£1billion telescope can see the beginning of time
By Hayley Dixon, telegraph.co.uk
A £1bn telescope that can see the beginning of time has been unveiled in Chile today.
Scientists hope the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, will allow astronomers to see back to the first moments after the universe was formed.
So, you wanna know what galaxies looked like 12 billion years ago? Sure, why not…
Caffeinated Cravings: Putting The Buzz Back In Your Bumble…
It seems it’s not just us humans who seek out regular caffeine kicks - the bees are at it as well! New research has shown that honey bees are three times more likely to remember and seek out food associated with the smell of a coffee or citrus plant (both of which naturally contain caffeine) than food presented without these scents. Well, would you blame ‘em?!…
Christy Ullrich of NGS reports:
Bitter-tasting caffeine primarily arose in plants as a toxic defense against herbivores like garden slugs. At high doses, caffeine can be toxic and repellent to pollinators.
However, at low concentrations, caffeine appears to have a secondary advantage, attracting honeybees and enhancing their long-term memory, said lead author Geraldine Wright, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in England, whose study was published online March 7 in the journal Science.
“We show that caffeine—a compound whose ecological role is mainly to deter and poison herbivores—actually acts like a drug in an ecologically relevant context,” Wright said. “The plant is secretly drugging the pollinator. It may help the bee, but the plant cares more about having a pollinator with high fidelity!”
Read the rest of the report via NGS here.
Uhhhhh, say what now?!!….
Periplaneta americanaThe American cockroach^ (native to Africa)
Yes, introduced from Africa to the United States as early as 1625, this neat little Neoptera is owed some thanks from us for helping to shape our early understanding of the neuro-endocrine system:
German-born American biologist Berta Scharrer (1906–1995) and her biologist husband Ernst Scharrer pioneered the field of neuroendocrinology, the study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine glands and their secretions. Fighting against accepted scientific beliefs about cells—as well as against prejudice toward women in the sciences—Scharrer established the concept of neurosecretion, or the releasing of substances such as hormones by nerve cells.
Prior to the discoveries of Scharrer and her husband, scientists believed that neurons or nerve cells could not have a dual function. They either secreted hormones, in which case they were endocrine cells belonging to the endocrine system, or they conducted electrical impulses, making them nerve cells belonging to the nervous system.
In the 1930s, after having come to America, Scharrer and her husband set out to prove their theories with no real professional standing and therefore lacking a budget for lab animals. Scharrer reportedly collected cockroaches in the basement of the lab and used them for experiments. Soon she began experimenting on South American cockroaches she had discovered scurrying around in the bottom of a cage of lab monkeys that had arrived from South America. Scharrer found that they made better research subjects because they were slower than the American cockroach. From that point forward, she used the South American cockroaches, which traveled with her wherever she and her husband moved.
By 1950, Scharrer’s research and theories on neurosecretion had become accepted as fact by the scientific community. For her pioneering scientific work, Scharrer received many honors. Included among these was the naming of a cockroach species, scharrerae , in her honor.
Read more: http://www.faqs.org/health/Body-by-Design-V1/The-Endocrine-System-Workings-how-the-endocrine-system-functions.html#ixzz2LYBFBeRb
A Foot-Long Seahorse
Seahorses range in size—from as small as a pine nut to as large as a banana. The largest seahorse species is Hippocampus abdominalis, or the big-bellied seahorse, which can reach more than a foot long (35 cm) and lives in the waters off Southern Australia and New Zealand.
The smallest seahorse, Satomi’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus satomiae), which was only described in 2008, is only half an inch long (13 mm)! It lives in the waters of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
(CREDIT: David Maynard / Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005, Courtesy of Project Seahorse)
(via: Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal)
How Many Seahorse Species?
There are 47 different species of seahorses and 14 of those were discovered in the last eight years, including Pontoh’s pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus pontohi), which was officially named in 2008. Seahorses’ ability to change their color and shape to blend in with their environment makes identification of individual species challenging.
Because of this, some researchers previously thought there were as many as 200 seahorse species in the world, while others thought there were as few as 20. However, advances in genetic research are helping to clarify some of the differences between closely related species.
(CREDIT: Patrick Decaluwe / Guylian Seahorses of the World 2010, Courtesy of Project Seahorse)
(via: Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal)