virus nine


Original quote is from Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 2, Episode 13)

I seriously can’t stop making these! For my next one, I’ll try a quote from a show that is not Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

5 incredible facts about sharks - from bioluminescence to asexual reproduction

During the course of 400 million years, one of the Earth’s most successful group of predators spread throughout oceans, estuaries and fresh water. By the time dinosaurs appeared, these hunters had been roaming the ocean for more than 200 million years and even survived the meteor strike that spelled the end for large dinosaurs.

In celebration of these creatures, the Discovery Channel has dedicated a week to entertain and inform viewers about one of the most beautiful and often-misunderstood organisms: sharks.

Trending: HIV breakthrough: Infected child shows no signs of the virus nine years on

Shark Week has the power to get millions of people talking about sharks and help viewers connect with the ocean. Yet, as a marine scientist and science communicator, it is frustrating to see programmes that sensationalise shark attacks on humans when in reality you are far more likely to die falling out of bed, encountering a cow or climbing a ladder. Globally an average of six people die from shark attacks, but it is estimated that humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks annually. Who should be more afraid of whom?

Shark Week has the power to change the perception and the dialogue surrounding sharks, by helping viewers understand these magnificent animals and ways conservation can protect threatened and endangered species.

Don’t miss: Nasa’s beautiful dreams for a self-sufficient space colony revealed

In this spirit, here are five fin-tastic facts about sharks.

1. Sharks don’t just use sight, smell, and electromagnetic signals – they glow

Most popular: Shark Week 2017: World’s deadliest shark species to give you nightmares

The average depth of the ocean is 3,700 meters (12,000 feet), and light only reaches the first 200m. With the majority of the ocean in permanent darkness, how can sharks communicate with each other?

There are two recently discovered strategies: bioflouresence and bioluminescence. Bioflourescence is the shark equivalent of covering themselves with glow-in-the-dark paint, and the neon green glow comes from a pigment in their skin.

Sharks like the chain catshark (Scyliorhinus rotifer) and the swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum) spend most of their time on the bottom at depths of 500 to 600m of the oceans. Scientists have noticed that males and females of these species have different glowing markings. It’s not yet known what causes the pigmentation patterns on shark skin or its purpose, but it may be another communication technique for finding a mate.

Other deep-sea sharks use bioluminescence and create their own light with special organs called, photophores. Deep-sea sharks use a combination of hormones and neurotransmitters that can be responsible for short-term glow (up to an hour) or long-term glowing (several hours).

To date scientists have discovered two families of deep-sea sharks that have this incredible ability: Kitefin sharks (Dalatiidae) and Lantern sharks (Etmopteridae), which are believed to account for over 10% of described shark species and are found in every ocean. Researchers believe the bioluminescence is used as camouflage, to identify members of the same species and reproduce.

2. Some female sharks don’t need a male to reproduce

The old saying is that “there are plenty of fish in the sea”, but sometimes it can be difficult to find a partner. Research has shown that some female sharks have the ability to produce offspring without a male, in a process called parthenogenesis (Greek for “virgin creation”).

Many of these observations come from sharks in aquaria producing offspring without any contact from a male, and genetic testing confirms that the pups are genetically identical to the female. This phenomenon has been observed in several shark species, and raises important concerns about conservation.

For example, decreasing shark populations may make it more difficult for females to find mates, so they rely on parthenogenesis to produce the next generation. Yet the lack of genetic diversity in the younger generations makes it harder for the species to adapt to changing climate or their environment.

3. Sharks can push foreign objects straight out through their body wall

Some species like tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), can happily eat everything from birds, to goats, to porcupines. But sometimes they confuse human litter for food and objects like crisp packets and condoms. While many objects pass through the digestive system without incident, some objects are actually expelled through a shark’s body wall.

Scientists recently published a study documenting a piece of metal that had been consumed by a lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris). Over the course of 435 days the metal object was pushed through the shark’s body cavity until it was finally gone and the shark healed.

Read more: What is ocean plastic pollution and how can we reduce it?

That would be like going about your daily work routine with a giant paperclip sticking out from your abdomen for over a year. It’s not clear how common this phenomenon is in sharks or other marine animals, but it is important to avoid putting trash in the ocean which marine life may accidentally consume.

4. Sharks have incredibly long lifespans

Some shark species reach maturity in as little as six years, but others, well they take a little longer. Scientists recently discovered that the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is the longest-living vertebrate on Earth, with a shark estimated to be around 400 years old.

Greenland sharks can be found slowly swimming the deep waters of the Atlantic, and grow about 1 cm a year. This species of shark reaches reproductive maturity when they are around four meters long, which takes about 150 years. To put that in perspective, 1st July 2017 was Canada’s 150th year as a country and Greenland sharks born 1st July 1897 have only just reached maturity. I wonder what kind of party packages there are for shark ciento-quinceaneras?

5. You, yes you, can do everyday things to help save sharks

Saving sharks starts with you. The first major step to saving sharks is learning more about them, and you’re off to a great start if you’ve made it this far. Organisations such as the IUCN, Shark Trust, Shark Advocates and Project Aware all offer background information on sharks, and there is a thriving community on social media of shark scientists and advocates discussing the latest shark-y news and conservation efforts.

Talk to friends and family members about sharks, and encourage them to appreciate these incredible animals. Make sure you throw away litter responsibly and reduce, reuse, and recycle to stop unnecessary plastic going into the oceans. While species like the tiger shark have the ability to survive the consumption of litter, other sharks can die from plastic blocking their gut.

Finally, consume seafood that has been independently certified by organisations that ensure the product was from sustainably sourced fishery – for example, the Marine Stewardship Council. Responsible fisheries use fishing techniques that can reduce the amount of unwanted product called bycatch, which often includes sharks.

Doreen McVeigh is a marine scientist at North Carolina State University, and passionate about science education and communication.

You may be interested in:

anonymous asked:

Carmilla works in a computer repair shop and Laura just brought her laptop in saying there’s some kind of virus in it and holy shit her browser history is shocking (like WOW, didn't think you had it in ya cupcake) and it’s not a virus, it’s nine viruses. "Stop clicking on those stupid ads you adorable idiot"

Hope you guys appreciate the reference, and not accuse me of being unoriginal. 

You hate being a member of Geek Squad. Half the time your customers are asshole friends that want to make fun of your for the glasses and stiff collared blue shirt. 

“Excuse me?” 

“Huh? Sorry, slow day. What can I do for you?” 

She’s cute–very cute. She smiles at you sheepishly as she squints to get a better look at your name tag. 

“Um…hi…Carmilla, my name is Laura, and I think my computer has a virus on it.”  

“Alright, Laura, let’s have a look.” You tap a nail on the desk; Laura places her laptop on it. You get to work. 

“Wow, this virus is pretty bad. How’d you get it?” 

“I have no idea.” 

You look up at her. She’s biting your lip as she watches you work. Once again, adorable. It’s no secret that you’re the ‘opposites attract’ kind of person (even if your previous dating history kind of suggests that’s a bad way to pick your dates).

You click on her history. 

Your eyebrows shoot up. “Holy shit, cupcake,” you exclaim before you can stop yourself, “How much of this are you watching?” 

Laura looks horrified. “Um…I can explain that. Not what it looks like.” 

“Really?” You answer dryly, “So, you’re not watching copious amounts of lesbian–”

“Uh, yeah, that is true. But…but it’s for an, um…Women Studies class.” 

“Ah, and they require you to watch this as part of the curriculum?” 

“Yeah. It’s an assignment about…post-colonial….gentrification…set in an urban landscape…set in a…porn…film.” 

She’s gesturing as she does it, and you can’t help the laughter. Laura bursts into giggles too as she puts a hand on your arm. 

“Cupcake, it sounds like you just took everything you’d learn in an art history class and smashed them together.”

“…Okay, yeah, yeah. That is exactly what I did. Um…is that why…?”

“Well, I have bad news and good news. Bad news is, you don’t have a virus–”

“How is that bad?”

“–You have nine.” 


“The good news is, I can get rid of them, and I have a good idea of how you got them.” 

“Was it the sites?” 

“While I recommend you get outside more, cupcake, surprisingly no. It was the ads you were clicking on the sites.” 


“Let me ask you–how many times have you been told you were the ‘millionth visitor, win an Xbox!’”

“…It was supposed to be a PS3, thank you.” 

“Well, it’s fixed.” You slide the laptop to her, “And stop clicking those ads, you adorable idiot.”

Laura looks at you for a moment. “I don’t know whether I should be mad that you called me an idiot, or ask you out because you called me adorable.” 

“Ask me out. Unless your idea of a date is–” 

“Hey, I will have you know that I don’t watch porn. I watch films. Art films. On porn websites” She mumbles, “…The regular stuff is way too unrealistic.” 

You roll your eyes good naturedly. “I know. I stick to the normal porn. Three legged paraplegics and asian tentacles. Wholesome, pure, clean stuff. None of the sick shit you’re watching.” 

Laura bursts into laughter again. “You are unbelievable. Is that your idea of flirting?” 

“Depends.” You lean in,  “I’m out at five.”