Ask your doctor if you should be vaccinated against vanishing sickness.
Green Lantern v2 #20.
These four biological molecules are essential to all life on Earth.
They originated more than 3 Billion years ago during the Proterozoic Era, in a common ancestor of Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukaryota. Together these molecules form the fundamental pattern of the fractal of life; they are specialized machines that replicate each other and produce an endless variety of new forms. They have evolved over trillions of generations into extraordinarily complex arrangements that consume energy, organize, and reproduce.
At Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital, a team of neurosurgeons and computer scientists are developing software to plan the delicate incisions that are necessary for neurosurgery.
Operating on the brain is a bit like ice fishing. Doctors cut a hole into the skull as small as half the size of a penny and can’t necessarily see what’s below. Sometimes they create an opening as large as 70 millimeters—the size of some camera lenses–forcing doctors to cut through broad areas of bone and tissue.
Surgeons must then navigate more than 400 miles of blood vessels and delicate lobes controlling speech, sight, smell and memory every time they want to excise a tumor or relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, depression and other neurological disorders.
Figuring out the best trajectory to attack a tumor or fluid-filled cyst is as much science as it is art.
“Field of image or computer-assisted surgery is a very evolving project in medicine—especially in neurosurgery,” says Dr. Yigal Shoshan, head of Hadassah Hospital’s neurosurgery department, who along with Leo Joskowicz, a Hebrew University computer science professor, is developing the software.
This is the Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant in Andalucía, Spain, which is a type of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant. It works by reflecting sunlight off of heliostats (sun-tracking mirrors, basically) onto a tower where salts are heated. These heated salts are then used to create steam, which in turn runs a turbine that generates electricity. It is also capable of producing electricity day and night thanks to a salt storage system that can keep the turbine going for 16 hours. For more, watch this video.
Having never even heard of this type of solar power plant until just the other week, I feel like I just took a leap into a future I didn’t even know existed. My mind = blown. And not only is this a really ingenious way of harnessing solar power, the whole thing just looks incredible too. Yay for environmentally-friendly energy without it looking like a complete and utter eyesore.
Red blood cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of red blood cells (erythrocytes) on the connective tissue surface of a muscle. Some of the red blood cells are crenated (spiked). They have dehydrated and distorted in shape. The main function of red blood cells is to distribute oxygen to body tissues, and to carry waste carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Magnification: x3000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
Bone marrow biopsy
Bone marrow examination is used in the diagnosis of a number of conditions, including leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, anemia, and pancytopenia. The bone marrow produces the cellular elements of the blood, including platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. While much information can be gleaned by testing the blood itself (drawn from a vein by phlebotomy), it is sometimes necessary to examine the source of the blood cells in the bone marrow to obtain more information on hematopoiesis; this is the role of bone marrow aspiration and biopsy.
(Photo: Charlotte Lücking / ESA / NASA)
To combat global warming, scientists in Scotland now suggest an out-of-this-world solution — a giant dust cloud in space, blasted off an asteroid, which would act like a sunshade for Earth.
Saturn’s Moon Titan Shows Surprising Seasonal Changes
ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2012) — Detailed observations of Saturn’s moon Titan have now spanned 30 years, covering an entire solar orbit for this distant world. Dr Athena Coustenis from the Paris-Meudon Observatory in France has analysed data gathered over this time and has found that the changing seasons of Titan affect it more than previously thought. Dr Coustenis will present these results at the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid on Friday 28th September.
Cross section of a plant stem. Each of these “tubes” is used to transport water and other substances necessary for survival throughout the plant. (via)
Anatomical Teaching Models
It’s believed that anatomical models have been used for teaching purposes (as opposed to ritualistic or religious purposes) since some point between 100 BCE - 300 CE, since dissection of the dead was a taboo and crime in the Late Greek and Roman empire, and paper or vellum for illustration was much more fragile than, say, carved wooden figures.
However, most of our evidence for anatomical models comes from the late Medieval era and later, when materials such as ivory and sealed papier-mâché were used for many anatomical carvings. Later, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, wax sculptures were common in medical schools, as much finer detail was attainable with such a pliable substance.
Today, most models used for teaching both lay persons and students are made from thermoplastics and texturing agents, and can range from highly detailed micro-premature babies, to fully-removable models of life-sized animals with every layer of tissue and organs, to huge versions of virions not normally visible except under an electron microscope. Given that the majority of students show greatly increased memory of a subject when able to physically manipulate a representation of it, the use of anatomical teaching models is here to stay.
For more on anatomical models and tons more on the history of medicine, visit the Science Museum: Brought to Life!
Top: Anatomical structure of reclining woman in early pregnancy. Florence, Italy, ca. 1770.
Center left: Wax model of the human brain, with skin, skull, and meninges removed. Intended for medical students. Western Europe, ca. 1700-1900. Date uncertain.
Center right: Papier-mache model of acupuncture meridians. Japan, ca. 1601-1700.
Bottom left: Sculpture of male black infant, 22-23 weeks development. Created for exhibit on how micro-preemies are kept alive in the modern era. England, 1998.
Bottom right: Model of an adenovirus, magnified 3,000,000x, from electron microscope images. London, England, 1985.
This series of photos shows two plates with a thin layer of polymer-laced, viscoelastic liquid. As the two plates are separated, complex instabilities form. The lower section of each photograph shows the fluid on the plate, with finger-like Saffman-Taylor instabilities forming as air rushes in between the gap in the plates. As the separation increases, the polymers in the liquid stretch under the increased strain, inducing elastic stresses in the fluid that cause the formation of secondary structures. (Photo credit: R. Welsh, J. Bico, and G. McKinley)