Welcome to my science blog. It is mostly a general science blog that consists almost entirely of reblogs, however I will occasionally post original content about what may pique my interest at the moment. I occasionally make posts that aren't really science-related so if you don't want to see that, feel free to Tumblr savior the tags #personal or #not science.

 

theolduvaigorge:

On the Antiquity of Cancer: Evidence for Metastatic Carcinoma in a Young Man from Ancient Nubia (c. 1200BC)
  • by Michaela Binder, Charlotte Roberts, Neal Spencer, Daniel Antoine and Caroline Cartwright

Cancer, one of the world’s leading causes of death today, remains almost absent relative to other pathological conditions, in the archaeological record, giving rise to the conclusion that the disease is mainly a product of modern living and increased longevity. This paper presents a male, young-adult individual from the archaeological site of Amara West in northern Sudan (c. 1200BC) displaying multiple, mainly osteolytic, lesions on the vertebrae, ribs, sternum, clavicles, scapulae, pelvis, and humeral and femoral heads. Following radiographic, microscopic and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) imaging of the lesions, and a consideration of differential diagnoses, a diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma secondary to an unknown soft tissue cancer is suggested. This represents the earliest complete example in the world of a human who suffered metastatic cancer to date. The study further draws its strength from modern analytical techniques applied to differential diagnoses and the fact that it is firmly rooted within a well-documented archaeological and historical context, thus providing new insights into the history and antiquity of the disease as well as its underlying causes and progression. (read more/open access).

(Open access sourcePLoS ONE 9(3): e90924, 2014)

libutron:

Mara - Dolichotis sp.
The Maras or Patagonian hares, belonging to the genus Dolichotis, are part of a group of rodents, the Caviidae Family, which includes the cavies and the familiar guinea pigs. Maras are strange animals. Mara’s body resembles a short deer, and the shape of its head is similar to that of the Capybara (member of the same family) but with longer ears.
There are two recognized species of Mara, Dolichotis salinicola (Dwarf Mara), which occurs in Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia; and Dolichotis patagonum (Patagonian Mara), native to Argentina. The latter is considered a Near Threatened species.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©William Warby | Locality: captive (Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, England (2014)

libutron:

Mara - Dolichotis sp.

The Maras or Patagonian hares, belonging to the genus Dolichotis, are part of a group of rodents, the Caviidae Family, which includes the cavies and the familiar guinea pigs. Maras are strange animals. Mara’s body resembles a short deer, and the shape of its head is similar to that of the Capybara (member of the same family) but with longer ears.

There are two recognized species of Mara, Dolichotis salinicola (Dwarf Mara), which occurs in Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia; and Dolichotis patagonum (Patagonian Mara), native to Argentina. The latter is considered a Near Threatened species.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©William Warby | Locality: captive (Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, England (2014)

libutron:

The Olm - Proteus anguinus 

This strange creature is commonly known as the Olm, a rare cave salamander belonging to the species Proteus anguinus (Caudata - Proteidae), which is only found in Europe. 

The Olm is perfectly adapted to live in caves. As it spends its entire life in darkness, Proteus anguinus has very poorly developed eyes and is blind. It also lacks pigment in the skin, giving its body a pasty white appearance, Its pink hue is due to blood capillaries near the skin, and as its translucency shows the contours of the internal organs. 

This salamander does not undergo a clear metamorphosis and retains many juvenile features, such as gills, throughout its life. It is long-lived, potentially reaching up to 58 years of age.

The Olm is restricted to subterranean aquatic habitats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Italy and Slovenia. The species is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Darko Visek | Locality: Rokina, Croatia, 2008] - [Bottom: ©National Geographic | Locality: Divje Jezero, Idrija, Slovenia]

ageofdestruction:

tarshish: Weather on Mars, photographed by Mars Global Surveyor, spring 2001.
Clouds appear to swirl around the highground atop the largest of the Tharsis region’s extinct volcanos. At top, Alba Mons. At left, Olympus Mons. In a diagonal line across the lower half of the image, the Tharsis Montes: (left-to-right) Arsia, Pavonis, and Ascraeus Mons.
10 images, about a week between each, 1st February-20th April 2001. corresponding to Ls 111° to 140° on mars, around the middle of the northern Summer.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/MGS/MSSS. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

ageofdestruction:

tarshish: Weather on Mars, photographed by Mars Global Surveyor, spring 2001.

Clouds appear to swirl around the highground atop the largest of the Tharsis region’s extinct volcanos. At top, Alba Mons. At left, Olympus Mons. In a diagonal line across the lower half of the image, the Tharsis Montes: (left-to-right) Arsia, Pavonis, and Ascraeus Mons.

10 images, about a week between each, 1st February-20th April 2001. corresponding to Ls 111° to 140° on mars, around the middle of the northern Summer.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/MGS/MSSS. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

sinobug:

Stinging Nettle Slug Caterpillar (Cup Moth)

family Limacodidae

These caterpillars are custom built with every conceivable self-protection device imaginable.

Bright, garish colors which are like danger signs in nature saying “I taste awful” or “I am loaded with poison; multiple stinging barbs which inflict painful and persistent burning rashes (on humans anyway); false eyes pointing in every direction to say ” I see you, you can’t surprise me”; a head end that looks the same as the rear end so there can be no potential surprise attack from behind; and specific to the Limacodid caterpillars (who actually have no true legs, hence the slug in their name), a sticky adhesive underside that makes them very difficult to prise off their food plant.

With that in mind, stinging nettle caterpillars are often not hard to find. They don’t conceal themselves day or night and will often be in the most conspicuous of locations. Basically, they have little to fear.

Pu’er, Yunnan, China

View my other images of Limacodid Caterpillars from China (Beijing and Yunnan) in my Flickr set, Limacodid (Cup Moth) Caterpillars.

rhamphotheca:

Moving Back Home Together:

Rarest Native Animals Find Haven on Tribal Lands

by Nate Schweber

FORT BELKNAP AGENCY, Mont. — In the employee directory of the Fort Belknap Reservation, Bronc Speak Thunder’s title is buffalo wrangler.

In 2012, Mr. Speak Thunder drove a livestock trailer in a convoy from Yellowstone National Park that returned genetically pure bison to tribal land in northeastern Montana for the first time in 140 years. Mr. Speak Thunder, 32, is one of a growing number of younger Native Americans who are helping to restore native animals to tribal lands across the Northern Great Plains, in the Dakotas, Montana and parts of Nebraska.

They include people like Robert Goodman, an Oglala Lakota Sioux, who moved away from his reservation in the early 2000s and earned a degree in wildlife management. When he graduated in 2005, he could not find work in that field, so he took a job in construction in Rapid City, S.D…

(read more: NY Times)

photographs by Jonathan Proctor/Defenders of Wildlife

Waiting to get into my Comp II class, I here an hour early, but ended up getting to the room only ten minutes ago

What was the hold up? I literally spent 25 minutes just trying to find a parking spot.

I would have whipped out my (shitty) parallel parking skills, but just like the parking lots, all the curbs that people are allowed to park in front were also taken.

I also almost got into an accident twice and nearly ran over a bunch of students who thought it was a good idea to have their cigarette break in the middle of the road.

What a great morning for the first semester amiright

pennyfornasa:

On July 24th, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially defined what constitutes a planet. For a celestial body in our solar system to be defined as a planet, it must:1. Be in orbit of the Sun2. Have sufficient mass to assume a nearly round shape (officially known as hydrostatic equilibrium)3. “Clear the neighborhood” around its orbitThis designation meant that Pluto — first discovered in 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh — was no different than any of the other 70,000 icy objects that comprise the Kuiper Belt, a region that extends from the orbit of Neptune out to 55 astronomical units (55 times the distance of the Earth to the Sun).After decades of observation, astronomers have continued to discover other large Kuiper Belt objects, such as Eris in 2005, which was determined to be larger than Pluto itself. The discovery of Eris — which has approximately 25% more mass than Pluto — posed an interesting question to the scientific community: would this object be the 10th planet in our solar system? "If Neptune were analogized with a Chevy Impala in mass, then how big is Pluto compared to that? Pluto would be a matchbox car sitting on the curb." - Neil deGrasse TysonBased upon the IAU’s definition above, any object that doesn’t meet the third criteria is classified as a dwarf planet — including Pluto, Eris, and many of the other objects located in the distant reaches of the Kuiper Belt. In spite of this new designation, Pluto still holds a special spot in the hearts of scientists and astronomers, as NASA has sent their New Horizons spacecraft to observe it closely. Slated to arrive in 2015, New Horizons will capture the first close-up images of the surface.Image Credit: PBSSources:1. Pluto and the Developing Landscape of Our Solar Systemhttp://goo.gl/ncuu2x2. Why Pluto is No Longer a Planethttp://goo.gl/ekryL

pennyfornasa:


On July 24th, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially defined what constitutes a planet. For a celestial body in our solar system to be defined as a planet, it must:

1. Be in orbit of the Sun
2. Have sufficient mass to assume a nearly round shape (officially known as hydrostatic equilibrium)
3. “Clear the neighborhood” around its orbit

This designation meant that Pluto — first discovered in 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh — was no different than any of the other 70,000 icy objects that comprise the Kuiper Belt, a region that extends from the orbit of Neptune out to 55 astronomical units (55 times the distance of the Earth to the Sun).

After decades of observation, astronomers have continued to discover other large Kuiper Belt objects, such as Eris in 2005, which was determined to be larger than Pluto itself. The discovery of Eris — which has approximately 25% more mass than Pluto — posed an interesting question to the scientific community: would this object be the 10th planet in our solar system? 

"If Neptune were analogized with a Chevy Impala in mass, then how big is Pluto compared to that? Pluto would be a matchbox car sitting on the curb." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Based upon the IAU’s definition above, any object that doesn’t meet the third criteria is classified as a dwarf planet — including Pluto, Eris, and many of the other objects located in the distant reaches of the Kuiper Belt. In spite of this new designation, Pluto still holds a special spot in the hearts of scientists and astronomers, as NASA has sent their New Horizons spacecraft to observe it closely. Slated to arrive in 2015, New Horizons will capture the first close-up images of the surface.

Image Credit: PBS

Sources:
1. Pluto and the Developing Landscape of Our Solar System
http://goo.gl/ncuu2x
2. Why Pluto is No Longer a Planet
http://goo.gl/ekryL