How bees sense a flower’s electric field

Bees don’t just recognize flowers by their color and scent; they can also pick up on their minute electric fields. Such fields—which form from the imbalance of charge between the ground and the atmosphere—are unique to each species, based on the plant’s distance from the ground and shape. Flowers use them as an additional way to advertise themselves to pollinators, but until now researchers had no idea how bees sensed these fields. In a new study, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers used a laser vibrometer—a tiny machine that hits the bee hair with a laser—to measure how the hair on a bee’s body responds to a flower’s tiny electric field. As the hair moves because of the electric field, it changes the frequency of the laser light that hits it, allowing the vibrometer to keep track of the velocity of motion of the hair. When the bees buzzed within 10 centimeters of the flower, the electric field—like static electricity from a balloon—caused the bee’s hair to bend. This bending activates neurons at the base of bee hair sockets, which allows the insects to “sense” the field, the team found. Electric fields can only be sensed from a distance of 10 cm or so, so they’re not very useful for large animals like ourselves. But for small insects, this distance represents several body lengths, a relatively long distance. Because sensing such fields is useful to small animals, the team suspects this ability could be important to other insect species as well.

A flower’s electric field (right, with associated electric potential on the left) helps bumblebees predict where to find the most nectar. Dominic Clarke

Eat Everything Jungle Mix

External image

Eat Everything Jungle Mix

The Bloke above is Eat Everything. There he is eating an Apple.

Normally a house head, he has thrown together a mix for Louis Louis of some classic Jungle. Now Jungle came about through Hardcore which came about through Techno so to find a House DJ putting out a Jungle mix that retains some of the attitude that Techno provides and House Lacks, well I wasn’t counting on it, but by jove it’s pretty damn fun. Maybe a joyous funky take on mixing jungle was needed to bring it up to scratch. Particularly since its all put together digitally, it is all too easy to make a sterile mix, no matter what the material, when using a laptop to do so.

So have a listen to this one, its got the proper sing a long Jungle anthems.

Click on the image for the original interview and the link to download it is here.

Bang on.

see you in another life a mix for the island 


the apocalypse song- st. vincent // ghost- amanda jenssen // terrible things- april smith // through the static- stars of track & field // make your own kind of music- mama cass // place for us- mikky ekko // science/visions- chvrches // end of all time- stars of track & field // because we’re dead- slow club // silhouettes- of monsters & men // hide & seek- imogen heap

#092: Gastly

Its body is 95% made of gas. Despite lacking substance, it can envelop an opponent of any size and cause suffocation.

We’re doing something a bit different for this post. So since Gastly has some cool physical properties as well as some cool biological properties, Professor Julie and Halie have decided to team up this time!

Professor Julie says:

Gases naturally expand to fill the space that they’re in. By this logic, Gastly would suffocate anyone and everything in the room with it. But, he doesn’t. Gastly appears as an orb of gas, a small poisonous cloud, so how does Gastly keep its shape?

At first, you might think its something like gravity. Just like we’re stuck to the Earth, the little gas particles could be stuck to Gastly. This isn’t practical, especially considering that Gastly ties for the least massive pokemon in the pokedex.

Instead of gravitational field, Gastly must use a similar static electrical field to keep its shape. Opposite charges attract, so if Gastly’s central orb was, say, positively charged, it would keep all negatively charged gas particles close to itself.

Alternatively, think of water. Water molecules like to stick together, which is why you get raindrops and why you can fill a cup over the edge without it spilling over. They do this because water molecules are highly polar. In other words, one side of the molecule is positively charged, and the other side of the molecule is negatively charged. This makes them all attracted to each other.

 If the gas molecules that make up Gastly are polar, they will want to stick together. With that, they would not expand and suffocate everything in the room.

Professor Halie says:

Alrighty, so thanks to Professor Julie we can assume that the molecules that make up Gastly are polar, but there are so many polar molecules out there that doesn’t really help us determine what exactly he is made up of, and as scientists we want to know everything we can. So let’s play detective!

Here is what we know about Gastly’s gas:

  • It is polar.
  • It is purple.
  • It causes suffocation.
  • It is sentient. (sorry, we can’t really explain this one)

Let’s take this piece by piece. (Remember, we have to take some creative liberties with these PokeDex entries because taking them literally doesn’t always seem to work.)

What polar gas is purple?
Well, none. The only gas that is known to appear purple is iodine vapor, but Iodine vapor is non-polar. So what we have to assume is that Gastly is mostly composed of some other polar gas with some iodine vapor mixed in, assuming that the two gases don’t react with each other and are able to maintain a stable mixture.

What polar gas can cause suffocation?
Let’s first define suffocate.

SUFFOCATE. transitive verb. 1 a (1) : to stop the respiration of (as by strangling or asphyxiation) (2) : to deprive of oxygen. b : to make uncomfortable by want of fresh air.

We are going to use the second definition for this, because when we get down to the physiological level it gets kind of specific.
Lets assume that Gastly is made up of carbon monoxide. Many of you have probably heard of carbon monoxide, this was used in gas chambers during the holocaust and many people have succumb to carbon dioxide poisoning after prolonged exposure to car exhaust.

When the body is exposed to a lot of carbon monoxide (or CO) it can’t ventilate all of it out of the system and the CO will bind to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen throughout the blood to supply it to the different areas of the body, including the brain. The chemical affinity (how much they want to bond) between CO and hemoglobin is way higher than that between oxygen and hemoglobin. The Hemoglobin is going to choose the CO over the oxygen. This causes a problem when the body can’t access oxygen as easily.

Everyone knows that we needs oxygen, but do you know why? So oxygen plays a crucial role in cellular metabolism, and how we make ATP. (Remember my Bulbasaur post? We learned about ATP then, so refer back to that if you need a bit of refreshing on the subject.)

So I think we’ve figured it out!

Gastly is made up of a mixture of Carbon Monoxide and Iodine Vapor, causing his purple hue and his ability to cause suffocation.

Carbon Monoxide is also found in cigarette smoke. So this is your friendly neighborhood Pokemon Professor reminding you kids not to smoke! Also, don’t hang around too many Gastly’s.

Static Fields

Nocturne #1

Wednesday 8-9pm.

This Wednesday I’ll broadcast the first of the Nocturne Series. A series of mixes exploring ambient music. Since working on the radio show and working with dance music, I’d left the drone and soundscape music on the backburner. So this series will showcase some of the finest in listening music.

With these mixes, i’ll stream the show from beginning to end, uninterrupted, without me babbling over the top. Then shortly after i’ll upload it in podcast form, with the tracklisting available.

Tech Step Toward Humans with Magnetic Sense

Scientists from Germany and Japan have developed a new magnetic sensor, which is thin, robust and pliable enough to be smoothly adapted to human skin, even to the most flexible part of the human palm. This is feeding the vision to equip humans with magnetic sense.

Magnetoception is a sense that allows bacteria, insects and even vertebrates like birds and sharks to detect magnetic fields for orientation and navigation. Humans are however unable to perceive magnetic fields naturally. Denys Makarov and his team have developed an electronic skin with a magneto-sensory system that equips the recipient with a “sixth sense” able to perceive the presence of static or dynamic magnetic fields.

Read more:

Hello Everybody!

I’m back in Cornwall now and am extremely excited to get the show on the road. It may take a little while, as I’ve a fair few things to catch up with, but as soon as I know, You will know.

I’ve just treated myself to Traktor so I can finally spin the tunes on my computer using the decks, rather than just clicking buttons. So once that all hooked up with the online radio i’ll be back streaming twice a week come rain or shine.

Hope you’ll all bear with me til then.

The CD Zine is still in the works, so keep an eye out for that, as with some luck it will be coming out in the next month or two.

I’m looking forward to getting back on the air, so until then.

Bye bye!

DDT Guide to 6.87

It’s a scary world out there, and it just got even scarier – 6.87 has been announced!

Here’s a quick overview of the new meta:

Worthless Heroes:

  • Ancient Apparition
  • Arc Warden
  • Beastmaster
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Bristleback
  • Chen
  • Earth Spirit
  • Enchantress
  • Invoker
  • Lifestealer
  • Lone Druid
  • Omniknight
  • Outhouse Defiler
  • Silencer
  • Spectre
  • Sven
  • Zeus

Overpowered Heroes:

  • Abaddon
  • Disruptor
  • Juggernaut
  • Keeper of the Light
  • Meepo
  • Terrorblade

Invalidated Items:

  • Monkey King Bar - just tell your support to buy a Bloodthorn. If they don’t and you lose, it’s their fault.
  • Blink Dagger - A situational item at best, used only to make Zeus feel important, Blink Dagger is worthless in light of the fact that static field no longer disables it. 
  • Aether Lens - now that spell damage amp is only 5%, Aether Lens is doomed to spend eternity with observer wards and anything above Dagon 3 (depending on who you ask)
  • Gem of True Sight - now that it only provides true sight in a 900 radius, gem is not worth buying. Especially if you’re in a game with me, and I am playing techies. This is a trash item for trash players now. Really!
  • Ghost Scepter - cooldown reduction? Really? I’m not buying  this cheap bullshit, Icefrog, I came here to play a FAIR GAME.
  • Linken’s Sphere - Oh, wow, a recipe cost reduction, that’s neat. I guess I won’t be needing this now that fucking everyone will be wearing them. Thanks again, icefraud. Eat my fucking ass.

Overpowered Items:

  • Ring of Health - 6 HP regen instead of 5? Now you’re talkin’, icefrog! Maybe people will finally buy this once-worthless item.
  • Animal Courier - 120 second respawn time instead of 140? Icefrog’s finally starting to make good changes! Maybe now my team will buy one of these.
  • Blight Stone - 300 gold? That’s nothing. This is basically a free item that lets you reduce enemy armor by 2. Magical!
  • Town Portal Scroll - This item has been steadily improving, and I’m happy to say that it’s now worth purchasing.

Researchers Delve Into Virtual Reality to Help Glaucoma Patients

Virtual reality technology is not just the purview of video game enthusiasts. UC San Diego researchers have become the first to demonstrate its effectiveness in evaluating balance control in glaucoma patients. Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. It affects more than 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older.

The virtual reality study, led by Felipe A. Medeiros, MD, sought to find a better method for understanding balance problems common to glaucoma patients, who are more than three times more likely to fall than persons without the condition. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and morbidity in older adults.

The study’s results were published online April 15th by Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Previous research studies had used visual field testing to determine fall risk, but produced only weak correlations. “Measures from traditional static visual field tests do not mimic the visual conditions that occur day-to-day,” said Medeiros, professor of ophthalmology and director of the Visual Performance Laboratory at UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute.

To address this issue, a multidisciplinary team of ophthalmologists, vision scientists and engineers designed a new approach using virtual reality goggles. Forty-two patients with open-angle glaucoma and 38 healthy people without glaucoma were studied.

The subjects wore Oculus Rift stereoscopic goggles that can simulate different settings while standing on a force platform, a device that measures balance and movement. Measurements were recorded by the force platform, including when the goggles simulated movement such as moving through a tunnel or a spinning floor.

The researchers found that the glaucoma patients made balance adjustments that were an average of 30 to 40 percent more pronounced during simulated movement than people in the control group. Control group subjects were also able to regain their balance faster than the glaucoma patients. The study’s authors theorize that the reduced balance control in glaucoma patients may be related to the loss of retinal ganglion cells caused by the disease, which leads to slower visual processing and impaired motion perception.

The study also found that the degree to which balance was lost was strongly linked to a history of falls, which validated the study’s methods and metrics.

“With further refinement of this method, we hope that the approach could one day be used to identify patients at high-risk of falling so that preventative measures can be employed at an earlier stage,” said Medeiros.

Pictured: Patient being evaluated with the newly developed virtual reality-based balance assessment test at the UCSD Visual Performance Laboratory.

Wednesday 18th January.

Static Fields Dubstep Show.

This was a real fun mix to play about with, though it cut out live. So here it is in its entirety.

To download, click on the image above and click download!

There won’t be a show tomorrow night, as I’ll be away, but i’ll sort you all out a treat.

Cheers for listening!

anonymous asked:

do you have visual snow? like when you're sitting in a dark room for awhile you see a lotta static texture in your field of view??

yup! i get that all the time, no matter how much light there is i mean yeah it’s more noticeable in the dark but it’s always there 

i always thought it was normal though???