Amusing Science

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Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:54 am

Viagra makes flowers stand up straight

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is good not only for treating male impotence. Israeli and Australian researchers have discovered that small concentrations of the drug dissolved in a vase of water can also double the shelf life of cut flowers, making them stand up straight for as long as a week beyond their natural life span.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1126921/

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by sparks » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:03 am

And then, later, you can eat the flowers and get a big ol' boner. Wilford Brimley says so. And don't forget the Quaker Oats.
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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:44 am

1.2 milliseconds after uncorking a bottle of champagne, the bottle being at 6°C, 12°C and 20°C (left to right):

Image

Explanation: with increasing temperature pressure rises (from 5 to 8 bars). So the expelled gas' temperature drops (adiabatic decompression) from -75°C to -88°C and the frozen water droplets get – on the right – coated with frozen CO2, which makes for the blue color.

From a lab in Metz, region where champagne is produced. :mrgreen:

Article (French): http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/ ... 50684.html

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:51 pm

Nature wrote:Sexual competition among ducks wreaks havoc on penis size

Male ducks respond to sexual competition by growing either an extra-long penis or a nub of flesh, a new study finds. The unusual phenomena occurred in two species studied: the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and the ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). It suggests that penis size — in line with many traits and behaviours meant to impress or allow impregnation of the opposite sex — involves a trade-off between the potential to reproduce and to survive.

Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, compared the penises of ducks kept in male–female pairs to those housed with multiple males per female. The findings are published in a study on 20 September in The Auk: Ornithological Advances1.

“If they were alone with a female, the males just grew a normal-sized penis, but if there were other males around, they had the ability to change dramatically,” Brennan says. “So evolution must be acting on the ability to be plastic — the ability to invest only in what is needed in your current circumstance.”

Because evolutionary success relies on reproduction, genitals are adapted to meet the varied circumstances that every animal faces. Some male ducks, for example, have penises in the shape of corkscrews to navigate the labyrinth-like vaginas of their female counterparts. An earlier study by Brennan found that females’ anatomy evolved to prevent access to undesirable males who force copulation. To mate successfully with their chosen partners, Brennan says, female ducks assume a posture that allows males to enter them fully and deposit sperm near eggs.
http://www.nature.com/news/sexual-compe ... 15552453=1

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:58 pm

My hopes are slight for now, but I would really, really be amused if the whole house of cards came crashing down:
"Universe Is Most Likely Not Expanding"- New Research Claims

Current models of the Universe require dark energy to explain the observed rate of acceleration in the expansion of our Universe. Such measures are based off of measurements in the distance of supernova explosions in distant galaxies that appear to be farther apart than they should be if the acceleration of expansion were not taking place. This brings a question to light... if dark energy is not the explaining factor for such a phenomenon... then what is? What if our approach has been incorrect this whole time?

In the past year, the statistical significance of this signature cosmic acceleration has been a common idea subjected towards heated debate. Previous debates have pitted the standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) cosmology against a universe that is empty, whose expansion neither decelerates nor accelerates. Both models take on the simplified 100 year old cosmic expansion law-- Friedmann’s equation.

Friedmann’s equation assumes an expansion identical to that of a featureless “coup” of a universe that has no complicating structure. However, the present day Universe is actually one that contains within it a complex cosmic web of breathtaking galaxy clusters in sheets and filaments surrounding empty and vast voids.
[…]
David Wiltshire of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand, the leader of the study said the following, potentially revolutionary words: “The past debate missed an essential point; if dark energy does not exist then a likely alternative is that the average expansion law does not follow Friedmann's equation."

Rather than comparing the ΛCDM cosmological model with an empty universe, this new study compares the fit of supernova data in the ΛCDM model to another model, Timescape cosmology. The model is devoid of all dark energy. Instead, clocks carried by observers in galaxies differ from the clock that best describes average expansion once the lumpiness of our Universal structure becomes significant. Figuring out an inferring acceleration is heavily dependent on the clock used.

Timescape cosmology turned out to be a slightly better fit to the supernova catalogue than ΛCDM cosmology. This reminds us of the words uttered during the OJ Simpson trial... “If it doesn’t fit then you must acquit.” However, not enough statistical data has been gathered in order to rule out one or the other and neither of the current evidence is strong enough to rule out one or the other either.
http://www.physics-astronomy.com/2017/0 ... nding.html (with link to paper)

We'll see, as Skeeve would say. :mrgreen:

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by ed » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:40 am

Witness wrote:
Nature wrote:Sexual competition among ducks wreaks havoc on penis size

Male ducks respond to sexual competition by growing either an extra-long penis or a nub of flesh, a new study finds. The unusual phenomena occurred in two species studied: the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and the ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). It suggests that penis size — in line with many traits and behaviours meant to impress or allow impregnation of the opposite sex — involves a trade-off between the potential to reproduce and to survive.

Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, compared the penises of ducks kept in male–female pairs to those housed with multiple males per female. The findings are published in a study on 20 September in The Auk: Ornithological Advances1.

“If they were alone with a female, the males just grew a normal-sized penis, but if there were other males around, they had the ability to change dramatically,” Brennan says. “So evolution must be acting on the ability to be plastic — the ability to invest only in what is needed in your current circumstance.”

Because evolutionary success relies on reproduction, genitals are adapted to meet the varied circumstances that every animal faces. Some male ducks, for example, have penises in the shape of corkscrews to navigate the labyrinth-like vaginas of their female counterparts. An earlier study by Brennan found that females’ anatomy evolved to prevent access to undesirable males who force copulation. To mate successfully with their chosen partners, Brennan says, female ducks assume a posture that allows males to enter them fully and deposit sperm near eggs.
http://www.nature.com/news/sexual-compe ... 15552453=1
Hmmm ... explains Rob's nub.

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Anaxagoras » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:41 am

Witness wrote:My hopes are slight for now, but I would really, really be amused if the whole house of cards came crashing down:
"Universe Is Most Likely Not Expanding"- New Research Claims

Current models of the Universe require dark energy to explain the observed rate of acceleration in the expansion of our Universe. Such measures are based off of measurements in the distance of supernova explosions in distant galaxies that appear to be farther apart than they should be if the acceleration of expansion were not taking place. This brings a question to light... if dark energy is not the explaining factor for such a phenomenon... then what is? What if our approach has been incorrect this whole time?

In the past year, the statistical significance of this signature cosmic acceleration has been a common idea subjected towards heated debate. Previous debates have pitted the standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) cosmology against a universe that is empty, whose expansion neither decelerates nor accelerates. Both models take on the simplified 100 year old cosmic expansion law-- Friedmann’s equation.

Friedmann’s equation assumes an expansion identical to that of a featureless “coup” of a universe that has no complicating structure. However, the present day Universe is actually one that contains within it a complex cosmic web of breathtaking galaxy clusters in sheets and filaments surrounding empty and vast voids.
[…]
David Wiltshire of the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand, the leader of the study said the following, potentially revolutionary words: “The past debate missed an essential point; if dark energy does not exist then a likely alternative is that the average expansion law does not follow Friedmann's equation."

Rather than comparing the ΛCDM cosmological model with an empty universe, this new study compares the fit of supernova data in the ΛCDM model to another model, Timescape cosmology. The model is devoid of all dark energy. Instead, clocks carried by observers in galaxies differ from the clock that best describes average expansion once the lumpiness of our Universal structure becomes significant. Figuring out an inferring acceleration is heavily dependent on the clock used.

Timescape cosmology turned out to be a slightly better fit to the supernova catalogue than ΛCDM cosmology. This reminds us of the words uttered during the OJ Simpson trial... “If it doesn’t fit then you must acquit.” However, not enough statistical data has been gathered in order to rule out one or the other and neither of the current evidence is strong enough to rule out one or the other either.
http://www.physics-astronomy.com/2017/0 ... nding.html (with link to paper)

We'll see, as Skeeve would say. :mrgreen:
I don't know if I understand all of that correctly, but the headline seems to be in error. The universe is expanding (at least, that's what most astronomers and cosmologists think, and they have evidence for it). The debate is over whether the rate of expansion is accelerating, as some observations have suggested.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:43 am

↑ You're right, the title is misleading.

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by ceptimus » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:48 am

The derivatives of distance go: distance, speed, acceleration, jerk, snap, crackle, pop, ...

So they should have said that the theory says that universe may not be jerking... which is hard to believe ;)

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Doctor X » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:45 am

But does it not pop?




What?

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:27 am

Sci News wrote:Giant Prehistoric Frogs Ate Small Dinosaurs, Claim Scientists

This conclusion comes from a study of the bite force of extant South American horned frogs (genus Ceratophrys).

“Unlike the vast majority of frogs which have weak jaws and typically consume small prey, horned frogs ambush animals as large as themselves — including other frogs, snakes, and rodents,” explained co-author Dr. Marc Jones, from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum.

“And their powerful jaws play a critical role in grabbing and subduing the prey.”

Dr. Jones and co-authors from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia found that small horned frogs, with head width of about 1.8 inches (4.5 cm), can bite with a force of 30 newtons (N), or about 3 kg/6.6 lbs.

A scaling experiment, comparing bite force with head and body size, calculated that large horned frogs that are found in the tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests of South America, with a head width of up to 4 inches (10 cm), would have a bite force of almost 500 N. This is comparable to reptiles and mammals with a similar head size.
[…]
The team estimated the bite force of the extinct frog Beelzebufo ampinga may have had a bite up to 2,200 N, comparable to formidable mammalian predators such as wolves and female tigers.

“At this bite force, Beelzebufo ampinga would have been capable of subduing the small and juvenile dinosaurs that shared its environment,” Dr. Jones said.
Image
Beelzebufo ampinga

Well, extrapolating is dangerous, but it's still fun.
http://www.sci-news.com/biology/giant-p ... 05241.html

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Fid » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:24 am

Beelzebufo ampinga.

Don't say that name three times. I did and a friggin' frog tried to eat my Chihuahua.
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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:01 am

[youtube][/youtube]

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:45 am

CERN having fun:

[youtube][/youtube]
https://home.cern/about/updates/2016/04 ... ing-result

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:39 am

FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, University of Edinburgh.

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by sparks » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:52 am

Now,if only we could do that with 'empty' space.
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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:10 am

[youtube][/youtube]

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:32 am

[youtube][/youtube]

Lenz's law in action.

I remember an analogous experiment from when I was a student: a big pendulum with a copper plate at the end was swung through the poles of an electromagnet. Switched off, nothing happened. Switched on, the pendulum stopped with a loud bang as if it had hit something hard. Quite impressive. :)

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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Witness » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:25 am


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Re: Amusing Science

Post by Anaxagoras » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:25 am

GMO Virus Could Save Florida's Orange Groves

Oh Noes! GMOs!!!

This is pretty cool though:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will reportedly approve a GMO virus to fight citrus greening disease.

Citrus greening is "the most serious threat that the Florida citrus industry has ever faced," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bacterial disease, which tends to turn fruit green after ripening, is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid insect. The devastating disease has infected an estimated 80 percent of Florida's citrus trees, and it has contributed significantly to the 60 percent reduction in the state's harvest of oranges and grapefruit since its peak in the late 1990s.

Now there may a way to fight back. Southern Gardens Citrus has engineered a version of the Citrus tristeza virus to attack the bacterium that causes citrus greening. The virus has been modified to carry a defensin protein found in spinach. When citrus greening bacteria come into contact with the protein, it kills them by perforating their cell walls, causing their contents to leak out. The company inoculates against the bacteria by grafting branches containing the genetically enhanced virus onto other trees. The virus then flows into the trees' vascular system, where it encounters and kills the bacteria.

In February, Southern Gardens Citrus applied for a permit for the environmental release of the virus. The Department of Agriculture is expected to allow Florida citrus growers to start using the virus in early 2019, according to Politico.

Florida growers hope that since the genes of the trees themselves are not being changed, anti-science groups will not damn the oranges and grapefruit from inoculated trees as Frankenfruit. But the public comments posted at Department of Agriculture's website suggest the bioluddites are not about to stand down.
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