Biology is a science of three dimensions. The first is the study of each species across all levels of biological organization, molecule to cell to organism to population to ecosystem. The second dimension is the diversity of all species in the biosphere. The third dimension is the history of each species in turn, comprising both its genetic evolution and the environmental change that drove the evolution. Biology, by growing in all three dimensions, is progressing toward unification and will continue to do so.
—  Edward O. Wilson
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These aren’t mine, but came across them today and really like the designs. Sadly, I’ve struggled to track down the identity of the original creator - if anyone here on tumblr has any idea where these originated from, it’d be great to be able to credit the person who made them, and perhaps see more of their work!

EDIT: Thanks to moonlightsnowflakes for tracking down the original creator using reverse image search wizardry! You can view the original post here.

Molecules every science nerd should know about:

Thiomersal - The molecule that prevents vaccines from going stale.

Tetranitratoxycarbon - The explosive molecule discovered by a 10 year-old girl

Triclosan - The antibacterial molecule found in soaps, detergents, toys and surgical cleaning treatments that maybe becoming an enviromental problem

Myristicin - The psychoactive molecule in nutmegs, and the story of the nut that changed the world.

Streptomycin - One of the main drugs to treat Tuberculosis.

Hydrazine - Rocket fuel, spandex suits, power stations and car air-bags!

Fluoroform - It’s not the same as chloroform!

Filbertone - The smell of hazelnuts.

Captopril - The treatment for high blood pressure derived from snake venom

Raspberry Ketone (or Rheosmin or Frambinone) -  The smell of raspberries.

Lauric Acid - The main constituent of coconut oil

Phenylethylamine - the amine responsible for the ‘Cheese effect’

Hydrogen Cyanide -  From Prussian Blue to Schrödinger’s Cat

Doxycycline - The antibiotic that’s an alternative to penicillin

Sulfanilamide - The antibiotic drug that saved the life of Winston Churchill

Eribulin - The anti-cancer drug made from a sea-sponge

Warfarin - The blood anti-coagulant used as a rat poison

Eucalyptol (1,8-Cineole) - A koala’s favourite food

Heptan-2-one - The stilton cheese molecule

Diacetyl - The buttery flavour of popcorn, butterscotch, and margarine.

Glycine - The amino-acid that may have kick-started life on Earth

Heavy Water - It’s water, just heavier!

1-Octen-3-ol - The smell of mushrooms.

Cyanoacrylate - Superglue!

Bombykol - The sex pheromone of the silk moth.

2-Methylundecanal  - The smell of Chanel No.5 perfume.

Sodium Thiopental (Sodium Pentothal) - The 'Truth Serum’ used in many spy movies.

Quinine - The anti-malarial drug that’s found in gin and tonic

Spidroin - Spider silk and spider poisons

Uranium Hexafluoride, UF6 - The source of uranium for nuclear power

Tetrodotoxin - The poison in puffer fish

4-Bromo-4’-Methoxy-acetophenone Azine - An organic magnet

Nerd -  … That’s what you are for reading all of these until the end.

taken from here.

Scientists watch glowing molecules form memories in real time

For the first time ever, neuroscientists have observed memory-forming molecules travel around the brain of a living animal. The unprecedented breakthrough is shedding light on how nerve cells make memories.

Prior to being able to recall — or more accurately, reconstruct — a memory, it has to be encoded and stored in the brain. It’s a complicated and dynamic process involving changes to molecular structures which alter synaptic transmissions between neurons. But watching this process in action is easier said than done.

Scientists See Chemical Bonds Between Atoms

by Txchnologist Staff

In an amazing work of microscopy, scientists have gotten a high-resolution view of a molecule and its chemical bonds. What’s more, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers got a peek at the molecule as it broke and reformed bonds after undergoing a chemical reaction.

Their images show a molecule, on the left above, which has 26 carbon and 14 hydrogen atoms structured as three connected benzene rings. The molecules on the right are the two most common products that result after the molecule is heated to 90 degrees Celsius.

Keep reading

New molecules around old stars

Using ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars.

When low- to middleweight stars like our Sun approach the end of their lives, they eventually become dense, white dwarf stars. In doing so, they cast off their outer layers of dust and gas into space, creating a kaleidoscope of intricate patterns known as planetary nebulas.

These actually have nothing to do with planets, but were named in the late 18th century by astronomer William Herschel, because they appeared as fuzzy circular objects through his telescope, somewhat like the planets in our Solar System.

Over two centuries later, planetary nebulas studied with William Herschel’s namesake, the Herschel space observatory, have yielded a surprising discovery.

Like the dramatic supernova explosions of weightier stars, the death cries of the stars responsible for planetary nebulas also enrich the local interstellar environment with elements from which the next generations of stars are born.

While supernovas are capable of forging the heaviest elements, planetary nebulas contain a large proportion of the lighter ‘elements of life’ such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, made by nuclear fusion in the parent star.

A star like the Sun steadily burns hydrogen in its core for billions of years. But once the fuel begins to run out, the central star swells into a red giant, becoming unstable and shedding its outer layers to form a planetary nebula.

The remaining core of the star eventually becomes a hot white dwarf pouring out ultraviolet radiation into its surroundings.

This intense radiation may destroy molecules that had previously been ejected by the star and that are bound up in the clumps or rings of material seen in the periphery of planetary nebulas.

The harsh radiation was also assumed to restrict the formation of new molecules in those regions.

But in two separate studies using Herschel astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital to the formation of water seems to rather like this harsh environment, and perhaps even depends upon it to form. The molecule, known as OH+, is a positively charged combination of single oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

In one study, led by Dr Isabel Aleman of the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, 11 planetary nebulas were analysed and the molecule was found in just three.

What links the three is that they host the hottest stars, with temperatures exceeding 100 000ºC.

“We think that a critical clue is in the presence of the dense clumps of gas and dust, which are illuminated by UV and X-ray radiation emitted by the hot central star,” says Dr Aleman.

“This high-energy radiation interacts with the clumps to trigger chemical reactions that leads to the formation of the molecules.”

Image credit: Hubble image: NASA/ESA/C. Robert O’Dell (Vanderbilt University) Herschel data: ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE/ HerPlaNS survey/I. Aleman et al.