Consider, for example, the way the advancement of... Darwin's Children Drew All Over the On The Origin of Species Manuscript (Updated)—Blog—The Appendix Yesterday was Darwin Day, marking the 205th anniversary of the great naturalist's birth on February 12, 1809. One of the great things about Darwin is that a huge amount of his work is digitized and freely available via sites like Darwin Online. Interested browsers can also check out the Darwin Manuscripts Project, a collaborative initiative based at the American Museum of Natural History. Here you can read through Darwin's personal notes, including gems like his scratched out book title ideas. There are also a number of nature drawings that Darwin prepared while writing his masterpiece, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). Here, for example, is Darwin's rather skillful drawing of the stamen of a Strelitizia flower: Cambridge University Library DAR 49: 115r But there are other drawings in Darwin's papers that defy explanation - until we remember that Darwin and his wife Emma (who, famously, was also his cousin) had a huge family of ten children. Update:
Science & Environment - Timeline of the far future First, we brought you a prediction of the forthcoming year. Then we brought you a timeline of the near future, revealing what could happen up to around 100 years time. But here’s our most ambitious set of predictions yet – from what could happen in one thousand years time to one hundred quintillion years (that’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 years). As the song says, there may be trouble ahead... To see more of our infographics, click here.
Glowing dye could put more rapists in jail U. VIRGINIA (US) — Fluorescent dye that works on darker skin could allow forensic nurses to better document injuries resulting from sexual assault—and increase the odds of justice for women of color. After a rape, forensic nurses fully document sexual assault victims’ injuries by using a dye that causes lacerations and tears on the skin to “light up.” But the dye—a dark blue—doesn’t show on people of color, and that often means the perpetrators go free. Kathryn Laughon, associate professor in the School of Nursing at University of Virginia, is now testing dyes that will illuminate tissue lacerations and abrasions for all skin types and colors. “I don’t have a magic way to tell what happened,” says Kathryn Laughon, “but at least all the victims are getting the same effectiveness from an exam. Nurses like Laughon see two to three times as many injuries with the dye as without, so it’s a critical step in assessing what’s happened—and documenting it.
Blast Shadows The Most Sublime Read of 1946 The mummy’s nightmare: disintegration of souls, and this is precisely the ultra secret and supersensitive function of the atom bomb: a Soul Killer, to alleviate an escalating soul glut.”—William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands In 1946, one year after the end of the Second World War, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to Hermann Hesse for, according to NobelPrize.org, “his inspired writings which, while growing in boldness and penetration, exemplify the classical humanitarian ideals and high qualities of style.” Also published that year was a United States government report written by a committee of men with stiff-sounding names and dull titles like Major Walter C. Veering from genre to genre, the report is a remarkable read that resembles by turns science fiction, classic travelogue, eyewitness testimony, philosophical speculation, and outright propaganda. “The greatest scientific achievement in history.” What is X? The Late Season of a City’s Identity
New insights into gendered brain wiring, or a perfect case study in neurosexism? The latest neuroscience study of sex differences to hit the popular press has inspired some familiar headlines. The Independent, for example, proclaims that: The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are “better at map reading” (And why women are “better at remembering a conversation”). The study in question, published in PNAS, used a technology called diffusion tensor imaging to model the structural connectivity of the brains of nearly a thousand young people, ranging in age from eight to 22. It reports greater connectivity within the hemispheres in males, but greater connnectivity between the hemispheres in females. suggest that male brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action, whereas female brains are designed to facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes. As for map-reading and remembering conversations, these weren’t measured at all. This absence has two consequences.
Incredible collection of old NASA photographs to go on show in London Imagine for a moment that the shoebox under your bed was filled not with photos of your Great Aunt June snoozing on the sofa last Christmas, but with photographs taken in space by astronauts on Apollo 14. For a lucky few at NASA this is (almost) true, and fortunately they’re more than happy to share their treasures with us proles in the form of a new exhibition at London’s BREESE Little Gallery. The exhibition addresses the subject of the sublime in NASA photography. “The sublime is perceived in the presence of power, awe and scale,” BREESE Little explains, “and felt in the sensation of helplessness at the realisation of our own insignificance. And yet it entails a sense of empowerment as we measure, map, quantify and record, seeking to understand the mysteries of the solar system and the universe through science, logic and technology.” Encountering the Astronomical Sublime: Vintage NASA Photographs 1961-1980 will run at London’s BREESE Little gallery from 19 September until 25 October.
Interesting (Computational) Neuroscience Papers Interesting Papers for Week 14, 2014 Neural representation of expected value in the adolescent brain. Barkley-Levenson, E., & Galván, A. (2014). Suboptimal use of neural information in a mammalian auditory system. Time-based reward maximization. Vigor of movements and the cost of time in decision making. Prefrontal-parietal function: from foraging to foresight. Dopamine-Modulated Recurrent Corticoefferent Feedback in Primary Sensory Cortex Promotes Detection of Behaviorally Relevant Stimuli. Phasic dopamine release in the rat nucleus accumbens symmetrically encodes a reward prediction error term. The limits of human stereopsis in space and time. Rapid homeostasis by disinhibition during whisker map plasticity. Integration and segregation of multiple motion signals by neurons in area MT of primate. Reward inference by primate prefrontal and striatal neurons. Intermittency coding in the primary olfactory system: a neural substrate for olfactory scene analysis.
ya'll gon learn today, It seems people like it when highly sciencey... Ancient Wine Bar? Giant Jugs Of Vino Unearthed In 3,700-Year-Old Cellar : The Salt hide captionGraduate student Zach Dunseth carefully excavates wine jugs found in the ruins of a Canaanite palace that dates back to about 1700 B.C. Eric H. Cline/Courtesy of Eric H. Graduate student Zach Dunseth carefully excavates wine jugs found in the ruins of a Canaanite palace that dates back to about 1700 B.C. It looks like our ancestors from the Bronze Age were way bigger lushes than we had ever realized. Archaeologists have discovered a personal wine cellar in a palace that dates back to 1700 B.C. More than 500 gallons of wine were once stored in a room connected to the palace, located in modern-day northern Israel, scientists said Friday at a conference in Baltimore. hide captionNow that's a magnum: Each wine jug found at the palace in Kabri, Israel, could hold more than 13 gallons, or 75 bottles, of wine. Courtesy of Eric H. Now that's a magnum: Each wine jug found at the palace in Kabri, Israel, could hold more than 13 gallons, or 75 bottles, of wine. But the jug was not alone.
Despite what you've been told, you aren't 'left-brained' or 'right-brained' | Amy Novotney From self-help and business success books to job applications and smartphone apps, the theory that the different halves of the human brain govern different skills and personality traits is a popular one. No doubt at some point in your life you've been schooled on "left-brained" and "right-brained" thinking – that people who use the right side of their brains most are more creative, spontaneous and subjective, while those who tap the left side more are more logical, detail-oriented and analytical. Too bad it's not true. In a new two-year study published in the journal Plos One, University of Utah neuroscientists scanned the brains of more than 1,000 people, ages 7 to 29, while they were lying quietly or reading, measuring their functional lateralization – the specific mental processes taking place on each side of the brain. Jeff Anderson, the study's lead author and a professor of neuroradiology at the University of Utah says: According to Anderson:
Perfection is a myth, show 50,000 bacterial generations - life - 15 November 2013 When it comes to evolution, there is no such thing as perfection. Even in the simple, unchanging environment of a laboratory flask, bacteria never stop making small tweaks to improve their fitness. That's the conclusion of the longest-running evolutionary experiment carried out in a lab. In 1988, Richard Lenski of Michigan State University in East Lansing began growing 12 cultures of the same strain of Escherichia coli bacteria. Every 500 generations, Lenski freezes a sample of each culture, creating an artificial "fossil record". No upper limit After 10,000 generations, Lenski thought that the bacteria might approach an upper limit in fitness beyond which no further improvement was possible. Their results fit a mathematical pattern known as a power law, in which something can increase forever, but at a steadily diminishing rate. Lenski's results suggest that evolution never reaches a pinnacle of perfection where progress stops, even in the simplest and most constant environments.
Women in Space | MAKERS Season 2 Makers: Women in Space traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military, and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. Makers: Women in Space airs October 14th on PBS Space travel and sandwich wrappers | Photographers' Blog Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan By Shamil Zhumatov As a great photographer once put it, “to take a good picture, come closer to the object.” But how on earth could I take a close-up shot of a Soyuz rocket as it blast off amid orange flames? The answer was to leave a remote camera at the launch pad. One option, which was used during the launches of U.S. Space Station from Reuters Pictures on Vimeo. The launch of a Soyuz into orbit is meticulously calculated to the last second. Once the technical problem was solved, I prepared the rest of my kit; as well as my camera, this included a bag for gravel to keep the tripod steady, sandwich wrapping, and scotch tape. Each of us invents something peculiar to protect the equipment we leave at the launch pad. After connecting all the wires, I started to swathe my camera in sandwich wrapping, securing it with scotch tape; after a few layers I had a soft, sealed ball perched on a tripod – with a lens curiously sticking out.