Making Earth great again

Don’t be a sucker.

It is not really about making America great again for it is now, has always been and will always be.

But for America to continue being great and for the rest of the world community, including the third world countries, to experience peace and contentment, there is a need for humanity to respect and be thankful for what Earth has been to the population.

What I am just saying is that let us all take care of mother Earth and believe that our collective inattention to her for her continued usefulness is what is causing havoc everywhere in an unimaginable manner, shape and form.

There is a truism, saying, “We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

We should all be embarrassed and conscience-stricken for the legacy we are leaving behind which could only be attributed to man’s folly.

But it is never too late.

We can still atone for our mistakes and strive hard to make Earth more friendly and great again.

To convince you that, indeed, Earth is our only home today, tomorrow and in ages to come, allow me to share this video with you.

Bill Maher uses colorful language, but he is funny and telling the truth.

The case of the shoelaces getting undone

 

You probably have experienced and been puzzled, one time or another, why after lacing your shoes it loosens up and gets undone when walking or running.

Apparently, a detailed study was made about this phenomenon by engineering researchers and they found out that there are separate forces that act on the knot and on the laces which causes them to unravel when in motion.

Accordingly, the researchers used a slow motion camera filming a person running on a treadmill to figure out how it could happen.

What they discovered was that the running foot exerts a force seven times greater when landing on the ground than the one exerted while standing, forcing the knot tying the laces to stretch and relax, loosening it slightly.

At the same time, they also found out that as the knot loosens, the swinging of the laces that occurs as the leg moves forwards and backwards causes an inertial force to be applied on the free ends of the laces, pulling the already-loosened knot apart.

The researchers have been able to observe, saying, “The forces that cause this are not from a person pulling on the free end but from the inertial forces of the leg swinging back and forth while the knot is loosened from the shoe repeatedly striking the ground.”

Adding weights to the loose ends of a swinging laces showed that they untied themselves more often, as the inertial forces on their ends were greater.

The study also found that, while some laces might be better than others for tying knots, they all suffered from the same fundamental cause of knot failure.

The study and findings finally answers the mystery that many have been silently asking themselves of why shoelaces come undone even as they think it was tightly knotted.

The universe and us

There is really nothing much of interest that I haven’t written happening in this country and if there are some that I missed or left out it is simply because it is not worth writing – lacking in significance as it is or hackneyed as they call it and corny and stale. Besides who would want to write about love affairs of politicians? So people will get titillated? C’mon!

But what I am sharing with you here is definitely interesting, as it is educational, and mind boggling as well.

The title and the video you are about to see is enough to make you ponder the significance (or insignificance) of our existence.

The scale of the universe is almost beyond our imagination.

The universe keeps expanding (at 42.5 miles per second per megapersec), and we constantly form new hypotheses about how it was created and what will happen next. Our farthest space probe from Earth, the Voyager 1, is traveling a million miles a day, and after nearly 40 years, has barely left our solar system.

It was only late last month that scientists peered 50 million light-years away to find an extremely rare globular cluster, with far more mass than the Sun, that could birth stars and help explain how galaxies form. There are so many secrets waiting to be unlocked out there in the vastness of space.

Here are some shocking comparisons about the size and scope of the universe that help put it in perspective. Beware: this video will shock you! (Source: http://www.revealthings.com)

New human organ discovered

 

mesenteryAs if the human body is not full of it already, another organ has been newly added to the list.

Not that this new organ, a mighty membrane that twists and turns through the guts called the mesentery by researchers led by J. Calvin Coffey, a professor of surgery at the University of Limerick in Ireland, has been seen present in the digestive system only recently.

No, it has been there, but all along they thought of it as an insignificant fragmented and disparate structure that connects the intestine to the abdomen until they discovered that it is one continuous and complex organ.

According to the research the mesentery is a fold of tissue which generally attaches the intestines to the abdomen. The word, which is often used to refer to the small bowel tissue, acts as the bridge where the blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves pass through the intestine. Other mesenteries, on the other hand, support the other organs of the digestive system, such as the colon and the appendix.

Now that the mesentery is classified as an organ, researchers hope that they will be able to understand its function more which will lead to a diagnosis of a more specific type of disease. This could also lead to a new field in science and medicine called mesenteric science.

The discovery has been published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

For better appreciation of the newly discovered organ, I am posting a video on the subject that is clearly explained in lay man’s term.

Head transplant getting closer to reality

 

Valery Spiridonov

Valery Spiridonov

On April 10 2015 I blogged about Head Transplant Surgery which you could read at this link: (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/tag/head-transplant-surgery/).

It looks like the time table the intrepid surgeon, Sergio Canavero, envisioned is going to materialize on time, which is in 2017.

If this is not going to the mother of all transplants, I do not know what is.

Valery Spiridonov, the Russian man with a genetic muscle-wasting disease will still be Canavero’s first patient.

One could immediately notice the difference between Spiridonov’s physique in his latest photo compared to the one I posted in 2015.  One could tell indeed that time is of the essence for this equally courageous volunteer who expects to see himself in another man’s body.

But before the unprecedented operation is to be done, Spiridonov will go through a virtual reality system, which Canavero described as “prepar(ing) the patient in the best possible way for a new world that he will be facing with his new body – a world in which he will be able to walk again”. This is in partnership with US firm Inventum Bioengineering Technologies which created the virtual reality world that it says will help train patients such as Spiridonov.

The knife to be used in the transplant.

The knife to be used in the transplant.

Canavero also displayed the knife that will be used for the head transplant – a custom-made blade that can control cuts to a micrometer (one millionth of a meter) to allow the precision required to cut the spinal cord.

He said that the knife, developed by an American professor, will allow a “clear cut of the spinal cord with a minimal impact on the nerves”.

Dr. Sergio Canavero

Dr. Sergio Canavero

Canavero is aware that many are still skeptical of his impending bizarre operation, calling it Frankenstein surgery, but he has only this to say: : “To all the critics I say go and see what happens when you’re affected by a wasting disorder…trade places with (Mr Spiridonov) and then you tell me.”

Am sure the whole world will be anxiously watching this milestone and we can only wish both Canavero and Spiridonov good luck and Godspeed!

 

Cloud now a factor in global warming

 

Cloud_Feedback_1024This is one scientific study that has got to be shared as it is now a serious problem that is impacting people’s lives.

Led by researchers at Yale University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whose study was published in the journal Science, it warned that global warming could make the planet far hotter than currently projected because today’s scientific models do not correctly account for the influence of clouds.

According to the study, when climate scientists look ahead to how much the planet’s surface temperature may warm up in response to a doubling of carbon dioxide — a byproduct of fossil fuel burning — they typically predict a rise of between 2.1 and 4.7 degrees Celsius (3.75 to 8.5 degrees Fahrenheit).

Apparently these models overestimated the ability of clouds to reflect back sunlight and counteract warming in Earth’s atmosphere.

“We found that the climate sensitivity increased from four degrees Celsius in the default model to five to 5.3 degrees Celsius in versions that were modified to bring liquid and ice amounts into closer agreement with observations,” said lead author Ivy Tan, a researcher at Yale University.

The following are further observations and comments of the researchers in their study:

The problem is most models assume there is more ice in clouds than there actually is.

Icier clouds would gain more liquid in a warming environment, and more liquid in clouds would mean less global warming.

“Most climate models are a little too eager to glaciate below freezing, so they are likely exaggerating the increase in cloud reflectivity as the atmosphere warms,” said co-author Mark Zelinka.

“This means they may be systematically underestimating how much warming will occur in response to carbon dioxide.”

Researchers said their findings add to previous studies that have suggested clouds may make warming worse, rather than lessen it.

“The evidence is piling up against an overall stabilizing cloud feedback,” said Zelinka.

“Clouds do not seem to want to do us any favors when it comes to limiting global warming.”

Does this mean that there will be a greater adverse effects on the weather condition all over because the world we live in is now going to be hotter than previously charted?

Just asking.

Digestive tract of goats/sheep could lead to better biofuels

goatsThis is one scientific research that really caught my eye.

At this time when the world is talking about alternative fuel this study could not have come at a very opportune time.

It is not that biofuels – fuels produced directly or indirectly from organic material (biomass) including plant materials and animal waste – are non-existent because for a long time now they are being converted into bioenergy, after applying more advanced conversion technologies.

The problem with biofuels, however, is that not only are they produced from crops, such as maize, which impacts the lives of the poor because its being used as a fuel instead of food limits the supply and drive up prices, but, so far, the ability to efficiently use the vast majority of cheap, waste organic material has eluded the makers of biofuels.

The study says that the problem with turning wood chips and grasses into fuel is the matrix of complex molecules found in the cell walls of these tough materials.

Industrial attempts to break these down into the type of sugars that can be refined for fuel often require preheating or treatment with chemicals, which add to the complexity and the cost.

To solve the problem, researchers have turned to the well-known abilities of goats and sheep to digest almost anything they eat.

Researchers believe this facility is the result of the presence of anaerobic gut fungi, organisms that have existed since the time of the dinosaurs.

To test their ideas, the scientists collected fresh manure from a zoo and a stable and isolated three previously uncharacterized cultures from goats, sheep and horses.

They found that these fungi excrete enzymes that break down a wide range of plant material.

Unlike the best genetically engineered enzymes produced by the biofuel industry to date, they discovered that the sheep and goat fungi produced many hundred more of these proteins.

The scientists say that in tests, the fungi performed as well as the best engineered attempts from industry.

Reportedly, the study has been published in the journal, Science.