Science Hub




A Praying Mantis Wears 3D Glasses Because Science: VIDEO

Mantis

Sometimes it seems like scientists are just messing with us and and are testing what they can get away with by claiming pursuit of greater scientific understanding. The latest entry of the "Wait, really?" files finds researchers at Newcastle University in the UK adhering tiny 3D glasses to praying mantises with beeswax to see how they respond when shown three dimensional images.

As mantises are one of the few invertibrates with stereoscopic vision, the scientists want to discover if their depth perception is comparable to that of humans and other stereoscopic mammals by trying to trick them into reacting to 3D "bugs" on a monitor.

You can watch a short video of the experiment AFTER THE JUMP...

3D Praying Mantis

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New Vulnerability Found In HIV Virus

HIV five sites of vulnerabilityScientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) have found a fifth weak point in the HIV virus that can be targeted and attacked by human antibodies.

A new class of antibodies that neutralize a broad range of HIV strains provided a critical tool. The surface protein bearing the vulnerable site is typically unstable and difficult to study. Unlike previously discovered "broadly neutralizing" antibodies, these actually stabilize the protein in its fully assembled, infectious state. This makes it much easier to study the HIV surface protein. Moreover, other such vulnerable sites are likely to exist, the researchers said, and knowledge of what to look for should help. The site is the first discovered since 2009, said Andrew Ward, one of the TSRI researchers.

A possible vaccine would still be years away, but these new findings could also help design neutralizing antibody cocktails that hold the virus in check. Said one of the TSRI researchers Andrew Ward,

This is another tool, another option. The more options we have, the better we'll be.


Can Drinking Testosterone Turn You Super Hairy? - VIDEO

Hairy_guy

If someone slipped testosterone into your drink, would you start sprouting massive amounts of body hair the way you might have when you went through puberty?

Not exactly, according to The Medicine Journal, a YouTube channel dedicated to demystifying the secrets of the human body. 

In short, it might not cause you to develop hair growth all over your body. It really depends on your genetics and how many of your remaining hair follicles are still capable of sprouting new stalks of fur.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Can Truvada Hurt You? New Video Debunks Three PrEP Myths: WATCH

Prep

Youreka Science (which is kinda like ASAP Science, except mostly about diseases) debunks three myths behind pre-exposure prophylactics (PrEP) like Truvada to separate fact from fiction. The myths are that it doesn't work, it has bad side effects and is impossible to get.

Gawker also recent published a thorough but informative article about PrEP that's worth reading.

See Youreka's video AFTER THE JUMP...

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Creationists Demand Airtime on ‘Cosmos’ for the Sake of Scientific Balance: AUDIO

Cosmos

Answers in Genesis, the Ken Ham-led ministry dedicated to creationism, hasn’t been too thrilled about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s revival of the TV series Cosmos. After all, the show is centered on a scientifically backed exploration of the origin of life and our place in the universe and hasn’t once featured a creationist perspective! 

Answers in genesisRight Wing Watch reports that Danny Faulkner of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show on Thursday to criticize Cosmos, saying “creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all.”

Added Mefferd:

“Boy, but when you have so many scientists who simply do not accept Darwinian evolution it seems to me that that might be something to throw in there, you know, the old, ‘some scientists say this, others disagree and think this,’ but that’s not even allowed.”

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP… (new Cosmos trailer included)

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Computer Genius Alan Turing's Morphogenesis Theory Proven Correct

Alan Turing Morphogenesis

Morphogenisis is the theory created by computer science genius and Nazi Enigma code breaker Alan Turing that the shaping of an organism by embryological processes of differentiation of cells, tissues, and organs and the development of organ systems according to the genetic “blueprint” of the potential organism and environmental conditions. That is, it's the process by which an organism develops its shape.

Until now, morphogenesis was just a theory, but scientists at Brandeis University and the University of Pittsburgh have released their findings from a study that confirm Turing's theory. Using computational tools to analyze rings of synthetic cell-like structures, Drs. Seth Fraden and G. Bard Ermentrout saw not only all six of Turing's predicted patterns play out, but an additional seventh pattern that Turing hadn't predicted. The results could explain biological phenomena such as the pigmentation of seashells to the shapes of flowers and leaves and even the geometric structures seen in drug-induced hallucinations. 

You can read a paper on the research over at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

During World War II, Alan Turing, who is known as the father of modern computing, devised the Turing Bombe, a codebreaking device that was used to decipher the Nazi enigma codes, up to 3,000 messages per day. He was also gay, and two years after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being homosexual and sentenced to undergo hormone therapy, he killed himself with a cyanide-laced apple.


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