Three views of one animal look like a magical dancing sprite in the night sea. A relative of the Man-o’-War, the predatory siphonophore Rhizophysa, is four inches high when contracted (middle) but its stinging tentacles stretch to a couple of feet when fishing.
This is Your Brain on Engineering (GoldieBlox Easter PSA)
At age 2, girls start to identify with their gender. Or, more accurately, all kids start to understand that they have a gender, and become more aware of the social influences for how they should act as a result. In our culture, there are narrow blueprints called “boy” and “girl” that dictate to us all what is and is not the “right” way to act. These blueprints are pretty limiting — “boys don’t cry” and “girls are princesses” aren’t exactly the greatest life mottos. Gendered influences come from everywhere around kids: their parents, their friends, their teachers, the games they play, the movies they watch, the books they read… the list is endless, and all of it sends a message, sometimes negative and often limiting, about what is and isn’t a “girl thing” or a “boy thing.”
I wish I had these when I was a kid, or at least some kinex sheesh.
Guys, guys, guys, you need to start following beneviolentskytreader for some kickass artwork. I mean it. Look at that. I started following Beneviolent ages ago, and basically get these sweet artworks on my dash that are always interesting and beautiful and brighten my day or leave me thinking or have me staring for ages (like this one did).
Sometimes the view under an electron microscope can be positively scary. I’ll be scrolling along at low magnification, checking out some nanoscale features, when all of a sudden a colossus will loom huge above the nanolandscape. Sometimes I actually jump. Usually it’s a tiny microscopic speck of dust, shaped like a mountain or a monster or a sail. This is one of the largest I’ve seen, maybe a clothing fiber or a carpet fiber - it’s maybe 1/5 the thickness of a single hair. Fortunately, this monster’s presence wasn’t a problem, since I was only testing an etching recipe.
Studies have shown that bacteriophages (viruses that attack bacteria) are numerically the most abundant biological entities on the planet. [Bacteria themselves are the most abundant life form.]
In shotgun sequencing of marine samples, the majority of phage gene sequences are invariably found to be novel (that is, they don’t correspond to any already known gene sequences).
Hence, the bulk of genetic diversity on the planet may well be tied up in viral/phage “dark matter.” (source)
HOW PHAGES WORK Phages are quite specific. They attack onlythe strain of bacteria they evolved to inhabit and kill. And they only attack bacteria: other types of organisms lack the receptors required for phage infection.
No currently known bacteria are unaffected by phages. (This isn’t saying a lot, since we now know that most bacteria aren’t able to be studied in lab conditions.)
There are somewhere between 1030 and 1032phages in the biosphere. It’s estimated that there are 1023phage infections of bacteria every second.
In the course of any given 48 hour period, about half the total number of bacteria then living are destroyed by phages. This dynamic occurs in all ecosystems.
Phages have infected bacteria for billions of years, and just as bacteria mutate to resist drugs, they also mutate to render phages ineffective. However, new phages continually evolve against the mutated bacteria.