Category: General Science

Team reconstructs ‘human ancestor’

Team reconstructs ‘human ancestor’

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Does chocolate give you spots?

Does chocolate give you spots?

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One rat brain ‘talks’ to another

One rat brain ‘talks’ to another

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Deepest undersea vents discovered

Deepest undersea vents discovered

Deploying a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) in the Cayman Trough, they stumbled across a previously-unknown site nearly 5000m below the surface.

Video pictures relayed live back to the research ship mounting the operation show spindly chimneys up to 10m high.

They are belching out dark water – “a stunning sight”, one scientist said.

In the immense pressure of the sea three miles down, the ROV, known as ISIS, was gently steered around the vents, taking pictures and gathering samples.

One of the people “piloting” the ROV said seabed smokestacks remind him of “the industrial Midlands”.

Hydrothermal vents are among the strangest features of the deep ocean and their existence was not known until the 1970s. Since then they have been discovered at about 200 sites around the world including the Southern Ocean and the Atlantic.

But it was only three years ago that vents were first detected in the Cayman Trough, a deep trench formed by the boundary between two tectonic plates. One set of vents, known as Beebe, was established as the deepest on record – until the discovery last night of another slightly deeper set nearby, at 4,968m. or about three miles.

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Has Dark Matter Finally Been Found? Big News Coming Soon

Has Dark Matter Finally Been Found? Big News Coming Soon.

If we can work this out then we can start to think about the end of the universe and also what is going to happen in the meantime  🙁

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Pioneering Skin Treatments

Pioneering Skin Treatments (Source: BBC News)

It is extraordinary that doctors were able to do anything for Todd Nelson.

The former US Army master sergeant’s injuries were so bad the medics thought he would not survive.

“I was on my 300th-plus convoy across Kabul, Afghanistan,” he recalls.

“We were headed home for the night when we passed next to a typical yellow and white sedan. When they saw us getting ready to pass, they flipped the switch.

“The blast came in my side of the truck; I was on the passenger side.

“It flipped the truck through a brick wall and put shrapnel through my right eye, into my sinus cavity.

“Both my upper and lower jawbones were crushed, as was my right orbital rim, and it crushed my forehead.

“It burned my right arm over the top of my head, [and] took my right ear off.”

Nelson went through more than 40 operations to reconstruct his face. The scars are evident but what is not so apparent to someone just talking to him is the pain he still feels over large portions of his body.

Destructive wounds

The veteran is now working with Colonel Robert Hale from the US Army Institute for Surgical Research, sitting on his advisory panel.

The pair came to speak to reporters here in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Col Hale is trying to develop new techniques that will give wounded soldiers better outcomes.

Nelson’s injuries destroyed all three main skin layers – the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis (the top, middle and bottom), in some places right down to the periosteum, the membrane overlying the bone.

“The way we treat Todd’s condition has been around for 30-some-odd years. It hasn’t evolved much,” said Col Hale.

“We basically removed the dead tissue, we conditioned the wound-bed as best we could, and then we covered it with split-thickness skin grafts taken from his thigh or somewhere that wasn’t burned on his body.

“It is a successful way to close the wound, but it leaves lots of fibrosis and scarring that the face simply cannot tolerate. If you have a lot of scarring and fibrosis, the face doesn’t work like it should – the eyelids can’t close, the nose won’t work, and the mouth won’t work.”

Near-term developments

One of the great innovations in recent years has been negative pressure wound therapy. This involves sealing a foam deep in an open wound under suction to help condition the base tissues to get them ready to receive a graft. Patients greatly appreciate the therapy because it reduces the number of painful dressing changes.

“It has revolutionised our care of open wounds,” said Col Hale, “but we can’t use it on the face because there are too many areas of the face that will leak around the silicon seal – the eyelids, the nose, the mouth.”

The US Army doctor is therefore trying to develop a special mask that would do the same job.

Instead of using a foam, it would rely on microchannels in the mask to take away wound fluids. He then wants to take moulded sheets of artificial skin to build up the intermediate layer, the dermis, before adding the outer epithelium graft employing new approaches that lift thin, 20-cell-thick slices from elsewhere on the body.

For the deepest layer, the hypodermis, he is looking at taking fat from the abdomen and injecting under the healing wound.

“All the technologies I’m exploiting currently in my lab and what I’m funding in other research labs are things that are close at hand,” said Col Hale.

“In maybe five, six, and seven years, we should have products and strategies that we can apply to soldiers who have been injured in war, and all of this should be translatable to the general public.”


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Energy Animations

This set of Animations was made some time ago in 2004 when I created a learning platform for animations for a school I was working at. They are basic but useful on a projector….

Conduction in Gases…

Explore a Nuclear Reactor…

How does Hydroelectric Power work…

House Insulation Explained…. with calculator!

Explore the idea of Gravitational Energy….

Formula Help for Gravitational Energy…

How Does Convection Work….











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Moon Rock @ British National History Museum

I thought I would share this photo of the Moon rock I saw the National History Museum in London this half term holiday. It is rather a small rock only 128g but it was brought to Earth by the Apollo 16 Astronauts in April 1972.

Now although small I gazed upon the surface and oddly of all the things we saw that day this was the most fantastic and special. I looked up and imagined how far they had gone and all the technology and skills which mankind had used to get there and back. Simply quite fantastic!

Lunar rock differs from terrestrial rock as it lacks the elements lost during heating, such as water, and is rich in elements created at high temperatures. This suggested that the moon had once been heated to very high temperatures.

The lunar rocks were also much older than expected, the oldest being 4.4 billion years old. This is much older than the oldest Earth rocks, which are around 3.8 billion years old. This is because the moon’s volcanoes have stopped spewing new lava to the surface and there is no wind or water to erode the surface, whereas the Earth’s surface is continually changing. Little has changed on the moon’s surface for billions of years.

Also in plain language it really does look like the surface of the moon from which it has came which made my day. I would also add that the rest of the minerals are pretty cool as well!

If you want to look it is in the red zone.

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