Awesomsauce! I so wish I could have seen these beasts in action!
Hi. My name’s Belle. And I’m a recovering postdoc.
Maybe you think it will never happen to you. You were a successful graduate student. You got along with your dissertation adviser and your committee members. Your project progressed, and when it was stalled, you had something else to work on. You worked, you published, you defended, and you moved to the postdoc position of your dreams.
Then one day–maybe three, six, nine months later–you wake up to find that the dream is a distant memory. You are tired, angry, bitter, depressed… You have turned into the disgruntledoc that you swore you’d never become.
Something to keep in mind this winter… Thank you Benchfly
I don’t have time to write this up properly, but its too awesome not to share.
A theoretical physicist is postulating that a crystal could be made which rotates in space infinitely without energy. He is drawing a relationship between the finite coordinates in which a molecule can reside in a crystal and hypothetically finite ‘time coordinate’s in which the crystal structure could exist. The implication would be a sort of perpetual motion machine but on an impractical scale, and would totally defy the current theories on physics. Just read it.
Male scientists aren’t known for being the most ‘manly’ of men and it is my suspicion that it was not strictly an interest in human sexual selection that motivated this study…
The idea was simple, get a bunch of guys and take pictures of them as their facial hair progressed from ‘Baby Face’ to ‘Grizzly Adams’. Then have a bunch of people rate each image on attractiveness and other perceptions. Careful analysis of the results should tell the average guy the how much facial hair to grow to attract the average lady. It should likewise tell us stubbly-challenged researchers how disadvantaged we are, thereby helping us gauge on what level of desperation we need to operate.
The results? Not good for us baby-facers… The difference between Baby-Face and the Short Stubble ‘Sully’ look (RE: Dr. Quinn) was marginal in most cases, with the exception that more facial hair tended to correlate with higher masculinity across the board. Damn. More hair also trended with better perceived parenting skills, which makes some sense if you assume facial hair also trends with physical and mental maturity (it doesn’t).
On the ‘Attractivness’ scale the models over all scored dismally low. That’s what happens when you use yourself as a data point in your own project… However, assuming that the general ugliness of the models didn’t skew the study, it seems that ‘Heavy Stubble’ Wolf-man was rated the most attractive. So, the short stubble look that is so popular right now is off my at least 5 millimeters maybe 10, at least among the women studied (which may or may not have included the scientists’ Moms).
The bottom line? I’m glad that my beautiful bride hates facial hair of any kind. She’s an outlier, thank goodness. Otherwise I’d have to invest in a lot of Rogaine for my face and spend a lot more in razors than my current thrice weekly shave currently requires.
Thanks ScienceNow for reaffirming our fears
Nano-suit is just a cool word.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published yesterday on a new technology that enables insect larvae to survive in a vacuum thanks to ‘Nano-suits’. If your mind is not already swimming with the implications you are not a sci-fi fan…
I’m guessing that the discovery was made by accident, as almost all good discoveries are. The group was using an electron microscope to take submicroscopic pictures of fruit fly larvae. This is usually done in a vacuum to prevent the electron beam from being disrupted from molecules in the air. Someone (a grad student most likely), probably forgot to turn OFF the electron beam before turning ON the vacuum. Under normal conditions the vacuum sucks the moisture and gases out of the subject desiccating and destroying it. This time, however, the larvae was fine. It actually survived the vacuum and grew to maturity.
Apparently, the larvae had an organic film on its surface that was polymerised, or hardened, by the electron beam into a thin membrane that trapped the moisture and gasses inside where they belonged. The group further tested the method and found that they could make ‘Nano-suits’ on other bugs using a common detergent as the organic film.
It wouldn’t take much, evolutionarily speaking, to imagine a such a film protecting a living organism in an interplanetary journey. Maybe that’s how the Zerg do it…
This video just came out from Nature. It seems that they’ve developed a fixation method that make tissue transparent without destroying or displacing the proteins. This allows for high resolution 3D analysis of cell structures within organs, something that was limited only to embryo’s and smaller tissues in the past.
Besides being cool science the video is definitely sweet just to enjoy!
Tadpole Sees Through Eyeball on Its Tail
I will be working on projects like these in this lab in the next few months. So much amazing science!