Sciencism 2013/03/31

In this weeks episode of Sciencism;

Science News – What came first, the head or the brain? New SNPs found for cancer, the moon and asteroids share history, sweet potato baby formular and a microbe with 7 sexes.

Science Quiz – Which physical phenomena explains the emission of electrons from matter when they absorb light energy? And who won the nobel prize for the discovery of the law describing this?

Science Issues – Human genome 99% patented and retraction of the HeLa cells genome.

Science or Fiction – Scientists engineer bacteria to use caffeine as energy source, Study find that fungi sequester more arbon than plant matter in boreal forests, Fire activity in the amazon can be predicted using satelite images to detect the colour of leaves.

Last week in the past – Eiffel Tower opens, first successful tornado forecast, Mariner 10 observes Mercury, First Sea Plane Flight.

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  • What Came First, the Head or the Brain?
    • Bilaterians, who have left right symmetry such as humans contain their brains within the head region.
    • Which evolved first, the Head or the Brain?
    • Information about the bilaterian ancestor is unkown
    • Cnidarians such as jelly fish and hydra do not have a brain but a network of nerves and only one orifice, they also share a common ancestor with bilaterians. Which made them a good way to study the problem.
    • Genes called hox genes determine how and where the tissues in an organism develop.
    • In Nematosella vectensis as a larvae it swims with it’s aboral (or anal) orifice first but burries this region as an adult and captures food with it’s mouth,
    • Researchers found that a gene fox2p which in humans is involved in head development is found in nematosella this gene was expressed in the aboral region, this suggests head and mouth developent evolved separately with the head region evolving first, the brain and the central neverous area then evolved together.
  • Cancer Genetics Double Header
  • Moon and Asteroids Share History
    • By analysing rocks from the moon and meteorites from the asteroid Vesta scientists found that rocks that impacted the moon during the lunar cataclysm also impacted vesta.
    • By correlating the impact data from the moon and vesta as well new observations of vesta surface from the dawn mission they were able to imply that the migration of the gas giants jupiter and saturn destabilised the asteroid belt which affected the whole solar system not just the inner solar system as previously thought.
    • The were also able to lock down the timeframe when the bomboardment happened, approximately 4 billion years ago.
  • Sweet Potato Baby Formular (Nat)
  • Microbe with 7 sexes (Dan)

 

Science Issues

  • Human Genome 99% Patented
  • HeLa cells, genome publishing ethics

Science or Fiction

  1. Scientists engineer bacteria to use caffeine as energy source – Caffeine is becoming an increasingly problematic water polutant due to it’s increased use in medication and beverages. Scientists took genes from Pseudomans putida which is able to live soley on caffeine and insert it into E.coli in order to use the organism as an indicator for caffeine contamination.
  2. Study find that fungi sequester more arbon than plant matter in boreal forests – new research finds that rather than popular belief that most carbon is sequestered into pine needles and drops onto the forrest floor in fact the sequestered carbon was found further down suggesting in fact carbon was locked away in sugars which flowed down to the roots and was metabolised by fungi.
  3. Fire activity in the amazon can be predicted using satelite images to detect the colour of leaves – researchers used gravity measurements by the GRACE mission satelites to determine the amount of ground water storage in the amazon, when they correlated the water levels to fire activity between 2002 and 2011 they found lower ground water was predictive of a high fire season.

Science Quiz

Which physical phenomena explains the emission of electrons from matter when they absorb light energy? And who won the nobel prize for the discovery of the law describing this?

 

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-scientists-moon-asteroids-history.html

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-brain_1.html

http://phys.org/news/2013-02-where-does-our-head-come.html#nRlv

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O13-aboral.html

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-caffeine-addicted-bacteria.html

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-fungi-responsible-carbon-sequestration-northern.html

http://phys.org/news/2013-03-terrestrial-storage.html

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-way-of-all-flesh

http://sciencealert-stage.com/news-nz/20132703-24193-2.html

http://www.sciencealert.com/news/20132803-24200.html

http://www.sciencealert.com/news/20132803-24201.html

 

 

 

 

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