Footprints dating back to the Neolithic period (6,400 B.C.) have been discovered during excavations in Barçın tumulus in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Yenişehir district.
Koç University academic, Rana Özbal, said works had been continuing in Barçın tumulus since 2007 under the…
A true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans their interconnections, with a future purpose in his mind’s eye. Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind’s eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all.
If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker.
|—||Richard Dawkins (via whats-out-there)|
Types of Matter
How Life on Earth Began
Today’s pick is an animated overview of the latest thinking on the biggest mystery in science. With paper cutouts. I love how this video wraps one concrete scientific question around a deeper, simpler, but more philosophical one: What is life, anyway? The notion that life on earth didn’t have a special “start” but probably cross-faded into existence as bags of inanimate reactive chemicals randomly mixed into more “life-like” combinations is deeply strange and fascinating. I’ve never seen it visualized so succinctly. This video isn’t flashy, but it does its job very well: it makes me want to know more.
This week’s picker is John Pavlus — a designer on the inside and a writer/filmmaker on the outside. He makes things that make things make sense for places like NPR, HHMI, Scientific American, Fast Company, Nautilus, and others.
Just when you thought you couldn’t love GotG more…
Okay so the Colbert Report posted a link to the Ellen Page interview, right
And I was already happy it was a fan favorite. But THE COMMENTS
IT’S JUST TOO GREAT
ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND MAPLE LEAF
As far as conjoined twins go, they don’t come more famous than Chang and Eng Bunker, who in the 1800s traveled the world lecturing and generally being gawked at by rubes. They even gave us the term Siamese twins (they were from Siam, which is now Thailand). Eventually they settled down on a farm in North Carolina, married two sisters (uh…), and between them sired 21 children.
The logistics of that seem, well, a bit complicated, if not entirely awkward. There are conjoined twins in our oceans, though, that pull off something far more remarkable. These are the siphonophores, some 180 known species of gelatinous strings that can grow to 100 feet long, making them some of the longest critters on the planet. But instead of growing as a single body like virtually every other animal, siphonophores clone themselves thousands of times over into half a dozen different types of specialized cloned bodies, all strung together to work as a team—a very deadly team at that.
“In a way these specialized bodies function as organs,” said marine biologist Stefan Siebert of Brown University, who studies these glorious creatures with the help of remotely operated vehicles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. “Some move the colony, some feed for the colony, some take care of reproduction.” Whereas creatures like you and me have over millennia evolved different parts of our bodies to work as organs, siphonophores have evolved individual bodiesthemselves into organs. It’s a bit like your liver up and declaring independence from the rest of you, even though it can’t go anywhere.
A new study from the research group of Dr. John Lewis at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) and the Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON) has confirmed that “invadopodia" play a key role in the spread of cancer. The study, published in Cell Reports, shows preventing these tentacle-like structures from forming can stop the spread of cancer entirely.
To spread, or “metastasize,” cancer cells must enter the blood stream or lymph system, travel through its channels, and then exit to another area or organ in the body. This final exit is the least understood part of the metastatic process. Previous research has shown cancer cells are capable of producing “invadopodia,” a type of extension that cells use to probe and change their environment. However, their significance in the escape of cancer cells from the bloodstream has been unclear.
In the study, the scientists injected fluorescent cancer cells into the bloodstream of test models, and then captured the fate of these cells using high-resolution time-lapse imaging. Results confirmed the cancer cells formed invadopodia to reach out of the bloodstream and into the tissue of the surrounding organs – they essentially formed “tentacles” that enabled the tumor cell to enter the organ. However, through genetic modification or drug treatment, the scientists were able to block the factors needed for invadopodia to form. This effectively stopped all attempts for the cancer to spread.
"The spread of cancer works a lot like plane travel," says lead author Dr. Hon Leong, now a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University. "Just as a person boards an airplane and travels to their destination, tumor cells enter the bloodstream and travel to distant organs like the liver, lungs, or brain. The hard part is getting past border control and airport security, or the vessels, when they arrive. We knew that cancer cells were somehow able to get past these barriers and spread into the organs. Now, for the first time, we know how."
Killer T cells attack a cancer cell. Notice the tentacles of the cancer cell.