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Slime mold was grown on an agar gel plate shaped like America and food sources were placed where America’s large cities are. 

The result? A possible look at how to best build public transportation. 

I just really like the idea of slime mold on a map of the US. It’s beautiful.


holy shit

I have a raging science ladyboner right now.

I’d love if we could do it on a state-by-state basis.

That same slime mold once affirmed that the Tokyo subway is pretty well-designed.  

Using slime molds as a calculator.

Using slime molds as a calculator.

Using slime molds as a calculator.

Natural computation: it’s a thing, and it’s awesome. What is the universe but a really, really complicated computer?
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via Science Facts We Didn't Know at The Start of 2017:




1. Lungs don’t just facilitate respiration - they also make blood. Mammalian lungs produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, which equates to the majority of platelets circulating the body.

2. It is mathematically possible to build an actual time machine - what’s holding us back is finding materials that can physically bend the fabric of space-time.

3. Siberia has a colossal crater called the ‘doorway to the underworld’, and its permafrost is melting so fast, ancient forests are being exposed for the first time in 200,000 years.

4. The world’s first semi-synthetic organisms are living among us - scientists have given rise to new lifeforms using an expanded, six-letter genetic code.

5. Vantablack - the blackest material known to science - now comes in a handy ‘spray-on’ form and it’s the weirdest thing we’ve seen so far this year.

6. It’s official: time crystals are a new state of matter, and we now have an actual blueprint to create these “impossible” objects at will.

7. A brand new human organ has been classified, and it’s been hiding in plain sight this whole time. Everyone, meet your mesentery.

8. Carl Sagan was freakishly good at predicting the future - his disturbingly accurate description of a world where pseudoscience and scientific illiteracy reigns gave us all moment for pause.

9. A single giant neuron that wraps around the entire circumference of a mouse’s brain has been identified, and it appears to be linked to mammalian consciousness.

10. The world’s rarest and most ancient dog isn’t extinct after all - in fact, the outrageously handsome New Guinea highland wild dog appears to be thriving.

11. Your appendix might not be the useless evolutionary byproduct after all. Unlike your wisdom teeth, your appendix might actually be serving an important biological function - and one that our species isn’t ready to give up just yet.

12. After 130 years, we might have to completely redraw the dinosaur family tree, thanks to a previously unimportant cat-sized fossil from Scotland.

13. Polycystic ovary syndrome might actually start in the brain, not the ovaries.

14. Earth appears to have a whole new continent called Zealandia, which would wreak havoc on all those textbooks and atlases we’ve got lying around.

15. Humans have had a bigger impact on Earth’s geology than the infamous Great Oxidation Event 2.3 billion years ago, and now scientists are calling for a new geological epoch - the Anthropocene - to be officially recognised.

16. Turns out, narwhals - the precious unicorns of the sea - use their horns for hunting. But not how you’d think.

17. Human activity has literally changed the space surrounding our planet - decades of Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio communications have accidentally formed a protective, human-made bubble around Earth.

18. Farmers routinely feed red Skittles to their cattle, because it’s a cheap alternative to corn. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@mychronicillnessblog, 13 is the one I specifically want you to read, bit these are all feckin cool

Yessssss give me all the new science..and old science..just give me the science plz
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13 years on Venus is almost the equivalent of 8 years on Earth. It makes for a very interesting pattern.

via reddit
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3-D printing just got even more accurate. MIT scientists have invented a machine that prints objects suspended in gel to counteract the negative effects of gravity.

follow @the-future-now
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We just got an unprecedented look at a black hole ripping apart a star

For the first time ever, astronomers got a close-up peek at a black hole ripping apart a star, a rare event that results in some of the star’s material getting ejected out into space. To research this phenomenon, astronomers used data from a tidal disruption that happened 3.9 billion years ago. Studying tidal disruptions like this one is revealing new information about how black holes behave.

Follow @the-future-now​


Holy shit. Where are my space nerds? My Star Trek nerds? @outside-the-government @bkwrm523 @feelmyroarrrr



Oooh. Totally neat. (And Chris and Seb would love it too!)
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A pot-in-pot refrigerator, clay pot cooler is an evaporative cooling refrigeration device which does not use electricity. It uses a porous outer earthenware pot, lined with wet sand, contains an inner pot (which can be glazed to prevent penetration by the liquid) within which the food is placed - the evaporation of the outer liquid draws heat from the inner pot. The device can be used to cool any substance. This simple technology requires only a flow of relatively dry air and a source of water.

Source: [x] 

Follow Ultrafacts for more facts!

This is cool.
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Explore 360° of making leaps in quantum.

Your computer can now bend the laws of physics. Most computers think in strings of 1s and 0s. Quantum computers like the one being tested in the IBM Research Quantum Lab, can process 1s and 0s at the same time, like being in two places at once. It’s called “superposition” and it’s the next big leap in technology.

Want to see what quantum computing is like? Experiment with the IBM Quantum Experience over the cloud, through any device or desktop, and you too can test the processor you see in this lab!

Explore the IBM Quantum Experience →
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via Have Confirmed a Brand New Form of Matter: Time Crystals:


Crystals are structures in which a pattern of atoms or molecules repeats in space. Now, two teams of researchers have figured out that crystals’ repeating patterns can also exist through time. These “time crystals,” detailed in a new paper in Physical Review Letter, are an entirely new kind of matter, one that can never reach equilibrium.

To create the time crystals, researchers at University of Maryland hooked together 10 ytterbium atoms and hit them with two lasers multiple times to keep them out of equilibrium. Though the atoms did settle into a pattern, they could not reach equilibrium, meaning that the crystals perpetually remain in motion, though they don’t contain any energy. Almost all of physics is based in studying matter that is at equilibrium, so the ability to create these non-equilibrium crystals is a huge deal for the future of physics.

“This is a new phase of matter, period, but it is also really cool because it is one of the first examples of non-equilibrium matter,” lead researcher Norman Yao from the University of California, Berkeley told EurekaAlert!.

The idea of time crystals–of a form of matter that appears to move even at its energy-less ground state–was first proposed by Nobel-Prize winning theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek in 2012. Usually, if matter is in its ground state, movement should be impossible, because it contains no energy.

The researchers say that time crystals resemble Jell-O. When you tap Jell-O, it jiggles. The only difference is that the crystals are jiggling without using any energy, without any tap. By definition, time crystals can never stop oscillating, no matter how little energy they contain.

Right now, it’s unclear what the practical use of this discovery will be, but it’s possible that these crystals could serve a function in quantum computers.

Source: Physical Review Letters via EurekaAlert!
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Restoring the sense of touch in amputees using natural signals of the nervous system

Scientists at the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve
University have found a way to produce realistic sensations of touch in
two human amputees by directly stimulating the nervous system.

The study, published Oct. 26 in Science Translational Medicine (STM),
confirms earlier research on how the nervous system encodes the
intensity, or magnitude, of sensations. It is the second of two
groundbreaking publications by University of Chicago
neuroscientist Sliman Bensmaia,
PhD, using neuroprosthetic devices to recreate the sense of touch for
amputee or quadriplegic patients with a “biomimetic” approach that
approximates the natural, intact nervous system.

On Oct. 13, in a separate publication from STM,
Bensmaia and a team led by Robert Gaunt, PhD, from the University of
Pittsburgh, announced that for the first time, a paralyzed human patient
was able to experience the sense of touch through a robotic arm that he
controls with his brain. In that study, researchers interfaced directly
with the patient’s brain, through an electrode array implanted in the
areas of the brain responsible for hand movements and for touch, which
allowed the man to both move the robotic arm and feel objects through

The new study takes a similar approach in amputees, working with two
male subjects who each lost an arm after traumatic injuries. In this
case, both subjects were implanted with neural interfaces, devices
embedded with electrodes that were attached to the median, ulnar and
radial nerves of the arm. Those are the same nerves that would carry
signals from the hand were it still intact.

“If you want to create a dexterous hand for use in an amputee or a
quadriplegic patient, you need to not only be able to move it, but have
sensory feedback from it,” said Bensmaia, who is an associate professor
of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago. “To do
this, we first need to look at how the intact hand and the intact
nervous system encodes this information, and then, to the extent that we
can, try to mimic that in a neuroprosthesis.”

Recreating different sensations of intensity

The latest research is a joint effort by Bensmaia and Dustin Tyler, PhD, the Kent H. Smith Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, who works with a large team trying to make bionic hands clinically viable. Tyler’s team, led by doctoral student Emily Graczyk, systematically tested the subjects’ ability to distinguish the magnitude of the sensations evoked when their nerves were stimulated through the interface. They varied aspects of the signals, such as frequency and intensity of each electrical pulse. The goal was to understand if there was a systematic way to manipulate the sensory magnitude.

(Image caption:
Electrical stimulation was delivered by an external stimulator (top
left) through percutaneous leads to FINEs implanted on the median,
ulnar, and radial nerves of an upper-limb amputee (bottom left). Each
electrode contact evokes sensory percepts on small regions of the
missing hand of the subject. Credit: Graczyk et al, Sci. Transl. Med.)

Earlier research from Bensmaia’s lab predicted how the nervous system
discerns intensity of touch, for example, how hard an object is
pressing against the skin. That work suggested that the number of times
certain nerve fibers fire in response to a given stimulus, known as the
population spike rate, determines the perceived intensity of a given

Results from the new study verify this hypothesis: A single feature
of electrical stimulation—dubbed the activation charge rate—was found to
determine the strength of the sensation. By changing the activation
charge rate, the team could change sensory magnitude in a highly
predictable way. The team then showed that the activation charge rate
was also closely related to the evoked population spike rate.

Building neuroprosthetics that approximate the natural nervous system

While the new study furthers the development of neural interfaces for
neuroprosthetics, artificial touch will only be as good as the devices
providing input. In a separate paper published in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Bensmaia and his team tested the sensory abilities of a robotic fingertip equipped with touch sensors.

Using the same behavioral techniques that are used to test human
sensory abilities, Bensmaia’s team, led by Benoit Delhaye and Erik
Schluter, tested the finger’s ability to distinguish different touch
locations, different pressure levels, the direction and speed of
surfaces moving across it and the identity of textures scanned across
it. The robotic finger (with the help of machine learning algorithms)
proved to be almost as good as a human at most of these sensory tasks.
By combining such high-quality input with the algorithms and data
Bensmaia and Tyler produced in the other study, researchers can begin
building neuroprosthetics that approximate natural sensations of touch.

Without realistic, natural-feeling sensations, neuroprosthetics will
never come close to achieving the dexterity of our native hands. To
illustrate the importance of touch, Bensmaia referred to a piano.
Playing the piano requires a delicate touch, and an accomplished pianist
knows how softly or forcefully to strike the keys based on sensory
signals from the fingertips. Without these signals, the sounds the piano
would make would not be very musical.

“The idea is that if we can reproduce those signals exactly, the
amputee won’t have to think about it, he can just interact with objects
naturally and automatically. Results from this study constitute a first
step towards conveying finely graded information about contact
pressure,” Bensmaia said.
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via New Theory of Gravity Could Explain Away Dark Matter and Energy:


This is actually really exciting??

#science #i don’t remotely understand this (via @ambientcrows)

Okay, that’s fine! You are actually not alone, I just fumbled through explaining this to some friends! I only just found this today so I may not be 100% accurate, if anyone knows better they can correct as needed!

Basically what the current theory of gravity (the theory of relativity) says is that gravity is a fundamental reaction. Gravity is what happens when spacetime curves around mass/energy- that curving causes two objects to move toward one another in space.

The problem is that the general theory of relativity doesn’t explain quantum physics. It cannot explain why the outside edges of galaxies goes zoom in ways they should not, unless there is an unknown factor. Until now, Science was like okay, what if Dark Matter and Dark Energy are a thing, where Dark Energy is what causes the universe to expand and Dark Matter is matter we can’t see, and actually haven’t even proved exists yet. Like, we’re literally making that shit up because nothing else we had made sense, and assuming that Dark Matter exists and is affected by gravity in ways which would explain the zoom allowed us to move on with theorizing things. Which was fine.

But then this guy, Erik Verlinde, comes along and is like okay but what if we go back and assume that our understanding of gravity is what’s wrong?

What if instead of gravity happening (spacetime moves and that movement causes gravity to happen), gravity emerges (the fabric of the universe has gravity stored inside its structure and spacetime and gravity emerge together from that structure). As its own thing, alongside spacetime (which is also a product of the structure of the universe), with its own behaviors and stuff.

And emergent gravity CAN explain why the edges of galaxies go zoom (I do not understand the math behind it I’m sorry!), without needing to rely on “idk let’s say Dark Matter and move on.” Already it’s allowed Verlinde to accurately predict the movement of stars on the edges of galaxies on its own. (of course, bear in mind that it does not explain EVERYTHING. yet. but it does bring physics and quantum physics closer to being able to work together).

Which makes all of this actually really cool, because it means that this huge assumption we humans have made and based a lot of stuff on for a while (dark matter existing) may be wrong, BUT we may have figured out WHY it was wrong, and that means we may be able to start doing things right, and that always leads to even more fascinating discoveries and advancements in science.
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via plants survive almost two years in outer space:




Primitive plants are the latest forms of Earth life to show they can survive in the harshness of space, and for many months. Cold-loving algae from the Arctic Circle have joined the space-travelling club, alongside bacteria, lichens and even simple animals called tardigrades.

Preliminary studies of the algae after their return to Earth from the International Space Station lend some weight to the “panspermia” theory, that comets and meteorites could potentially deliver life to otherwise sterile planets. The results also provide insights into the potential for human colonies on distant planets to grow crops brought from Earth.

The algae were of the Sphaerocystis species, codenamed CCCryo 101-99, and were returned to Earth in June last year after spending 530 days on a panel outside the ISS. While space-borne, they withstood the vacuum, temperatures ranging from -20 °C at night to 47.2 °C during the day, plus perpetual ultraviolet radiation of a strength that would destroy most life on Earth if not filtered out by the atmosphere.

“I’m sure that plants of many kinds have been on the ISS before, but on the inside, not the outside,” says Thomas Leya of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Potsdam, Germany, who organised the algae experiment. “As far as I know, this is the first report of plants exposed on the surface of the space station.”

Continue Reading.

“While space-borne, they withstood the vacuum, temperatures ranging from -20 °C at night to 47.2 °C during the day, plus perpetual ultraviolet radiation of a strength that would destroy most life on Earth if not filtered out by the atmosphere.”

Algae is scary, man
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via of fillings in sight as scientists find Alzheimer's drug makes teeth grow back:



Researchers at King’s College London found that the drug Tideglusib stimulates the stem cells contained in the pulp of teeth so that they generate new dentine – the mineralised material under the enamel.

Teeth already have the capability of regenerating dentine if the pulp inside the tooth becomes exposed through a trauma or infection, but can only naturally make a very thin layer, and not enough to fill the deep cavities caused by tooth decay.

But Tideglusib switches off an enzyme called GSK-3 which prevents dentine from carrying on forming.

Scientists showed it is possible to soak a small biodegradable sponge with the drug and insert it into a cavity, where it triggers the growth of dentine and repairs the damage within six weeks.

The tiny sponges are made out of collagen so they melt away over time, leaving only the repaired tooth.

That is by far the coolest thing I’ve heard this year.
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Green, who lost her parents young, was raised by her aunt and uncle. While still at school, her aunt died from cancer, and three months later her uncle was diagnosed with cancer, too. Green went on to earn her degree in physics at Alabama A&M University, being crowned Homecoming Queen while she was at it, before going on full scholarship to University of Alabama in Birmingham to earn her Masters and Ph.D. There Green would become the first to work out how to deliver nanoparticles into cancer cells exclusively, so that a laser could be used to remove them, and then successfully carry out her treatment on living animals. 


her studies thus far are only on head and neck cancers, but her theory is this treatment platform would work on all types of cancers. But needs $$$$ to keep doing research.

It seems the issue is how to target the cancer cells and in her head and neck cancer tests, she had success in mice by utilizing fda approved immunotherepy antibodies to deliver nano particles to mark the tumor. Then she could proceed to blast the shit out of cancer with fuckin lasers.

she was ready or prepared when opportunity arose

I’m so proud of her. I wish more young black women would go into science.


I lost my mother to cancer. I pray she succeeds so no one else has to.


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