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lemon-shark-displays-wolverine-like-self-healing-skills

Lemon Sharks were first seen in the shallow subtropical waters on December of 2014. It was found that these species have been in existence for thousands of years and can live up to 400 years. Lemon sharks are the most predominant species with incredible survival mechanism. They have healing power like Wolverine, and their bodies are coved tough pore-like stainless steel.

This amazing discovery about the lemon sharks' ability to heal by themselves and their defense mechanism was noticed by Joanne Fraser during her regular shark feed dive in Florida. She noticed a lemon shark with a metal-like piece struck into its body. Having experience working with maritime experts in Florida, she quickly captured the unusual sight with her digital camera.

Fraser had so many encounters with the fish after that instance. She has documented every encounter with the fish with photographs and she found that the steel thing coming out from the lemon shark's body was a fish stringer. It is a steel device like a loop used by fishermen to hold the fish during their hunt.

During her last encounter with the shark, Fraser noticed that the shark had pushed the steel loop out from its body and healed itself with only proving a scar as an evidence of the incident.

Fraser sent her documentation and her experience with a lemon shark to Dr. Steven Kessel who is the Director of Maritime Exploration at Chicago Shedd Aquarium.

Dr. Kessel quickly started investigating the incident with the photographs and videos provided by Fraser, and published a report in the journal Marine and Freshwater Exploration on July 13, 2017. In his report, he said that there is no evidence of the entrance and no evidence that the shark has been stabbed on its outer body by a fisherman. Dr. Kessel also reported that the shark may have swallowed the fish stringer while consuming its prey. But he said the most astonishing thing was the size of the stringer it had swallowed. He said that the sharks have the ability to expel the foreign objects and undigested objects from their stomach.

The lemon shark expelling the fish stringer from its body shows the life sustaining ability of the wild oceans. With the documented evidence it was noticed that the lemon shark lived the stringer for 435 days. The shark was carrying a big stomach during the documentation indicating the destruction caused by the stringer has been pushed out from its body around February of 2016.

Marine scientists are positive about the regenerating damaged tissues in sharks. They think that microorganism may be playing a role during the shark's self-healing process.

However, the final document about the lemon shark was made on December 14, 2016. Showing the fish stringer was pushed out from the body and the wounds made by the metal were properly healed.

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galaxy's-smallest-star

The astronomers recently faltered upon a teeny star called 2MASS J0523-1403, and it was located just 40 light years away. As per them, it is not only the smallest star discovered so far, but it also represents the smallest possible star. By studying the stars; scientists are starting to be able to answer the questions — on where do the stars end and the brown dwarfs begin?

While the stars are the burning balls of gas held together by gravity that is powered by the fusion of hydrogen atoms to helium in their cores. They come in a variety of sizes; the smallest stars, are known as red dwarfs. These can possess as little as t% of the mass of our Sun, whereas the biggest stars or the hyper giants can be over 100 times as massive as the Sun. However, just how small can an object be and still be defined as a star? This has puzzled the astronomers for years. All that was formerly known is that objects below this limit don’t have sufficient mass to burn the fusion of hydrogen in their cores, and these objects are known as brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are intangible objects that are supposed to be the missing link between gas giants and low-mass stars such as red dwarfs. They’re usually around the size of Jupiter, but they don’t have enough mass to become a star. Unlike stars, brown dwarfs have no inner energy source.

However, there is another strange difference between brown dwarfs and stars; both of them have opposite relationships between mass and size. Though the more material you add to a star, in the form of hydrogen, the bigger the radius of the star. I.e. they increase their size as mass increases. Whereas, the brown dwarfs, on the other hand, actually shrink in size with increasing mass because of something called electron degeneracy pressure.

How do we find the limit that commands whether an object is a star or a brown dwarf?

To find this difference the astronomers scanned the skies and located objects that were supposed to lie around the stellar or the brown dwarf border. They then intended the light, temperatures, and radius of all of these objects and strategized them. The temperature is dependent on mass but it’s easier to measure; so they found that as temperature decreased, so did radius; this is the expected trend for stellar objects. But, they found that after temperatures of around 2100K there was a break till radius starts to increase with decreasing temperature; and this is the trend that would be expected for brown dwarfs.

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Finally, the scientists can now pinpoint the specific temperature, light, and radius at which the main classification ends. However, the main classification is a relationship between luminosity and temperature and luminosity and radius; which need to be obeyed by stars throughout the majority of their lives. 2MASS J0523-1403 is located around this boundary but towards the stellar side. This star actually has a temperature of 2074K, which is the lowest described temperature so far for a main sequence of the star. It’s also the smallest and the least massive; if it had less mass then it can be a brown dwarf. This star has therefore been identified as a representative of the smallest possible star. However, it is theoretically possible that a star with a slightly smaller mass than 2MASS J0523-1403 could exist, but they still need to discover one.

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The recent research suggests that the attacks of forgetfulness could cause a safety mechanism in the brain designed to make sure we're not loaded with information. In other words, the specialists say that it's a healthy part of the brain's operation. In their words, they say that it might come as a relief if we are always forgetting where we left our belongings like house keys and some other stuff, but this could also possibly teach us more about how our brain operates.

According to two well-known researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada, the memory isn't envisioned to help communicate the most accurate information, but it would be rather the most useful information that can help us make smart decisions in the future. However, it is always very important that the brain forgets immaterial details and instead focuses on the stuff that's going to help us to make decisions in the real world.

While some researchers took this in a different approach and to the idea of memory and looked at the neurobiology of remembering, or perseverance, while others looked at the neurobiology of forgetting, or transience.

However, researchers found evidence of the thoughtful weakening of the synaptic connections between neurons that help to encrypt memories, as well as the signs in which the new neurons overwriting existing memories exit, to make them harder to access. So why is the brain spending time trying to make us forget?

Primarily, forgetting helps us adjust to new circumstances by letting go of our old memories we don't need. So, in this way if your favorite coffee shop has moved to the other side of the town, and you find a new one closer to you, your brain will let you forget the old location and thus, help you remember the new one.

In another way, forgetting allows us to generalize our past events and help us to make decisions about new ones. There is a concept known in artificial intelligence as regularization. Which means when you just tend to remember the main gist of your previous visits to that coffee shop; rather than every little detail, it will then be less work for your brain to figure out how to behave the next time you go in there.

Now – when you try to navigate the world your brain will constantly bring up the multiple conflicting memories, such things make it harder for you to make knowledgeable decisions.

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In this way, the researchers also think the amount of forgetting we do could be contingent on the environment, and with a faster pace of change would definitely require a faster pace of forgetting too.

In one of the recent experiments, it was proved that forgetting information we need to remember too often is a frustrating practice and this can be a sign of more serious problems. But new research suggests that at a certain level of forgetfulness is actually a built-in mechanism which is designed to make us smarter.

The point of memory is to make you a smart person; who can make wise decisions given the circumstances, and the important aspect in helping you do that is being able to forget some information which is not important to remember.

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national-fossil-day

National Fossil Day is created to bring scientific and educational awareness to people and is celebrated on the second Wednesday of October.

National Fossil Day is celebrated nationwide and was first held on October 13th, 2010, during Earth Science Week. Within this week National Park Service and over 270 partners, including scientific institutions, organizations, museums and other groups hosted events across the United States allowing the public prospects to learn more about the world’s fossil heritage. Many parks, universities and non-profit organizations also take part in the events.

A new National Fossil Day logo is created each year depicting a prehistoric organism. This logo helps to promote National Fossil Day and provide educational institutions an opportunity to share more information about fossils.   The original National Fossil Day logo was created in the year 2010 and presented a fossil mammal known as the Titan. But, in the year 2011, a marine reptile known as the mosasaur was used as the National Fossil Day logo. In the mammoth was featured in the annual logo. A Paleozoic invertebrate known as the eurypterid was highlighted in the annual logo for the year 2013.

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In 2015 the National Fossil Day's artwork features a prehistoric mammal known as a Chalicothere, portrayed in a Miocene prairie grassland. For the National Fossil Day's artwork in the year 2016 it featured a saber-toothed cat, long-horned bison, and a condor, all Pleistocene (ice age) animals, logos in the year 2016.

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How to celebrate this Day

Visit any local museum or gather your friends to do some research about fossils.

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In a perfect world – or impeccably, a wonderfully strange world, plants and animals would speak the same language. Could you imagine this? Yet, it would certainly make being on top of the food chain sensitively challenging, it sure would be informative to know.

Most humans don’t give much credibility to the communication abilities of other kingdoms. Just because they don’t speak a language we understand, it doesn’t mean that plants are not getting messages to one another.

Plants carry some uniqueness as per their family structure and factors. You might not know of plants being particularly chatty, but in reality - they communicate remarkably well with each other. This is especially seen when faced with potential danger. However, there is a recent study about the growing body of research on how plants can communicate with each other. This study about plant science says that injured plants send some emergency signals to alert the neighbors to start helping build up their defenses.

The chain of events related to this study and discovery began about two years ago, when University of Delaware botanist, Harsh Bais, agreed to mentor sixteen-year-old Connor Sweeney on a research project. The ecstatic high school student got to work right away, after spending all his free time, including weekends and summer breaks, in the Harsh Bais lab at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

The project entailed culturing Arabidopsis thaliana, also known as mustard weed, that was used in experiments. Here the young researcher placed the seeds in Petri dishes and test tubes filled with agar to promote growth. You can see that the seeds would germinate about six days later and transform into delicate three-inch plantlets with bright green leaves.

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To observe the plantlets transformation, Sweeney conducted several experiments in order to test the plant communication. He sliced a mustard weed leaf in two spots mimicking an insect bite to see how it would begin the repair process. While the following day, the young researcher was surprised to discover that while the injured plant remained unchanged, the roots of the neighboring young mustard weed seedling had grown significantly longer and even had lateral offshoots. You can see it in the below image.

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The researchers were unable to believe what they saw as they have expected that the injured plant to put more resources into growing roots. But they didn’t see that according to the researcher Bais, who conducted a similar study in the year 2012. He found that soil bacteria living near the roots of a plant helped to boost its immunity by signaling the leaf pores, or stomata, to close in the company of pathogens. To safeguard that it was not the same system at work, Sweeney partitioned the plants to prevent the communication between their root bacteria and then repeated the experiment multiple times. But the results were the same all the time.

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To see what was prompting the root growth, the scientists conducted more tests and learned that the injured plants were discharging volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to notify its neighbors of the approaching danger. Trusting that the strong plant was growing its roots to absorb more nutrients to strengthen its defenses, Bais and Sweeney began observing for combinations that help trigger the increase in size. For their surprise, each time an injured plant sent out a warning, its neighboring mustard weeds began expressing more Auxin, a key plant growth hormone. However, the researchers were not sure what the volatile organic compounds comprise, or the span of time they persist in the atmosphere. The study still continues to see the exact reasons.

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Using a plant for either cleaning or repairing purposes is quite common these days. Scientists have created a little version of a working heart, which may assist in tissue regeneration one day.

Scientists found a new way to use spinach to build a working human heart muscle, which will potentially solve a long-standing problem in efforts to repair damaged organs. The details of the study are published in the journal Biomaterials, explaining the new way to grow a vascular system, which has been a roadblock for tissue engineering.

Scientists have already created large-scale human tissue in a lab using 3D method printing, but it was proved to be much harder to grow the small, delicate blood vessels that are vital to the tissue's health.

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As per the co-author Joshua Gershlak, the main limiting factor for tissue engineering - is the lack of a vascular network. This is proved that without that vascular network, you get a lot of tissue death.

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Above is the image of a decellularized spinach leaf; before dye is added to test its ability to filter blood through the tissue.

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In the second image, you can see the picture of a spinach leaf after it successfully revealed red dye could be pumped through its veins, simulating the blood, oxygen and nutrients that a human heart tissue needs to grow.

However, one of the crucial traits of a leaf is the branching network of thin veins that delivers water and nutrients to its cells. At present, scientists have used plant veins to redo the way blood moves through human tissue. This work involves transforming a spinach leaf in the lab to eliminate its plant cells, which leaves behind a frame made of cellulose.

Cellulose is biocompatible and has been used in a wide variety of reformative medicine applications, such as bone tissue engineering, cartilage tissue engineering, and wound healing.  The team then covered the remaining plant frame in live human cells, so that the human tissue grew on the spinach's support and surrounded the tiny veins. Once they transformed the spinach leaf into a sort of mini heart, then the team sent fluids and microbeads through its veins to illustrate how blood cells can flow through this system.

Though the ultimate goal is to replace damaged tissue in patients who have had heart attacks or who suffered from other cardiac issues that prevent their hearts from contracting. Like blood vessels, the veins in the modified leaves would supply oxygen to the entire swath of replacement tissue, which is crucial in generating new heart matter.

While the study team has confirmed the same methods could be used with different types of plants to heal a variety of tissues in the body. For instance, swapping out the cells in wood might one day help repair human bones.

Researchers say that they have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising, and the study co-author Glenn Gaudette, also of WPI, said in a press statement that adapting abundant plants that farmers have been cultivating for thousands of years, are helpful in the use of tissue engineering and could solve a host of problems limiting the field.

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Twister Trouble - Could 2017 be one of the worst years ever for tornadoes

Tornadoes can whip up unexpectedly without warning. The cone-shaped, violently rotating clouds have winds that can reach 300 miles per hour and have the power to wipe out almost everything in their paths. So far in 2017, they’ve been churning up more mess than usual.

Did you know that so far, 755 twisters have been reported in the U.S this year; and most of the tornadoes that have been recorded were from January to mid-May. The mid-May twisters had killed 33 people, including 16 in Georgia alone. Tornadoes had also ravaged, caused severe damage in many homes and other buildings, causing several billion dollars loss across the country.

Twister Trouble - Could 2017 be one of the worst years ever for tornadoes?

Although, spring and summer are usually the seasons for tornadoes it seems as if the tornado season is going to begin early this year, with 432 twisters touching down in the first three months of 2017.

Do You Know Why Tornadoes Got a Head Start This Year?

It’s always good to grab knowledge and know how a twister forms. The two main key ingredients are warm and moist air which travel low to the ground and cool, dry air above it. When these two air masses meet, a thunderstorm forms and it is said that under certain conditions, the storm can produce a tornado.

Twister Trouble - Could 2017 be one of the worst years ever for tornadoes?

This winter was unusually warm in much of the eastern cities of the U.S and water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico were also reported to be far above average. The warm, moist air from the Gulf combined with cool and dry air traveling east from above the Rocky Mountains, causing more thunderstorms than normal for that time of year.

While the Meteorologists warned usthat as the weather warms up in late spring, we could be in for even more tornado problems; and the season of tornadoes runs from March to June or sometimes in July.

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Mark Your Calendars For This Summer’sGreat American Eclipse

The US Postal Service is planning to issue a unique stamp in honor of this summer’s total solar eclipse. The stamp is being released on Tuesday; with a photo of a total solar eclipse captured in Libya more than a decade ago.

However, the first stamp to use was called thermo-chromic ink. The uniqueness in this stamp is it changes its color. When the stamp is untouched it is ablack eclipse and when your finger touches the stamp, the image changes to the moon one on the right; and then once the stamp cools, the black eclipse returns back.

Mark Your Calendars For This Summer’s Great American Eclipse

Did you know that the next real full solar eclipse is expected to happen on August 21st, 2017? For a swath of the country from Portland, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, it will look like somebody just turned off the sun in the middle of the day. While St. Louis falls in the pathway of the eclipse, and even if you live elsewhere in North America, a part of the sun will partly disappear near midday.

This day is being called“The Great American Eclipse.” So mark it on your calendar, down to the millisecond.

As per science, it’s been 99 years since a total solar eclipse crossed the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic; the complete solar eclipse was on June 8th, 1918, which crossed from Washington to Florida.

During this celestial event, the moon will pass between the sun and the Earth, appearing to block the sun for almost an hour or more. If you want to replicate an eclipse you can do it by holding a flashlight and waving your hand slowly across it. However, when the moon blocks the sun, it will cast two types of shadows; the umbral is a small shadow cast on Earth where people will be able to see a total eclipse. While others will experience the penumbral shadow, where they will experience a partial eclipse. Salem, Oregon, will be one of the first towns to see this total eclipse, while Charleston will be one among the last. Kansas City, Nashville and St. Louis are some of the other cities that will have a good chance of seeing the sun totally covered.

Space enthusiasts have already started to get excited about this rare eclipse and some, like us, are counting the days down. While many of others are looking for a place to see it closer and booking hotels for the big moment.

The actual question to you is, have you figured out where you will be on August 21st to see this amazing event take place?

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Germany Unveils The World’s Largest Artificial Sun

Scientists hope toexperiment with something that can produce temperatures of around 3,500 Celsius, as this may help to develop carbon-neutral fuel. While the German scientists are switching onto the "world’s largest artificial sun” , this is in hopes that light sources can be used to generate climate-friendly fuel. However the Synlight experiment in Julich, about 19 miles west of Cologne, which consists 149 soaped-up film projector spotlights that produce light about 10,000 times the intensity of natural sunlight on Earth. When all the lamps are swiveled to focus on the light for a single spot so that the instrument can generate temperatures of around 3,500 Celsius – around two to three times the temperature of a blast from afurnace.

Germany Unveils The World’s Largest Artificial Sun

The aim of this experiment is to come up with the best setup for concentrating natural sunlight to power reaction in order to produce hydrogen fuel. Do you know that the solar power stations which use mirrors to focus sunlight onto water are already well established. These work by harnessing heat from the sun to produce steam that turns turbines and generates electricity.

However, the Synlight experiment is still in investigating process to check whether there would be any possibility that a similar setup could be used to get the power froma reaction and to extract hydrogen from water vapor, which could then be used as a fuel source for Aeroplanes and cars.

Germany Unveils The World’s Largest Artificial Sun

This experiment currently uses a vast amount of energy which is four hours of operation that consumes as much electricity thata four-person household uses in a year. However, scientists hope that in the future the natural sunlight could be used to create hydrogen in a carbon-neutral way. Scientists would need billions of tons of hydrogen; to drive airplanes and cars on CO2-free fuel.

Operating the artificial Sun is not that cheap as it consumes more than what is expected. However, as per the chief scientist, Hoffschmidt, views that the Synlight’s reliability will allow the researchers to master hydrogen-making techniques that can be mimicked and scaled up using our sun. Experts consider that with support from scientists worldwide, we could live in a hydrogen-fueled world within less time. In the coming future, the German researchers also hope to use Synlight to test the durability of spacecraft material and equipment when subjected to intense solar radiation. This research will help astronomers tremendously in their quest to explore worlds far beyond ours.

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