neil-gaiman

policymic:

The Great Barrier Reef will reach the point of no return in 16 years

A new report by the Australian Marine Conservation Society shows that the reef is under “unprecedented” threat from Australia’s urban development and proposed expansion in coastal ports. The report estimates that allowing large ships to access these ports would involve dredging 149 million tons of seabed, leading to serious damage to the reef systems and the marine life that depend on them.

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trugatti

cannibal-swag:

rasputin:

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees. The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer. 

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range. 

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

 

how does one train a bee

cloudburstbrokenbysunshine
nprfreshair:

Evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman explains how we evolved to crave high-calorie sugary foods:

We evolved to crave sweet foods. Everybody loves sweet foods. But if you try to eat foods that hunter gatherers eat or chimpanzees eat, you’d be surprised at how unsweet they are. Most wild fruits are about as sweet as a carrot. So we love sweetness but until recently, pretty much the only food that we got that was sweet was honey and honey of course was a special treat, honey was pretty much the only form of dessert in the Paleolithic. But now we have access to abundant quantities of sugar and simple carbohydrates, which we evolved to love because they’re full of energy but we don’t have the metabolism. We don’t have the bodies that are able to cope with those kinds of levels of sugar and the result is that we get sick.  

Daniel Lieberman is the author of the book The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Heath, and Disease

nprfreshair:

Evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman explains how we evolved to crave high-calorie sugary foods:

We evolved to crave sweet foods. Everybody loves sweet foods. But if you try to eat foods that hunter gatherers eat or chimpanzees eat, you’d be surprised at how unsweet they are. Most wild fruits are about as sweet as a carrot. So we love sweetness but until recently, pretty much the only food that we got that was sweet was honey and honey of course was a special treat, honey was pretty much the only form of dessert in the Paleolithic. But now we have access to abundant quantities of sugar and simple carbohydrates, which we evolved to love because they’re full of energy but we don’t have the metabolism. We don’t have the bodies that are able to cope with those kinds of levels of sugar and the result is that we get sick.  

Daniel Lieberman is the author of the book The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Heath, and Disease

neil-gaiman

odditiesoflife:

Brinicles — The Ocean’s “Ice Fingers of Death”

Reaching down like frozen fingers from the water’s surface, where the so-called “brinicle” meets the sea bed, a web of ice forms that instantly freezes and kills everything it touches, including sea urchins and starfish.

The formation of brinicles, also known as ice stalactites, is dangerous to marine life. Sea ice is frozen fresh water because the salt in ocean water does not freeze with it. As the water freezes, high concentrations of salt are excluded. This brine – super saturated salt – gets pushed out of the ice through channels. Some of it gets pushed up and out, leaving a slightly salty layer on top of the sea ice, but much of it gets pushed down, back into the water.

As this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it sinks in a descending plume and freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume into what is called a “brinicle” – an icicle of brine. These look like icicles hanging from the underside of the ice. If the brinicles keep growing and extending down to the ocean floor, they form a web of ice that freezes everything. Hence the nickname “ice fingers of death”. An amazing video which captures the formation of a brinicle was first filmed in 2011 for the BBC series Frozen Planet.

sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6