anthrocentric

scientificvisuals:

Fig 1. In 2008, bioengineers at the University of Minnesota stripped rat hearts of cells using detergent — you can see the results of three trials here. This process left untouched the blood vessels, collagen, and various proteins that compose the heart’s physical structure.

Fig 2. The ghost heart is flushed with red dye to show that major and minor blood vessels were left intact.

Fig 3. A researcher injects the ghost heart with heart cells from newborn mice.

Fig 4. Researchers adjusted the environmental conditions to simulate natural conditions, meaning they provided oxygenate fluids, pressure, and an electrical stimulus. You can see the bioreactor schematic here.

GIF source here. Research paper here. Less technical writeup here. More videos from the lab itself here (Supplementary Movie 1 in particular is pretty awesome).

anthrocentric

neurosciencestuff:

Schizophrenia: What’s in my head?

When she’s experiencing hallucinations, artist Sue Morgan feels compelled to draw; to ‘get it out of her head’. Sue was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 20 years ago. The drawing is therapeutic, but it’s also Sue’s way of expressing the complex and sometimes frightening secret world in her head. In this film Sue meets Sukhi Shergill, a clinician and researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. He’s also making pictures, but using MRI to peer inside the brains of schizophrenia patients.

Read more about schizophrenia

dendroica
dendroica:

Goats are far more clever than previously thought

Goats learn how to solve complicated tasks quickly and can recall how to perform them for at least 10 months, which might explain their remarkable ability to adapt to harsh environments, say researchers at Queen Mary University of London. Writing in the journal Frontiers in Zoology today, the scientists trained a group of goats to retrieve food from a box using a linked sequence of steps; first by pulling a lever with their mouths and then by lifting it to release the reward.
The goats’ ability to remember the task was tested after one month and again at 10 months. They learned the task within 12 trials and took less than two minutes to remember the challenge. “The speed at which the goats completed the task at 10 months compared to how long it took them to learn indicates excellent long-term memory,” said co-author Dr Elodie Briefer, now based at ETH Zurich.
Before each learning session, some of the goats had the opportunity to watch another goat to demonstrate the task. Dr Briefer added: “We found that those without a demonstrator were just as fast at learning as those that had seen demonstrations. This shows that goats prefer to learn on their own rather than by watching others.”

(via phys.org)

dendroica:

Goats are far more clever than previously thought

Goats learn how to solve complicated tasks quickly and can recall how to perform them for at least 10 months, which might explain their remarkable ability to adapt to harsh environments, say researchers at Queen Mary University of London. Writing in the journal Frontiers in Zoology today, the scientists trained a group of goats to retrieve food from a box using a linked sequence of steps; first by pulling a lever with their mouths and then by lifting it to release the reward.

The goats’ ability to remember the task was tested after one month and again at 10 months. They learned the task within 12 trials and took less than two minutes to remember the challenge. “The speed at which the goats completed the task at 10 months compared to how long it took them to learn indicates excellent long-term memory,” said co-author Dr Elodie Briefer, now based at ETH Zurich.

Before each learning session, some of the goats had the opportunity to watch another goat to demonstrate the task. Dr Briefer added: “We found that those without a demonstrator were just as fast at learning as those that had seen demonstrations. This shows that goats prefer to learn on their own rather than by watching others.”

(via phys.org)

dendroica
dendroica:

Male Eurasian jays know that their female partners’ desires can differ from their own

The ability to disengage from our own desire to cater to someone else’s wishes is thought to be a unique feature of human cognition. New research challenges this assumption. Despite wanting something different to eat, male Eurasian jays can disengage from their own current desire in order to feed the female what she wants even when her desires are different to his. The study, which was funded by the BBSRC, is published today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. “We found that males could respond to the female’s desire even when their own desire was conflicting. That said, the males were also partially biased by what they wanted – a bias similar to one commonly found in human children and adults,” said Dr Ljerka Ostojić, who led the University of Cambridge study.

(Read more at phys.org)

So cool

dendroica:

Male Eurasian jays know that their female partners’ desires can differ from their own

The ability to disengage from our own desire to cater to someone else’s wishes is thought to be a unique feature of human cognition. New research challenges this assumption. Despite wanting something different to eat, male Eurasian jays can disengage from their own current desire in order to feed the female what she wants even when her desires are different to his. The study, which was funded by the BBSRC, is published today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters. “We found that males could respond to the female’s desire even when their own desire was conflicting. That said, the males were also partially biased by what they wanted – a bias similar to one commonly found in human children and adults,” said Dr Ljerka Ostojić, who led the University of Cambridge study.

(Read more at phys.org)

So cool

anthrocentric
ancientart:

A quick look at: Acueducto de los Milagros, Mérida, Spain.
This Roman aqueduct was dubbed Acueducto de los Milagros ("Miraculous Aqueduct") by the inhabitants of Mérida for the fact that it was still standing, and for the awe that it evoked. 
This aqueduct was located in the Roman colony of Emerita Augusta (present day Mérida), which was founded by Augustus Caesar in 25 BC. The construction of the aqueduct itself is thought to have taken place during the 1st century AD, with later construction or renovations occurring around 300 AD. 
The structure was built to supply water to Emerita Augusta. This water was originally brought to the city from Lago de Proserpina -a reservoir which was fed by the Las Pardillas stream, about 5km north-west of Mérida. 38 pillars which stand 25 metres high along some 830 metres remains today. The structure is constructed from opus mixtum. 
The Romans constructed aqueducts to supply water from distant sources to their towns and cities, supplying public baths, private households, etc. Water was moved by the aqueducts through gravity, the aqueducts were built on an ever-so-slight downward gradient. This diagram is useful in showing how Roman aqueducts worked. 
Photo courtesy & taken by Jane Drumsara.

ancientart:

A quick look at: Acueducto de los MilagrosMérida, Spain.

This Roman aqueduct was dubbed Acueducto de los Milagros ("Miraculous Aqueduct") by the inhabitants of Mérida for the fact that it was still standing, and for the awe that it evoked. 

This aqueduct was located in the Roman colony of Emerita Augusta (present day Mérida), which was founded by Augustus Caesar in 25 BC. The construction of the aqueduct itself is thought to have taken place during the 1st century AD, with later construction or renovations occurring around 300 AD.

The structure was built to supply water to Emerita Augusta. This water was originally brought to the city from Lago de Proserpina -a reservoir which was fed by the Las Pardillas stream, about 5km north-west of Mérida. 38 pillars which stand 25 metres high along some 830 metres remains today. The structure is constructed from opus mixtum

The Romans constructed aqueducts to supply water from distant sources to their towns and cities, supplying public baths, private households, etc. Water was moved by the aqueducts through gravity, the aqueducts were built on an ever-so-slight downward gradient. This diagram is useful in showing how Roman aqueducts worked. 

Photo courtesy & taken by Jane Drumsara.

anthrocentric

archaeologicalnews:

image

A number of Medieval wooden barrels have been uncovered in Denmark, revealing their less- than-glamorous contents.

Originally built to transport goods and store fish, the barrels were converted into latrines — still filled with their original contents.

"We are talking about 700-year-old…

We live in a wondrous world.

sarcasmandrainbows

The basic plot, which cannot be ignored even in the films, is that Harry, Hermione and Ron give up everything for their political struggle. They drop out of high school, they go illegal, defy the government, belong to an underground organization [The Order of the Phoenix], operate out of safe houses and forests and even raid offices of the government and banking offices. This is all done in principled opposition to the Dark Wizard Voldemort and a corrupt bureaucratized government that has been heavily infiltrated with his evil minions. This is revolutionary activity. But the movie version does not present it as such or emphasize these radical aspects of the plot, thereby entirely missing the dramatic sweep and action present in the first half of the last novel.

The novels recognize the importance of alternative media for political struggle. The mainstream press [The Daily Prophet] is shown as unreliable and unprincipled, eventually deteriorating into a fear-mongering propaganda machine for the Voldemort-controlled bureaucracy. For a while the alternative but above ground media [The Quibbler] publishes the real news, but it ceases to print after the daughter of the publisher is kidnapped. In the book, friends of Harry [Lee Jordan, with Fred and George Weasley as frequent guests] start broadcasting the real news from an underground radio station, encrypted with a password. This radio station becomes a critical link for the resistance, which is scattered and weak. Although we are treated to some radio broadcast updates in the movie, they are delivered by a disembodied and professional sounding voice, not our friends the Weasleys. This undermines the important message - a guiding principle behind the media coop - that in a serious situation it becomes necessary to produce your own media and not to rely on ‘professionals’.

The novel makes it clear that in this phase of the struggle the characters romantic lives take a backseat to their political activity, as Harry breaks up with the love of his life [Ginny Weasley] so as to avoid making her a target for Voldemort’s forces, who are known to use torture and kidnapping as tactics. The ‘love triangle’ that becomes the focus of the movie isn’t even really present in the books. In the books, the relationship between Harry and Hermione is totally platonic - Ron is shown as jealous, but the feeling is entirely without foundation. In the book Harry says to Ron: “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew” (pg 378, DH US Hardback). This conveys that men and women can be close comrades and friends without being involved romantically. But in the film, Harry and Hermione are shown dancing romantically, and Harry’s line to Ron about his brotherly feeling towards Hermione does not even make it into the film. This completely undermines the important message that jealousy is counter-productive and has toxic effects, which is an important feminist message for young people.