President Obama will ask Congress for $1.8B to fight the Zika virus

On Monday President Barack Obama will ask Congress to help him take action on the Zika virus, as cases start to show up in the United States. According to Time, the White House’s formal request asks that Congress allocate $1.8 billion in emergency funding to combat the illness. Where the money will go.

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The Superpower of In/Visibility: A research project

Sometimes the superpower of invisibility isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Are you a queer fan of comic books and superheroes? Do you sometimes wish we were just a little more visible? Are you 19 years old or older? Then you may want to participate in research that’s happening in Gender Studies at the University of Victoria on queer fans and representation!

Take this survey: http://uvic.fluidsurveys.com/surveys/kthwaite/the-superpower-of-in-visibility/ and voice your thoughts on what it means to be here and queer. The length of the survey should not exceed 30 minutes and will help contribute to a growing body of knowledge of how important it is to be visible.
Join us to keep the power of invisibility for heroics!

[**In order to protect your anonymity, please do not respond publicly to this post but proceed directly to the survey site**]

Also, PLEASE REBLOG! Let’s try to get as many participants as we can!

“Waiting for the Bass to Drop”: Correlations between Intense Emotional Experiences and Production Techniques in Build-up and Drop Sections of Electronic Dance Music | Solberg | Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture
“Waiting for the Bass to Drop”: Correlations between Intense Emotional Experiences and Production Techniques in Build-up and Drop Sections of Electronic Dance Music

Note: not really classical music related

As an EDM fan and someone who was sucked into music research (due to my major) last semester, I found this article an extremely gratifying read. It not only provides validation for the genre in general, but also connects music to physical expression in a way I don’t often hear in research concerning classical music. Also, super cool to relate their findings to my own experiences with the music in daily life (confession: I listen to EDM more than classical music..oops) and in concerts. Just wanted to share - hope you guys find it as interesting as I did!

- Elizabeth

There is only just this single one photo of this mysterious artifact on internet - without relevant description or context…

I found it when i was checking some information about Gobekli Tepe.

The article where i found it says nothing about the artifact, mainstream scientists naturally have no organic context for its decoding or understanding (they seem to be more fascinated with depiction of boar and scorpion on pillars) - while this is in my opinion the most crucial object found in Gobekli Tepe. Because of the relation to THIS entity Gobekli Tepe was probably built/created (pointing astronomically to Sirius and Orion).

So I am the first who is going to say what EXACTLY this is.

It is a 12 000y+ old year depiction of amphibian Annunaki deity:

Enki = Oannes = Dagon = Vishnu = Kukulkan = Lucifer = feathered serpent

This sculpture can be more than 7000 years older than those we see on ancient Sumer(ia) glyphs/statues. But it is also possible that it is a bit younger than that - because when we look at depictions on Gobekli pillars, they seem more primitive than this winged serpent sculpture. Here is the Mayan depiction of Enki named as Kukulkan (in Aztec it is Quetzalcoatl):

This is a stone pyramid about ten inches high. It was found in the 1980s in the jungles of Ecuador, and this and other artifacts are referred to as La Mana artifacts. 

The translation of the five symbols (the fifth is the I-like scratch to the right of the five golden dots), engraved into the base of the pyramid stone:

“The Son Of The Creator Comes From Here …”

This language is so-called “Pre-Sanskrit”, translated by German linguist Kurt Schildmann. According to him, this writing is similar, but older, than Sanskrit. Until Schildmann saw this (and other) artifacts, Sanskrit was considered to be the oldest written language. Schildmann named this writing therefore “Pre-Sanskrit”. There are many other stone artifacts with inscriptions in Pre-Sanskrit awaiting translation.

The inlaid dots, by the way, coincide with the constellation of Orion.

One German website translates this line as:

“The Son/Daughter of my creator moves/comes from outside into…” (Orion constellation inlay)

The next picture I choosed just for illustration: it depicts a sci-fi movie figure which exhibits signs of amphibian/fish nature and can typologically correspond with some of the Enki´s / Annunaki characteristics..

On this page you will find data I researched about Annunaki:

Help a doctoral student with her research

I was asked to share the message below on behalf of a student working on a research project on students with disabilities: 

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Geiger and I am a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. I am still in the process of conducting research on the experiences of students with LDs. If you are interested in sharing your personal experiences please consider participating in my research study! Also please feel free to pass this along to anyone you know :) 

 This survey should only take about 20 minutes of your time. This survey is a continuation of an earlier study. If you previously participated in our other study, you can still participate in this study. Eligibility Criteria: 

  • Must be at least 18 years old. 
  • Must reside in the U.S. 
  • Must be diagnosed with a learning disability/disabilities. 
  • Must be currently enrolled in college or graduate school. 

 ***This study has been approved by the Teachers College, Columbia University Institutional Review Board: (Protocol #14-020). 

LINK: https://tccolumbia.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_7afnM1XihoXF4PP

Expression of combinations of three different fluorescent proteins in a mouse brain produced ten different colored neurons. Individual neurons in a mouse brain appear in different colors in a fluorescence microscope. This “Brainbow” method enables many distinct cells within a brain circuit to be viewed at one time. 

Scientists have found a way to help you learn new skills twice as fast
Yes please.
By Fiona MacDonald

The key to learning a new motor skill - such as playing the piano or mastering a new sport - isn’t necessarily how many hours you spend practising, but the way you practise, according to new research. Scientists have found that by subtly varying your training, you can keep your brain more active throughout the learning process, and halve the time it takes to get up to scratch.

The research goes somewhat against the old assumption that simply repeating a motor skill over and over again - for example, practising scales on the piano or playing the same level on your game over and over again - was the best way to master it. Instead, it turns out there might be a quicker (and more enjoyable) way to level up.

“What we found is if you practise a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practising the exact same thing multiple times in a row,” said lead researcher Pablo Celnik, from Johns Hopkins University.

Read More


Checking Cancer At Its Origin..

In a first, the lab led by Leonard Zon at Boston Children’s Hospital has visualised the emergence of the primary melanoma cell in transgenic zebrafish that harbour the human oncogenic BRAFV600E mutation in melanocytes. This cancerous state is characterised in maturing fish by the formation of neural crest progenitors [NCPs], which are the predecessors of melanocytes and are only seen in the embryonic stage of healthy zebrafish.

The Zon lab placed the human mutated oncogene, BRAFV600E (a characteristic of benign human nevi/moles) under the control of a melanocyte-specific promoter and introduced it into the zebrafish. Generations of this transgenic fish were engineered such that they were also deficient in functional p53 (loss of function mutation). They used previous findings that in healthy zebrafish, a gene called crestin is expressed only in the embryonic NCPs and never throughout maturity, but is re-expressed selectively in melanomatous cells during adulthood. crestin was cloned adjacent to a reporter, enhanced green fluorescent protein [EGFP] for live imaging purposes.

The developmental phases of the fish, that were by now triple transgenic (for human BRAFV600E, p53 LOF and crestin:EGFP) were observed by live imaging; ~21 days after fertilisation, the expression of crestin:EGFP localised precisely to the (future) melanoma sites, and the very first triple-transgenic (individual) cells that went on to form larger masses of cells were also observed. To summarise, melanoma formation was observed in three stages: individual fluorescent cells, followed by these cells multiplying to form groups of <50 cells, and lastly these groups forming raised lesions. This consistently held true, with all 30 observed individual cells turning into 30 lesions. These results are illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. In the top left box, a single cell is visualised as it multiplies into a group of melanoma cells (top right). The bottom images show the raised melanoma lesion as observed by the naked eye and by live imaging. The green fluorescence emitted from EGFP indicates that it is localised only to the melanoma (as is crestin expression), that is, it has not metastasised elsewhere. 

These pre-cancerous cells were also shown to be self-sustaining and tumourigenic: when fish scales containing the mutant cells were transplanted to another part of the same fish (auto-transplant) or to another fish (allo-transplant) that was also exposed to radiation, the cells proliferated in the new site, as well as penetrated the hypodermis underneath (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The fluorescence indicates a single scale being auto-transplanted elsewhere on the same fish. As the days progress, the patch expands as well, and after day 33, the cells penetrate deeper into the hypodermis and thrive independently, and excising the transplanted scale proves futile. 

Role of Transcription Factor sox10

sox10 is a master TF in NCP and its over-expression has been correlated with increased crestin expression, and accordingly, sox10 over expression in the transgenic melanocytes accelerated the melanoma onset. Following the logical train of thought that sox10 promotes melanoma progression, it was then targeted by CRISPR-Cas9 and inactivated in the transgenic cells. This resulted in a delayed onset of melanoma (180 days) compared to the controls (133 days). sox10 is also known to be expressed in most human melanoma cell lines. Moreover, the DNA element that acts as the binding site for Sox10 is also found in a hyper-acetylated [H3K27Ac], super-enhancer state. This is an epigenetic alteration and may prove a useful target in therapy (ex. HAT inhibitors).


The key finding clears up a hitherto ambiguous association between a reversion to stem/progenitor cell-like status and cancer: it indicates that the apparent devolution of a specialised cell to a primitive cellular state is not a consequence of cancer progression, but that it is an hallmark of pre-cancerous cells that may contribute to tumour progression. The rarity of melanoma formation among the mutant cells also suggests that the double mutant [BRAFV600E; p53 LOF] is not the only factor to influence the onset. Experimentally, crestin expression was a definitive prelude to formation of nevi which transformed into full-fledged raised melanomas in that spot.

This discovery has two chronological applications: first, of the many susceptible melanocytes harbouring the mutated oncogene, we can find out which are most likely to enter the melanoma state. Peaks in the expression profile of sox2, or a couple other TFs, dlx2 and tfap2, can prove to be a telltale pre-melanoma signature and thus be used in diagnosis. Secondly, by doing so, these can be better targeted early on before they’ve disseminated and become virtually untreatable.

Kaufman CK, Mosimann C, Fan ZP, Yang S, Thomas AJ, Ablain J, et al. A zebrafish melanoma model reveals emergence of neural crest identity during melanoma initiation. Science. 2016;351[6272]:aad2197–aad2197.

What Alarmist Articles About Transgender Children Get Wrong
Should a boy who grows out his hair, likes to wear pink, and prefers to jump rope at recess rather than play football be raised as a girl instead of a ...

Kristina Olson, who is doing a longitudinal study about trans children, sets the record straight on “research” findings that frighten.

The central problem with this often-made argument is that it treats all children who violate cultural gender norms as a single category, when in fact there is a wide range of such children in the world. … 

We believe these recent articles, whose authors, to our knowledge, do not work with transgender children, overlook key differences within the spectrum of children who do not conform to gender norms, misinterpret past research, and misconstrue interventions to help transgender children.

Dr Olson takes apart all the existing “research” on “transgender” children (really, gender non-conforming spectrum) and lays out why the assumptions behind it have no validity. BURN.

Undergrad Research FAQ
"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought."~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Hi everyone! After a lot of different drafts and versions I finally made this post! :D Phew! It’s been in the works for quite a while, but I finally put it into words! Woo!

Anyway, I don’t want to say much here, but I’m hoping that this can serve as a guide that I wish I had when I was considering participating in undergrad research. I certainly hope this answers some of your questions, but if there was anything I haven’t covered, please let me know and I can add it to this blog post! I want this and similar posts like my Grad School FAQ to be interactive and address any questions directly from the community! So again, let me know if there is any particular question you have that I haven’t already covered! 

Also disclaimer: This post is reflective of my experiences as STEM undergrad student in the US. If there is anything that is different for your particular field or country, feel free to reblog with your experiences as well! :) 

The study, by Katherine M. Flegal and her associates at the C.D.C. and the National Institutes of Health, found that all adults categorized as overweight and most of those categorized as obese have a lower mortality risk than so-called normal-weight individuals. If the government were to redefine normal weight as one that doesn’t increase the risk of death, then about 130 million of the 165 million American adults currently categorized as overweight and obese would be re-categorized as normal weight instead.

Our Imaginary Weight Problem - The New York Times

This is three years old but still not common knowledge.