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This is an incredible visualization of the world's shipping routes

This is an incredible visualization of the world's shipping routes | acropolis | Scoop.it

"Ships carry 11 billion tons of goods each year. This interactive map shows where they all go.  About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships. Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil — transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go 'round.  And now there's a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute."


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 29, 5:26 PM

If you haven't discovered www.shipmap.org then you are in for a treat.  This delightful geographic visualization nicely shows the shipping lanes and connectivity that makes the globalized economy flow.  

 

Tags: transportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic, mapping, visualization.

aitouaddaC's curator insight, May 2, 8:44 AM
On pourra voir aussi , en français  et en allemand :  http://ddc.arte.tv/nos-cartes/le-transport-maritime-coeur-de-la-mondialisation
South Florida Guide's curator insight, May 3, 11:40 AM
Very interesting.
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Why Nature Prefers Hexagons

Why Nature Prefers Hexagons | acropolis | Scoop.it

"How do bees do it? The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted from the horizontal to prevent the viscous honey from running out, and the entire comb is aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. Yet this structure is made without any blueprint or foresight, by many bees working simultaneously and somehow coordinating their efforts to avoid mismatched cells."


Via Miguel Prazeres, BUCostantino
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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, April 22, 11:39 PM
The evolution of design, configuration, structure, organization is a natural phenomenon. Evidence massively supports it. There's no designer, there's only the Constructal Law.

I challenge anyone to count the percentage of "mathematical hexagons" in a honeycomb. 
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Google Makes Its $149 Photo Editing Software Now Completely Free to Download

Google Makes Its $149 Photo Editing Software Now Completely Free to Download | acropolis | Scoop.it
Google's Nik Collection, a photo editing software package designed for professional photographers, once retailed for $149. Today it's absolutely free to download, for both Windows and Mac users.

Via Aggeliki Nikolaou, Lynnette Van Dyke, Dennis T OConnor
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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, March 29, 11:18 PM

Powerful software for free. Open Resources!

Allan Tsuda's curator insight, April 5, 10:00 PM
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Ayman Abdel-Rahman's curator insight, April 7, 4:16 AM
Thanks to Google, a new free photo-editing software joins the club
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Scientists publish the first RNA interactome of the human nucleus

Scientists publish the first RNA interactome of the human nucleus | acropolis | Scoop.it

Studying sequence and function of DNA has been in the focus of life sciences for decades, but now the interest of many researchers has turned to the RNA. Today, many scientists believe that RNA molecules, together with a variety of different proteins, play a regulatory or structural role in virtually all cellular processes. However, the mechanisms underlying these RNA-protein interactions are still largely unknown. A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin has now successfully identified hundreds of proteins that interact with RNA molecules in the nucleus of human cells. The researchers present the first RNA interactome of a human nucleus and describe how they have identified the bulk of RNA-binding proteins in the nucleus of human cells, using their newly developed method of "serial RNA interactome capturing".

 

For decades, proteins have been regarded as the main functional components in living cells. However, in recent years their paramount importance for cellular processes has been rivaled by the growing knowledge about the involvement of RNA molecules. RNA in the shape of messenger RNA (mRNA) and transfer RNA (tRNA) has been believed to act as a mere mediator between the DNA, carrying the genetic information, and the proteins, being the building blocks of the cell. But for a few years it has been shown now, that in addition to being a messenger for the genomic information, the RNA mediates several other functions. These non-coding functions of RNA include tasks in the regulation of gene transcription and protein production as well as the determination of the positions of other molecules within the cell.

 

Elucidating the interplay between proteins and RNA has therefore become crucial for understanding the molecular mechanisms of the development of organisms and the emergence of diseases.

 

A research group headed by Ulf Andersson Ørom at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin has now for the first time created an overview of the numerous interactions between RNA molecules and proteins in a human nucleus. For this, the scientists had to modify the "RNA interactome capture technique" for analyzing RNA-protein interactions at first, so that they could use it to identify the RNA-protein interactions inside specific compartments of the cell, e.g., the nucleus. With the modified method, the researchers investigated the nuclei of a total of one billion cells in order to capture and catalogue all possible RNA-protein interactions in the nucleus.

 

"It has been particularly interesting for us that many of the discovered RNA-binding proteins do not only control the activity of genes and the fate of the resulting RNA molecules, but are also involved in the detection and repair of damaged DNA", Ørom explains. DNA damage such as false or missing bases or breakage of one or both strands of the DNA double helix can occur as a consequence of reactive oxygen species, UV-radiation or other external or internal stimuli. DNA-damage occurs thousands of times each day within every cell in the body. The cell responds with a complex repair process involving numerous proteins and RNA molecules that specifically repair damaged DNA, thus maintaining the functionality of the cell.

 

"A role for RNA in the repair of damaged DNA has been suspected for some time, but how RNA can impact on this process has remained unknown", says Ørom. "By identifying the protein factors that link RNA to the DNA damage response, this study contributes to a better understanding of these mechanisms." The scientists hope that their findings will contribute to a better understanding of the emergence of human diseases and the development of new therapies against cancer.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Agamemnon

Agamemnon | acropolis | Scoop.it
Agamemnon was the King of Mycenae and leader of the Greek army in the Trojan War of Homer’s Iliad. He is presented as a grea
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Searching for aliens who already know we are here

Searching for aliens who already know we are here | acropolis | Scoop.it
Are we alone in the universe? To answer this question, astronomers have been using a variety of methods in the past decades to search for habitable planets and for the signals from extraterrestrial observers.

The first part of this venture has been highly successful: More than 2,000 planets around distant stars — so called exoplanets — have been found so far. The second part, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), has not yet been successful.

Maybe the search strategy has not been optimized until now, said researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen, Germany, and from McMaster University in Canada. They suggest that future searches focus on that part of the sky in which distant observers can notice the yearly transit of Earth in front of the Sun.

Observers in this zone could have discovered Earth with the same techniques that are used by terrestrial astronomers to discover and characterize exoplanets. According to the researchers, the probability that extraterrestrials are already deliberately sending us signals is much higher in this part of the sky.

This strategy reduces the region that needs to be searched to about two thousandths of the sky, drastically reducing the amount of data to be analyzed.

When a planet passes in front of its host star, it causes a small transient dimming of the star. This so called transit can be measurable, depending on the size on the planet and the sensitivity of the instrument. In fact, the majority of the exoplanets known to us today have been discovered with this transit method. A similar technique, called transit spectroscopy, might enable astronomers in the future to scan the atmospheres of exoplanets for gaseous indicators of life.

In a first step, the two researchers identified the region in the sky from which one sees the transits less than half a solar radius from the center of the solar disk. The possible exoplanetary systems that offer this perspective are all located in a small strip in the sky, the projection of Earth’s orbit around the Sun (the ecliptic) onto the celestial sphere. The area of this strip amounts only to about two thousandths of the entire sky.

“The key point of this strategy is that it confines the search area to a very small part of the sky. As a consequence, it might take us less than a human life span to find out whether or not there are extraterrestrial astronomers who have found the Earth. They may have detected Earth’s biogenic atmosphere and started to contact whoever is home,” said René Heller from MPS.

Not every star is equally well suited as a home of extraterrestrial life. The more massive a star, the shorter is its life span. Yet, a long stellar life is considered a prerequisite for the development of higher life forms. Therefore the researchers compiled a list of stars that are not only in the advantageous part of the sky, but also offer good chances of hosting evolved forms of life, that is, intelligent life. The researchers compiled a list of 82 nearby Sun-like stars that satisfy their criteria. This catalog can now serve as an immediate target list for SETI initiatives.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, March 19, 4:21 PM

Learning the lessons from exoplanet search to transform the SETI program could lead to a much more focused search. And therefore more successful. Looking at the limited area of the sky where aliens are the most likely to be listening to us already... as they might track us the way we track exoplanets. 

Stéphanie Guillaume's curator insight, March 21, 9:50 AM

A la recherche d'extra terrestres qui savent déjà que nous sommes là...

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Hubble captures star cluster 30 MILLION times brighter than the sun

Hubble captures star cluster 30 MILLION times brighter than the sun | acropolis | Scoop.it
The cluster - named R136 - is only a few light years across and is in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud - a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way.

The team said the young cluster hosts many extremely massive, hot and luminous stars whose energy is mostly radiated in the ultra violet - which is why the scientists used Hubble to probe the ultraviolet emission of the cluster.

It includes nine monster stars which are more than 100 times the mass of the Sun and dozens of stars exceeding 50 solar masses.

None of the stars identified have unseated R126a1, also in the Tarantula Nebula, as the most massive star in the known universe at more than 250 solar masses.

The team combined images taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on Hubble with the unprecedented ultraviolet spatial resolution of its Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). 

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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All 2.3 Million Species Are Mapped into a Single Circle of Life

All 2.3 Million Species Are Mapped into a Single Circle of Life | acropolis | Scoop.it
Lineages of all known species on Earth are finally pieced together

Via Mary Williams
BUCostantino's insight:

This is great - the inner circles are known species, and the outer circle shows the estimated relative  of proportion of each type of organism (plants are truly dwarfed by those arthropods and bacteria!)

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Saclay Plant Sciences's curator insight, March 13, 3:35 AM
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Lucia Kusumawati's curator insight, March 20, 5:20 AM
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Thirumurugan's curator insight, March 26, 5:13 AM
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andre goncalves forms a visual catalog of doors and windows of the world

andre goncalves forms a visual catalog of doors and windows of the world | acropolis | Scoop.it
andre goncalves' 'windows of the world' and 'doors of the world' series highlight the culture and community of a place through architectural photography.
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15 Funny Cartoons To Prove Evolution Has A Twisted Sense Of Humor

15 Funny Cartoons To Prove Evolution Has A Twisted Sense Of Humor | acropolis | Scoop.it

Hi-Likes Hi quality and interesting galleries


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Stewart Dunn's curator insight, February 21, 4:16 AM

recycle long term

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Visualizing the Global Economy

Visualizing the Global Economy | acropolis | Scoop.it
The graphic above (Voronoi diagram) represents the relative size of each country’s economy in terms of nominal GDP: the larger the area, the larger the size of the economy. The areas are further divided into three sectors: services, industrial, and agricultural. The US economy is mostly composed of companies engaged in providing services (79.7% compared to the global average of 63.6%), while agriculture and industry make up smaller-than-average of portions of the economy (1.12% and 19.1% compared to averages of 5.9% and 30.5%).

 

Tags: globalization, industry, economic, visualization.


Via Seth Dixon
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Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, March 1, 2:21 PM
VISUALIZANDO LA ECONOMÍA GLOBAL
Ivan Ius's curator insight, March 4, 10:18 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns & Trends; Interrelationships
Adilson Camacho's curator insight, March 8, 11:39 PM
Quem e como está dentro?! 
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Interactives about Syrian Refugee Crisis

Interactives about Syrian Refugee Crisis | acropolis | Scoop.it
War, sectarian violence, and famine have forced more than 50 million people from their homes—the largest number of displaced people since World War II.

Via Seth Dixon
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Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, March 3, 10:40 AM

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

malbert's curator insight, March 4, 1:30 AM

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

'The Uprooted' (focused more on Syria).
Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis (puts Syria into larger global patterns).

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

Rachel Stutzman's curator insight, March 11, 10:28 AM

Here are two excellent ESRI StoryMaps about the Syrian refugee crisis; these are two very good examples of a great web maps. 

'The Uprooted' (focused more on Syria).
Epicenter of a Deepening Refugee Crisis (puts Syria into larger global patterns).

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, Syria, political, refugees.

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Three New Satellites Will Double Internet Speed on Earth

Boeing and US-based satellite company ViaSat have teamed up to create three new satellites that will bring high-speed Internet to the developing world. The t...


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Just 40 light years from Earth, three planets might host life forms adapted to infrared worlds

Just 40 light years from Earth, three planets might host life forms adapted to infrared worlds | acropolis | Scoop.it
Is there life beyond our solar system? If there is, our best bet for finding it may lie in three nearby, Earth-like exoplanets.

 

For the first time, an international team of astronomers from MIT, the University of Liège in Belgium, and elsewhere have detected three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, just 40 light years from Earth. The sizes and temperatures of these worlds are comparable to those of Earth and Venus, and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the solar system. The results are published today in the journal Nature.

 

The scientists discovered the planets using TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope), a 60-centimeter telescope operated by the University of Liège, based in Chile. TRAPPIST is designed to focus on 60 nearby dwarf stars—very small, cool stars that are so faint they are invisible to optical telescopes. Belgian scientists designed TRAPPIST to monitor dwarf stars at infrared wavelengths and search for planets around them.

 

The team focused the telescope on the ultracool dwarf star, 2MASS J23062928-0502285, now known as TRAPPIST-1, a Jupiter-sized star that is one-eighth the size of our sun and significantly cooler. Over several months starting in September 2015, the scientists observed the star's infrared signal fade slightly at regular intervals, suggesting that several objects were passing in front of the star.

 

With further observations, the team confirmed the objects were indeed planets, with similar sizes to Earth and Venus. The two innermost planets orbit the star in 1.5 and 2.4 days, though they receive only four and two times the amount of radiation, respectively, as the Earth receives from the sun. The third planet may orbit the star in anywhere from four to 73 days, and may receive even less radiation than Earth. Given their size and proximity to their ultracool star, all three planets may have regions with temperatures well below 400 kelvins, within a range that is suitable for sustaining liquid water and life.

 

Because the system is just 40 light years from Earth, co-author Julien de Wit, a postdoc in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, says scientists will soon be able to study the planets' atmospheric compositions, as well as assess their habitability and whether life actually exists within this planetary system.


Via Mariaschnee, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Why Nature Prefers Hexagons

Why Nature Prefers Hexagons | acropolis | Scoop.it

"How do bees do it? The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted from the horizontal to prevent the viscous honey from running out, and the entire comb is aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field. Yet this structure is made without any blueprint or foresight, by many bees working simultaneously and somehow coordinating their efforts to avoid mismatched cells."


Via Miguel Prazeres
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Marcelo Errera's curator insight, April 22, 11:39 PM
The evolution of design, configuration, structure, organization is a natural phenomenon. Evidence massively supports it. There's no designer, there's only the Constructal Law.

I challenge anyone to count the percentage of "mathematical hexagons" in a honeycomb. 
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Grecia: El antiguo teatro de Larisa abre sus puertas al público

Grecia: El antiguo teatro de Larisa abre sus puertas al público | acropolis | Scoop.it
Fuente: ANA - MPA  |  Greek Reporter   04/04/2016 Uno de los teatros antiguos mejor conservados, el antiguo teatro de Larisa, en Grecia, que data del siglo III a.C., ha abierto sus puertas al público. Tras la decisión de la Eforía de Antigüedades de Larisa, el teatro estará abierto para los visitantes todos los días de…

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Europe's Free Travel Zone in Danger: Map of Temporary Border Controls in the Schengen Area

Europe's Free Travel Zone in Danger: Map of Temporary Border Controls in the Schengen Area | acropolis | Scoop.it
Map and explanation of the crisis in the EU's Schengen Area, where many countries have temporarily reintroduced border controls.

 

Over the past months, concern has been rising that Europe's border-free travel zone, known as the Schengen Area, is falling apart. As unprecedented numbers of refugees and other migrants enter the Schengen Area, individual member countries have begun to re-start border checks in the places where they abolished them decades ago.

 

Tags: borders, political, Europe, supranationalism, refugees.


Via Seth Dixon
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yearlingexpandcost's comment, March 30, 3:00 AM
Its remarkable :)
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Questioning electric vehicles' green cred

Questioning electric vehicles' green cred | acropolis | Scoop.it
Instead of a government rebate, Singapore's first Tesla Model S owner received a hefty fine. Why?
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If The World Were 100 People

If the population of the world was only 100 people, what would society look like? How many people would have shelter? Clean water? Education?

Via Seth Dixon
BUCostantino's insight:

Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this video attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to to a broader audience. The concept is simple, but the impact is profound.

 

Tags: statistics, development, perspective.

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Ella Price's curator insight, March 28, 9:19 PM

Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this video attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to to a broader audience. The concept is simple, but the impact is profound.

 

Tags: statistics, development, perspective.

MsPerry's curator insight, March 31, 12:57 PM

Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this video attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to to a broader audience. The concept is simple, but the impact is profound.

 

Tags: statistics, development, perspective.

Denise Klaves Stewardson's curator insight, April 1, 4:06 PM

Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this video attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to to a broader audience. The concept is simple, but the impact is profound.

 

Tags: statistics, development, perspective.

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JOIN EFF and UNESCO to Debate Mobile Learning 

JOIN EFF and UNESCO to Debate Mobile Learning  | acropolis | Scoop.it

Streaming Live - Monday March 7th at 6pm GMT


Via Dennis T OConnor
BUCostantino's insight:

JOIN EFF and UNESCO to debate how Mobile Technology is Strengthening Life-Long learning

 

JOIN this Important Global Debate - Innovation and Quality: Two Sides of Same Coin? - Monday March 7th at 6pm GMT. LIVE from @UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in Paris.

 

What are the pros and cons of Mobile Technology and how can it enhance Life-Long learning?

 

The 17th Education Fast Forward Global Debate entitled Innovation and Quality: Two sides of same coin?, will be streamed live on Monday 7th March 2016 at 6pm GMT from Mobile Learning Week in Paris at www.EFFDEBATE.ORG (There is no need to register for this free event).

 

The #EFF17Edu Debate will be chaired by Education World Forum Program Director Gavin Dykes.


Speakers will include Jim Knight, The Rt Hon. the Lord Knight of Weymouth, Mike Sharples, Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, and Maria Soledad Ramirez Montoya, Professor and researcher at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Tecnológico de Monterrey, and Thomas M Philips, Associate Professor at UCLA.

The latest news on mobile learning will be discussed with an aim to better understand the educational promises, limitations and risks of new ICT tools and pedagogies. Expert panelists will examine some of the ways technology is fostering innovation throughout the education sector: at the level of systems, schools, classrooms and individuals. The panel will also debate how innovations in mobile technology can best transform pedagogy.

 

For more information on #EFF17Edu Debate: http://bit.ly/EFF17mlw

To add your questions and comments to the debate via Twitter please use the #EFF17Edu hashtag.

 

Education Fast Forward (EFF) is a charity and their purpose is to develop and grow a global movement of teachers, students, leaders and policy makers who understand education’s challenges well and will support each other in tackling them and so will accelerate improvement of education and education’s systems so they move faster forward.

 

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Dennis T OConnor's curator insight, March 7, 11:36 AM

JOIN EFF and UNESCO to debate how Mobile Technology is Strengthening Life-Long learning

 

JOIN this Important Global Debate - Innovation and Quality: Two Sides of Same Coin? - Monday March 7th at 6pm GMT. LIVE from @UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in Paris.

 

What are the pros and cons of Mobile Technology and how can it enhance Life-Long learning?

 

The 17th Education Fast Forward Global Debate entitled Innovation and Quality: Two sides of same coin?, will be streamed live on Monday 7th March 2016 at 6pm GMT from Mobile Learning Week in Paris at www.EFFDEBATE.ORG (There is no need to register for this free event).

 

The #EFF17Edu Debate will be chaired by Education World Forum Program Director Gavin Dykes.


Speakers will include Jim Knight, The Rt Hon. the Lord Knight of Weymouth, Mike Sharples, Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, and Maria Soledad Ramirez Montoya, Professor and researcher at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Tecnológico de Monterrey, and Thomas M Philips, Associate Professor at UCLA.

The latest news on mobile learning will be discussed with an aim to better understand the educational promises, limitations and risks of new ICT tools and pedagogies. Expert panelists will examine some of the ways technology is fostering innovation throughout the education sector: at the level of systems, schools, classrooms and individuals. The panel will also debate how innovations in mobile technology can best transform pedagogy.

 

For more information on #EFF17Edu Debate: http://bit.ly/EFF17mlw

To add your questions and comments to the debate via Twitter please use the #EFF17Edu hashtag.

 

Education Fast Forward (EFF) is a charity and their purpose is to develop and grow a global movement of teachers, students, leaders and policy makers who understand education’s challenges well and will support each other in tackling them and so will accelerate improvement of education and education’s systems so they move faster forward.

 

Kent Wallén's curator insight, March 7, 3:36 PM

JOIN EFF and UNESCO to debate how Mobile Technology is Strengthening Life-Long learning

 

JOIN this Important Global Debate - Innovation and Quality: Two Sides of Same Coin? - Monday March 7th at 6pm GMT. LIVE from @UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in Paris.

 

What are the pros and cons of Mobile Technology and how can it enhance Life-Long learning?

 

The 17th Education Fast Forward Global Debate entitled Innovation and Quality: Two sides of same coin?, will be streamed live on Monday 7th March 2016 at 6pm GMT from Mobile Learning Week in Paris at www.EFFDEBATE.ORG (There is no need to register for this free event).

 

The #EFF17Edu Debate will be chaired by Education World Forum Program Director Gavin Dykes.


Speakers will include Jim Knight, The Rt Hon. the Lord Knight of Weymouth, Mike Sharples, Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, and Maria Soledad Ramirez Montoya, Professor and researcher at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Tecnológico de Monterrey, and Thomas M Philips, Associate Professor at UCLA.

The latest news on mobile learning will be discussed with an aim to better understand the educational promises, limitations and risks of new ICT tools and pedagogies. Expert panelists will examine some of the ways technology is fostering innovation throughout the education sector: at the level of systems, schools, classrooms and individuals. The panel will also debate how innovations in mobile technology can best transform pedagogy.

 

For more information on #EFF17Edu Debate: http://bit.ly/EFF17mlw

To add your questions and comments to the debate via Twitter please use the #EFF17Edu hashtag.

 

Education Fast Forward (EFF) is a charity and their purpose is to develop and grow a global movement of teachers, students, leaders and policy makers who understand education’s challenges well and will support each other in tackling them and so will accelerate improvement of education and education’s systems so they move faster forward.

 

Hector Cortez's curator insight, March 10, 9:48 AM

JOIN EFF and UNESCO to debate how Mobile Technology is Strengthening Life-Long learning

 

JOIN this Important Global Debate - Innovation and Quality: Two Sides of Same Coin? - Monday March 7th at 6pm GMT. LIVE from @UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in Paris.

 

What are the pros and cons of Mobile Technology and how can it enhance Life-Long learning?

 

The 17th Education Fast Forward Global Debate entitled Innovation and Quality: Two sides of same coin?, will be streamed live on Monday 7th March 2016 at 6pm GMT from Mobile Learning Week in Paris at www.EFFDEBATE.ORG (There is no need to register for this free event).

 

The #EFF17Edu Debate will be chaired by Education World Forum Program Director Gavin Dykes.


Speakers will include Jim Knight, The Rt Hon. the Lord Knight of Weymouth, Mike Sharples, Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, and Maria Soledad Ramirez Montoya, Professor and researcher at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences Tecnológico de Monterrey, and Thomas M Philips, Associate Professor at UCLA.

The latest news on mobile learning will be discussed with an aim to better understand the educational promises, limitations and risks of new ICT tools and pedagogies. Expert panelists will examine some of the ways technology is fostering innovation throughout the education sector: at the level of systems, schools, classrooms and individuals. The panel will also debate how innovations in mobile technology can best transform pedagogy.

 

For more information on #EFF17Edu Debate: http://bit.ly/EFF17mlw

To add your questions and comments to the debate via Twitter please use the #EFF17Edu hashtag.

 

Education Fast Forward (EFF) is a charity and their purpose is to develop and grow a global movement of teachers, students, leaders and policy makers who understand education’s challenges well and will support each other in tackling them and so will accelerate improvement of education and education’s systems so they move faster forward.

 

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Zika virus infects human neural stem cells

Zika virus infects human neural stem cells | acropolis | Scoop.it

The researchers, led by Guo-li Ming and Hongjun Song of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hengli Tang of Florida State University, with collaborators at the Emory University School of Medicine, worked around the clock for a month to conduct the study, which provides a new platform to learn about the Zika virus using neuronal cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. In the near future, the researchers hope to grow mini-brains from the stem cells to observe the long-term effects of Zika infection on neural tissue and to screen for potential therapeutics.

 

"This is a first step, and there's a lot more that needs to be done," says Song, a neuroscientist and stem cell biologist. "What we show is that the Zika virus infects neuronal cells in dish that are counterparts to those that form the cortex during human brain development." We still don't know at all what is happening in the developing fetus. These findings may correlate with disrupted brain development, but direct evidence for a link between Zika virus and microcephaly is more likely to come from clinical studies, the researchers say.

 

As humans are typically infected by Zika virus carried by mosquitoes, the researchers also grew their Zika virus stock in mosquito cells for a few days before applying the virus onto the human cells used in all of their infection experiments.

 

One concerning discovery was that the stem cells that Zika was found to infect, called cortical neural precursors, become factories for viral replication. From a single infection, the virus particles spread through a plate of stem cells within a span of three days. There's also no evidence that the cells are employing antiviral responses, which means we don't know whether or how the virus is being cleared from the precursor cells.

 

"There are case reports for the Zika virus where they show that certain brain areas appear to have developed normally, but it is mostly the cortical structures that are missing," says Ming, a neuroscientist interested in brain disorders like microcephaly. "So a very important question that emerges from our work is whether the Zika virus specifically targets the neural progenitor mostly responsible for generating the cortex."

 

There are several other questions left to answer as well: why are the symptoms in adults so mild? How is the virus entering the nervous system of the developing fetus? Zika infects adults when mosquitoes deposit the virus on human skin, and our immune cells carry it into the blood. But how is the virus crossing the blood-brain barrier? And could Zika infect the small population of neural stem cells that adults keep above the brain stem in their hippocampus?

 

"We are trying to fill the knowledge gap between the infection and potential neurological defects," says first author Hengli Tang, the team's virologist whose lab studies RNA viruses like Zika, Dengue, and hepatitis C virus. "The questions we address here are among the very first questions people want to know the answers of."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The truth about exoplanets

The truth about exoplanets | acropolis | Scoop.it

The trickle of discoveries has become a torrent. Little more than two decades after the first planets were found orbiting other stars, improved instruments on the ground and in space have sent the count soaring: it is now past 2,000. The finds include 'hot Jupiters', 'super-Earths' and other bodies with no counterpart in our Solar System — and have forced astronomers to radically rethink their theories of how planetary systems form and evolve.


Yet discovery is just the beginning. Astronomers are aggressively moving into a crucial phase in exoplanet research: finding out what these worlds are like. Most exoplanet-finding techniques reveal very little apart from the planet's mass, size and orbit. But is it rocky like Earth or a gas giant like Jupiter? Is it blisteringly hot or in deep-freeze? What is its atmosphere made of? And does that atmosphere contain molecules such as water, methane and oxygen in odd, unstable proportions that might be a signature of life?


The only reliable tool that astronomers can use to tackle such questions is spectroscopy: a technique that analyses the wavelengths of light coming directly from a planet's surface, or passing through its atmosphere. Each element or molecule produces a characteristic pattern of 'lines' — spikes of light emission or dips of absorption at known wavelengths — so observers can look at a distant object's spectrum to read off what substances are present. “Without spectroscopy, you are to some extent guessing what you see,” says Ian Crossfield, an astronomer at the University of Arizona in Tucson.


But spectroscopy has conventionally required a clear view of the object, which is generally not available for exoplanets. Most new worlds show up only as an infinitesimal dimming of a star as the otherwise invisible planet passes across its face; others are known only from the slight wobble of a star being tugged back and forth by the gravity of an unseen companion. Astronomers often say that trying to study such an object is like staring into a far-off searchlight (the star) and trying to see a firefly (the planet) hovering nearby.


In recent years, however, observers have begun to make headway. Some have extracted the spectra of light passing through the atmospheres of exoplanets as they cross the face of their parent stars — the equivalent of measuring the colour of the firefly's wings as it flits through the searchlight beam. Others have blocked the light of the parent star so that they can see exoplanets in distant orbits and record their spectra directly.


In the past two years, astronomers have begun to record spectra from a new generation of custom-built instruments such as the Gemini Planet Imager on the 8.1-metre Gemini South telescope at the summit of Cerro Pachon in Chile. Exoplanet spectroscopy will be a priority for several spacecraft and ground-based telescopes that are now in development. And astronomers are waiting eagerly for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which will bring unprecedented light-gathering power and sensitivity to the task when it launches in 2018.


These are heady times for those hoping to get a deep understanding of new-found worlds, says Thayne Currie, an astronomer at Japan's Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. “We are on the cusp of a revolution.”

 

Via Mariaschnee, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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