Textile Art + Science = Crocheted Chemistry

Dallas, TX-based textile artist Lauren Espy just completed crocheting the cutest chemistry set we’ve ever seen. Each handmade piece of amigurumi lab equipment, colorful beakers and test tubes, and a fiery little bunsen burner (our favorite), wears a smiling face that clearly says they’re ready to do some awesome science.

Follow Lauren Espy on Instagram to check out more of her crocheted creations. Espy sells some of her pieces via her Etsy shop, where she plans to list smaller pieces of crocheted chemistry equipment in the near future. So stay tuned!

[via A Menagerie of Stitches]

And of course this bias doesn’t just go away beyond the classroom.

Male biology students consistently underestimate female peers, study finds

Female college students are more likely to abandon studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines than their male classmates, and new research from the University of Washington suggests that those male peers may play a key role in undermining their confidence.

Published this week in the journal PLOS ONE, the study* found that males enrolled in undergraduate biology classes consistently ranked their male classmates as more knowledgeable about course content, even over better-performing female students.

The over-ranking equated to males ranking their male peers smarter by three-quarters of a GPA point* than their equally-performing female classmates, showing what researchers say amounts to a clear and consistent gender bias. Female students, on the other hand, repeatedly showed no significant bias in whom they picked as knowledgeable.

“This shows that there is a huge inequity in who male students think is strong in the class materials,” said lead author Dan Grunspan, a doctoral candidate in the UW Department of Anthropology.

Males were consistently nominated as being more knowledgeable by their male peers, regardless of performance.

Daniel Z. Grunspan, Sarah L. Eddy, Sara E. Brownell, Benjamin L. Wiggins, Alison J. Crowe, Steven M. Goodreau. Males Under-Estimate Academic Performance of Their Female Peers in Undergraduate Biology Classrooms. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (2): e0148405 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148405

I haven’t exactly been up to date with science news like that of the gravitational waves detection, the news of it has been all over but this is the first headline title I see that focuses on the woman who help made the discovery.. I’m sure folks reading about it probably knew but I didn’t know a woman help made this recent discovery possible because I keep seeing articles and features on Albert Einstein and how he predicted them or lengthy quotes on how Laurence Krauss beat off to em at night. That’s wild how misogyny in science continues to try and snub the props from women literally like they did to Mileva Maric when they pushed her name out any contributions she had on Einstein’s work.. shit just keep repeating itself. the Pakistani scientist who played a major role in detecting the waves name’s Professor Nergis Mavalvala.

FYP’s Valentine Gift Box

All love is sweet, given or returned.

Common as Light is love.

And its familiar voice wearies not ever.

Those who inspire is most are fortunate.

As i am now; those who feel it most are happier still.

In honor of Saint Valentine and Valentine’s day which is only around the corner, we decided to explore the Exotic Cardioid.

The Cardioid

A cardioid ( Greek for ‘Heart’ ) is a plane curve traced by a point on the perimeter of a circle that is rolling around a fixed circle of the same radius.

It is this curve that is commonly represented as the heart.

Drawing a set of circles centered on the circumference and passing through another fixed point also yields the Cardioid.

The envelope of these circles is then again our familiar cardioid. 


The Cardioid Microphone

A cardioid microphone has the most sensitivity at the front and is least sensitive at the back. It isolates from unwanted ambient sound and is much more resistant to feedback than omn-idirectional microphones.

That makes a cardioid microphone particularly suitable for loud stages.

A coffee mug way of love

The next time you take a sip from your coffee mug, be sure to take a look at its soul that it benevolently exhibits.

The envelope of light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface is called a Caustic.

All the light rays incident on the caustic surface are tangent to it.

In the case of a circle, the caustic shape/curve formed is the cardioid.

But Why don’t Valentine Hearts look like Real Hearts?

A lousy artist? an inaccurate description of the heart? a malformed model ? Frankly no-one is able to put a reason for it.

Although numerous theories have been circulating throughout ages but to vindicate it is a really tough affair.

Love is not complex, it is real ;) !!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

PC: hcampus

Toxic chemicals found in beached pilot whales in Scotland

Scientists have found clear evidence that whales are absorbing high levels of toxic heavy metals, with cadmium found in the brains of pilot whales which washed up in Scotland

The research shows for the first time that cadmium – known to pass into the brains of infant and unborn whales - had also passed across the so-called blood-brain barrier in adult whales.

They said their findings also suggested that mercury concentrations could be increasing high enough in the seas “to lead to additional toxic stress in the long-lived marine mammals”, with higher concentrations increasing with age.

In three of the whales aged nine years or older, the mercury concentrations were higher than the toxic levels which would cause severe neurological damage in humans. 

Mercury in some of the beached whales brains was at levels high enough to cause severe neurological damage in humans, say scientists. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Space Weather

 To the casual observer, the Sun may appear unimpressive from 93 million miles (150 million km - 1 AU) away but upon closer examination – in the extreme ultraviolet region of the spectrum, it becomes evident that it’s characterized by unpredictable and explosive surface activity. The Sun creates highly variable and complex conditions in the space, as well. We call these conditions ‘space weather’. Space weather is an emerging multidisciplinary field within space sciences that studies how solar activity influences Earth’s space environment.

  Our Sun continuously bathes Earth in solar energy, in the forms of: electromagnetic radiation (visible light, microwaves, radio waves, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, gamma rays) and corpuscular radiation (streams of subatomic particles such as protons, electrons, and neutrons). The Sun is a magnetic variable star, and like most stars, it’s composed of superheated plasma; a collection of negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions. Its magnetic fields are produced by electric currents that are generated by the movement of the charged particles. The electrically conductive solar plasma acts like a viscous fluid, so the plasma near the poles rotates slower than the plasma at the equator. This differential rotation results in a twisting and stretching of the magnetic field lines, leading to the formation of sunspots, solar flares and CMEs.

The Sun’s overall magnetic field is quite weak compared to sunspots, which are localized regions of intense magnetism (magnetic loops that poke out of the photosphere), and they can be 1000 times stronger than the Sun’s average field. Above sunspot regions, the Sun’s magnetic field lines twist and turn like rubber bands, and when the field lines interact, the confined coronal plasma is accelerated to several million miles per hour in a powerful magnetic eruption. The cloud of extremely hot and electrically charged plasma expelled from the active region is called a coronal mass ejection, or CME for short. CMEs aimed at Earth are called halo events or halo CMEs because of the way they look in coronagraph images; the coronagraph instrument will detect it as a gradually expanding ring around the Sun. As the CME moves away from the Sun, it pushes an interplanetary shock wave before it, amplifying the solar wind speed, and magnetic field strength, as well. The Sun’s magnetic field isn’t confined to the star, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is carried into interplanetary space by the solar wind and CMEs.

Depending on how the IMF is aligned in relationship to our geomagnetic field, there can be various results when the CME arrives. Some particles get deflected around Earth – thanks to the invisible magnetic “bubble”, called the magnetosphere (it’s actually non-spherical), but a small amount of ionized particles can still get into our near-Earth environment (geospace), mostly via the magnetotail. The magnetosphere is formed when the flow of the solar wind impacts the Earth’s magnetic (dipole) field. The overall shape of Earth’s magnetosphere is influenced by the speed, density and temperature of the solar wind: the dayside is continuously compressed by the solar wind, and the nightside is stretched out into a tear drop shaped magnetotail. Our magnetosphere is an extremely dynamic region and it’s filled with a variety of current systems.

When a powerful CME hits Earth, electrons in the magnetosphere cascade into the ionosphere at the polar regions, creating the so-called Birkeland or field-aligned current that flows along the main geomagnetic field. If the CME’s polarity matches that of Earth’s magnetic field (Northward IMF), our magnetosphere may deflect some of the highly charged particles. The problems occur when the CME’s polarity is the opposite of Earth’s (Southward IMF) because it can cause a geomagnetic storms and brief magnetospheric substorms that disrupt Earth’s own magnetic environment.

 Changes in the ionosphere trigger bright aurorae that are, in fact, the visual manifestation of the interaction between solar energetic particles and the high-altitude atmosphere. Solar energetic particles are high-energy charged particles, they can induce voltages and currents in power grids and cause large-scale power and radio blackouts, temporary operational anomalies, damage to spacecraft electronics. During geomagnetic storms, the energy transferred into the ionosphere by the Birkeland current heats up (Joule heating) the atmosphere, which consequently rises and increases drag on low-altitude satellites.

 Fortunately, there is a fleet of observing spacecraft monitoring the Sun’s activity across a wide range of electromagnetic wavelengths. Their continuous observations and measurements of solar and geospace variability gives us the ability to prepare and respond to potentially harmful space weather events.

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The 5 Senses of Attraction

Romantic chemistry is all about warm, gooey feelings that gush from the deepest depths of the heart…right? Not quite. Actually, the real boss behind attraction is your brain, which runs through a very quick, very complex series of calculations when assessing a potential partner. Check out these 11 GIFs from Dawn Maslar’s TED-Ed Lesson ‘The science of attraction‘ to get your attractors warmed up in time for Valentine’s Day.

We know. The idea of so much of our attraction being influenced by chemicals and evolutionary biology can seem cold and scientific rather than romantic. But the next time you see someone you like, try to appreciate how your entire body is playing matchmaker to decide if that beautiful stranger is right for you.

After all, just because the calculations are happening in your brain doesn’t mean those warm, fuzzy feelings are all in your head. In fact, all five of your senses play a role, each able to vote for (or veto) a budding attraction.

1. Sight - The eyes are the first components in attraction. Many visual beauty standards vary between cultures and eras, but signs of youth, fertility and good health, such as long lustrous hair, or smooth, scar-free skin are almost always in demand because they’re associated with reproductive fitness.

2. Smell - The nose’s contribution to romance is more than noticing perfume or cologne. It’s able to pick up on natural chemical signals known as pheromones. These not only convey important physical or genetic information about their source but are able to activate a physiological or behavioral response in the recipient.

3. Hearing - Our ears also determine attraction. Studies have shown that heterosexual men prefer females with high-pitched, breathy voices and wide formant spacing, correlated with smaller body size, while heterosexual women prefer low-pitched voices with a narrow formant spacing that suggest a larger body size.

4. Touch - And not surprisingly, touch turns out to be crucial for romance. In one experiment, not realizing the study had begun, participants were asked to briefly hold a coffee, either hot or iced. Later, the participants read a story about a hypothetical person and were asked to rate their personality. Those who had held the hot cup of coffee perceived the person in the story as happier, more social, more generous, and better-natured than those who had held the cup of iced coffee, who rated the person as cold, stoic and unaffectionate.

5. Taste - If a potential mate has managed to pass all these tests, there’s still one more: the infamous first kiss, a rich and complex exchange of tactile and chemical cues, such as the smell of one’s breath and the taste of their mouth. This magic moment is so critical that a majority of men and women have reported losing their attraction to someone after a bad first kiss.

Once attraction is confirmed, your bloodstream is flooded with norepinephrine, activating your fight or flight system. Your heart beats faster, your pupils dilate, and your body releases glucose for additional energy — not because you’re in danger but because your body is telling you that something important is happening. To help you focus, norepinephrine creates a sort of tunnel vision, blocking out surrounding distractions, possibly even warping your sense of time, and enhancing your memory. This might explain why people never forget their first kiss.


From the TED-Ed Lesson The science of attraction - Dawn Maslar

Animation by TOGETHER

Trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus)

The trumpetfish is a long-bodied fish with an upturned mouth; it often swims vertically while trying to blend with vertical coral, such as sea rods, sea pens, and pipe sponges. It is widespread throughout the tropical waters of western Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Brazil including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.Trumpetfish occur in waters between 0.5 and 30 meters deep, and can grow to 40 to 80 cm in length. Trumpetfish swim slowly, sneaking up on unsuspecting prey, or lying motionless like a floating stick, swaying back and forth with the wave action of the water. They are adept at camouflaging themselves and often swim in alignment with other, larger fishes. They feed almost exclusively on small fish, such as wrasses and Atheriniformes, by sucking them suddenly into their small mouths.

photo credits: Nhobgood

“We are really witnessing the opening of a new tool for doing astronomy. We have turned on a new sense.
We have been able to see and now we will be able to hear as well.”

Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, a member of the team that announced on Thursday the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time

Image:  Nergis Mavalvala, center, next to MIT physics professor Matthew Evans, left, and MIT research scientist Erik Katsavounidis, right, Feb. 11, 2016, in Cambridge, Mass. — AP

How your cells build tiny ‘train tracks’ could shed light on human disease    

Researchers from the University of Warwick have discovered how cells in the human body build their own 'railway networks’, throwing light on how diseases such as bowel cancer work. The results have just been published in Nature Scientific Reports.

Professor Rob Cross, Professor of Mechanochemical Cell Biology at Warwick Medical School, said: “Every cell in our bodies contains a railway network, a system of tiny tracks called microtubules that run between important destinations inside the cell and allow cargo to be carried from one place to another. The tracks of this cellular railway are almost unimaginably small – just 25 nanometers across (a nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter). The railway is just as crucial to a well-run cell as a full-size railway is to a well-run country.”

Caption: Graphic of microtubules, the 'railway network’ within every cell of the human body Credit: University of Warwick