microalgae-powered lamps, invented by French biochemist Pierre Calleja, could absorb a ton of carbon from the air every year. That’s as much as 150 to 200 trees. [x]

YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. This is ingenious.

The design is a light bulb surrounded by a glass casing. The glass is filled with (water based) media and microalgae. The top is permeable to gasses so that gas exchange can occur. All of the wiring is linked to the grid underground.

Since the light source is inside, it gets scattered and “dimmed” by the water and algae. This makes it less glaringly bright and scatters the light wider, which is good for a street light. It is not longer white light as well, which helps make it easier on the eyes while still providing light.

At the same time, it provides the light for photosynthesis in the algae, so they are continuously exchanging CO2 for O2, not just in the day. It also provides a source of heat, which helps keep the algae from going dormant during cold weather (as in the snowy picture above).

And notice how I did not specify permeability - that’s because NOx’s (NO and NO2) are also permeable and can be used as nitrogen sources to microalgae. In fact, algae are relatively low maintenance. As autotrophs, they don’t require super complex media, not does it really need to be changed/added to. (I’m actually fairly certain that there would still be algae in these tanks a year later; it may need to be cleaned or something, but there would be some living algae.)

(Source: exclusively-positive-press, via winterlitany)

— 2 months ago with 64279 notes
#science  #environment 
malformalady:

One of the photos of marine biologists’ desperate efforts to save the thousands of fragile coral reefs damaged by tourists. The biologists attach the coral to electrified metal frames - and the electrical current sparks accelerated growth, repairing damage caused over decades. The metal frame is welded together on land before being moved and positioned underwater on an area of damaged reef. The power supply and a special anode, normally made from titanium, aluminum or magnesium mesh, are then connected. Coral fragments are collected from the debris around the damaged reef and then wired in place on the frame. Once there is a power supply to the structure, the coral fragments become cemented to the frame within days as Biorock material is deposited on the metal and around the fragment. The corals then begin to grow at an accelerated rate.
Photo credit: Matthew Oldfield

malformalady:

One of the photos of marine biologists’ desperate efforts to save the thousands of fragile coral reefs damaged by tourists. The biologists attach the coral to electrified metal frames - and the electrical current sparks accelerated growth, repairing damage caused over decades. The metal frame is welded together on land before being moved and positioned underwater on an area of damaged reef. The power supply and a special anode, normally made from titanium, aluminum or magnesium mesh, are then connected. Coral fragments are collected from the debris around the damaged reef and then wired in place on the frame. Once there is a power supply to the structure, the coral fragments become cemented to the frame within days as Biorock material is deposited on the metal and around the fragment. The corals then begin to grow at an accelerated rate.

Photo credit: Matthew Oldfield

(via scinerds)

— 2 months ago with 1582 notes
#science  #nature 
invaderxan:

…and that picture is not it.
Actually, this is an image of Barnard 68, a dark interstellar cloud made up of dust and molecular gas, absorbing light.
The void this text is referring to is the Eridanus Supervoid, distant and apparently empty (though there are alternative explanations). The only way it’s been detected is by an apparent cold spot in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

That vaguely pointy looking shape is a vast expanse of space, half a billion light years across which, seemingly, contains absolutely nothing. This isn’t empty the way space around us is empty – the interstellar space in our galaxy is full of gas, dust, ions, plasma… all sorts of things (including clouds like Barnard 68 up there). This? This is a void. A big, inexplicable, vacuous expanse which should not be there.
It’s like a hole in the Universe.

invaderxan:

…and that picture is not it.

Actually, this is an image of Barnard 68, a dark interstellar cloud made up of dust and molecular gas, absorbing light.

The void this text is referring to is the Eridanus Supervoid, distant and apparently empty (though there are alternative explanations). The only way it’s been detected is by an apparent cold spot in the cosmic microwave background radiation.

That vaguely pointy looking shape is a vast expanse of space, half a billion light years across which, seemingly, contains absolutely nothing. This isn’t empty the way space around us is empty – the interstellar space in our galaxy is full of gas, dust, ions, plasma… all sorts of things (including clouds like Barnard 68 up there). This? This is a void. A big, inexplicable, vacuous expanse which should not be there.

It’s like a hole in the Universe.

(Source: astrodidact, via zulenha)

— 3 months ago with 30394 notes
#*0*  #space  #science 

spaceplasma:

Dirty thunderstorms

A dirty thunderstorm (also, Volcanic lightning) is a weather phenomenon that occurs when lightning is produced in a volcanic plume. A study in the journal Science indicated that electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in a volcanic plume collide and produce static charges, just as ice particles collide in regular thunderstorms.

— 3 months ago with 111492 notes
#science  #nature 

spaceplasma:

Theoretical physics: The origins of space and time

Many researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behaviour of space and time, but where these entities come from.
Finding that one huge theory is a daunting challenge. Nature explores some promising lines of attack — as well as some of the emerging ideas about how to test these concepts (see 'The fabric of reality').
Credit: Zeeya Merali

— 3 months ago with 3362 notes
#science