Physical Science - SHS
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Marine algae can sense a wide range of light

Marine algae can sense a wide range of light | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

Aquatic algae can sense an unexpectedly wide range of color, allowing them to sense and adapt to changing light conditions in lakes and oceans. The study by researchers at UC Davis was published earlier this year in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Phytochromes are the eyes of a plant, allowing it to detect changes in the color, intensity, and quality of light so that the plant can react and adapt. "They control all aspects of a plant's life," said Professor Clark Lagarias, senior author on the study. Typically about 20 percent of a plant's genes are regulated by phytochromes, he said. Phytochromes use bilin pigments that are structurally related to chlorophyll, the molecule that plants use to harvest light and use it to turn carbon dioxide and water into food.

 

Lagarias' laboratory in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at UC Davis studies these phytochromes and their properties. Phytochromes from land plants, Lagarias said, respond to red light—plants absorb red and reflect green light, which is why they look green. Red light does not penetrate far into water, and some marine and shore-dwelling algae lack phytochrome genes. But others do not, so Lagarias and colleagues looked at the properties of phytochromes from a variety of algae. They found that phytochromes from algae, unlike those of land plants, are able to perceive light across the visible spectrum—blue, green, yellow, orange, red and far-red.


This broad spectral coverage likely helps algae make use of whatever light they can in the ocean, Lagarias said—whether adjusting their light-harvesting chemistry for changing conditions, or rising and sinking in the water column as light levels at the surface change. Because different colors of light penetrate to different depths in water, algae face challenges in light harvesting that land plants do not. This work from the Lagarias lab shows one way that algae can rise to the occasion.

Plant phytochromes have a long evolutionary history and likely arose from the interaction between oxygen and bilins, pigment molecules closely tied to chlorophyll and the oxygen-carrying heme pigment in hemoglobin, Lagarias said. The ancestral form appears to be sensitive to red light, similar to phytochromes of modern land plants. But between the origin and today, phytochromes went through a stage of massive diversity when they could detect a much wider range of wavelengths.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Joy Kinley's insight:

Visible light is a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Astronaut Scott Kelly taller after space stint

Astronaut Scott Kelly taller after space stint | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Astronaut Scott Kelly and his twin brother used to be the same height. But that may not be true when they stand side by side for the first time in nearly a year.
Joy Kinley's insight:
The lessened gravity of space allows for the vertebra in the back to move and most astronauts grow some after they spend time in space.  Alas, the effects go away after time back on Earth.  
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The Weird Thing About Cat Legs

The Weird Thing About Cat Legs | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

The mystery that spans every feline, from tabby house cats to Siberian tigers.

Joy Kinley's insight:

Its interesting that the muscles in their legs really don't change from house cat to tiger. However, they are cats so they didn't want to cooperate.

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A lightbulb moment for the old-fashioned filament

A lightbulb moment for the old-fashioned filament | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

Do you yearn for the soft, instant light of the incandescent bulb? Edison’s invention could be back – in an even more efficient form than energy-saving fluorescents

Joy Kinley's insight:

Most of the energy being used in a traditional light-bulb is lost to heat, which anyone that has tried to change a just burnt out light knows.  The push has been to use the efficient which take longer to get bright and produce a different color light.  

 

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Our Sun may be capable of superflares that could kill all your electronics | Science! | Geek.com

Our sun might looks like a happy ball of light up there in the sky, but it’s actually a raging nuclear inferno with sufficient energy output to burn us all to a crisp. [...]

Joy Kinley's insight:

Superflares would have happened throughout history.  These extra bursts of electromagnetic energy don't disrupt biologic life however they are damaging to electronics.

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Ancient river network discovered buried under Saharan sand

Ancient river network discovered buried under Saharan sand | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Radar images of the Mauritanian desert have revealed a river stretching for more than 500km and suggest plants and wildlife once thrived there A vast river network that once carried water for hundreds of miles across Western Sahara has been...
Joy Kinley's insight:

It is hard for us to imagine but the Sahara Desert was once green.  The images show that this river was massive and could carry a great deal of water.  

 

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Professor on Hiroshima photographs: 'They allow us a glimpse into a nuclear ... - Wichita Eagle

Professor on Hiroshima photographs: 'They allow us a glimpse into a nuclear ... - Wichita Eagle | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
The professor at Emporia State University, will return to Japan on Saturday to speak at the 2015 International Peace Symposium in Hiroshima marking 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Japan.
Joy Kinley's insight:

The pictures from all bombings are horrific but these pictures from Hiroshima are still unbelievable in the types of destruction that are shown.

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In the 1950s, the UK had serious plans to use live chickens to help keep ... - Business Insider

In the 1950s, the UK had serious plans to use live chickens to help keep ... - Business Insider | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
The UK wanted chickens to keep a nuclear weapon warm.
Joy Kinley's insight:

I'm not quiet sure what to say about this.  The Cold War was filled with many of these ideas.

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Send someone intelligent to Mars and they’ll arrive stupid

Send someone intelligent to Mars and they’ll arrive stupid | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
NASA already knows that a manned mission to Mars is going to be technologically challenging, but what about the biological challenges?
Joy Kinley's insight:

It's a bit of oversimplification but the further away you are from the protective influence of the earth's atmosphere the damaging effects of electromagnetic waves can be devestating.

 

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Periodic table may need to be reordered after scientists find Lawrencium looks ... - Daily Mail

Periodic table may need to be reordered after scientists find Lawrencium looks ... - Daily Mail | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Scientists at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency have studied lawrencium for first time. The radioactive element is extremely difficult to make and has a half-life of just 27 seconds.
Joy Kinley's insight:

Science isn't a static field but rather one that is updated and changed as we learn more information.  There could be other changes as we learn more about heavier elements.

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Sir Isaac Newton will fight crime in new Warner Bros. thriller - Entertainment Weekly

Sir Isaac Newton will fight crime in new Warner Bros. thriller - Entertainment Weekly | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to a historical thriller centered around the physicist Sir Isaac Newton, who goes on a mission to hunt down a...
Joy Kinley's insight:

Well, this is interesting.  It would be nice to see more historical figures in movies but this is a little strange.

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Danish chemists discover the first positive atom bonding - Examiner.com

Danish chemists discover the first positive atom bonding - Examiner.com | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Positive atoms can bond to positive atoms despite the prevailing molecular orbital theory that at present indicates that the bonding of positive atoms to positi
Joy Kinley's insight:

Science is a fast moving field with every new discover we have to adjust what we knew and understood to be true to fit the discoveries.  This is one of those times.  Currently with ionic bonding a positively charged atom bonds or combines with a negatively charged atom so the new substance is neutral. However this discovery states that somerimes positive atoms can combine with each other.  

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Why fresh water shortages will cause the next great global crisis

Why fresh water shortages will cause the next great global crisis | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Last week drought in São Paulo was so bad, residents tried drilling through basement floors for groundwater. As reservoirs dry up across the world, a billion people have no access to safe drinking water.
Joy Kinley's insight:

The past few years have shown changes in the rainfall averages in most places.  Access to clean drinking water is vital for survival.  This map shows many cities with dramatically different rainfall amounts.  It is possible for industrialized countries to truck or pipe water in from areas of high rainfall to lower.  The problem is this will be hard to do in all areas.  There are lower cost methods of extracting water from the atmosphere which could easily be done in areas of high humidity.  

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Water Shortages May Cut Short US Energy Revolution. What’s Needed? · Environmental Leader · Environmental Management News

Water Shortages May Cut Short US Energy Revolution. What’s Needed? · Environmental Leader · Environmental Management News | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

With the shale gas boom reverberating across the United States, the country has found an abundant and cheap energy source — one that is reducing energy costs for corporations while also cutting the emissions of industrials and utilities.

Joy Kinley's insight:

Water is necessary for fracking.  Because of the size of the United States some regions are experiencing drought that will limit this drilling.

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Deep-space travel may be fueled by a healthy diet of prunes | Science! | Geek.com

Deep-space travel may be fueled by a healthy diet of prunes | Science! | Geek.com | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

Science has given a clue as to how humans might survive out in the depths of space. The answer: Dried prunes.

Joy Kinley's insight:

Ok, who would have thought that prunes would be so helpful.  They would pack easy since they are dried fruits.  There is only one problem prunes are very high in fiber so don't eat to many of them.

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Gravitational wave detection could be a false alarm

Gravitational wave detection could be a false alarm | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

Caution is needed over claims that gravitational waves have been found. It could be a fake to test the detectors and scientists involved – it has been before

Joy Kinley's insight:

Einstein thought that gravitational waves existed but that it would be difficult to locate them.  It looks like they have been discovered but the results need to be duplicated and studied further.  

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Fishers and conservationists urge release of herpes virus to kill Murray river carp

Fishers and conservationists urge release of herpes virus to kill Murray river carp | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

Unlikely alliance says specialised disease will transform rivers and protect native fish species after exponential growth in numbers of the European invader

Joy Kinley's insight:

The carp were an invasive species in Australia and have caused a great deal of damage to the ecosystem.  Let's hope that the fish herpes can't mutate enough to spread to the native species.

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Intelligent bandage glows when it detects an infection | Science! | Geek.com

Intelligent bandage glows when it detects an infection | Science! | Geek.com | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

Scientist have developed a band-aid that turns florescent green, warning doctors when it senses the onset of an infection. Pretty smart. The developers are a group of researchers at the University of Bath.

Joy Kinley's insight:

This would help keep antibiotic use down and help people get to a doctor when infection is setting in so they can get treatment at the start of a problem.

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Satellite Eye on Earth: September 2015 – in pictures

Satellite Eye on Earth: September 2015 – in pictures | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Indonesia’s fires, autumn on the Great Lakes and Australia’s Earth art are among the images captured by European Space Agency and Nasa satellites last month Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly’s series of photographs of Australia taken from the...
Joy Kinley's insight:

This is a very cool view of Earth.

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Science of resistance: Heinrich Wieland, the biochemist who defied the Nazis

Science of resistance: Heinrich Wieland, the biochemist who defied the Nazis | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Recognise his name? Few do. But Wieland wasn’t just the father of biochemistry and a Nobel prize winner.
Joy Kinley's insight:

Bravery is a term frequently used for anyone trying something new or dangerous.  Heinrich Wieland was a brilliant scientist who also was brave.  He openly defied the Nazi's and helped protect students.

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Man who died 1,500 years ago may have brought leprosy strain to UK

Man who died 1,500 years ago may have brought leprosy strain to UK | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Scientists have diagnosed strain of leprosy on man from Scandinavia who died in Essex in the fifth or early sixth century A Scandinavian man who died 1,500 years ago in Essex suffered from leprosy, and may have been the first to bring the strain to...
Joy Kinley's insight:

I knew that historically people with leprosy had to live apart but I didn't know that they were often declared dead.

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Yellowstone national park: scientists discover huge magma chamber

Yellowstone national park: scientists discover huge magma chamber | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Seismic tomography provides scientists with a much bigger picture of the volcanic ‘plumbing system’ under Yellowstone national park Continue reading...
Joy Kinley's insight:

Yellowstone is considered a supervolcano, it will erupt at some point in the future.  Finding a larger magma chamber than they expected doesn't mean that it will erupt any sooner.

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By Coupling Photons To Atoms In Glass Fiber, Time Is Stopped - Science 2.0

By Coupling Photons To Atoms In Glass Fiber, Time Is Stopped - Science 2.0 | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it
Science 2.0 By Coupling Photons To Atoms In Glass Fiber, Time Is Stopped Science 2.0 A team researchers has demonstrated they can put the brakes on light, and not in some arcane quantum system but rather in glass fiber networks we are already using...
Joy Kinley's insight:

By slowing or periodically stopping light particles that are transmitting information we can better manage the information and control it.  Also if there are fluctuations in when the information is stopped or slowed down it would mean that the information is more secure. 

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Indian scriptures mention Gravity 1500 years before Isaac Newton: Former ISRO ... - Eastern Mirror

Indian scriptures mention Gravity 1500 years before Isaac Newton: Former ISRO ...
Joy Kinley's insight:

Scientific discoveries were frequently happen independently around the world.  It is not surprising that gravity and other scientific inquiries were made in India because of the advanced society.  However, because the knowledge wasn't widely spread throughout the society and it did not leave the immediate area it does not have the wide spread recognition.  

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New 3D printer can manufacture chemicals from constituent atoms - Maine News

New 3D printer can manufacture chemicals from constituent atoms - Maine News | Physical Science - SHS | Scoop.it

ThMaine News New 3D printer can manufacture chemicals from constituent atoms Maine News A team of researchers at the University of Illinois claimed to have developed an innovative 3D printer that can construct/manufacture chemicals from constituent...

Joy Kinley's insight:

This will open up new ways of producing medicines.  If the key elements are there a drug could be produced as needed or could readily be reproduced in the event of shortages.

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