The Cygnus Wall of Star Formation : Sometimes, stars form in walls – bright walls of interstellar gas. In this vivid skyscape, stars are forming in the W-shaped ridge of emission known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive outline popularly called The North America Nebula, the cosmic ridge spans about 20 light-years. Constructed using narrowband data to highlight the telltale reddish glow from ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with electrons, the image mosaic follows an ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette. Sculpted by energetic radiation from the region’s young, hot, massive stars, the dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust with stars likely forming within. The North America Nebula itself, NGC 7000, is about 1,500 light-years away. via NASA
The other wonderful thing about myth and folktale elements is that nearly every story is in segments, which can be taken apart and either recombined or included on their own. In this form they carry the same weight but their meaning often alters. I first grasped this at the age of about eleven, when I was allowed to read a scholarly book…which was mostly sixteen versions of the same Persian folktale–the one where the younger prince fetches the princess from the glass mountain–placed in such an order that, as the details of the story altered, you watched it changing from one sort of narrative (the trial of strength and valour) to another (the test of character), while the outline of the story itself never changed. This kind of thing fascinates me. When I was a student I imagine I caused Tolkien much grief by turning up to hear him lecture week after week, while he was trying to wrap his series up after a fortnight and get on with The Lord of the Rings (you could do that in those days, if you lacked an audience, and still get paid). I sat there obdurately despite all his mumbling and talking with his face pressed up to the blackboard, forcing him to go on expounding every week how you could start with a simple quest-narrative and, by gradually twitching elements as it went along, arrive at the complex and entirely different story of Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale–a story that still contains the excitement of the quest-narrative that seeded it. What little I heard of all this was wholly fascinating.
The W in Cassiopeia : A familiar, zigzag, W pattern in northern constellation Cassiopeia is traced by five bright stars in this colorful and broad mosaic. Stretching about 15 degrees across rich starfields, the celestial scene includes dark clouds, bright nebulae, and star clusters along the Milky Way. In yellow-orange hues Cassiopeias alpha star Shedar is a standout though. The yellowish giant star is cooler than the Sun, over 40 times the solar diameter, and so luminous it shines brightly in Earths night from 230 light-years away. A massive, rapidly rotating star at the center of the W, bright Gamma Cas is about 550 light-years distant. Bluish Gamma Cas is much hotter than the Sun. Its intense, invisible ultraviolet radiation ionizes hydrogen atoms in nearby interstellar clouds to produce visible red H-alpha emission as the atoms recombine with electrons. Of course, night skygazers in the Alpha Centauri star system would also see the recognizable outline traced by Cassiopeias bright stars. But from their perspective a mere 4.3 light-years away they would see our Sun as a sixth bright star in Cassiopeia, extending the zigzag pattern just beyond the left edge of this frame. via NASA
R&D Uchiha AU - headcanon that Obito was a different kind of nerd than the rest of the Uchiha so he couldn't find his niche, and he was just. SO. MAD. that someone like Kakashi could make his own jutsu like - "oh yeah, I've been working on this in my down time, it's a super-powerful one-hit kill technique." BAKASHI. NO. INVENTING COOL JUTSU IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN UCHIHA'S SCHTICK. But everything Obito comes up with is weird or unfeasible. My poor sad bby.
Given how Obito was in canon, I can see this actually being a thing. Maybe Obito isn’t good at inventing jutsus, but he’s one of the few Uchiha who’s able to actually use them in a fight because of his penchant for Xanatos Speed Chess the the ability to alter and recombine jutsus on the fly. He can’t create anything new, but give him a slightly wonky Katon jutsu, a half-powered Raiton, and a sluggish Doton and throw him into a dangerous situation, and suddenly you’ve got a volcano erupting underneath your feet and no idea how the fuck it happened.
It is said by Emma about her in the Enchanted Forest. But it can also be really applicable to Regina.
The whole time she was growing up she was told who she was; she was manipulated and abused and she became Evil. She was never the person she wanted to be because no one would let her.
Now she is Good. Now she fights for her friends, for her family. She has finally become a person full of love; the person she always wanted to be as a little girl/teenager.
AKA the person she was in the Enchanted Forest wasn’t who she really wanted to be. Wasn’t who she really has become.
Being in Storybrooke with Snowing, Henry, and Emma has allowed her to be her own person.
What are considered Gmos? My friend says that they have to be manipulated in a lab, but many biology blogs say that a selectively bred animal or plant is a gmo.
Hey! I can understand your confusion, and I apologize for being one of those people who purposefully muddies the water around the definition of what exactly is a genetically modified organism.
The best description I could find was the one legally defined by the European Union: “An organism is genetically modified if its genetic material has been changed in a way that does not occur under natural conditions through cross-breeding or natural recombination”
On the other hand, you’ve probably heard terms like artificial selection or selective breeding bandied about - and this is essentially the pre-labs, extremely long-game version of GMOs. Not to mention the version that is usually touted as being better since it’s “natural”, as though anything produced in a lab is sent straight from the ninth circle of Hell itself (looking at you, anti-vaxxers)
These are things like most of our basic food crops and domesticated animals, where humans have affected the evolution of the target organism to get the desired trait over hundreds and thousands of years. Such as how the extinct aurochs became more meat-heavy cows, wild teosinte became higher-yield corn, and Brassica became literally everything else, to a point where I wouldn’t even be surprised if dogs had some B. oleracea in them.
So, artificial selection and GMOs overlap in a lot of ways, but I hope I clarified the subject a little bit better. Enjoy your Brassica oleracea canis.
Bacteriophages: Antibiotic Alternative or Just a Phase?
It is now clear that we are rapidly approaching a post-antibiotic
era, and the need for an alternative is more vital than ever. The CDC estimates
that approximately 2 million people are infected with antibiotic resistant
bacteria each year, and of that 23 000 of them die as a result of the infection
. Our antibiotic pipeline is drying
up and the development of new antibiotics is both slow and expensive, making
antibiotics unappealing investments for pharmaceutical companies. Although
alternatives to antibiotics are far from the market, the field is slowly expanding.
Amongst the alternatives, bacteriophages (phages) are a potential candidate for
both diagnostic and therapeutic medicine.
Quite simply, phages are viruses that infect bacteria. These
are the most abundant biological entity on the planet and are thought to
outnumber bacteria 10:1. Their sheer abundance has led to a vast diversity that
has yet to be exploited by modern medicine. This is in part due to a number of
problems with phages that haven’t made them ideal candidates for therapy. This
article seeks to look at some of the problems with phages, and what steps are
being taken to improve them for application in humans.
Rapid clearance from the host:
Delivery systems for phages have not been thoroughly assessed for systemic phage application. In other words we are still lacking a way of delivering a bacteriophage drug intravenously to ensure that phages have the maximal effect on the patient. Annoyingly, our immune systems are great at rapidly inactivating and removing them from our bodies , with animal studies showing that phage can be completely cleared within 24 hours . Early work carried out in germ-free mice in the 70s showed that phages are passively collected in the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), where they remain viable until inactivated by immune cells .
There have been two solutions developed so far to amend this problem . The first was developed in the late 90s by the National Institute of Health in the US, which involved the serial passage of phage through a living organism. It was hypothesised that some phage would have mutations in their coat proteins that would give them increased protection from the natural filtration systems in the body over wild type phage  and by selecting for these phage, you could gradually produce a population of long-circulating phage. When applied, these phage would have longer circulation times, and therefore a greater chance of colliding with their target bacteria. Animal studies have shown far better recovery of animals given long-circulating strains of virus over wild type, when presenting symptoms of otherwise fatal bacteraemia .
Figure 1. Diagram showing a few of the possible receptors for Salmonella sp. phage 
Additionally, to prevent degradation or inactivation of phages, polymers can be added to the coatings of phages . The polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been shown to increase systematic circulation and decrease T-helper cell activation in response to phage. It is likely that a combination of these two methods may improve delivery strategies in the future of phage therapeutics.
Altering host range and preventing resistance:
Unlike antibiotics, phages have incredibly refined, narrow host-ranges. This property is in reality a double edged sword: in many cases, phages are only able to target a few strains of a single species, whereas antibiotics relentlessly target multiple branches of the bacterial phylogenetic tree. Antibiotic treatment can lead to disruption of the host’s own microbiota which can permit the colonisation of nastier and less cooperative microorganisms.
In contrast, phages can target their host whilst leaving the surrounding organisms in relative peace. When a patient presents symptoms of infection, the particular species or strain causing the infection would be unknown. Identifying the culprit before selecting the right phage would take time a patient may not have.
Receptors on the bacterial cell surface are what determine which phage are able to bind to the cell. A wide variety of receptors are used by phage, but many still remain a mystery. To curtail these issues and ensure that as many receptors can be targeted for a particular bacterium, phage cocktails are used . These are mixtures containing a number of different phage strains. In theory, the cocktail should be designed so that the phages together should be able to target all the known clinically relevant strains of a particular species of bacteria.
Creating phage cocktails from natural sources can be laborious , however viral DNA provides a platform for genetically engineering phages with desired properties. Improving phage cocktails with modified phages expressing structures that could target a wide variety of receptors on a bacterial cell could ensure that a cocktail could target the maximum number of strains, whilst reducing the selection pressure on a sole receptor. Resistance to the phage cocktail would then also be avoided.
Much of this work looks at genetically engineering phage tail fibres [7, 8]. These ‘spider-leg’ like components regulate the initial binding step between a phage and a target cell. It has been shown by Mahichi et al, 2009 and Ando et al, 2015 that switching tail fibres between phages with different host ranges can confer host-range specificity from one phage to another. Hopefully, modular engineering of phages will push phage technology forwards, offering new strategies for developing phages for therapeutic purposes.
Figure 2. Diagram showing how the modular shuffling of tail fibres between viral strains can confer host range of parental strain .
Preventing the release of cellular toxins
A major health risk of phage, is that like β-lactam antibiotics, they interfere with the bacterial cell wall integrity and ultimately lead to cell lysis. Lysing cells prevents further replication, but also releases all the cell’s content. This may include but not be limited to superantigens and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) . These toxins will trigger the inflammatory response, and in extreme cases cause organ failure and death.
Phages have a simple dual-lysis system consisting of a holin and endolysin. The holin is a pore-forming membrane protein that creates an exit from the cytoplasm for the endolysin. The endolysin is then able to attack the peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell wall, resulting in its rupture. To generate phage incapable of lysing a cell, the dual lysis system simply needs to be inactivated.
To restore killing power to the phage in the absense of the dual lysis system, a bacterial toxin needs to be incorporated into the phage genome. Hagens et al, 2004 has shown that by engineering the filamentous phage M13 to encode a non-native restriction enzyme, antimicrobial activity can be restored through the generation of double stranded breaks in chromosomal DNA. Upon infecting Psuedomonas aeruginosa with this phage, there was a 99% drop in viable cell counts over the time course . Other research has looked into other uses for the non-lytic killing of bacteria, including proteins that interfere with regulatory systems and other bacterial toxins.
Phage therapy has shown promise in recent years as being a good candidate for either working in synergy with or replacing antibiotics. The appalling lack of human based clinical trials haven’t helped to expose their potential for human use. Although this is the case, a significant amount of work has been done on improving phage therapy in preparation for further studies with human application. The past 15 years have seen an improved outcome for this technology as obstacles with phages are gradually manoeuvred by intelligent reengineering. With hindsight we have now acquired through our experiences with antibiotics, hopefully we will not make the same mistakes with phages as we have done with antibiotics.
1. CDC (2013) Antibiotic resistance threats. US Dep Heal Hum Serv 22–50
2. Lu TK, Koeris MS (2011) The next generation of bacteriophage therapy. Curr Opin Microbiol 14:524–531
3. Carlton RM (1999) Phage therapy: past history and future prospects. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) 47:267–274
4. Merril CR, Biswas B, Carlton R, Jensen NC, Creed GJ, Zullo S, Adhya S (1996) Long-circulating bacteriophage as antibacterial agents. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 93:3188–3192
5. Chaturongakul S, Ounjai P (2014) Phage host interplay: examples from tailed phages and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. Front Microbiol 5:1–8
6. Moradpour Z, Ghasemian A (2011) Modified phages: Novel antimicrobial agents to combat infectious diseases. Biotechnol Adv 29:732–738
7. Ando H, Lemire S, Pires DP, Lu TK (2015) Engineering Modular Viral Scaffolds for Targeted Bacterial Population Editing. Cell Syst 1:187–196
8. Mahichi F, Synnott AJ, Yamamichi K, Osada T, Tanji Y (2009) Site-specific recombination of T2 phage using IP008 long tail fiber genes provides a targeted method for expanding host range while retaining lytic activity. FEMS Microbiol Lett 295:211–217
9. Hagens S, Habel A, Ahsen U Von, Gabain A Von (2004) Therapy of Experimental Pseudomonas Infections with a Nonreplicating Genetically Modified Phage Therapy of Experimental Pseudomonas Infections with a Nonreplicating Genetically Modified Phage. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 46:3817–3822
Oh, other fun thing. I have found the perfect response to “You say you don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl but you must have a preference!”
Best Response: I actually wanted a guinea pig but no one in town sells them. I almost got one that needed to be re-homed but someone else got there first, so I thought, well, whatever, I guess I’ll just have a baby instead. I mean, it’s probably better that way, right? You really should have two guinea pigs because they’re social animals and I’m not sure we really have the space to adequately house two guinea pigs.
People’s eyes bug out of their heads after hearing that.
An experimental Ebola virus vaccine was 100% effective in preventing the disease after 10 days in the 5837 people who received it in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, 23 of the 4507 people who did not receive the vaccine contracted the virus in the same timeframe. These findings, published online December 22 in the Lancet, are the final results from a phase-3 trial of a recombinant, replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus–based candidate vaccine expressing a surface glycoprotein, dubbed rVSV-ZEBOV.
A runaway star lights the Flaming Star Nebula in this cosmic scene. Otherwise known as IC 405, the Flaming Star Nebula’s billowing interstellar clouds of gas and dust lie about 1,500 light-years away toward the constellation of Auriga.AE Aurigae, the bright star at upper left in the frame, is a massive and intensely hot O-type star moving rapidly through space, likely ejected from a collision of multiple star-systems in the vicinity of the Orion Nebula millions of years ago. Now close to IC 405, the high-speed star’s ionizing ultraviolet radiation powers the visible reddish glow as the nebula’s hydrogen atoms are stripped of their electrons and recombine. Its intense blue starlight is reflected by the nebula’s dusty filaments. Like all massive stars AE Aurigae will be short-lived though, furiously burning through its supply of fuel for nuclear fusion and exploding as a supernova. The colorful telescopic snapshot spans about 5 light-years at the estimated distance of the Flaming Star Nebula.
For image credit and copyright guidance, please visit the image websitehttp://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap161201.html
Several of my cousins have named their children after various scifi or fantasy characters. But they do it in stealth mode and pick the names of supporting characters that people only remember as that guy that did that thing.
But I know. You can’t get it past me. I see what’s on your bookshelf.
If we end up naming our kid after an x-man and they try to poke fun at it I’m just going to stare at them and say: Southern Vampire Mysteries. And watch them recoil in horror that I know their horrible secrets.
Extroverted Sensing / Se: The awareness and external observation of space and the environment. A person or an object can only be influenced in actual reality (an external perception of tangible surrounding). The goal of using force and willpower to affect people/objects in the surrounding space. Ideas are only useful if they will impact the external environment with force.
Introverted Sensing / Si: Maintaining a relaxed and stable inner state, through collecting and gathering sensory experience. Comparing past experience of sensation to the current moment. Physical external sensations that affect the internal state of an individual through a sense of comfort or routine.
Extroverted Intuition / Ne: Seeing the potential energy of a situation, and the potential of a person by identifying their strengths and attributes, thinking of various possibilities during discussion, juxtaposing the seemingly unrelated; the recombination of ideas and concepts, innovative ideas and techniques as an alternative solution, and seeing an opportunity. The connecting of concepts and ideas and perceiving objective possibility.
Introverted Intuition / Ni: Where an event has come from and where it is going - cause and effect. Having an awareness of time and understanding the processes between external events. The focus of where events come from also leads to learning from mistakes through memory to apply to the present moment. Can sometimes have the ability to predict the consequences and outcome of a situation. This anticipation of events is disconnected from the present moment and results in an apparent inactivity. Perceived the underlying meaning of symbolism and abstract concepts, which appear detached from the physical realm.
Extroverted Thinking / Te: Directly accesses people and events from a logical perspective. Aims to be productive and strives for efficiency and usefulness. Makes rational decisions. Direction of the most logical course of action, wants to achieve a logical result through action and production.
Introverted Thinking / Ti: Has an analytical state of mind. Recognizes nonsensical flaws or mistakes from a whole logical system. Validates correctness and consistency based on internal constructs of logic. The analysis of logical processes and clarification rather than gaining a productive result.
Extroverted Feeling / Fe: Gaining an sense of external emotions and the emotional atmosphere, expressing feelings and experiences outwardly and openly, using words and gestures to impact the emotional space.Feeling values are developed from the environment, can recognize shared values and may adhere to them to reach a goal.
Introverted Feeling / Fi: Can sometimes appear analytical, personal values and sentiments, the focus on feelings of the individual and this reaction to a situation, which also involves an emotional sensitivity, prefers not to express emotion outwardly and directly. how a situation adheres or conflicts with their own values, feeling values is deprived internally.
Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The ‘newness’ in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components.
Carl Gustav Jung, from ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’