It was a dirty job, but Bjarni Mikkelsen, a marine biologist at the National Museum of the Faroe Islands, had to do it.
After two whales died this week near the Faroe Islands, the government wanted to use one of the skeletons in the National Museum. So Mikkelsen began the first step of cutting the animal’s gut open. But little did he expect that it would explode in his face.
“The animal was more than two days old when we took it so we knew there would be some pressure on the inside, but nothing like what happened,” he told the Daily Mail.
Inflating a set of cat lungs
Lungs are by most accounts mundane. Everybody has them, few give it much thought. But sequestered within darkness of the chest cavity, enveloping the fluttering heart, there’s a incredible wonder to this oddly inflatable organ.
Dissection is a destructive process. Rudely excised from membranous mooring and nourishing vessels, the deflated lungs appear little more than bloodied meat; amorphous and exposed…….until a breath of air unfurls its secret glory.
Here, a set of cat lungs is inflated with a straw. Comprised of hundreds of millions of microscopic air sacks called aveoli, Mammalian lungs harbor air capacity that is difficult to believe unless seen. The color of the entire organ lightens into a soft pink, as each microscopic sac fills with air.
A debt of gratitude is owed to cyborgraptor for her assistance in creating these gifs, as well as the students that help me film this demo.
"The inFORM is MIT’s new scrying pool for imagining the interfaces of tomorrow. Almost like a table of living clay, the inFORM is a surface that three-dimensionally changes shape, allowing users to not only interact with digital content in meatspace, but even hold hands with a person hundreds of miles away. And that’s only the beginning.”
This amazing reentry fireworks was observed from the International Space Station on 2 November at 12:04 GMT. We can see European Space Agency’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle, Albert Einstein, disintegrating and burning up in the atmosphere over an uninhabited area of the Pacific Ocean, in the most spectacular way, after it left the International Space Station a week earlier with 1.6 tonnes of waste.
Source of gif: ESA/NASA
Nuclear Waste Can Be Reduced by 90 Percent
Engineers from the Univ. of Sheffield have developed a way to significantly reduce the volume of some higher activity wastes, which will reduce the cost of interim storage and final disposal.
The researchers, from the university’s Faculty of Engineering, have shown that mixing plutonium-contaminated waste with blast furnace slag and turning it into glass reduces its volume by 85-95 percent. It also effectively locks in the radioactive plutonium, creating a stable end product.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/11/nuclear-waste-can-be-reduced-90-percent
Check out this epic video flyover of Mars, which was pieced together using photographs taken by the DLR German Aerospace Center’s High Resolution Stereo Camera. The video really shows the scope of Mars’ vast mountains and valleys (though any native Martians unfortunately seem a bit camera shy).
Read more about the video over at IFL Science.
Virus Confirms Story of Ancient Human Migration
A study of the full genetic code of a common human virus offers a dramatic confirmation of the “out-of-Africa” pattern of human migration, which had previously been documented by anthropologists and studies of the human genome.
The virus under study, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), usually causes nothing more severe than cold sores around the mouth, says Curtis Brandt, a professor of medical microbiology and ophthalmology at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. Brandt is senior author of the study, now online in the journal PLOS ONE.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/10/virus-confirms-story-ancient-human-migration
What happens when you pour 1200F molten aluminum into an anthill? (by seidbords32)
I have to say my immediate response was to feel bad for the ants even though I have killed every one I ever found in my home.
It just seemed especially unfair to wipe out an entire colony all at once. but then I remembered E.O. Wilson’s remark that “If ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably end the world in a week” and thought ok, fuck it, pour some molten aluminum in there and let’s see what’s going on. What’s going on is quite amazing. You can skip forward quite a bit if you’re so inclined: it’s worth it.
Ant architecture is amazing. Ventilation shafts, flood control, groundwater access, nursery and farming annexes. Not bad for something with only 250,000 neurons in its brain.
Fraggles and Doozers still have ‘em beat, though.
After you finish being amazed by their subterranean skill, check out this video about leafcutter ants, the invention of farming and coevolution.
Maybe I should do a video about ants.
"And this is all, of course, based on whether you believe in evolution."
That’s Fox’s kicker at the end of a report about a new skull found in the Republic of Georgia that might bring about a simpler story about the evolutionary history of humans.