13 dezembro 2014

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

  • Since we first published this science, stripes went out, pink became the new black, we were sued for $180 million dollars, orange became the new black, we were tried in an international court, green became the new black, we finally agreed to stop putting PCP in our patented baby formula, and stripes came back in again.

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The Infrared Visible Andromeda

This remarkable synthetic color composite image was assembled from archives of visible light and infrared astronomy image data. The field of view spans the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), a massive spiral a mere 2.5 million light-years away. In fact, with over twice the diameter of our own Milky Way, Andromeda is the largest nearby galaxy. Andromeda's population of bright young blue stars lie along its sweeping spiral arms, with the telltale reddish glow of star forming regions traced in space- and ground-based visible light data. But infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, also blended directly into the detailed composite's red and green color channels, highlight the the lumpy dust lanes warmed by the young stars as they wind even closer to the galaxy's core. Otherwise invisible at optical wavelengths, the warm dust takes on orange hues. Two smaller companion galaxies, M110 (below) and M32 (above) are also included in the frame.

from NASA http://ift.tt/1BFEEwd

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i really enjoy the blog, but would you consider doing more stuff from outside the west? it just seems like nearly everything comes from europe and the americas. i do really enjoy the blog though. :3

Thanks! Yes it’s true the blog mostly covers ‘Western’ history as that’s what I study, but I do want to include broader world history. It would really help if anyone has any suggestions for events they would like to see covered to let me know so I can research it and write up a post :)

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Accidentally answered another ask privately but that person recommended Ken Burns’s...

Accidentally answered another ask privately but that person recommended Ken Burns’s documentary ‘The War’ which provides more information on American involvement in World War Two. Sorry about that but thanks for the ask!

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neurosciencestuff: Are you genetically predisposed to...


Are you genetically predisposed to antisocial behaviour?

Both positive and negative experiences influence how genetic variants affect the brain and thereby behaviour, according to a new study. “Evidence is accumulating to show that the effects of variants of many genes that are common in the population depend on environmental factors. Further, these genetic variants affect each other,” explained Sheilagh Hodgins of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal. “We conducted a study to determine whether juvenile offending was associated with interactions between three common genetic variants and positive and negative experiences.” Hodgins and her colleagues published the study on December 11, 2014 in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology .

Every single high school student aged 17 to 18 years old in Västmanland, a Swedish county, was invited to participate in the study, and 1,337 agreed to do so. They anonymously completed questionnaires reporting on delinquency, family conflict, experiences of sexual abuse, and the quality of their relationship with their parents. They also provided a sample of saliva from which the researchers extracted DNA.

The Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene is a key enzyme in the catabolism of brain neurotransmitters, monoamines, especially serotonin. Catabolism is the breaking down of complex materials and the releasing of energy within an organism. “About 25% of Caucasian men carry the less active variant of MAOA. Among them, those who experience physical abuse in childhood are more likely than those who are not abused to display serious antisocial behaviour from childhood through adulthood,” Hodgins explained. “Among females it is the high activity variant of the MAOA gene that interacts with adversity in childhood to increase the likelihood of antisocial behaviour.”

The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene modulates neuronal plasticity. The term neuronal plasticity refers to our brain cells’ ability to reorganize pathways and connections throughout our lives. “The low expressing variants of BDNF are carried by approximately 30% of individuals and some previous studies had shown that this variant was associated with aggressive behaviour if carriers were exposed to aggressive peers. The third gene we studied was the serotonin transporter 5-HTTLPR,” Hodgins said. “The low activity variant of this gene is carried by approximately 20% of individuals. Among carriers of this low activity variant, those exposed to adversity in childhood are more likely than those who are not to display antisocial and aggressive behaviour.”

“We found that the three genetic variants interacted with each other and with family conflict and sexual abuse to increase the likelihood of delinquency, and with a positive parent-child relationship to decrease the risk of delinquency,” Hodgins explained. “Among carriers of the low activity variants of all three genes, those exposed to family conflict or sexual abuse or both reported high levels of delinquency while those who reported a positive and warm relationship with their parents reported little or no delinquency.” Thus, the same genetic variants were associated with high and low levels of delinquency depending on exposure to negative or positive environments.

In conclusion, variants of three common genes, MAOA, BDNF, and 5-HTTLPR, interacted with each other and with negative environmental factors to increase the risk of delinquency and with a positive environmental factor to decrease the risk of delinquency in a large sample of teenagers. “These findings add to those from other studies to show that genes affect the brain, and thereby behaviour, by altering sensitivity to the environment,” Hodgins said.

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National Geographic's "Inside World War II" is a good one as well!

Thanks, another great recommendation!

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That's A Really Important Comma

In 1850, the state of Michigan’s constitution read, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state,” inadvertently legalizing slavery as an appropriate punishment for crime. It was not until 1963 when the comma was shifted from its position after servitude to a position after slavery, outlawing slavery as punishment for crime.

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I see one of your readers was curious about war documentaries. The very best WW2 doc I know of is the award winning 1973 British one called World At War, narrated by Laurence Olivier. I highly recommend it!

Great, thanks very much for the recommendation! I hope that anon and anyone else interested in war documentaries sees this

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December 13th 1818: Mary Todd Lincoln bornOn this day in 1818,...

Mary Todd Lincoln (1818 - 1882)

Mary Todd with her husband Abraham Lincoln

December 13th 1818: Mary Todd Lincoln born

On this day in 1818, the future First Lady of the United States Mary Todd Lincoln was born in Lexington, Kentucky. Born to a prominent and wealthy family, Todd was fortunate enough to receive a good education. She moved to Springfield, Illinois, where she met the young politician and lawyer Abraham Lincoln. Her parents disapproved of Lincoln due to his poor background, but the couple married in November 1842. They went on to have four children - Robert, Edward, William, and Thomas. Mary staunchly supported her husband’s political career, even while members of her family supported the Confederacy during the Civil War that Lincoln’s election prompted. The First Lady was widely unliked in the White House and often accused of being mentally unstable, perhaps a result of the death of their son Edward in 1850 and William in 1862. She was sitting next to the President when he was shot dead by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theatre on April 14th 1865. Mary Todd sunk even further into depression in 1871 when her youngest son Thomas died, which led her sole surviving son Robert to bring her to court on charges of insanity in 1875. The charges were successful and the former First Lady was committed to an insane asylum for a few months and rarely spoke to her son after the incident. After living abroad for a few years, Mary Todd returned to Illinois and died of a stroke in July 1882 aged 63.

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Where do our health care dollars go? By Sarah Kliff Mostly to...

Where do our health care dollars go?

By Sarah Kliff

Mostly to hospitals and doctors with smaller chunks spent on nursing homes, rehabilitative care and prescription drugs.

Hospitals and doctors, perhaps unsurprisingly, are the biggest recipients of health care spending. The United States spent $882 billion on hospitals and $752 billion on doctors in 2012. Taken together, that accounts for 60 percent of all health-care spending.

It’s worth noting that there are other, smaller pieces of health spending not represented in personal health care services. The United States, for example, invested $48 billion in health-care research in 2012 and spent $33.6 billion on administrative overhead for public health-care programs, like Medicare and Medicaid.

(From VOX)

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Mortimer Mishkin was born.

Studying Psychology? GO HERE —> http://ift.tt/1eWNk1f

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