1. kenobi-wan-obi:

    Massive Black Hole Duo: Possible Sighting by NASA’s WISE

    Astronomers have spotted what appear to be two supermassive black holes at the heart of a remote galaxy, circling each other like dance partners. The incredibly rare sighting was made with the help of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

    Follow-up observations with the Australian Telescope Compact Array near Narrabri, Australia, and the Gemini South telescope in Chile, revealed unusual features in the galaxy, including a lumpy jet thought to be the result of one black hole causing the jet of the other to sway.

    "We think the jet of one black hole is being wiggled by the other, like a dance with ribbons," said Chao-Wei Tsai of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who is lead author of a paper on the findings appearing in the Dec. 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal. "If so, it is likely the two black holes are fairly close and gravitationally entwined."

    The findings could teach astronomers more about how supermassive black holes grow by merging with each other.

    (via scinerds)

  2. scinerds:



    Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors

    Memories may be passed down through generations in DNA in a process that may be the underlying cause of phobias

    Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop. Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience. However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA. Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations. The results may help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors. (via Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors - Telegraph)

    i would love to know what this means in the context of slave descendants.

    Yes, me as well, and also what this means for surviving families of not just enslavement, but also Indigenous genocide, and in some cases, both simultaneously. We have our great grandmothers memories. For some of us, this inherently means trauma. I have heard of a book called “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” but as far as I’m aware this is just that, and not peer reviewed.

    However, I think we’ll come to find that this will play a huge role in the way we shape and form academia in the future. As it becomes clear that anything from multi-generational wariness to European-looking people to fears of water or possibly even animals used to enforce enslavement can be explored as a genetic memory… Maybe those atrocities themselves will no longer be forced under the rug.

    There is a systematic downplaying of colonial history; to the point where people don’t even know what land they stand on or who it originally belongs to. However, for the descendants, even if they are forced out of their own histories and cultures, they will STILL carry some form of memory of these decades/centuries long traumas. It will affect them throughout their lives and they may not even know it… I often see this now in the form of all-to-regular self hatred.

    When it is empirically proven that the descendants of the enslaved and survivors of genocide carry a genetic memory, maybe the colonizer’s academic structure will force itself to honor those it constantly erases. Or maybe it will simply shape itself again to continue on how it already does; as active agents of social violence.

  3. scinerds:

    My Father Studied Geology by Jensine Eckwall.

  4. thatscienceguy:

    Christmas is coming, and since a few of you have asked me where to get these i thought i would just put them all in one list, so;


    Merry Christmas!!

    (via physicsphysics)

  5. thenewenlightenmentage:

    This is the most accurate model yet of what DNA looks like

    This is a stunning 3D map that shows how six feet of of DNA can be crammed inside a single chromosome — a space that’s only a hundredth of a millimeter across. Not surprisingly, it looks like something that would go well with meatballs.

    Chromosomes, those packages of genetic material found in our cells, were discovered way back in the late 1800s, but scientists have struggled to understand the exact way DNA molecules fold into them across three-dimensions. But a new study conducted by researchers at MIT and the University of Massachusetts Medical school has resulted in the world’s first comprehensive model of the 3D organization of condensed human chromosomes.

    Continue Reading

    (via scinerds)

  6. laboratoryequipment:

    Birth of New Species Requires Very Few Genetic Changes

    Only a few genetic changes are needed to spur the evolution of new species — even if the original populations are still in contact and exchanging genes. Once started, however, evolutionary divergence evolves rapidly, ultimately leading to fully genetically isolated species, report scientists from the Univ. of Chicago in Cell Reports.

    “Speciation is one of the most fundamental evolutionary processes, but there are still aspects that we do not fully understand, such as how the genome changes as one species splits into two,” says Marcus Kronforst, Neubauer Family assistant professor of ecology and evolution, and lead author of the study.

    Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/11/birth-new-species-requires-very-few-genetic-changes

    (via scinerds)

  7. rhamphotheca:

    How the largest star known is tearing itself apart

    (Phys.org) —An international team of astronomers has observed part of the final death throes of the largest known star in the universe as it throws off its outer layers. The discovery, by a collaboration of scientists from the UK, Chile, Germany and the USA, is a vital step in understanding how massive stars return enriched material to the interstellar medium—the space between stars—which is necessary for forming planetary systems. The researchers publish their results in the Oxford University Press journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society… (read more)

    image: ESO/VPHAS+ Survey/N. Wright

    (via physicsphysics)

  8. distant-traveller:

    Planet aurora astro-bubble

    How fun is this?! “Here’s a panoramic image from the aurora on October 14,” wrote Swedish astrophotographer Göran Strand. “I’ve made a small world trapped inside a bubble floating in space. And a lonely photographer is trying to capture the ongoing aurora with his camera.”

    Image credit and copyright: Göran Strand

    (Source: universetoday.com, via scinerds)

  9. paleoillustration:

    Megapnosaurus and Dilophosaurus by H. Kyoht Luterman

    1. A Megapnosaurus goes for a swim! An illustration to show how a dinosaur makes swimming tracks. Book illustration. Acrylics.
    2. A Dilophosaurus sitting in mud. Illustration for a scientific paper: Bird-Like Anatomy, Posture, and Behavior Revealed by an Early Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur Resting Trace. Acrylics.

    (Source: kyoht.deviantart.com, via scinerds)

  10. discoverynews:

    First ‘Habitable Zone’ Galactic Bulge Exoplanet Found

    For the first time, astronomers have discovered a sun-like star playing host to a “habitable zone” exoplanet located inside the Milky Way’s galactic bulge — some 25,000 light-years distant — using a quirk of Einstein’s general relativity.

    But don’t go having dreams of exotic getaways to the glistening lights of the center of our galaxy, this exoplanet is a huge gas giant world, about five times the mass of Jupiter. However, there is something (potentially) very exciting about this new discovery. Like Jupiter, this newly discovered giant exoplanet may possess small satellites; exomoons that could have life-giving potential. Read more