cell development

11 Electrifying Facts about Jellyfish

Some are longer than a blue whale. Others are barely larger than a grain of sand. One species unleashes one of the most deadly venoms on Earth. Another holds a secret that’s behind some of the greatest breakthroughs in biology. In every way, jellyfish are fascinating creatures and today we’re celebrating them with 11 wild facts!

1. Jellyfish have inhabited the ocean for at least half a billion years, and they’re still flourishing even as the sea changes around them.

2. Jellyfish are soft-bodied sea creatures that aren’t really fish. They’re part of a diverse team of gelatinous zooplankton, zooplankton being animals that drift in the ocean.

3. A noted feature of jellyfish is a translucent bell made of a soft delicate material called mesoglea. Sandwiched between two layers of skin, the mesoglea is more than 95% water held together by protein fibers. The jellyfish can contract and relax their bells to propel themselves. They don’t have a brain or a spinal cord, but a neural net around the bell’s inner margin forms a rudimentary nervous system that can sense the ocean’s currents and the touch of other animals.

4. Jellyfish don’t have typical digestive systems, either. These gelatinous carnivores consume plankton and other small sea creatures through a hole in the underside of their bells.

5. The nutrients that jellyfish consume are absorbed by an inner layer of cells with waste excreted back through their mouths.

6. One species of jellyfish glows green when it’s agitated, mostly thanks to a biofluorescent compound called green fluorescent protein, or GFP. Scientists isolated the gene for GFP and figured out how to insert it into the DNA of other cells. There, it acts like a biochemical beacon, marking genetic modifications, or revealing the path of critical molecules. Scientists have used the glow of GFP to watch cancer cells proliferate, track the development of Alzheimer’s, and illuminate countless other biological processes. Developing the tools and techniques from GFP has netted three scientists a Nobel Prize in 2008, and another three in 2014.

7. The jellyfish’s sting, which helps it capture prey and defend itself, is its most infamous calling card. In the jelly’s epidermis, cells called nematocysts lie coiled like poisonous harpoons. When they’re triggered by contact, they shoot with an explosive force. It exerts over 550 times the pressure of Mike Tyson’s strongest punch to inject venom into the victim. 

8. The venom of one box jellyfish can kill a human in under five minutes, making it one of the most potent venoms of any animal in the world.

9. Jellyfish who may be the most successful organisms on Earth. There are more than 1,000 species of jellyfish, and many others that are often mistaken for them.

10. Ancient fossils prove that jellyfish have inhabited the seas for at least 500 million years, and maybe go back over 700 million. That’s longer than any other multi-organ animal. And as other marine animals are struggling to survive in warmer and more acidic oceans, the jellyfish are thriving, and perhaps getting even more numerous.

11. Some jellyfish can lay as many as 45,000 eggs in a single night. And there’s some jellyfish whose survival strategy almost sounds like science fiction. When the immortal jellyfish is sick, aging, or under stress, its struggling cells can change their identity. The tiny bell and tentacles deteriorate and turn into an immature polyp that spawns brand new clones of the parent.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Jellyfish predate dinosaurs. How have they survived so long? - David Gruber

Animation by Silvia Prietov

An interesting observation has been on my mind ever since Sonic’s reappearance in the manga (ch78).

First of all, Sonic was nowhere to be seen at this point in the webcomic, so his inclusion was a pleasant surprise! Especially since there’s still much we don’t know about his character or background, anything that further fleshes him out (and his past’s mysterious ties to Flash) is damn welcome indeed. Him falling to temptation by eating the monster cell came as a shock to many, because at this point, Sonic’s sense of pride in his skills and craft seemed too high for him to ever accept such a lowly deal – aka a cheapened shortcut to power. Thankfully he outright refused to join the other two ninjas’ monster scheme, but when it came to himself and his personal feelings concerning Saitama, we got THIS:

Like, damn. That’s some pretty heavy stuff. D: Apparently all his training to overcome his psychological trauma in ova3 wasn’t even enough progress to get out of his funk. He’s STILL been brooding all alone in his decrepit hide-out, festering in this dark mindset ever since. It seems his defeat to Saitama, the ultimate blow to his pride, was THAT much more severe than previously thought. If, after all this time, he considers all his progress, pride, and state of living essentially DEAD because of Saitama (holy shit). Sonic’s been absolutely shattered, thinking he has nothing else left to lose. Willing to give up even his humanity, willing to do anything to gain the power necessary to defeat Saitama once and for all.

…Wait a sec, now where have we seen that kind of drive/mindset before?

…I simply cannot imagine…ever approaching Master’s strength.” Yup, Genos. :’) Willing and prepared to do anything to become stronger. But! There are some important distinctions between him and Sonic.

Sonic has worked as an assassin and mercenary, who’s not above killing people, so his moral alignment is essentially gray. Therefore his susceptibility to be swayed to accept a monster cell (at his lowest and most vulnerable state of mind) is not completely out of left field. Meanwhile, Genos has been working on the path of justice, revenge, and ultimately, on the path towards becoming an earnest and honorable hero. Who has already chosen to give up a huge portion of his ‘humanity’ once he became a cyborg.

However, the most important distinction and contrast between them is how both of them have changed mentally after meeting Saitama:

  • Sonic, once prideful and spirited, has become dark, brooding, lost and self-destructive after meeting Saitama.    
  • Genos, once dark, brooding, and literally self-destructive before meeting Saitama, has become brighter with newfound hope and a better path worth living for now.

Narratively, I find THAT contrast in how these two characters have been inversely affected and changed by Saitama’s influence to be completely fascinating. The way Saitama continues to affect the people he meets in the story, both negatively and positively, remains an interesting draw to the series as a whole. :)  

Finally found a perfect balance of stats so that one species doesn’t completely take over the map. Decided to put them on a grid to see what would happen. Stuck that in 10x speed and it created quite a nice timelapse.

I am still very much enjoying cellular automata and I don’t think I am ever going to stop.

Enjoy! xx

anonymous asked:

How do you feel about outdoor cats? (or indoor outdoor cats. basically cats that are allowed to wander.) is it illegal where you live? if so, do people follow the rules? if not, do you think it should be illegal?

First, I would like to relay a conversation that I have at least once a day.

Me: Is your cat a strictly indoor cat?

Owner: Yes, but he goes outside sometimes during the day.

That is not the definition of a strictly indoor cat.

Outdoor cats are permitted under some local council jurisdictions, but there is increasing push to restrict their activities. Some locations have a cat curfew, some estates have an indoor only policy (and all pets must be desexed), and some locations are pushing to prevent ownership of pet cats at all (mostly islands).

There is a large population of stray cats and semi-owned cats. These cats might get fed by multiple people on the street, but nobody steps up to claim ownership of the cat. Nobody gets it desexed or gets veterinary treatment. Nobody goes looking for it if it goes missing, they assume it ‘went home’.

Our local council is pushing for more people to take responsibility for these cats, largely cutting down on adoption paperwork. They’re also allowing businesses and factories to take ownership of semi-owned local cats so long as they’re desexed. The feral colony living of McDonald’s dumpsters is an example. The council can’t force these people to keep barely tame cats inside, but they’ll settle for seeing them desexed. Folks wont hand cats over to the council if they think they’re just going to be put to sleep.

The simple facts about cats permitted to roam outside are these:

  • They devastate local wildlife populations. Even well fed pets will hunt. If you would like to see the approximately 50 animals removed from one feral cat’s stomach, there is a picture here. It’s a bit gore-ish. They kill a lot.
  • They do not live as long on average as strictly indoor cats.
  • This is mostly due to increased viral transmission and accidents - fights, dog attacks, hit by cars etc.
  • There is a portion of the human population that deliberately go out of their way to harm cats. Shooting in rural areas, running them over with cars, putting out milk with paracetamol (acetaminophen), etc.
  • People will also ‘kidnap’ friendly cats that they find on the street and ‘assume’ are lost so decide to keep them. I know one lady that picked up a cat on the street on holiday, drove four hours back home, and then presented it to me where I found its microchip. She did not get to keep the cat she kidnapped.
  • Cats with white faces are far less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma.

Cats are safer if they’re confined to their home or properly secured cat runs. Both safer for them and it prevents their devastating affect on our environment. I would prefer to see them all contained, though I doubt that will happen. Society’s view of cats and how we keep them would need to change before that happens. Currently they’re perceived as low value pets because they’re so easy to acquire.

Note that a cat on a harness still counts as contained, because they’re not able to free-roam, as do cats in a secure enclosure.

Society is perfectly happy to contain and entertain its dogs. We should be capable of doing so for our cats.

nintendo making the switch cartridges taste awful on purpose so kids wont eat them and adults proceeding to lick them to see what they taste like is a perfect example of how we as a species have willingly shed whatever eons old protective measures out cells developed to defend us against certain doom and are hurtling towards a chaotic and nasty plasticy endy wendy

When somebody says "the man determines the sex of the baby. you can't be trans because it doesn't exist. it's simple science you can't go against biology." this is what I tell them.

“You’re right, and you’re wrong. It’s actually not simple at all. On average, fertilization occurs about two weeks after your last menstrual period. When the sperm penetrates the egg, changes occur in the protein coating around it to prevent other sperm from entering. At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex.

If a Y sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a boy; if an X sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a girl. In that sense you are technically right, but gender is determined by so much more than that. We all know that a man’s brain is different to that of his female counterpart, right?” By which point the person who I’m talking to agrees. then I go on to say.

“In month 3 of Pregnancy

the baby has grown from embryo to fetus. by now the baby’s arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes are fully formed. the baby can open and close its fists and mouth. Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and the external ears are formed. The beginnings of teeth are forming, and the baby’s reproductive organs are also developing, but the baby’s gender is difficult to distinguish on ultrasound, because the genitalia start out the same. Differentiation of the male and female reproductive systems does not occur until this crucial fetal period of development.

It is believed by scientists that during the intrauterine period the fetal brain develops in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. According to this concept, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation should be programmed into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the beginning of the third trimester, (The third month of pregnancy) and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no proof that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation. Data on genetic and hormone independent influence on gender identity are presently divergent and do not provide convincing information about the underlying etiology. To what extent fetal programming may determine sexual orientation is also a matter of discussion. A number of studies show patterns of sex atypical cerebral dimorphism in homosexual subjects. Although the crucial question, namely how such complex functions as sexual orientation and identity are processed in the brain remains unanswered, emerging data point at a key role of specific neuronal circuits involving the hypothalamus. So yes you are right, it is biology I’m not fighting anything other than ignorance.”


Bloom (1/?)

This has been a work in progress for quite some time. It started as a response to the fact that OUAT seemingly cannot have a normal pregnancy on this show without it being traumatic or otherwise very sad. This is the result. This series will be following the arc of Emma’s totally normal, only lightly angsty pregnancy that will end 100% happy. That is my guarantee. No prophecies. No speeding up. A super normal pregnancy.

As for the timing of posting this…well, we could all use some fluff, and I’m not letting reality get me down. So, presenting, “The Happiest Pregnancy Ever”

Also on A03.

Why should I be unhappy? Every parcel of my being is in full bloom.
-Rumi

Emma tapped her fingers on the table, her nails clack-clack-clacking on the wood with each downward press. She listened to the steady tick-tock of the clock, understanding with sudden clarity why Barrie had one haunt his interpretation of her husband. 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Her husband wasn’t home. He was at store working his way down the list of things she’d hastily scribbled before he walked out the door. The list was long, and she didn’t really need half the things she sent him to buy, but she needed him gone, not anywhere near her while she processed the impending changes to their life. He would be home soon, which meant that she had to decide just what course of action to take.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

The house was quiet. Whenever Henry stayed with Regina, there was a certain stillness to their home. Even when he was there, he opted to listen to music via headphones. He was teenager, meaning he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. She liked the quiet, sometimes. Other times, not so much. It reminded Emma of her time as the Dark One – the house barren, dead. 

It won’t be like that much longer.

Emma fingered the stick in front of her. It read “pregnant” in small letters. She sprung for the test that said pregnant or not pregnant. She didn’t want to take any chances with lines or ink. It was clear as day that way. No mistakes.

Keep reading

pianoplayersara  asked:

Do you have any non religious arguments against abortion?

Yes!

Current biology research shows us that, once fertilization takes place in humans, the resulting zygote is an individual organism and a member of the human species. This organism is self-directed, which means it develops from within using its own unique DNA (as opposed to, for instance, how a car is put together one piece at a time).

In fact, for the first week (prior to implantation), the human embryo is not directly connected to the mother, but continues to grow and develop from a single-celled organism to a blastocyst with hundreds of cells that at this point begin to differentiate (different cells are going to develop into different body systems).

The development is gradual and continuous, which means there is no definite point after fertilization where we can say that the human embryo/fetus has become something different that it wasn’t before. All of our descriptions of stages of development and the terms we use are arbitrary and only for our own benefit in understanding what happens.

Birth itself is simply a change in location for the fetus. We change our terminology, but the fetus/newborn doesn’t change in any significant way.

If this is the case, we can easily say that the fetus is a member of the human species.

However, this means nothing if we don’t know how to treat members of the human species. Science cannot answer that question - it can only tell us what the fetus is and what it does. At this point, we have to turn to philosophy and ethics.

Most people can agree that all human adults and human children have human rights and deserve equal treatment.

Most people also agree that while animals should not be abused or neglected, they don’t deserve equal treatment with humans. If they did, the punishment for a hit-and-run would be the same whether the victim was a squirrel or a human toddler.

But why?

We have to have a consistent explanation for equal treatment that tells us, without ambiguity, who does and doesn’t have rights.

Our explanation must include human adults and human infants, but exclude animals.

If we base our explanation on ability, such as self-awareness, sentience, verbal ability, etc. we run the risk of either excluding some human adults or infants or including squirrels.

However, if we base our explanation on the common humanity shared by human adults and human infants, we satisfy all three requirements with an explanation that should make sense to us.

This explanation, that all humans deserve equal treatment regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or ability, means that a human fetus (or even a zygote) deserves equal treatment because it is human.

This means that if it is wrong to intentionally kill a 2-year-old, it is wrong to intentionally kill a fetus, regardless of the fetus’s stage of development. Therefore, if we agree that it should be illegal to kill 2-year-olds, it should also be illegal to kill fetuses.

A law based on this fact would simply be the existing murder statute applied to all human beings equally, as the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already requires.

This would mean that it would be illegal for abortionists to kill preborn children. The mother of the preborn child would be considered a second victim of a medical professional who chose to violate the law and medical ethics.

tl;dr: Fetuses are biologically human. All human beings have equal rights. Fetuses have the same rights as everybody else.

#Oxybenzone: This could in fact be the most troublesome ingredient found in the majority of popular sunscreens. A study out of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Zurich determined that oxybenzone may also mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and promote the growth of cancer cells.
.
#RetinylPalmitate (Vitamin A palmitate): A study conducted by U.S. government scientists suggests that retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight (NTP 2012). As Dr. Joseph Merocla 
explains, this suggests that sunscreen products could actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer, because they contain vitamin A and its derivates, retinol, and retinyl palmitate.
.
#Fragrance: Fragrance refers to a host of harmful hormone-disrupting chemicals mentioned earlier, like parabens, phthalates, and synthetic musks.
.
Sun Exposure Can Protect You From Cancer. The sun isn’t as bad as it’s marketed to be, however. 
Corporations are concerned with profit, not people, and telling us that sun exposure can actually protect against cancer isn’t going to get us to buy sunscreen. Yet several studies have made this connection, confirming that the appropriate amount of sun exposure can actually protect us against skin cancer. ☕🐸 #4biddenknowledge

Henrietta Lacks

Though she died of cervical cancer in 1951, her cells were discovered to have unique properties. These immortal “HeLa” cells were instrumental in developing the polio vaccine as well as other key scientific landmarks including cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization. Yet, her story has raised controversial questions about the ethics surrounding privacy & patient consent. Who was this unrecognized woman?

Keep reading

Reconstructing life at its beginning, cell by cell

After 13 rapid divisions a fertilized fly egg consists of about 6,000 cells. They all look alike under the microscope. However, each cell of a Drosophila melanogaster embryo already knows by then whether it is destined to become a neuron or a muscle cell – or part of the gut, the head, or the tail. Now, Nikolaus Rajewsky’s and Robert Zinzen’s teams at the Berlin Institute of Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) have analyzed the unique gene expression profiles of thousands of single cells and reassembled the embryo from these data using a new spatial mapping algorithm. The result is a virtual fly embryo showing exactly which genes are active where at this point in time. “It is basically a transcriptomic blueprint of early development,” says Robert Zinzen, head of the Systems Biology of Neural Tissue Differentiation Lab. Their paper appears as a First Release in the online issue of Science.

Keep reading

Scientists discover new mechanism of how brain networks form

Scientists have discovered that networks of inhibitory brain cells or neurons develop through a mechanism opposite to the one followed by excitatory networks. Excitatory neurons sculpt and refine maps of the external world throughout development and experience, while inhibitory neurons form maps that become broader with maturation. This discovery adds a new piece to the puzzle of how the brain organizes and processes information. Knowing how the normal brain works is an important step toward understanding the nature of neurological conditions and opens the possibility of finding treatments in the future. The results appear in Nature Neuroscience.

“The brain represents the external world as specific maps of activity created by networks of neurons,” said senior author Dr. Benjamin Arenkiel, associate professor of molecular and human genetics and of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, who studies neural maps in the olfactory system of the laboratory mouse. “Most of these maps have been studied in the excitatory circuits of the brain because excitatory neurons in the cortex outnumber inhibitory neurons.”

The studies of excitatory maps have revealed that they begin as a diffuse and overlapping network of cells. “With time,” said Arenkiel, “experience sculpts this diffuse pattern of activity into better defined areas, such that individual mouse whiskers, for instance, are represented by discrete segments of the brain cortex. This progression from a diffuse to a refined pattern occurs in many areas of the brain.”

In addition to excitatory networks, the brain has inhibitory networks that also respond to external stimuli and regulate the activity of neural networks. How the inhibitory networks develop, however, has remained a mystery.

In this study, Arenkiel and colleagues studied the development of maps of inhibitory neurons in the olfactory system of the mouse.

Studying inhibitory brain networks of the mouse sense of smell

“Unlike sight, hearing or other senses, the sense of smell in the mouse detects discrete scents from a large array of molecules,” said Arenkiel, who is also a McNair Scholar at Baylor.

Mice can detect a vast number of scents thanks in part to a complex network of inhibitory neurons. Inhibitory neurons are the most abundant type of cells in the mouse brain area dedicated to process scent. To support this network, newly born inhibitory neurons are continually added and integrated into the circuits.

Arenkiel and colleagues followed the paths of these newly added neurons in time to determine how inhibitory circuits develop. First, they genetically labeled the cells so they would glow when the neurons were active. Then, they offered individual scents to the mice and visually recorded through a microscope the areas or networks of the brain that glowed for each scent the live, anesthetized animal smelled. The scientists repeated the experiment several times to determine how the networks changed as the animal learned to identify each scent.

Surprising result

The scientists expected that inhibitory networks would mature in a way similar to that of excitatory networks. That is, the more the animal experienced a scent, the better defined the networks of activity would become. Surprisingly, the scientists discovered that the inhibitory brain circuits of the mouse sense of smell develop in a manner opposite to the excitatory circuits. Instead of becoming narrowly defined areas, the inhibitory circuits become broader. Thanks to this new finding scientists now better understand how the brain organizes and processes information.

Arenkiel and colleagues think that the inhibitory networks work hand-in-hand with the excitatory networks. They propose that the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory networks could be compared to a network of roads (excitatory networks) whose traffic is regulated by a network of traffic lights (inhibitory networks). The scientists suggest that the formation of useful neural maps depends on inhibitory networks driving the refinement of excitatory networks, and that this new information will be essential towards developing new approaches for repairing brain tissue.

weirdhologurl  asked:

Hey, can you give us your assessment of Hurricane Harvey & explain the weather phenomenon occurring in Texas? Why are tornados forming from the tropical storm?

Hurricane Harvey is presenting itself with the most dangerous aspect of these storms. While the wind often stands out and is most notable in hurricanes, flooding and storm surge results in the most fatalities. After making landfall in Texas, Hurricane Harvey has stalled out and created what is essentially a conveyor of water from the gulf. Additionally, it’s not over. The 12z Nam-3km model on the 28th is showing Harvey’s remnants finally departing Houston late on Wednesday still producing rain until that point. Please do not go by this word and reference the forecasts from the National Hurricane Center - I am merely taking a glance at one model as time allows me to, while other meteorologists are utilizing an entire day to develop forecasts. 

As for tornadoes in hurricanes, though we generally think of hurricanes and tornadoes as completely separate entities, hurricane environments are actually quite ripe for tornadic activity. This is a matter of scaling: a hurricane is a mesoscale sized event, while a tornado is a general on a micro scale. When making landfall they possess considerable and extreme wind speeds - however, the ground is not a frictionless surface and slows winds relative to winds higher in the atmosphere. We call this difference in wind velocity with altitude wind shear, which is a necessary ingredient for the development of mesocyclonic storm cells and tornados. Thusly, mesocyclonic cells and tornadoes develop in the moist tropical air and are embedded in the hurricane. For more reading on the topic, feel free to check out this page from the NOAA

Not Saying a Word

Originally posted by stallingdemons

Kinder Than You – Part 1

My Heart Will be There – Part 1

Peter Parker X Reader

Word Count: 2437

Author: Just Kate

Warnings:There’s rain? I don’t know?!!

A/N: What’s up! What’s good! Part 3 comin’ atcha! (I’m channeling my inner Liza Koshy if you can’t tell) Anyways, guys! I’m so excited for this part, and I’m letting you guys have ONE MORE PART! It’s gonna be so mushy, you’re probably all gonna hate me… Anyways, thanks for all the notes, and thanks for all the requests! I’m slightly behind, but it’s the weekend, so I’ll try and have a couple rolled out soon! Hope you like Part 3!

“Y/N!” Nat called up the stairs. You took a deep breath, and walked out of your room.

“What’s up, Nat?” You asked. It was Saturday afternoon, and you were wallowing around until it was time to go over to Aunt May’s apartment and watch a that movie.

“What do you want for lunch?” Nat asked, heating up various left-overs on the stove.

“I, uh, I’m not hungry. Had a big breakfast.” You lied. Natasha looked at you with a withering look as you sat on the counter, kicking your feet back and forth.

“You didn’t eat breakfast, Y/N.” She reminded you. “You’re starving yourself over this Peter thing.” Nat’s eyes burned into yours.

“I’m not starving myself!” You retorted. “Plus, I ate a lot yesterday.”

“A milkshake does not count as a lot!” Nat said, stirring the contents in the pan vigorously. You were about to argue back, but Steve walked into the room, and pulled a bag of potato chips from the pantry. You and Nat continued to stare daggers at each other, and Steve finally caught the drift, realization seeping into his expression.

“What’s going on?” He asked, his head tilting with that patronizing look that always made you feel guilty. You looked at Nat, begging her not to say anything.

“Y/N is refusing to eat because she feels bad about the fight with Peter.” She said, looking at you pointedly. Steve looked at you sadly.

“That is not what is going on! Just because I’m not hungry you guys act like I haven’t eaten in days!” You said, incredulous at their behavior.

“Y/N, I know Peter hurt you, but you can’t let him affect you like this.” Steve said, looking at you sharply to make you squirm. Your eyebrows raised angrily. They were completely misinterpreting everything.You opened you mouth to correct Steve when Tony came running into the kitchen.

“I smell tension and hear the sweet sound of arguing. Who offended who?” Tony asked, his expression completely serious, his eyes sparkling. Normally, you would have laughed, but this was exactly the wrong conversation to get all of the Avengers involved in.

“Nothing is going o–” You tried to explain, but Nat cut you off.

“Y/N is refusing to eat because she’s fighting with her boyfriend, Peter.” Your eyes widened, and your heart started pumping very fast. Tony rolled his eyes, and made a face at her. He was torn between the kids, and he had been working for weeks to try and figure a solution out that would force them to talk. He had worked something out with May eventually, and he was sick of the topic.

“What’s going on?” Bucky and Sam walked in, still sweaty from training. Bruce walked in after them with an interested expression on his face. Nat and Steve explained what was going on a 4th time, and then Thor walked in.

“Who disrespected Lady Y/N?” He asked in his deep voice. You buried your face in your hands, clenching your teeth. Tony poked you in the side, and your head shot up, a pained expression very clear on your face.

“Ow! Bruise?” You said, and everyone stopped talking and looked at you.

“Shouldn’t that have healed already?” Said Tony, concerned. You moved your mouth, but no sound came out. Natasha walked over, and lifted up your shirt slightly, just enough to see the massive bruise that had refused to heal after Peter had hurt you. Everyone looked at you with a worried, questioning look.

“Will you cut that out?!” You swatted Nat’s hand away, and looked at the floor. Steve spoke first after an uncomfortably long silence.

“Y/N… What happened? You got that bruise ages ago, and it wasn’t nearly that bad.” You bit your raw lip, trying to come up with an excuse, a lie, something, anything.

“Peter hurt her.” Wanda said from the back. She had slipped in quietly while everyone had been chattering. You closed your eyes, and when the flashbacks started, you opened your eyes again. Everyone could see the tears glazing them over.

“What happened? Bruce said. He had always been super protective of you, being the youngest, and he had also helped you with a lot of your anxiety and stress.

“Um, well, you see…” You stammered, your heart hurting like it did when you thought about Peter since the fight. Wanda walked up to you, and pressed her fingers very lightly to your bruise. You winced.

“They were fighting, and she said something that offended Peter, so he started walking away, and she grabbed his arm to try and stop him. He threw his arm back, and Y/N got pushed into table, hitting her side, and his hand smacked her cheek.” Wanda recited in a monotone, her eyebrows pressed together and her eyes closed as she saw the incident through your mind. You looked around, trying to avoid all eye contact.

“That doesn’t explain why it hasn’t healed yet.” Bucky said quietly. Bruce looked at you.

“Sometimes pressure added to an already existent flesh wound, especially if that wound hasn’t had time to heal, can lead to a prolonged recovery period.” He walked up to you, and mildly starting poking the black and blue flesh. “Did you hit the corner of the table?” He asked you, looking up. You nodded solemnly. “It looks like she either fractured a rib, or the table broke the bottom couple layers of skin, which would lead to a blood build-up, since the skin cells would need to develop the special qualities that are found in the bottom-most layers of skin. Possibly both.” Bruce concluded.

“Why didn’t you tell any of us?” Steve asked. He was giving you the look again. You shrugged in response.

“She was trying to protect Peter, even after all the stuff he’s done to her.” Natasha answered softly.

“He just doesn’t understand the reach of his powers. He doesn’t understand how powerful his reflexes are.” Your voice wavered, and you focused on trying to control your tears.

“But you still let him walk all over you.” Sam said bluntly. You knew everyone was silently agreeing with him. You shook your head,  hopped of the counter, and walked back to your room without looking back. When you were safely out of earshot, you muttered one heart-breaking sentence.

“Not anymore.”

***

You were at May’s, eating a bowl of ice cream and watching that movie. She was on the other side of the couch, remembering how she would always watch princess movies with you when you were little. The ending credits started rolling through the screen, and you smiled. It was a good movie, and you had really liked it. You wondered if you would ever be able to persuade Peter to watch it with you, and your heart dropped. He wouldn’t. He hated you, Liz had said so, and he had obviously told her stuff you didn’t know. He had chosen her, and you been left in dark, your heart shattering because he hadn’t wanted it.

“Are you thinking about him?” May asked. She had watched the quick transition of your smile to a broken expression. You looked at her, and a tear slid down your cheek without permission. You swiped it away, and faked a smile. 

“No. That was a good movie, though. It really reminds me of one of my other favorites.” You told her about one of your favorite movies.

“Oh, I don’t think I’ve seen that one!” May said. She was lying, but she had to keep to the plan that she and Tony had been working on for days. 

“Really? It’s amazing! I’m sure you would love it, and it’s on Netflix.” You said.

“Let’s watch it then!” May said excitedly, fiddling with the remote. You looked at your phone, wondering if you should go home. You knew Peter wouldn’t be back anytime soon, but you didn’t want to risk the chance.

“It’s only 7, and I’m sure Tony won’t mind if I text him. Peter won’t be back until the morning.” She reminded you. You nodded, despite the voice in the back of your head warning you of something wrong. The movie started, and you watched it, eating your ice cream slowly. When a scene you didn’t like started, you got up to put your bowl in the sink. When you had washed out your bowl, you sunk to the floor, pulling your knees up to your chest as your side throbbed. Bruce had taken a couple X-Rays before you left for May’s, and just to your luck, you had both the conditions that Bruce had been talking about. The pain killers were just starting to wear off, and you had forgotten the next dosage at the Tower. You knew that Peter had some in his room for when you guys would come back from watches with injuries, but you didn’t want to go get them just yet. You rested your head on you knees when you heard the door open, and a very familiar voice start talking.

“Hey, I’m back.” Peter’s voice echoed in from the front room.

“I thought you were at Ned’s.” May’s voice answered.

“His mom needed him to do some stuff, so we’ll just work on the English project later.” Your shoulders started shaking, but you knew you should go back in. It would be less awkward than if he walked in and saw you crying on the floor without any explanation. You walked out, your hands crossed over your torso, trying you keep your heart together. Peter turned at the noise of your bare feet scuffing the floor. You bit your lip at the confused face you were giving him, but then his face brightened. 

“What-what are you doing here, Y/N?” He asked, and you bit your lip. You didn’t think you would be able to talk.

“Y/N and I are having a movie night since she hadn’t been over in a while.” May answered for you, and you nodded, slipping past him to the couch.

“Oh, that-that’s cool.” Peter answered, and you wanted to start crying again. Here he was, acting like nothing had ever happened, not your escape, not the fight, not even the Liz thing. Like he didn’t even know you. Peter sat down on the arm chair, and started watching the movie with you. He had seen it before, you had made him because it was one of you favorites. Your only focus was on not looking at Peter. You didn’t know how many more brutal hits you could take. You could feel him staring at you, and it was all becoming a little too difficult. You were about to make an excuse about having to go home when May’s phone buzzed with a text. 

“Shoot, they need me down-town to cover a grave yard shift for someone.” She said, jumping off the couch and grabbing her keys. You got up to go, but May blocked the door from you.

“Tony said that they got a mission call, and he wants you to stay here because you’re hurt,” Peter’s eyebrows knitted together in concern and guilt. “and he told Peter to not worry about coming in. Whatever that means.” She showed you her phone to prove, and your shoulders sank in defeat. May said goodbye to both of you, and you fell back on the couch. After about 10 minutes of neither of you saying anything, you got up, and walked out the door. Peter shot up after you.

“Y/N! Y/N!” You heard as you walked out of the apartment complex and into the rain. You were almost instantly drenched, but you continued to walk until you felt someone grab your arm. You whipped around in alarm, but all you saw was Peter’s face, with his drenched hair dangling in front of his eyes. You got the urge to move them back into place, and you shook your head, trying to ignore the electricity you felt at his touch. 

“What?” You said, your voice cracking slightly.

“Where are you going? Mr. Stark told you to stay here!” Peter said, shaking his head to clear the water out of his eyes. You bit your lip so you wouldn’t smile.

“Well, I honestly don’t care what Tony says, and I really don’t want to bother you!” You shouted through the downpour. You shook Peter’s hand off your arm, and started walking again. You had only made it a couple paces when you felt someone’s arms wrap around your waist, picking you up.

“Peter, stop! Put me down, right now!” You yelled, trying to kick out of his grasp. You cursed his powers, because there was no way he could have done this before the spider bite. 

“Mr. Stark told you to stay here! Plus, what will Aunt May think when she comes back and your gone?”

“I don’t care! Put me down!” You said, trying to ignore the building pain in your side. Peter walked into the alley beneath his window, and shot a web to the fire escape, pulling you up with him. You held in a cry as he held your side. When you got to his window, he let go, and you started running, trying to get far enough away so you could zap back into the Tower. You were about ready to zap, but one of Peter’s webs caught your back, preventing you from running any further.

***

Peter’s POV:

I stared at Y/N running, and I grinned. She’s my best friend, and I missed her more than I could explain, but seeing her again just made me happy. And she didn’t look anxious or anything, like May said. I just wanted a chance to say sorry, but I chickened out.

***

Peter pulled the web back until he could pick you up again. You didn’t bother trying to fight, you were exhausted and freezing from the cold rain. He was smiling down at you, and a tear rolled down your cheek without his notice, This is how you wanted it to be, but you couldn’t shake the thought of Liz telling you that Peter hated you. He jumped through his open window, still holding you in his arms. You secretly marveled at his strength. He put you down, and you walked back into the front room without saying a word. Peter followed you, and watched you slump into the couch, defeated. He sat back in the armchair, watching you as you curled up and watched the movie again. Not saying a word.


@ekinsyikin @afangirlssoul @wannabe-weasley @akm0o @rxchelpxng @mindfullofpoetry @sailorchibimoonunicorn @ginnyweasels @you-need-a-driver @143amberrose @miss-nerdalots

Redbush (Rooibos) Tea, a quick overview and 6 of it’s health benefits!

This tea is a great alternative to Green tea if it is not to your taste, and in many ways can be even better for you!

It is a herbal tea which has been enjoyed in Southern Africa for generations, most commonly grown in a small mountain range in the Western Cape province of South Africa. 

It can be enjoyed on it’s own or you can add different milks or sweeteners to it to taste. My favorite is a splash of Soya milk and half a teaspoon of honey if I want a healthier tea that tastes almost identical to English Breakfast Tea or if I have a cold/sore throat I love to add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Also it has no caffeine and less tannins than Black & Green tea so it is great for people who struggle with that.

—————————————————————————————————-

Okay here goes the health benefits:

  • 1. Antioxidants. This tea is absolutely loaded with antioxidants, having an incredible 50 more than Green tea. This makes it extremely powerful at maintaining overall health and reducing cell damage. This in turn makes it very effective at reducing the risk of developing cancerous cells in the body. This tea is a reliable defense against notorious free radicals
  • 2. Vitamin C and Minerals.  It contains Vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, fluoride, manganese, magnesium, zinc and alpha hydroxy acid. This makes it a very effective way to help take in all the nutrients your body needs to perform optimally, this boosts over all health and will help keep various issues at bay such as joint pain, premature aging, muscular issues, common infections such as the cold and many other general complaints.
  • 3. Digestive Tract. It helps digestion run smoothly so it is great for people with IBS or regular Bowell complaints, it also reduces stomach cramps. Drinking the tea 45-30 minutes before a meal will ensure the Antispasmodic effects are working on the gut during the meals digestion period to help keep it from triggering cramps.
  • 4. Great for Asthma sufferers. The tea helps to open the airways in the lungs to increase airflow and thus oxygen intake. Regular drinking of the tea can help keep many asthmatic symptoms and potential reactions at bay.                                                                                                            - I personally have had asthma since birth and I had been stuck on a steroid for 10 years due to near constant asthma attacks. A combination of diet change and this tea has allowed me to come off of it and my asthma nurse agreed that it has helped many people. I now very rarely get asthma complaints.
  • 5. Anti-inflammatory. The polyphenols in the tea help to reduce overall inflammation which can reduce pains and discomfort. It also helps to ease Hypertension and Arthritis symptoms. The Polyphenols also give it strong anti-viral properties helping to aid the immune system in fighting off diseases like the Flu. 
  • 6. Blood sugar balancing.  Aspalathin is an antioxidant found in the tea that helps to balance blood sugar levels in the body, making it helpful for people with Diabetes or frequent blood sugar spikes.

—————————————————————————————————-

To summarize, this tea is a great alternative to others and has many health tonic effects if drunken regularly, if you want to add something to your diet that puts in lots of good stuff and little to no bad stuff then it is a great option.

Due to it’s lack of caffeine it can be drunken very regularly with no problems such as insomnia, nervous tension, addiction or other potential side effects of caffeine.

There are many other potential health benefits locked in this tea and many are being investigated, It has been shown to help in the treatment of HIV and can help protect the brain from age related deterioration.

To get all the benefits I recommend drinking it with each meal and before bed. For those of you who suffer with morning inflammation it might be particularly helpful in the morning.


(: