jtotheizzoe

jtotheizzoe:

From McSweeney’s:

She exposed me to excessive ultraviolet radiation, which gave me terrible cataracts.

She removed all traces of vitamin A from my diet.

She launched well-targeted projectiles at my eyes, causing severe trauma.

She poisoned me repeatedly with steroids, which over time caused the formation of a pituitary tumor that pressed against my optic chiasm severing my optic-nerve pathways.

She replaced my contact-lens solution with corrosive acid.

She unleashed upon me lab rats trained to preferentially eat eyes.

She, my ophthalmologist, botched my Lasik surgery.

She exacerbated my diabetes by replacing my insulin with Frappuccino, which led to retinal problems.

She put me under general anesthesia and surgically removed my eyes.

She altered my parents’ germ-cell chromosomes before my conception so that I lack the proper genetic code to distinguish the colors red and green.

She calibrated a refraction experiment with her laser pointer that scorched my retinas.

Nerd jokes

scienceyoucanlove

scienceyoucanlove:

River in China mysteriously turns red overnight

Published time: July 

A river in China deemed clean enough to drink has turned red overnight, mystifying the city’s residents and officials alike. Locals claim the phenomenon has never happened before and industrial contamination has been dismissed as a viable option.

People in the area filled water bottles with water from the river located in Xinmeizhou village, Cangnan County in eastern China’s Zhejiang province.

Early on Thursday morning the water looked normal. “But then suddenly, within the space of a few minutes, the water started turning darker and eventually was completely red,” Local Na Wan told the Daily Express.

We have always been able to catch fish and you can even drink the water because it’s just normally so good,” he added.

Nobody immediately gave a reason for the river turning red, but Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau inspectors have taken samples for analysis, reported China Radio International.

According to a local contacted by the station, nothing of the kind had ever happened before and there was no chemical plant upstream.

However, in September 2012, the Yangtze River mysteriously started running red. At that point people considered industrial pollution or silt being churned up as possible causes.

After a few images were reviewed, however, scientists suggested the cause could have been more man made.

Emily Stanley, a professor of limnology (the study of inland waters) at the University of Wisconsin told LiveScience at the time:

“It looks like a pollutant phenomenon,” she said. “Water bodies that have turned red very fast in the past have happened because people have dumped dyes into them.”

from RT 

scienceyoucanlove
scienceyoucanlove:

World’s Largest Freshwater Turtle Nearly Extinct
The last known pair of Yangtze giant softshell turtles mated again in June.
Kaitlin Solimine
for National Geographic
PUBLISHED JULY 1, 2013

The fate of a species is resting on the shells of two turtles at China's Suzhou Zoo.
n June, researchers collected eggs from the last mating pair of the critically endangered Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in the hopes that at least one will be fertile.
The 220-pound (100-kilogram) freshwater giant, which spends most of its life burrowing in mud, was once common in its namesake Yangtze River, China’s Lake Taihu and Yunnan Province, and parts of Vietnam.
By the late 1990s, however, human encroachment and poaching for use of the shells in Chinese traditional medicine rapidly depleted the population. Now, a total of four animals are known—two wild males in Vietnam and the mating pair at Suzhou Zoo.
It’s the team’s sixth year of breeding the turtles at the zoo, which is not far from Shanghai. So far, none of the eggs have hatched.
Researchers can’t pinpoint the reason for the infertility, but they suspect a combination of factors, including poor sperm quality due to the male’s age—roughly a hundred—an improper mating posture, and stress on the female.
Because the turtles are the last in captivity and too much human interaction could kill them, sperm samples cannot be taken nor tests run. Still, scientists are hoping that this year will be the lucky one. (Related: "Pictures: Turtles Hunted, Traded, Squeezed Out of Their Habitats.")
"The resurrection of this iconic species in the wild, the largest freshwater turtle in the world, would be a symbol of hope," said Gerald Kuchling, founder of the Australia-based group Turtle Conservancyand a turtle-reproduction expert.
"Miraculous" Find
As is the case with many near-extinct species, by the time scientists realized the extent of the turtle’s decline, the species was almost gone.
In 2006, the U.S. nonprofit Turtle Survival Alliance asked Kuchling to establish the sex of the last three captive giant softshell turtles in China, which at the time lived at the Shanghai Zoo, Suzhou Zoo, and Suzhou’s West Garden Buddhist Temple. (Related: “6 of Nature’s Loneliest Animals Looking for Love.”)
When Kuchling landed in China in 2007, the Shanghai Zoo and Buddhist Temple individuals had already died. The Suzhou Zoo male was the last known Chinese survivor. Researchers sent an all-points bulletin to every zoo in the nation in the off chance a turtle had been misidentified.
Their call was answered: A photograph of a turtle at the Changsha Zoo looked promising. Kuchling, along with Lu Shunqing, China director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, traveled to Changsha, where they confirmed it was a Yangtze giant softshell—and a female to boot.
"It’s a bit miraculous we found her," said Emily King, the Suzhou Zoo breeding program’s field assistant.
read more from NatGeo 


Another Yangtze species on the brink of extinction

scienceyoucanlove:

World’s Largest Freshwater Turtle Nearly Extinct

The last known pair of Yangtze giant softshell turtles mated again in June.

Kaitlin Solimine

for National Geographic

PUBLISHED JULY 1, 2013

The fate of a species is resting on the shells of two turtles at China's Suzhou Zoo.

n June, researchers collected eggs from the last mating pair of the critically endangered Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in the hopes that at least one will be fertile.

The 220-pound (100-kilogram) freshwater giant, which spends most of its life burrowing in mud, was once common in its namesake Yangtze River, China’s Lake Taihu and Yunnan Province, and parts of Vietnam.

By the late 1990s, however, human encroachment and poaching for use of the shells in Chinese traditional medicine rapidly depleted the population. Now, a total of four animals are known—two wild males in Vietnam and the mating pair at Suzhou Zoo.

It’s the team’s sixth year of breeding the turtles at the zoo, which is not far from Shanghai. So far, none of the eggs have hatched.

Researchers can’t pinpoint the reason for the infertility, but they suspect a combination of factors, including poor sperm quality due to the male’s age—roughly a hundred—an improper mating posture, and stress on the female.

Because the turtles are the last in captivity and too much human interaction could kill them, sperm samples cannot be taken nor tests run. Still, scientists are hoping that this year will be the lucky one. (Related: "Pictures: Turtles Hunted, Traded, Squeezed Out of Their Habitats.")

"The resurrection of this iconic species in the wild, the largest freshwater turtle in the world, would be a symbol of hope," said Gerald Kuchling, founder of the Australia-based group Turtle Conservancyand a turtle-reproduction expert.

"Miraculous" Find

As is the case with many near-extinct species, by the time scientists realized the extent of the turtle’s decline, the species was almost gone.

In 2006, the U.S. nonprofit Turtle Survival Alliance asked Kuchling to establish the sex of the last three captive giant softshell turtles in China, which at the time lived at the Shanghai Zoo, Suzhou Zoo, and Suzhou’s West Garden Buddhist Temple. (Related: “6 of Nature’s Loneliest Animals Looking for Love.”)

When Kuchling landed in China in 2007, the Shanghai Zoo and Buddhist Temple individuals had already died. The Suzhou Zoo male was the last known Chinese survivor. Researchers sent an all-points bulletin to every zoo in the nation in the off chance a turtle had been misidentified.

Their call was answered: A photograph of a turtle at the Changsha Zoo looked promising. Kuchling, along with Lu Shunqing, China director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, traveled to Changsha, where they confirmed it was a Yangtze giant softshell—and a female to boot.

"It’s a bit miraculous we found her," said Emily King, the Suzhou Zoo breeding program’s field assistant.

read more from NatGeo 

Another Yangtze species on the brink of extinction

neurosciencestuff

neurosciencestuff:

Boston University School of Medicine researchers may have found a way to delay or even prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD). They discovered that pre-treatment of neurons with the anti-aging protein Klotho can prevent neuron death in the presence of the toxic amyloid protein and glutamate. These…

micdotcom

micdotcom:

An Amazon tribe has made first contact with the outside world — but may now be in grave danger

Thought there were no undiscovered tribes left? Think again: Last month, an indigenous Amazonian tribe made contact with civilization for the first time — to save itself. 

For weeks, the unidentified tribe — which was previously photographed in 2008 — has been spotted traveling on the border between Brazil and Peru. But the Brazilian government announced last week that the tribe has indeed made peaceful contact with Ashaninka Indians in Brazil’s Acre state along the Envira River in order, it appears, to escape illegal logging and drug trafficking in the area.

"Something serious must have happened," José Carlos Meirelles, who monitored the region for 20 years with the Brazilian Indian Affairs Department (FUNAI), said in a statement. "It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way. This is a completely new and worrying situation, and we currently do not know what has caused it."

Read more | Follow micdotcom