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plant-a-day:

Sensitive Plant

Mimosa pudica

"Pudica" is the Latin word for "shy" or "bashful," which is an apt description of the sensitive "Touch-Me-Not." Native to South and Central America, this shade-lover often grows as a weed under trees and shrubs. It is popular among collectors as a specimen plant worldwide, because of its unique sensitivity to touch.

The foliage retracts when touched to prevent consumption by herbivores, and it also exhibits nyctinastic movement, meaning circadian rhythms affect the leaves to close at night, and re-open during the day. 

This trait is present in many other members of the legume family as well.

You can buy seeds for this plant and grow it yourself:

Canada / USA / UK & Europe / Worldwide

——

- biodiverseed

*36

jadafitch:

Continuation of my “Recently Extinct Birds of North America Series”  See the rest of the series here, http://jadafitch.tumblr.com/post/67609193080/recently-extinct-birds-of-the-eastern-united

Prints Available here http://society6.com/JadaFitch

science-junkie:
Solar System, in Perspective
This artist’s concept puts solar system distances in perspective. The scale bar is in astronomical units, with each set distance beyond 1 AU representing 10 times the previous distance. One AU is the distance from the sun to the Earth, which is about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. Neptune, the most distant planet from the sun, is about 30 AU.
Informally, the term “solar system” is often used to mean the space out to the last planet. Scientific consensus, however, says the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets that swing by our sun on long time scales. Beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, the gravity of other stars begins to dominate that of the sun. The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU. 
NASA’s Voyager 1, humankind’s most distant spacecraft, is around 125 AU. Scientists believe it entered interstellar space, or the space between stars, on Aug. 25, 2012. Much of interstellar space is actually inside our solar system. It will take about 300 years for Voyager 1 to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud and possibly about 30,000 years to fly beyond it.
Alpha Centauri is currently the closest star to our solar system.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

science-junkie:

Solar System, in Perspective

This artist’s concept puts solar system distances in perspective. The scale bar is in astronomical units, with each set distance beyond 1 AU representing 10 times the previous distance. One AU is the distance from the sun to the Earth, which is about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. Neptune, the most distant planet from the sun, is about 30 AU.

Informally, the term “solar system” is often used to mean the space out to the last planet. Scientific consensus, however, says the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets that swing by our sun on long time scales. Beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, the gravity of other stars begins to dominate that of the sun. The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU. 

NASA’s Voyager 1, humankind’s most distant spacecraft, is around 125 AU. Scientists believe it entered interstellar space, or the space between stars, on Aug. 25, 2012. Much of interstellar space is actually inside our solar system. It will take about 300 years for Voyager 1 to reach the inner edge of the Oort Cloud and possibly about 30,000 years to fly beyond it.

Alpha Centauri is currently the closest star to our solar system.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

science-junkie:

Do I Love you?

Love is a complicated matter, Its a very sensitive matter. However love like all emotions is caused by chemicals and that means its science. The video explores what the main chemicals are, what they do, tips on love and the different types of love. 

Sources

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/love/

2. http://www.youramazingbrain.org.uk/lovesex/sciencelove.htm

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_basis_of_love

4. http://health.howstuffworks.com/sexual-health/sexuality/science-of-love.htm

nprglobalhealth:
Where Everyone In The World Is Migrating, In One Gorgeous Chart
In a study published Thursday in Science, geographers analyzed global migration patterns around the world over the past 20 years. 
The result is this beautiful infographic and interactive app. 
Qz notes two interesting findings from the study:
1) Adjusted for population growth, the global migration rate has stayed roughly the same since around  since 1995 (it was higher from 1990-1995).
2) It’s not the poorest countries sending people to the richest countries, it’s countries in transition—still poor, but with some education and mobility—that are the highest migratory contributors.
Where are the highest rates of migration ? Qz explains:
1) The largest regional migration is from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. This is largely driven by the huge, oil-driven, construction booms happening on the Arabian Peninsula.
2) The biggest flow between individual countries is the steady stream from Mexico to the US. (In fact, the US is the largest single migrant destination)
3) There’s a huge circulation of migrants among sub-Saharan African countries. This migration dwarfs the number leaving Africa, but the media pay more attention the latter because of the austerity-driven immigration debates in Europe.


Learn more.
The graphic here shows 75 percent of migration flows from 2005 to 2010.(Circos/ Krzywinski, M. et al.)

nprglobalhealth:

Where Everyone In The World Is Migrating, In One Gorgeous Chart

In a study published Thursday in Science, geographers analyzed global migration patterns around the world over the past 20 years. 

The result is this beautiful infographic and interactive app

Qz notes two interesting findings from the study:

1) Adjusted for population growth, the global migration rate has stayed roughly the same since around  since 1995 (it was higher from 1990-1995).

2) It’s not the poorest countries sending people to the richest countries, it’s countries in transition—still poor, but with some education and mobility—that are the highest migratory contributors.

Where are the highest rates of migration ? Qz explains:

1) The largest regional migration is from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. This is largely driven by the huge, oil-driven, construction booms happening on the Arabian Peninsula.

2) The biggest flow between individual countries is the steady stream from Mexico to the US(In fact, the US is the largest single migrant destination)

3) There’s a huge circulation of migrants among sub-Saharan African countries. This migration dwarfs the number leaving Africa, but the media pay more attention the latter because of the austerity-driven immigration debates in Europe.

The graphic here shows 75 percent of migration flows from 2005 to 2010.(Circos/ Krzywinski, M. et al.)

chapmangamo:

Heartbeat Sounds in Ten Languages

Hearts are pretty cool, you guys. They pump a bunch of blood around the body and keep you alive or something.

Thanks, hearts! Keep on doing that thing that you do.

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candidscience:
Ancient Virus DNA Gives Stem Cells the Power to Transform
A virus that invaded the genomes of humanity’s ancestors millions of years ago now plays a critical role in the embryonic stem cells from which all cells in the human body derive, new research shows.
The discovery sheds light on the role viruses play in human evolution and could help scientists better understand how to use stem cells in advanced therapies or even how to convert normal cells into stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they are capable of becoming any other kind of cell in the body. Scientists around the world hope to use this capability to help patients recover from injury and disease.
Researchers have struggled for decades to figure out how pluripotency works. These new findings reveal that “material from viruses is vital in making human embryonic stem cells what they are,” said computational biologist Guillaume Bourque at McGill University in Montreal, a co-author of the study published online March 30 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
Image: Human embryonic stem cells display as blue and green patchwork under a fluorescent microscope.
Source: National Geographic

candidscience:

Ancient Virus DNA Gives Stem Cells the Power to Transform

A virus that invaded the genomes of humanity’s ancestors millions of years ago now plays a critical role in the embryonic stem cells from which all cells in the human body derive, new research shows.

The discovery sheds light on the role viruses play in human evolution and could help scientists better understand how to use stem cells in advanced therapies or even how to convert normal cells into stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they are capable of becoming any other kind of cell in the body. Scientists around the world hope to use this capability to help patients recover from injury and disease.

Researchers have struggled for decades to figure out how pluripotency works. These new findings reveal that “material from viruses is vital in making human embryonic stem cells what they are,” said computational biologist Guillaume Bourque at McGill University in Montreal, a co-author of the study published online March 30 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Image: Human embryonic stem cells display as blue and green patchwork under a fluorescent microscope.

Source: National Geographic

thenewenlightenmentage:
Does Dark Energy Spring From the ‘Quantum Vacuum?’
The mysterious dark energy that’s driving the universe’s accelerated expansion may have its roots in the background “vacuum energy” that pervades all of the cosmos, a new study suggests.
"What we think is happening is a dynamic effect of the quantum vacuum, a parameter that we can calculate," co-author Joan Sola, of the University of Barcelona in Spain, said in a statement. "Nothing is more ‘full’ than the quantum vacuum since it is full of fluctuations that contribute fundamentally to the values that we observe and measure."
Continue Reading

thenewenlightenmentage:

Does Dark Energy Spring From the ‘Quantum Vacuum?’

The mysterious dark energy that’s driving the universe’s accelerated expansion may have its roots in the background “vacuum energy” that pervades all of the cosmos, a new study suggests.

"What we think is happening is a dynamic effect of the quantum vacuum, a parameter that we can calculate," co-author Joan Sola, of the University of Barcelona in Spain, said in a statement. "Nothing is more ‘full’ than the quantum vacuum since it is full of fluctuations that contribute fundamentally to the values that we observe and measure."

Continue Reading

rhamphotheca:

Elusive Whales Set New Record for Depth and Length of Dives Among Mammals

A new study of elusive Cuvier’s beaked whales shows they can dive to nearly 10,000 ft (3,000 m).

by Jane J. Lee

A new long-term study looking at the elusive Cuvier’s beaked whale reveals the deepest and longest dives ever seen among mammals.

The new records indicate behavior that is much more varied and extreme than scientists expected for this species, says Simone Baumann-Pickering, a marine mammal biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. One exceptional whale dove to 9,816 feet (2,992 meters), while a second stayed down for 138 minutes.

Scientists and the U.S. Navy are especially interested in these whales because sonar activity has stranded individuals on beaches in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands, and the Bahamas, says Greg Schorr, a research biologist with the Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia, Washington…

(read more: National Geo)

images: Photograph by Tui De Roy, Minden Pictures/Corbis, and infographic by NG staff