Archive for January, 2012
The Luminarie De Cagna is an imposing cathedral-like structure that was recently on display at the 2012 Light Festival in Ghent, Belgium.
The cell membrane is one of the most important components of a cell because it separates the interior from the environment and controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell. In a move that brings mankind another step closer to being able to create artificial life forms from scratch, chemists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Harvard University have created artificial self-assembling cell membranes using a novel chemical reaction. The chemists hope their creation will help shed light on the origins of life.
As the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms, the cell is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing. Although there are various theories – meteorites, deep-sea vents, lightning – there is still no scientific consensus regarding the origin of the first cell.
“We don’t understand this really fundamental step in our existence, which is how non-living matter went to living matter,” said Neal Devaraj, assistant professor of chemistry at UCSD. “So this is a really ripe area to try to understand what knowledge we lack about how that transition might have occurred. That could teach us a lot – even the basic chemical, biological principles that are necessary for life.”
A man in Dorset has been left mystified after tiny blue spheres fell from the sky into his garden.
Steve Hornsby from Bournemouth said the 3cm diameter balls came raining down late on Thursday afternoon during a hail storm.
He found about a dozen of the balls in his garden. He said: “[They're] difficult to pick up, I had to get a spoon and flick them into a jam jar.”
The Met Office said the jelly-like substance was “not meteorological”.
Mr Hornsby, a former aircraft engineer, said: “The sky went a really dark yellow colour.
“As I walked outside to go to the garage there was an instant hail storm for a few seconds and I thought, ‘what’s that in the grass’?”
Walking around his garden he found many more blue spheres were scattered across the grass.
He said: “The have an exterior shell with a softer inner but have no smell, aren’t sticky and do not melt.”
Mr Hornsby said he was keeping the balls in his fridge while he tried to find out what they were.
Josie Pegg, an applied science research assistant at Bournemouth University, speculated that the apparently strange phenomena might be “marine invertebrate eggs”.
“These have been implicated in previous ‘strange goo’ incidents,” she said. “I’d have thought it’s a little early for spawning but I suppose we’ve had a very mild winter.
“The transmission of eggs on birds’ feet is well documented and I guess if a bird was caught out in a storm this could be the cause.”
“Life is the sound of random noise organizing and evolving itself.”
Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network. Beautiful and sinister in equal measure.
Designer and illustrator Dan Beckemeyer created this wonderful exploration of anatomy by first illustrating a skeletal structure, then stitching a cardiovascular system, and finally adding hand-felted muscle mass. Beautiful work.
Illustrator Melissa Murillo (aka Meyoko) draws some of the most fantastically intricate images I’ve encountered. These two skulls utilizing the abstracted anatomy of insects.
Anacridium No. 1