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How to Make an iPhone Case Out of an Old Map


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 27, 2013 10:41 AM

Map lovers wanting to customize your phone cover, this is for you.  Read the full blog post here from maps.com.  


Tags: art, mapping.

Tony Hall's comment, April 28, 2013 5:50 AM
Nice:)
Tony Hall's curator insight, April 28, 2013 5:50 AM

Something for the GeoGeek in your life:)

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This incredibly futuristic plane could be the future of airliners

This incredibly futuristic plane could be the future of airliners | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

Designer Oscar Viñals has envisioned the future. And the future is the Progress Eagle rendering.

It's a triple-decked, eco-friendly, hybrid jet airliner that would its 800 seats into the air with six hydrogen fuel engines and keep them there with its rear electric wind generators for sustained flight.


Via Pol Bacquet
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Brianne Harrison's curator insight, March 25, 12:06 AM

In the future I hope that aircraft's like this are built!

but with a new aircraft comes new safety and health threat's. It's technology and engineering that we haven't experimented with yet, humans haven't tested out the flying ability or what its like to be inside the aircraft for long periods of time. Although it's exciting to imagine an aircraft like this we need to remember that our health and safety is the number one priority!

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Emirates ready for timely launch of its app for Apple Watch

Emirates ready for timely launch of its app for Apple Watch | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

First airline in the Middle East and African region to offer an app for the Apple Watch.

Emirates, a global connector of people and places, announced the launch of its Apple Watch app. When the Apple Watch becomes available on 24 April, Emirates’ customers from around the globe will be able to enjoy the smart features and sleek interface of the Emirates app for Apple Watch, designed to complement the Emirates iPhone app. Emirates will be the first airline in the Middle East and African region to offer an Apple Watch app.


Via Pol Bacquet
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New species of leprosy bacteria found

New species of leprosy bacteria found | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

Scientists have compared for the first time the genomes of the two bacteria species that cause leprosy. The study shows how the two species evolved from a common ancestor around 13.9 million years ago, and offers new insights into their biology that could lead to new treatments.


Leprosy is a chronic infection of the skin, peripheral nerves, eyes and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, affecting over a quarter million people worldwide. Its symptoms can be gruesome and devastating, as the bacteria reduce sensitivity in the body, resulting in skin lesions, nerve damage and disabilities. Until recently, leprosy was attributed to a single bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae; we now suspect that its close relative, Mycobacterium lepromatosis, might cause a rare but severe form of leprosy. EPFL scientists have analyzed for the first time the complete genome of M. lepromatosis, and compared it to that of the major leprosy-causing bacterium.


Published in PNAS, the study reveals the origin and evolutionary history of both bacteria, and offers new insights into their biology, global distribution, and possibly treatment. Along with its mutilating symptoms, leprosy also carries a stigma, turning patients into social outcasts. Although we have been able to push back the disease with antibiotics, leprosy remains endemic in many developing countries today.


Leprosy can manifest itself in various forms, all thought to be caused by the bacterium M. leprae. But in 2008, a study showed considerable evidence that another species of bacterium, M. lepromatosis, causes a distinct and aggressive form of the disease called “diffuse lepromatous leprosy”, found in Mexico and the Caribbean.


The lab of Stewart Cole at EPFL’s Global Health Institute carried out a genome-wide investigation on M. lepromatosis. This complex and computer-heavy technique looks at the bacterium’s entire DNA, locating its genes along the sequence. Because M. lepromatosis cannot be grown in the lab and animal models for this version of leprosy do not exist yet, the scientists used an infected skin sample from a patient in Mexico to obtain the bacterium’s genetic material.


After extracting the DNA from the entire sample, the researchers had to separate the bacterial DNA from the patient’s. To do this, they used two genetic techniques: one that increased the bacterium’s DNA and another that decreased the human DNA. With the bacterium’s DNA isolated, the researchers were able to sequence it and read it. Once they had the complete sequence of the bacterium’s genome, they were able to compare it with the known genome of M. leprae, the bacterium responsible for the majority of leprosy cases.


The study found that the two species of bacteria are very closely related. The comparative genomics analysis could “backtrack” the history of their genes, and showed that the two bacteria have diverged 13.9 million years ago from a common ancestor with a similar genome structure, and possibly a similar lifestyle. That ancestor suffered a process known as “gene decay”, where over a long period of time and multiple generations, a large number of genes mutated, became non-functional, and eventually disappeared. The study showed that the two new species continued to lose genes but from different regions of their genomes, indicating that during their evolution they occupied different biological roles and mechanisms to ensure survival.



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The MUNCHIES Guide to Sweden: Stockholm

The MUNCHIES Guide to Sweden: Stockholm | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
In this episode of the MUNCHIES Guide to Sweden, Ivar heads to Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, to learn more about the day-to-day diets of urban Swedes.
Via Edible News
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Medical microrobots to deliver drugs on demand

Medical microrobots to deliver drugs on demand | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

Advances in micro- and nanoscale engineering in the medical field have led to the development of various robotic designs that one day will allow a new level of minimally invasive medicine. These micro- and nanorobots will be able to reach a targeted area, provide treatments and therapies for a desired duration, measure the effects and, at the conclusion of the treatment, be removed or degrade without causing adverse effects. Ideally, all these tasks would be automated but they could also be performed under the direct supervision and control of an external user.Several approaches have been explored for the wireless actuation of microrobots. Among these, magnetic fields have been the most widely employed strategy for propulsion because they do not require special environmental properties such as conductivity or transparency (for instance: "Artificial nano swimmers", with a video that shows the controlled motions of particles in a magnetic field).


This approach allows for the precise manipulation of magnetic objects toward specific locations, and magnetic fields are biocompatible even at relatively high field strengths (MRI).In a new work, a team of researchers from ETH Zurich and Harvard University (David Mooney's lab) demonstrate that additional intelligence – including sensing and actuation – can be instantiated in these microrobots by selecting appropriate materials and methods for the fabrication process.


"Our work combines the design and fabrication of near infrared light (NIR) responsive hydrogel capsules and biocompatible magnetic microgels with a magnetic manipulation system to perform targeted drug and cell delivery tasks, Dr." Mahmut Selman Sakar, a research scientist in Bradley Nelson's Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zurich, tells Nanowerk.Reporting their results in the November 4, 2013 online edition of Advanced Materials ("An Integrated Microrobotic Platform for On-Demand, Targeted Therapeutic Interventions"), first-authored by Sakar's co-researcher Stefano Fusco, the team fabricated an untethered, self-folding, soft microrobotic platform, in which different functionalities are integrated to achieve targeted, on-demand delivery of biological agents.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Jose Mejia R's comment, March 30, 2014 11:40 AM
TRADUCCION:<br>Los avances en la ingeniería de micro-y nanoescala en el campo de la medicina han conducido al desarrollo de diversos diseños robóticos que un día permitirá un nuevo nivel de la medicina mínimamente invasiva. Estos micro-y nano-robots serán capaces de llegar a un área objetiva, proporcionar tratamientos y terapias para una duración deseada, medir los efectos y, a la conclusión del tratamiento, deberá ser eliminado o degradado sin causar efectos adversos. Lo ideal sería que todas estas tareas se pueden automatizar, pero también pueden ser realizados bajo la supervisión y el control directos de un usuario externo. Varios enfoques se han explorado para el accionamiento inalámbrico de microrobots. Entre éstos, los campos magnéticos han sido la estrategia más ampliamente empleada para la propulsión, ya que no requieren propiedades especiales del medio ambiente tales como la conductividad o la transparencia (por ejemplo: "nadadores nano artificial", con un vídeo que muestra los movimientos controlados de partículas en una magnética campo).<br> <br>Este enfoque permite la manipulación precisa de objetos magnéticos hacia lugares específicos, y los campos magnéticos son biocompatibles, incluso a intensidades de campo relativamente altas (MRI). En un nuevo trabajo, un equipo de investigadores de ETH Zurich y la Universidad de Harvard (el laboratorio de David Mooney) demuestran que con inteligencia adicional - incluyendo detección y actuación - se puede crear instancias de estos microrobots seleccionando materiales y procedimientos para el proceso de fabricación adecuadas.<br><br>"Nuestro trabajo combina el diseño y la fabricación de la luz en el infrarrojo cercano (NIR) cápsulas de hidrogel sensible y microgeles magnéticas biocompatibles con un sistema de manipulación magnética para realizar tareas de administración de drogas y de suministro de células específicas, nos diece el Dr. Mahmut Sakar Selman, un científico de investigación en el Instituto de Bradley Nelson de Robótica y Sistemas Inteligentes en la ETH Zurich. Sus resultados indicados el 04 de noviembre 2013 en la edición en línea de Materiales Avanzados ...
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200 Free Documentaries Online

200 Free Documentaries Online | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
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Watch over 200 free documentaries online. The documentaries cover everything from music and cinema, to literature, religion, politics and physics. They're thought-provoking, eye-opening, and enlightening.
Patty Golden's insight:

i would particularly enjoy seeing this one. 

The Making of Koyaanisqatsi - Free - Director Godfrey Reggio gives you the backstory behind his 1982 film, Koyaanisqatsi.
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Comparing Genome Editing Technologies

Comparing Genome Editing Technologies | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas systems help scientists dissect
the vast amount of information accumulated through
the Genomic Revolution.

 

The Genomic Revolution has promised to advance medicine and biotechnology by providing scientists with enormous amounts of data that can be converted into useful information.

 

Over 10 years ago, the Human Genome Project produced the first draft of the more than 3 billion base pairs of DNA that make up the genetic code in each of our cells.

 

More recent efforts like the 1000 Genomes and HapMap Projects have since focused on identifying the differences within these billions of base pairs of DNA between individuals, while genome-wide association studies have pinpointed specific sequences that determine health and disease. The ENCODE Project and other studies have annotated chromatin states, regulatory elements, transcription factor binding sites, and other epigenetic states throughout the genome.

 

Dozens of other species have since undergone similar analyses, with the number of sequenced genomes continuously growing. Collectively, these efforts have generated an incredibly rich source of data that promises to aid our understanding of the function and evolution of any genome. However, until recently, scientists have been lacking the tools necessary to interrogate the structure and function of these elements.

 

While conventional genetic engineering methods could be used to add extra genes to cells, they cannot be easily used to modify the sequences or control the expression of genes that already exist within these genomes. These types of tools are necessary to determine not only the function of genes, but also the role of genetic variants and regulatory elements. They can also be used to overcome longstanding challenges in the field of gene therapy. Without these technologies, it has been difficult—and in some cases impossible—for scientists to capitalize on the Genomic Revolution.


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How dolphins see the world: A comparison with chimpanzees and humans

How dolphins see the world: A comparison with chimpanzees and humans | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

Bottlenose dolphins use auditory (or echoic) information to recognize their environments, and many studies have described their echolocation perception abilities. However, relatively few systematic studies have examined their visual perception. A team of scientists now tested dolphins on a visual-matching task using two-dimensional geometric forms including various features. Based on error patterns, they used multidimensional scaling to analyze perceptual similarities among stimuli. In addition to dolphins, they conducted comparable tests with terrestrial species: chimpanzees were tested on a computer-controlled matching task and humans were tested on a rating task. The overall perceptual similarities among stimuli in dolphins were similar to those in the two species of primates. These results clearly indicate that the visual world is perceived similarly by the three species of mammals, even though each has adapted to a different environment and has differing degrees of dependence on vision.

 

Because dolphins have adapted to an underwater environment, they have developed a perceptual system that differs considerably from that of terrestrial mammals such as primates. One strikingly different aspect of the perceptual system of dolphins is echolocation1,. They can recognize shapes, materials, and the texture of objects using this form of biological sonar. Many echolocation studies on cetaceans have been conducted both in the laboratory and in the wild4. A few studies have investigated dolphins' ability to use cross-modal integration through vision–echolocation matching5, 6,. In these studies, dolphins were very accurate in matching three-dimensional complex objects using information gathered via echolocation. On the other hand, these results indirectly suggest that dolphins may also visually discriminate complex objects. Dolphins (e.g., bottlenose dolphins) have poorer in-air and underwater visual acuity (12.6 min of visual angle from a distance of 2.5 m) than that of primates10. Nevertheless, they still visually recognize and discriminate human gestural signs11, 12, 13, mirror images of themselves14, 15, numbers of objects16, three-dimensional objects4, 17, and two-dimensional forms17, 18. Moreover, researchers have used visual stimuli to study the basic features of the vision and various cognitive abilities of dolphins17, 18.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Casper Pieters's curator insight, March 9, 2014 7:28 PM

Great visual for bio studies.

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BBC Future: Are we alone in the Universe? May we one day contact alien lifeforms?

BBC Future: Are we alone in the Universe? May we one day contact alien lifeforms? | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
Discovering planets outside our Solar System has raised hopes that we may one day contact alien lifeforms. But will this ever happen?

 

Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” So said sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke. We’ve been fascinated by the idea life may exist elsewhere, and for over 50 years the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (Seti) has been scanning the galaxy for messages from an alien civilisation to no avail.

 

But the discovery of planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, has raised hopes that efforts to contact alien lifeforms may one day succeed. BBC’s Horizon joined the planet hunters who discovered a new world called Gliese 581 c. To date, it is one of the most Earth-like planets found around another star, and it may have habitats capable of supporting life.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Discovery that Dogs have a Fovea Centralis Gives Insight into Blinding Retinal Diseases

Discovery that Dogs have a Fovea Centralis Gives Insight into Blinding Retinal Diseases | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

In humans, a tiny area in the center of the retina called the fovea is critically important to viewing fine details. Densely packed with cone photoreceptor cells, it is used while reading, driving and gazing at objects of interest. Some animals have a similar feature in their eyes, but researchers believed that among mammals the fovea was unique to primates — until now.

 

University of Pennsylvania vision scientists report that dogs, too, have an area of their retina that strongly resembles the human fovea. What’s more, this retinal region is susceptible to genetic blinding diseases in dogs just as it is in humans.

 

“It’s incredible that in 2014 we can still make an anatomical discovery in a species that we’ve been looking at for the past 20,000 years and that, in addition, this has high clinical relevance to humans,” said William Beltran, an assistant professor of ophthalmology in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

 

The word “fovea” comes from the Latin meaning “pit,” owing to the fact that in humans and many other primates, the inner layers of the retina are thin in this area, while the outer layers are packed with cone photoreceptor cells. It is believed that this inner layer thinning allows the foveal cone cells privileged access to light.

 

It is known that dogs have what is called an area centralis, a region around the center of the retina with a relative increase in cone photoreceptor cell density. But dogs lack the pit formation that humans have, and, before this study, it was believed that the increase in cone photoreceptor cell density didn’t come close to matching what is seen in primates. Prior to this study, the highest reported density in dogs was 29,000 cones per square millimeter compared to more than 100,000 cones per square millimeter seen in the human and macaque foveas.

 

It turns out that previous studies in dogs had missed a miniscule region of increased cell density. In this study, while examining the retina of a dog with a mutation that causes a disease akin to a form of X-linked retinal degeneration in humans, the Penn researchers noticed a thinning of the retinal layer that contains photoreceptor cells.

 

Zeroing in on this region, they examined retinas of normal dogs using advanced imaging techniques, including confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, optical coherence tomography and two-photon microscopy. By enabling the scientists to visualize different layers of the retina, these techniques allowed them to identify a small area of peak cone density and then estimate cone numbers by counting the cells in this unique area.


Based on their observations, the researchers found that cone densities reached more than 120,000 cells per square millimeter in a never-before-described fovea-like region within the area centralis — a density on par with that of primate foveas. 

 

Human patients with macular degeneration experience a loss of photoreceptor cells — the rods and cones that process light — at or near the fovea, resulting in a devastating loss of central vision. To see whether the fovea-like region was similarly affected in dogs, the Penn researchers used the same techniques they had employed to study normal dogs to examine animals that had mutations in two genes (BEST1 and RPGR) that can lead to macular degeneration in humans.


In both cases, the onset of disease affected the fovea-like region in dogs in a very similar way to how the diseases present in humans -- with central retinal lesions appearing earlier than lesions in the peripheral retina.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Not Just a Southern Thing: The Changing Geography of American Poverty

Not Just a Southern Thing: The Changing Geography of American Poverty | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
Thirty years ago, the states with the deepest poverty were all clustered in dixie. But the rest of the country has been playing catchup.


So how did poverty stop being a Southern specialty? You've had, deindustrialization in the Midwest and Northeast. And you've had fast growing Hispanic populations, which tend to be poorer, in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado (as well as North Carolina and Georgia, which could explain their presence on the list above).  Meanwhile, the Southeast has made some economic progress by attracting foreign manufacturing, among other efforts.


Via Seth Dixon
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viknesh's curator insight, March 2, 2014 9:42 AM

When Americans think of poverty, they often times think of the southern states. However, that was most accurate 30 years ago. As time progesses, other states, especially New York, have been catching up drastically. Poverty is not only a southern thing, but a factor in on the growing rates of low income households across the United States. Although the quality of life among the states of low income households may vary, the povery levels do not.

Nick Smith's curator insight, September 2, 2014 4:19 PM

Poverty, no longer a southern thing. What has changed this?

Nicholas Patrie's curator insight, October 20, 2014 12:16 PM

not only has poverty increased drastically in the south and spread west but also states that where considered to be low percentage of poverty have increased to poverty. many states up north are now in danger. the economy hasn't increased at all in the last twenty plus years and it should be interesting to see what happens in the future, hopefully the south doesn't get too far under the poverty line to the point where it can't be brought back.

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Why So Many Emerging Megacities Remain So Poor

Why So Many Emerging Megacities Remain So Poor | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
How globalization has changed the nature of urban development.

Via Seth Dixon
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Marcelle Searles's curator insight, January 25, 2014 3:34 AM

useful for Year 9, 10 and 11 Geography units

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, January 30, 2014 10:21 PM

Around the world is the same set of problems. Check the Esri  resources that are used to compare cities.

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Online Quizzes for Regional Geography

Online Quizzes for Regional Geography | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

"For Regional Geography, I ask that all my students take an online quizzes before coming to class because it is very difficult to intelligently discuss European issues if you don’t know the countries of Europe, where they are and what other countries are on their borders.  Quizzes and knowing places doesn’t define geography, but if geography were English literature, knowing about places could be described as the alphabet–before you write a sonnet or critique an essay, you better know your ABC’s and basic grammar.  Given that, I like the Lizard Point Geography quizzes, Sheppard Software quizzes and those from Click that ‘Hood; they are simple, straightforward and comprehensive."


Via Seth Dixon
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Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, February 2, 2014 6:52 PM

Exámenes en línea para Geografía.

SFDSLibrary's curator insight, May 13, 2014 8:16 AM

Quizzes to test a students knowledge of places and countries.

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, September 22, 2014 12:20 PM

I hope the lizard point Geography tests are enough. I have sent you my screenshots for the ones I have taken.

 

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Airships – the future of aviation?

Airships – the future of aviation? | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Lincoln, UK, have completed a three year investigation into stratospheric passenger airships as part of a multi-national engineering project designed to provide a future sustainable air transport network.

A group of academics from the University's School of Engineering have been members of a pan European research team that believes airships may be the 'green' answer to the future growth of aviation.

The Multibody Advanced Airship for Transport (MAAT) project aims to position airships as the solution for future air transportation that is safe, efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly.


Via Pol Bacquet
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Brianne Harrison's curator insight, March 25, 12:00 AM

In the future there will be aircraft's that can carry large amounts of people to and from a location via space.With technology like this we need advanced engineers and pilots that will safely transport these people, but we also need qualified technicians to build an aircraft that is both safe and doesn't pose a threat to the civilians health. 

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Roam the World in (Almost) Real Time

Roam the World in (Almost) Real Time | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
A groundbreaking Mapbox project ushers in a new era for online cartography.

 

On Google Earth, the seasons rarely change. Most anywhere a digital traveler goes, the sky is cloudless and the grass is green. No snow on the ground in Iowa. No fire in Valparaiso. It's a big gap between the world as it is and as it's mapped.

Launched Thursday, a landmark project from Mapbox has changed the summertime paradigm for online cartography. Landsat-live reveals the planet's surface in real time and in stunning resolution, fed by a constant stream of public-domain imagery from NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite.


Via Seth Dixon, Patty Golden
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YEC Geo's curator insight, March 23, 11:59 AM

This sounds really cool.

 

UPDATE:  I've had a chance to look at this. 

 

Cool things:  great images.

 

Not so cool:  It's not a substitute for Google Earth.   You can only pan out or in to a limited degree, so to go from Texas to Timbuctoo, for example, would take a lot of clicking and dragging.  Best way to get to a place is to type it in the search box.  No 3-D view also. And if there are a lot of clouds when the image was taken, they'll obscure the landscape.

 

That being said, if you want to see large-scale, recent images of a particular place, it's a good site. 

Seth Forman's curator insight, March 23, 4:34 PM

Summary: This interesting article talks a lot about modern technologies effect on the popularity of geography. This article talks about how programs like Google Earth have caused a general interest to arise about physical geography.

 

Insight: This article is significant to unit 1 because it shows how GIS can be so influential to not only geographers but to the rest of society.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 25, 12:16 PM

unit 1

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Top 10 Strange Phenomena of the Mind - Listverse

Top 10 Strange Phenomena of the Mind - Listverse | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
The mind is a wonderful thing – there is so much about it which remains a mystery to this day. Science is able to describe strange phenomena, but can not account for their origins. While most of us are familiar with one or two on this list, many others are mostly unknown outside of the psychological realm. This is a list of the top ten strange mental phenomena.We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time – of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances – of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remember it! – Charles Dickens

Via Sharrock
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Sharrock's curator insight, March 22, 5:58 PM

This is one of the many ways we can wake from the illusion of being a conscious self. When you realize there is nothing supernatural about the experiences, you realize that somehow, a network got desynchronized or....something.

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Roam the World in (Almost) Real Time

Roam the World in (Almost) Real Time | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
A groundbreaking Mapbox project ushers in a new era for online cartography.


On Google Earth, the seasons rarely change. Most anywhere a digital traveler goes, the sky is cloudless and the grass is green. No snow on the ground in Iowa. No fire in Valparaiso. It's a big gap between the world as it is and as it's mapped.

Launched Thursday, a landmark project from Mapbox has changed the summertime paradigm for online cartography. Landsat-live reveals the planet's surface in real time and in stunning resolution, fed by a constant stream of public-domain imagery from NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite.


Via Seth Dixon
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YEC Geo's curator insight, March 23, 11:59 AM

This sounds really cool.

 

UPDATE:  I've had a chance to look at this. 

 

Cool things:  great images.

 

Not so cool:  It's not a substitute for Google Earth.   You can only pan out or in to a limited degree, so to go from Texas to Timbuctoo, for example, would take a lot of clicking and dragging.  Best way to get to a place is to type it in the search box.  No 3-D view also. And if there are a lot of clouds when the image was taken, they'll obscure the landscape.

 

That being said, if you want to see large-scale, recent images of a particular place, it's a good site. 

Seth Forman's curator insight, March 23, 4:34 PM

Summary: This interesting article talks a lot about modern technologies effect on the popularity of geography. This article talks about how programs like Google Earth have caused a general interest to arise about physical geography.

 

Insight: This article is significant to unit 1 because it shows how GIS can be so influential to not only geographers but to the rest of society.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 25, 12:16 PM

unit 1

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Now life-saving medicines will be fast-tracked for the critically ill

Now life-saving medicines will be fast-tracked for the critically ill | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
The fast-track plan would help patients with cancers or dementia where there is no effective treatment left from existing medicines.
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Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak before WHO

Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak before WHO | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

Have you ever Googled for an online diagnosis before visiting a doctor? If so, you may have helped provide early warning of an infectious disease epidemic.

 

In a new study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, Internet-based surveillance has been found to detect infectious diseases such as Dengue Fever and Influenza up to two weeks earlier than traditional surveillance methods, according to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research fellow and senior author of the paper Wenbiao Hu.

 

Hu, based at the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, said there was often a lag time of two weeks before traditional surveillance methods could detect an emerging infectious disease.

 

“This is because traditional surveillance relies on the patient recognizing the symptoms and seeking treatment before diagnosis, along with the time taken for health professionals to alert authorities through their health networks. In contrast, digital surveillance can provide real-time detection of epidemics.”

 

Hu said the study used search engine algorithms such as Google Trends and Google Insights. It found that detecting the 2005–06 avian influenza outbreak “Bird Flu” would have been possible between one and two weeks earlier than official surveillance reports.

 

“In another example, a digital data collection network was found to be able to detect the SARS outbreak more than two months before the first publications by the World Health Organization (WHO),” Hu said.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Smart holographic sensors can test for and monitor diseases

Smart holographic sensors can test for and monitor diseases | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

A team of interdisciplinary researchers have created "smart" holograms that can monitor health conditions or diagnose diseases, by changing color in the presence of disease indicators in a person's breath or bodily fluids. When developed into a portable medical test, these responsive holograms could make testing for medical conditions and monitoring one's health very easy, the scientists claim.

 

A person would just have to check the hologram's color against a chart or use a camera phone to read the results. As these holographic sensors don't require batteries, electricity or lasers to function, it's possible to create inexpensive portable tests for healthcare workers to use or people to self-administer, that could help them potentially diagnose diseases in their earliest stages.

 

"We often see holograms on banknotes, credit cards, as security features, or artwork," Ali Yetisen, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, UK, who led the research, tells Gizmag. "However, these type of holograms do not response when they encounter a health condition indicator such as glucose or blood electrolytes. We have developed techniques to make these holograms 'smart,' so that they can respond to a wide range of disease markers."

 

The holographic sensors are made out of hydrogels (a highly absorbent material) that are doped with silver nanoparticles. These silver nanoparticles are then organized into three-dimensional holograms of predetermined shapes using a multi-megawatt laser. The final sensors resemble the iridescent hardened forewings of beetles, and normally diffract light in a green color. 

 

However, when the holographic sensor is exposed to a person's breath, urine, tears or a drop of their blood or saliva, the hydrogel in the sensor, which is sensitive to specific disease indicators, reacts if any of them are present. The hydrogel either swells or shrinks, causing a change in the hologram's color in the entire visible spectrum. It's the first time, the researchers claim, that they've been able to achieve such a result with a colorimetric sensor. 

 

"It's pretty much like a butterfly wing," says Dr. Haider Butt, a Lecturer in Micro Engineering and Nanotechnology, at the University of Birmingham and a co-author of the study. "But this is a butterfly wing that changes color depending on the solution we dip it in."


Via Jeff Morris, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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'Barcoding' enables analysis of hundreds of tumor marker proteins at once from tiny tumor samples

'Barcoding' enables analysis of hundreds of tumor marker proteins at once from tiny tumor samples | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it
A new technology developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Systems Biology allows simultaneous analysis of hundreds of cancer-related protein markers from miniscule patient samples gathered through minimally invasive methods.

 

Minimally invasive techniques – such as fine-needle aspiration or circulating tumor cell analysis – are increasingly employed to track treatment response over time in clinical trials, as such tests can be simple and cheap to perform. Fine needle aspirates are also much less invasive than core biopsies or surgical biopsies, since very small needles are used. The challenge has been to comprehensively analyze the very few cells that are obtained via this method. "What this study sought to achieve was to vastly expand the information that we can obtain from just a few cells," explains Cesar Castro, MD, of the MGH Cancer Centerand CSB, a co-author of the Science Translational Medicine paper. "Instead of trying to procure more tissue to study, we shrank the analysis process so that it could now be performed on a few cells.”  

Up until now, pathologists have been able to examine only a handful of protein markers at a time for tumor analyses. But with this new technology, researchers at CSB have demonstrated the ability to look at hundreds of markers simultaneously down to the single-cell level. "We are no longer limited by the scant cell quantities procured through minimally invasive procedures," says Castro. "Rather, the bottleneck will now be our own understanding of the various pathways involved in disease progression and drug target modulation."

The novel method centers on an approach known as DNA-barcoded antibody sensing, in which unique DNA sequences are attached to antibodies against known cancer marker proteins. The DNA 'barcodes' are linked the antibodies with a special type of glue that breaks apart when exposed to light. When mixed with a tumor sample, the antibodies seek out and bind to their targets; then a light pulse releases the unique DNA barcodes of bound antibodies that are subsequently tagged with fluorescently-labeled complementary barcodes.  The tagged barcodes can be detected and quantified via imaging, revealing which markers are present in the sample. 

After initially demonstrating and validating the technique's feasibility in cell lines and single cells, the team went on to test it on samples from patients with lung cancer.  The technology was able to reflect the great heterogeneity – differences in features such as cell-surface protein expression – of cells within a single tumor and to reveal significant differences in protein expression between tumors that appeared identical under the microscope.  Examination of cells taken at various time points from participants in a clinical trial of a targeted therapy drug revealed marker patterns that distinguished those who did and did not respond to treatment. 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Silk-Based Implants Could Offer A Better Way to Heal Broken Bones

Silk-Based Implants Could Offer A Better Way to Heal Broken Bones | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

When a person suffers a broken bone, treatment calls for the surgeon to insert screws and plates to help bond the broken sections and enable the fracture to heal. These “fixation devices” are usually made of metal alloys.

But metal devices may have disadvantages: Because they are stiff and unyielding, they can cause stress to underlying bone. They also pose an increased risk of infection and poor wound healing. In some cases, the metal implants must be removed following fracture healing, necessitating a second surgery. Resorbable fixation devices, made of synthetic polymers, avoid some of these problems but may pose a risk of inflammatory reactions and are difficult to implant.

 

Now, using pure silk protein derived from silkworm cocoons, a team of investigators from Tufts University School of Engineering and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has developed surgical plates and screws that may not only offer improved bone remodeling following injury, but importantly, can also be absorbed by the body over time, eliminating the need for surgical removal of the devices.

 

The findings, demonstrated in vitro and in a rodent model, are described in the March 4 issue of Nature Communications. “Unlike metal, the composition of silk protein may be similar to bone composition,” says co-senior author Samuel Lin, MD, of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Silk materials are extremely robust. They maintain structural stability under very high temperatures and withstand other extreme conditions, and they can be readily sterilized.”


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Encompass HealthCare's curator insight, July 28, 2014 2:44 PM

At Encompass HealthCare and Wound Medicine, we treat a lot of patients with hardware-related infections following hip replacements, knee replacements, anklebone fusions, and more. There are several reasons that patients sometimes develop these infections.


One reason patients can develop hardware-related infections is due to an infection that develops during the time of the surgery. Even under the most sterile conditions, bacteria that normally sit on the skin can spread into the freshly made incision, causing an infection that tunnels its way down and attaches itself to the very hardware that has been put in place. If this occurs, the patient needs treatment. Usually, I.V. antibiotics are given to try to clear the infection. This works some of the time, however, on occasion, the hardware must be removed, the patient must then be treated with another course of I.V. antibiotics, and then new hardware can be re-inserted by the patient's surgeon.


A second reason patients can develop hardware-related infections is due to an infection that develops sometime after the hardware has been in place. The patient may incur an infection from a completely unrelated incident and the bacteria can attach itself to the hardware. Again, medical protocol most often is a course of I.V. antibiotics, with the possibility of needing to remove the hardware if unsuccessful. Once the body is completely clear of infection, new hardware may be reinserted.


Due to foreign nature of hardware in the human body, a team at Tufts University has tried to find a more body-friendly substance that reduces the risk of infection, while impacting the bones in a less stressful manner.  Scientific gains have been reported by this group, experimenting with silkworm-cocoon derived proteins that may achieve these goals. Consequently, their research suggests that surgical plates and screws made from this material may be better in the long-run for these populations of patients. 


In the meantime, should you suffer an infection, seek help right away. Hardware related infections can be serious.


EncompassHealthcare and Wound Medicine is an outpatient facility featuring advanced wound care, IV antibiotic therapies, hyperbaric oxygen treatment, stem cell and artificial skin grafts, nutritional assessment, wound debridement, wound vacs, venous ablation and other treatment modalities for serious, non-healing wounds and infections. Dr. Bruce Ruben, TheWoundDoc, is the Founder and Medical Director of Encompass HealthCare, located in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

www.encompasshealthcare.com

248-624-9800




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Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

"The Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond has created an enhanced version of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, which was published in 1932. The atlas, which took dozens of researchers to assemble, used maps to illustrate a variety of political, demographic and economic concepts."


Via Seth Dixon
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Claudia Patricia Parra's curator insight, January 17, 2014 9:37 AM

Muy buen material!

Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, January 21, 2014 11:24 AM

Atlas de la geografíia histórica de Estados Unidos.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 16, 2014 1:33 PM

Okay, this is actually pretty cool. The atlas is huge and has tons of information within it. No wonder there were tons of helping hands who created this map(s) of insightful looks at demographic and political debate.

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Drying of the Aral Sea

Explore a global timelapse of our planet, constructed from Landsat satellite imagery. With water diverted to irrigation, the inland Aral Sea has shrunk drama...

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, October 7, 2014 11:27 AM

The Aral Sea’s receding waters could prove fatal to the surrounding agriculture. Both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan diverted the rivers that flowed into the Sea in the 1960s to feed their growing cotton and rice farms. Over the last five decades, the lack of a water source flowing into the Aral Sea combined with harsher droughts due to climate change have caused the water to evaporate at an alarming rate. As the water evaporates, large deposits of minerals remain on the bare lake bed. Winds pick up the mineral deposits and often spread them onto farms, where the increased salinity destroys rice paddies and other crops. The destruction of crops causes less food production, so less money is made by the farmers and more money has to be spent to bring in food to avoid famine. Cotton crops are also destroyed, so the region loses yet another source of income.

The increased evaporation of the Aral Sea has also caused an incredible increase to salinity levels in the lake itself. The extremely salty water cannot be used without heavy removing the salt, which is incredibly unaffordable in an already stressed region. Small subsidence farmers and local farmers cannot use the resource at hand. The fishing industry has completely collapsed, thus removing another important resource from the area.

If a wounded economy and unreliable food was not enough, the air born minerals blown away from the lake are causing numerous health problems. Respiratory issues, such as asthma, are becoming more and more common in the communities surrounding the Aral Sea due to the minerals and industrial debris in the air. The disappearance of the Sea has created the perfect conditions for the collapse of a region. The struggle that the people have to endure often escalates into increased social and political unrest, and disputes often occur. The Aral Sea exemplifies how one small environmental change can set off a chain of devastating events that lead to irreversible effects.

               

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 19, 2014 8:19 PM

The drying of the Aral Sea opens our eyes to how fragile our environment is and the scarcity of resources.  We need to become more aware of our resources, because as they saying goes, the "well will run dry."

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 22, 2014 2:33 PM

This video shows a time lapse of the Aral Sea's near demise. A once viable fishing area this salt lake now resembles a desert. The Aral Sea is comprised of salt water however much of the water being funneled in was fresh. Through human tampering this body of water has nearly dried. Some areas have been "saved" through damming and heavy rain fall although it may be too late for the southern end of the Aral Sea.

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Welcome to 'Geography Education'

Welcome to 'Geography Education' | Open Mind & Open Heart | Scoop.it

Finding Materials: This site is designed for geography students and teachers to find interesting, current supplemental materials.  To search for place-specific posts, browse this interactive map.  To search for thematic posts, see http://geographyeducation.org/thematic/ (organized by the APHG curriculum).  Also you can search for a keyword by clicking on the filter tab above.


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Helen Rowling's curator insight, September 28, 2014 6:30 PM

Use updates to filter through and be collated in your most frequented tools.

Rich Schultz's curator insight, November 18, 2014 2:10 PM

Geography and current events

Olivier Tabary's curator insight, November 28, 2014 12:06 PM

Many interesting tools to practice and to discover