install theme

bbsrc:

Antibiotic hunters

Bacteria known as Streptomyces (see images above) are the source of the majority of important antibiotics used in medicine today. These drugs have revolutionised the treatment of infectious disease since their introduction into clinical practice in the 1940s.

Recently, the World Health Organisation has warned of a “post-antibiotic era”, where people could die from simple infections that have been treatable for decades. This is because some disease-causing bacteria have evolved to become resistant to most currently used antibiotics, for example MRSA.

BBSRC investment in Streptomyces research since the 1960s has had a huge impact on our understanding and development of antibiotics, and scientists at the BBSRC-funded John Innes Centre are among those now using this knowledge to help discover and develop the new antibiotics needed to counter the threat of antibiotic resistance.

If you want to find out more about this area of research make sure you get yourself along to the Great British Bioscience Festival exhibit showing at the Science in Norwich Day on the 1 of June.

Read more: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/research/impact/streptomyces-antibiotics.aspx

Top image and middle image copyright: David Hopwood and Andrew Davis

Bottom image of copyright:Tobias Kieser

 

, #bioscience #science #bacteria #antibiotics
rhamphotheca:

Butterflies near salted roads grow larger eyes and muscles
by Sandhya Sekar
You might be able to cut the salt in your diet, but the wildlife near salted roads doesn’t have a choice. It’s not all bad, though – salt may boost the brawn of butterflies.
When roads are salted in icy conditions, some of the run-off is taken up by plants. To find out if raised sodium levels in roadside plants might affect animals that feed on them, Emilie Snell-Rood at the University of Minnesota, St Paul, and her colleagues assessed local monarch butterflies, which feed on milkweed plants.
The team found that milkweed plants at the roadside contained 16 times as much sodium as those 100 metres away from the road. The butterflies reared on these plants had, on average, 6 times as much sodium in their bodies as those reared on prairie plants, and were less likely to survive beyond the caterpillar stage. But sodium is essential for the development of nerve and muscle tissue in animals, and those butterflies that did survive on high-sodium leaves also experienced a growth spurt: males had bigger flight muscles and females had significantly larger eyes…
(read more: New Scientist)
photograph by Bruce Coleman Inc./Alamy

rhamphotheca:

Butterflies near salted roads grow larger eyes and muscles

by Sandhya Sekar

You might be able to cut the salt in your diet, but the wildlife near salted roads doesn’t have a choice. It’s not all bad, though – salt may boost the brawn of butterflies.

When roads are salted in icy conditions, some of the run-off is taken up by plants. To find out if raised sodium levels in roadside plants might affect animals that feed on them, Emilie Snell-Rood at the University of Minnesota, St Paul, and her colleagues assessed local monarch butterflies, which feed on milkweed plants.

The team found that milkweed plants at the roadside contained 16 times as much sodium as those 100 metres away from the road. The butterflies reared on these plants had, on average, 6 times as much sodium in their bodies as those reared on prairie plants, and were less likely to survive beyond the caterpillar stage. But sodium is essential for the development of nerve and muscle tissue in animals, and those butterflies that did survive on high-sodium leaves also experienced a growth spurt: males had bigger flight muscles and females had significantly larger eyes…

(read more: New Scientist)

photograph by Bruce Coleman Inc./Alamy

, #butterfly #north america #road salt #science #sodium #news
corporisfabrica:

The vasculature and underlying musculature of the neck and surrounding regions. Ascending the side of the neck is the common carotid artery. When you take your pulse at the side of your neck (try placing a finger just beneath the rear corner of the jaw), it is the pressure wave caused by ventricular systole of the heart that is felt in this vessel. Illustration from Traité complet de l’anatomie de l’homme comprenant la médecine operatoire by Jean-Baptiste Marc Bourgery.

corporisfabrica:

The vasculature and underlying musculature of the neck and surrounding regions. 
Ascending the side of the neck is the common carotid artery. When you take your pulse at the side of your neck (try placing a finger just beneath the rear corner of the jaw), it is the pressure wave caused by ventricular systole of the heart that is felt in this vessel. 
Illustration from Traité complet de l’anatomie de l’homme comprenant la médecine operatoire by Jean-Baptiste Marc Bourgery.

, #art #biology #anatomy #human anatomy #scientific illustration

nprglobalhealth:

Mapping The Diseases That Will Most Likely Kill You

Depending on where you live, these are the diseases that will most likely kill you. Using data from the World Health Organization, Simran Khosla at the GlobalPost labeled each nation with the disease that caused the most death in that country.

And it seems like much of the world will succumb to heart disease. Most prevalent in Africa is HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. You can zoom in on the other regions at GlobalPost.

, #global health #health #inforgraphic #disease

ichthyologist:

Sundew Catapults Prey into Trap

Drosera glanduligera is a species of sundew, a group of carnivorous plants that use sticky tentacles to ensnare their prey. This is species is unique in that it has extremely fast ‘snap tentacles’ which literally fling their prey into their sticky traps.

Sundews have evolved the ability to digest insects as an adaptation to their nutrient poor habitats. Once a prey is caught in the glue-like secretions, it either dies from exhaustion or asphyxiates from being smothered in dew. The plant then secretes enzymes which break down the insect, allowing the plant to absorb its nutrients.

All species of sundew are able to move their inner tentacles to pass prey towards the center of the leaf, where digestion is most efficient. Many species are able to fold the surface of the leaf around the prey to ensure contact with a larger digestive surface.

Drosera glanduligera is the fastest moving sundew, with ‘snap tentacles’ which fold inwards within 75 milliseconds. This action is triggered when an insect makes contact with them, and are powerful enough to catapult the insect into the center of the leaf, where it becomes glued down. 

Gif from video: Poppinga, S. Et al. via Wikimedia Commons

, #botany #drosera #sundew #gif #science

currentsinbiology:

Inner Life of a Cell | Protein Packing (NT TImes)

Two years ago, BioVisions and Xvivo set out to upgrade their animations by capturing some of the messy complexity of protein movements. They wanted to cram a virtual cell with proteins at a more realistic density, and then have them jitter and collide

In this movie, we enter a neuron by diving through a channel on its surface. Once inside, we’re instantly surrounded by a swarm of molecules. We push through the crowd until we reach a proteasome, a barrel-shaped molecule that shreds damaged proteins so their components can be used to make new proteins.

Once more we see a vesicle being hauled by kinesin. But in this version, the kinesin doesn’t look like a molecule out for a stroll. Its movements are barely constrained randomness.

Every now and then, a tiny molecule loaded with fuel binds to one of the kinesin “feet.” It delivers a jolt of energy, causing that foot to leap off the molecular cable and flail wildly, pulling hard on the foot that’s still anchored. Eventually, the gyrating foot stumbles into contact again with the cable, locking on once more — and advancing the vesicle a tiny step forward.

This updated movie offers a better way to picture our most intricate inner workings. For one thing, it helps us to understand why we become sick. A number of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are caused when defective proteins clamp onto other proteins, creating toxic clumps.

, #cell #video #science #protein #art #animation #biology

spring-of-mathematics:

The Beauty of Math in Science - Lissajous Curve

Lissajous curve, also known as Lissajous figure or Bowditch curve, is the graph of a system of parametric equations: x = A.sin(a.t + δ) and y = B.cos(bt)
The appearance of the figure is highly sensitive to the ratio a/b - Image 3 (3/2, 3/4 and 5/4). For a ratio of 1, the figure is an ellipse, with special cases including circles (A = B, δ = π/2 radians) and lines (δ = 0). Another simple Lissajous figure is the parabola (a/b = 2, δ = π/4). Other ratios produce more complicated curves, which are closed only if a/b is rational. The visual form of these curves is often suggestive of a three-dimensional knot, and indeed many kinds of knots, including those known as Lissajous knots, project to the plane as Lissajous figures.

Visually, the ratio a/b determines the number of “lobes” of the figure. For example, a ratio of 3/1 or 1/3 produces a figure with three major lobes (see image).  The ratio A/B determines the relative width-to-height ratio of the curve. For example, a ratio of 2/1 produces a figure that is twice as wide as it is high. Finally, the value of δ determines the apparent “rotation” angle of the figure, viewed as if it were actually a three-dimensional curve. For example, δ=0 produces x and y components that are exactly in phase, so the resulting figure appears as an apparent three-dimensional figure viewed from straight on (0°). In contrast, any non-zero δ produces a figure that appears to be rotated, either as a left/right or an up/down rotation (depending on the ratio a/b).

See more at source: Lissajous curve.

Images: 3D Lissajous curve - Lissajous curve - How to Make a Three-Pendulum Rotary Harmonograph by Karl Sims.

, #mathematics #math #stem #science #gif

ucresearch:

Powering the world from space


The limitations of using solar power on earth can be anything from bad weather to just the fact that it needs to be daytime.  What if power could be collected both day and night, rain or shine? National Lab researchers at Lawrence Livermore are studying this possibility by launching solar satellites into space.

These orbiting power plants could always be positioned on the day side of earth high above any type of stormy weather.  One of the ways this could work is to have a string of geostationary satellites 35,000km above the earth’s surface that would transmit power back down to earth via microwaves.  Just one of these satellites could power a major US city.  

The challenge comes with both the size and the cost.  A single satellite could be as big as 3-10km in diameter and need around 40 rocket launches to get all the materials into space.

Read more about this technology here 

, #tech #technology #space #solar power #power #science
spaceplasma:

Evolution of the light echo around V838 Monocerotis

Hubble has returned to the intriguing variable star V838 Monocerotis many times since its initial outburst in 2002, to follow the evolution of its light echo.
The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular ‘light echo’ in the history of astronomy.

Credit: ESA

spaceplasma:

Evolution of the light echo around V838 Monocerotis

Hubble has returned to the intriguing variable star V838 Monocerotis many times since its initial outburst in 2002, to follow the evolution of its light echo.

The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular ‘light echo’ in the history of astronomy.

Credit: ESA

, #astronomyfacts #v838 #hubble
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