Electrical response overlaid on the inner aortic wall. (Credit: Jiangyu Li, UW)
The heart’s inner workings are mysterious, perhaps even more so with a new finding. Engineers at the University of Washington have discovered an electrical property in arteries not seen before in mammalian tissues.
The researchers found that the wall of the aorta, the largest blood vessel carrying blood from the heart, exhibits ferroelectricity, a response to an electric field known to exist in inorganic and synthetic materials. The findings are being published in an upcoming issue of the journalPhysical Review Letters.
“The result is exciting for scientific reasons,” said lead author Jiangyu Li, a UW associate professor of mechanical engineering. “But it could also have biomedical implications.” A ferroelectric material is an electrically polar molecule with one side positively charged and the other negatively charged, whose polarity can be reversed by applying an electrical field.
Ferroelectricity is common in synthetic materials and used for displays, memory storage, and sensors. (Related research by Li and colleagues seeks to exploit ferroelectric materials for tiny low-power, high-capacity computer memory chips.)
In the new study, Li collaborated with co-author Katherine Zhang at Boston University to explore the phenomenon in biological tissues. The only previous evidence of ferroelectricity in living tissue was reported last year in seashells. Others had looked in mammal tissue, mainly in bones, but found no signs of the property.
The new study shows clear evidence of ferroelectricity in a sample of a pig aorta. Researchers believe the findings would also apply to human tissue.
“If released all at once, the known tar sands resource is equivalent to 150 parts per million. As is the case with other fossil fuel sources, the amount in the air declines to about 20 percent after 1,000 years. Of course, only a small fraction of the resource is economically recoverable at the moment. But if you decide you are going to continue your addiction and build a big pipeline to Texas, the economically extractable oil will steadily grow over time. Moreover the known resources would grow because there is plenty more to be discovered.
Every seller will tell you his pile of pollution is small compared to the total pile on Earth, and that is correct. What makes tar sands particularly odious is that the energy you get out in the end, per unit carbon dioxide, is poor. It’s equivalent to burning coal in your automobile. We simply cannot be that stupid if we want to preserve a planet for our children and grandchildren.”
A group of 44 U.S. senators, all but one Republican, have signed on to proposed legislation that would authorize the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline despite the refusal of President Barack Obama to advance the project.
Republican Senator John Hoeven is set to introduce the bill on Monday that, if passed into law, would allow work to begin immediately on all but the sensitive Nebraska portion of TransCanada’s $7 billion controversial project.
It’s not yet clear how the bill will advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the lone Democrat to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill, but other Democratic senators have in the past expressed support for the project.
"The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is offering a reward of $10,000 to any person who provides information to the authorities leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting sea lions in Puget Sound. The information can be provided in confidence and the source can remain confidential.
Last year, Sea Shepherd offered a reward of $11,500 New Zealand dollars, which led to the arrest and conviction of the man responsible for killing 22 sea lions in New Zealand.
“This is a violation if U.S. Federal law and the person or persons responsible for these shootings must be apprehended and brought to justice” said Captain Paul Watson from onboard the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin in the Ross Sea where he is pursuing Japanese whaling ships illegally targeting whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.”
First of all, I absolutely LOVE your blog! Secondly, I was wondering why you chose to go into journalism and photography instead of astronomical or physical sciences?
Well, thank you very much! I’m glad you enjoy it, that’s what it’s here for. [:
I’m somehow caught off gaurd by this question. My first answer would be because I honestly don’t know if I’m qualified or smart enough to go into any science[s] professionally, so I never really thought about it being a good choice for me.
And even as I write that it probably sounds absurd because I could, most likely, do it sucessfully. I’m sure I’m going to repeat myself from a previous post or answer, but I’ve always been documenting things. I started visually through fine art, when I first fell head over heels in love with anatomy, and the way things look on the inside. Then I started to pair my fine/traditional art and writing with photography and realized I could document the world. I did, and still do, a lot of nature, plant, and animal photography because I have this insastiable need to know all about the natural world and biology. So I can’t really say that I chose a select path for my life and followed it - it just so happened that what I was good at [art, writing and documenting things] and what I was obsessed with [all types of sciences] made a beautifully perfect coexisting pair. I’ve always known I have wanted to document life, death, and everything in between. Writing just gives me a chance to mentally and linguistically convey the complete message when I think that some readers may not fully understand the complexities of a subject with an image alone. [Although, I strongly believe a photo is worth a thousand words, and that because we are such visual creatures, if we don’t physically see something, it technically does not exist with in our reality nor does it matter.]
I have always wanted to influence people by sharing every wonderful thing going on daily, from the little things, like the average of 600 particles passing through your body every minute, to the larger than life things, like a supernovae. The sort of things you would have to dig deeper for than regular information, and, in my opinion, is twice as informative and useful. What’s more amazing than trying to understand what everything is and why? What’s more wonderful than sharing that information with people, and watching them teach others because they themselves are so fascinated by the simple and complex beauties of life revealed through science, mathematics and other subjects. That’s the whole reason I started this page. I have a personal page, but this is by far, my favourite and most used page that I have created for an audience of who ever wishes to sift through all the information. It’s a chance for me to share this information by combining visual and written/typed information that I find valuable for not only myself, but any truly and actively concious human being trying to understand the world a bit more by exploring, asking an endless amount of questions, and expanding their mind[s].
That’s what I was taught by my family, and the school system in the very same United States of America that is now trying to seriously distract, and dumb people down, that shuns questions and documentation, and seems to be taking ten steps backwards instead of the necessary steps forward. I very strongly feel that we are experiencing a head of a turning point, not only as a generation, but as a global community, thus information and documentation is very important. Our leaders are contradicting themselves and hiding important information. I feel the right thing for me to do right now is to keep finding this information, documenting it, and sharing with as many people as I can reach, who in turn will spread it to people they know. Knowledge is power, more so than people realize. This is a time when the truth, politically, socially, and scientifically, is being construed and well hidden under a bog of useless information [like celebrities’ baby names]. So why not share the truth?
Maybe one day I’ll end up being a science teacher, like all my friends say I should be, or perhaps even a scientist. For now, though, I feel as if this is the right path, as well as the natural path, for me is to find this information, the truth, the correct and important information of all types, and spread it to all you who care to learn.
Sorry for the overly long answer, that was the best and shortest way I knew how to convey my reply. I hope that answered your question, thanks for the lovely ask!
If there was any doubt in your mind that employers were now actively using social media and the Web as part of their process for background checks, look no further than this new course being offered by the largest organization representing private security professionals. Included in the course description is how to “track down anonymous users.”
I will try my best to get back into things right away, and get all the un-answered questions published with proper answers. Hopefully I get this sorted out sooner than later. Sorry if this causes any inconveniences.
Meredith Alexander, appointed by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson to monitor the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), resigned in protest at the sponsorship deal with Dow due to its connection to the Bhopal disaster.
I would love to see those pictures, haha. You should come, the nights aren't so cold, so you can spend all night lying on the grass and looking at the stars.
I will definitely try & post them within the next few days. I could care less about temperature, growing up in the northern East Coast I grew to love cold, immensely. I would rather be out camping under the stars than in a house, to be honest. I’m so much better outside close to the lovely earth than closed up in a building.
I haven't a specific place in mind. By the way, anywhere away from the city is good. I live in Brazil, there are good places to observe the sky here. Is it too much asking you to post some pictures of stars taken by you?
Lucky. I hear Brazil is beyond beautiful. I would love to travel there some day and document the different species of animals/birds/insects as well as plants. Also, it wouldn’t be too much at all. The only thing is all my star pictures don’t come out well due to me not having a legit tripod..which I also need to purchase. I do have a lot of moon photos in all different phases, they need editing but I’ll try and post some tomorrow.
This is, at least, AWESOME. I wish I could stay 1 year in a mountain just observing the sky all nights. I'm making a list of stars I've already seen, but I didn't leave the city yet and I haven't a telescope. I'm gonna buy one and travel to somewhere.
Mountains seem to be better places to observe the night sky, clearer skies, less air pollution, and not so much light pollution, depending on your location. I need a telescope so bad, I think it would heighten my astro-photography quite a bit. Where do you plan on traveling to?
Do you like to observe the night sky, the stars, recognizing constellations...? I love that.
Yes, that’s how my obsession with astronomy/cosmology and science bloomed. I grew up in a Celtic family that is highly loving of the earth and cosmos, I was brought up sky gazing, watching every single annual meteor shower over the lake I grew up on in the mountains on the East Coast of the U.S. in Connecticut. Not to mention Comet Hale-Bopp. I remember seeing that when I was still very young in an open field, the stars were so brilliant that night. I’ve been obsessed with the whole world and universe ever since. I also am an artist, so I like making maps of the different stars/constellations. To this day you can catch me ogling at the sky for endless hours, and snapping photos of the cosmos with my camera. [:
Brilliant, thanks! Just got back from a lovely party with some girl-friends of mine, and I must admit I’m pretty tipsy. It was nice getting out for once during the winter, though. So what do you write mainly?
I'm not shocked, it was just a curiosity I had. Of course it doesn't change anything.
Yeah, like I said, I don’t think anyone was so much shocked as they weren’t expecting it. Though [I’m sure most of you agree] it doesn’t make a difference. Anyway, I have no problem sharing any answers I can with you guys, so don’t feel shy. I swear I don’t bite, and will try my hardest to answer your question in a proper way. Curiosity is my best mate. I’m glad you asked, anon. At least it cleared the air for those who perhaps hadn’t realized it yet.
It really bothers me that so many people are shocked by the idea that a woman runs a blog with scientific content... why is it so surprising?
I don’t think they’re so much shocked in a negative way, they just didn’t expect it - which I would understand as I try to keep my page neutral and equal to all genders/sexes through my posts and content. I personally don’t think it matters either way as long as my content and writing is good and proper. [Which I hope it is.] I do understand your point, though.
I don’t know if I really deserve that much more but I think that’s pretty spectacular to reach 400 in the same month I hit 300. Oh well, I started this page in September [of 2011], so I feel as if that amount of followers, who have steadily followed me, and continuously reblog my posts, is a pretty great accomplishment. I know it’s not the 1000 followers most people have, but if at least one person can walk away from my page a little bit more informed, and hopefully more open minded, than I did my job.
"Traveling about 240 miles above the northeast coast of Brazil, the unpiloted ISS Progress 46 Russian cargo ship docked to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station at 7:09 p.m. EST. The craft is delivering 2,050 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 2,778 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware for a total of 2.9 tons of food, fuel and equipment to be delivered to the six crew members on the orbital laboratory. Progress 46 is scheduled to remain docked to Pirs until late April."
“As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, and no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.”—Isaac Bashevis Singer (via whyiamvegan)
The universe’s expansion rate, which is also known as the Hubble constant, as reported in 2006, is at a constant of 48 milers per second per 3.26 million light-years [77 kilometers per second per 3.26 million light-years].
The previous measurements arrived at the value of 72 km/sec/3.26 million light-years with an uncertainty of 10%.
Sorry I can’t remember. It was either from one of the science doc makers (Horizon, NOVA or a CBC doc). I find it interesting because there hasn’t been any solid biological evidence, but it is also odd that it is so prevalent within the population.
Oh, that’s fine,. I figured if you did remember I’d see if I could find it. Any helpful information open to the public on it is few and far between. Yeah, it’s a bit of a mind boggling occurrence.
I remember a friend telling me her cousin was experiencing this ages ago, and I’ve been following it ever since. It’s suspicious and scary.
[If you don’t mind me asking] - Did it ever go away for her cousin, or did it go unresolved? It is scary, but, I firmly believe we need to set our fear of the unknown aside and replace it with curiosity to find out the truth as well as a possible cure, or some sort of treatment. It sounds physically uncomfortable and painful. I would hate to have this, go to a doctor, and not be taken seriously, that must be frustrating, especially for the parents. I also agree that is suspicious in many ways.
I’ve heard of it. I saw a documentary about it a couple years back. I’m still not sure whether its a real condition or delusion.
Even if it’s a delusion, it’s appearing in thousands of different people of every possible origin, not in small, individualized cases. Especially with the way the numbers are turning up even more recently, in such a short amount of time. There’s so much we don’t know about it, I really don’t think it’s fair to take either side yet. Though, that’s just my opinion, seeing as those who are willing to get work done/tested on who have it, are continuously turned down and ridiculed. I understand that happens with things like this, but I also have issues the way the medical world runs right now, I suppose. Do you know what the documentary was called?