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Submitted by bpmccarthy on Sun, 12/01/2019 - 18:19

Proteins are classified by four levels of structure. The primary structure of a protein is the sequence of amino acids which make up the protein. The protein's secondary structure involves two configurations within the protein. These are referred to as alpha-helices (α helices) and beta-sheets (β-sheets). These are two ways that proteins organize themselves that contribute to their spatial arrangement and three-dimensional shape, which is their tertiary structure. A protein's quaternary structure is the arrangement and number of polypeptide chains within a protein, and therefore only exists if there is more than one polypeptide chain present in the protein. Protein structure is largely determined by intramolecular interactions, as well as the protein's function and where it will be located when it does its job. Proteins generally have a hydrophilic exterior and a hydrophobic interior, due to its environment in the cell containing a lot of water. These interactions help to hold the protein together, otherwise a hydrophobic exterior would denature the protein. By analyzing these aspects of a protein, we can begin to deduce how the protein might function.

Ants PP

Submitted by ekirchner on Sat, 11/30/2019 - 13:21

The activity of P. occidentalis, harvester ants, has been shown to enrich soil nutrients around their mounds due to the ants’ movement of particles from soil nearby. The rudimentary soil composition in certain areas has also influenced the density and variation of ant populations2  present in that environment. In our experiment, the effects of salinity on the harvester ants burrowing behaviors were tested. 

Hypothesis: The ants will burrow more in the sand where the salinity is lower.

Half of an ant farm was filled with regular, untouched sand, while the other half was filled with sand where the salinity was manipulated to be that of seawater (35 ppt). Eight ants were added to the farm and left to burrow for 6 days, while every few days their food and water were restocked. The burrowing  length results and general observations were recorded and the Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyze the results. 

Hummingbird genetic basics

Submitted by rbudnick on Fri, 11/29/2019 - 23:35

The trigger that tells the hummingbird how to build a nest is some genetically linked mechanism that has been filtered and passed down through the generations. This mechanism (behavior) has likely been perfected throughout these generations so that the hummingbird automatically knows- or senses- when the nest is correctly made. The four things that Darwin noticed are as follows: “every organism produces more seeds or offspring than will actually survive to adulthood”, “there is variation among these seeds or offspring”, “traits are passed down from one generation to the next”, and “in each generation the survivors succeed- that is, they survive- because they possess some advantage over the ones that don’t succeed, and because they survive, they will pass that advantage on to the next generation. Over time, therefore, the incidence of that trait will increase in the population.” While these traits are perfected and fixed, diversity still must be maintained When two unrelated parents combine genes through their gametes, an unlimited number of genetic combinations happens. Through this process, every offspring produced will have a different combination of these genes till the entire community is individually diverse. Fitness for whatever environment or situation and organism is in cannot be obtained if the best (most fit) genes do not get passed on to the next generation.


Submitted by damianszyk on Fri, 11/29/2019 - 19:24

The Namib Desert beetle from southwestern Africa harvests its water from fog. The beetle lets drops of fog accumulate on his body and drip down his wing case into his mouth. There are a few factors needed for the beetle to be able to catch these droplets on their body. If the surface of the body was lubricated, water droplets were less likely to stick. Texture of the body surface also plays a role in catching these droplets. With this knowledge researchers are trying to figure out ways to refill empty bottles with water from the air, just like these beetles do. First, researchers have to manipulate the properties the beetle has to be able to do this. With these materials, this would be how researchers would be able to design a water collection device that could catch water from the wind.

thanksgiving PP

Submitted by mlabib on Thu, 11/28/2019 - 23:59

The tobacco industry also lobbies and hijacks legislative processes, to make sure they will not be at risk of getting sued by any buyer. The industries uses front groups  to gain access to policy makers and provide ready to use legislative proposals, causing them barely any issues with the law. In an example in 2017, the United Kingdom Fraud Office opened an investigation to British American Tobacco involvement in bribing policymakers in at least 4 African Countries; Burundi, Comoros, Kenya and Rwandaonce these legislations are passed, the industry may or may not disobey the rules, in the illicit cigarette trade, through illegal channels, but it is hard to confirm this.. Lastly, they manipulate public relations to make buyers think that they are good Samaritans by thinking about society, when really they only care about what is entering the company’s pocket. For example, when new tobacco control policies are on the agenda, the image of a good “corporate citizen” redirects attention away from the dire consequences of smoking



Submitted by asalamon on Wed, 11/27/2019 - 08:09

Osteology, the study of bones, is often used in both a forensic and bioarcheology contect.  One key area of study in osteoolgy is the trama a person suffered from throughout their life.  Because osteology only deals with bones, there are likely some sufferings that go missed during this analysis.  For example, if a person was stabbed but the knife did not come in contact with any bones, this trauma would be missed in osteologic analysis of the individual.  Traumas to bones can be identified in three different timing ranges, premortem, perimortem or postmortem.  Premortem traumas occur before the person died.  These traumas would often show signs of healing the the rough formation of bony tissue to heal the bone or the smoothing of this tissue indicating the injury had time to heal properly before the individual died.  Traumas that occur perimortem, at the time of death, show no signs of healing.  One type of trauma that can only occur perimotem is a hinge fracture.  Postmortem traumas vary in their appearance with how long the bones have been exposed to the elements.  Breaks in the bone will often appear lighter than the rest of the bone and depending how dry the bones are will look like the bone shattered.

perfect paragraph november 21

Submitted by mlabib on Fri, 11/22/2019 - 21:58

Copper hospital beds kill bacteria. A new study has found that copper hospital beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) harbored an average of 95 percent fewer bacteria than conventional hospital beds, and maintained these low-risk levels throughout patients' stay in hospital. In the United States, hospital beds are the 8th leading cause of death. This is not okay! The hospital should be a safe place to go when someone is already sick, not a place to receive more bacterias and infections. They are among the most contaminated surfaces in medical settings.  This idea came from ancient Ayurveda, when drinking water was often stored in copper vessels to prevent illness. Additionally, copper has been previously studied to have antimicrobial properties. 

This idea is new and is still being studied. To conduct an experiment for this, you need a control group, and a experimental group. Ex: comparing plastic beds with copper beds. Nearly 90 percent of the bacterial samples taken from the tops of the plastic rails had concentrations of bacteria that exceed levels considered safeAlthough these are not yet on the market, and will be costly, this will be beneficial for the future of our healthcare industry and microbe control.

Eastern vs Western Medicine

Submitted by imadjidov on Fri, 11/22/2019 - 20:12

Medicine is one of the most ancient sciences. Another idea I learned is that there is big difference between Eastern and Western medicine. This may be due to the fact that Western and Eastern medicine developed at different times and separately from each other, so they are radically different. This is again shown from the views of Lees and Lia's doctors. First difference I found was that the doctor focused on studying the causes of various pathological conditions in the human body. Basically, he aimed more at eliminating the consequences of diseases. Lia’s family viewed the world through that of Eastern medicine. Such that, Eastern doctors are more focused on the person as a whole and the body's ability to counteract pathogens. Medicine in the east is more focused on the prevention of diseases than on the fight against them. Furthermore, Lia’s family share a whole separate philosophy. Their view of medicine takes into account such concepts as energy, spirit. While the western doctor approaches medicine through dry scientific approach. Fadiman suggests that this differences in medical practice, belief, and inability to communicate were the failures that lead to the death of Lia.

Weakly electric fish 1 PP

Submitted by semans on Fri, 11/22/2019 - 13:33

Chirp structure and EOD frequency are sexually dimorphic to different extents across wave-type species. In Apteronotids, males often have lower EOD frequency than females but EOD frequency chirping can be sexually dimorphic in a number of different ways (Smith 2013, 2422; Ho et al. 2013, 335; Ho et al. 2010, 1050). For example, A. albifrons males have lower EOD frequencies than females while A. leptorhynchus males have a higher EOD frequency than females (Smith 2013, 2422). Additionally, in A. leptorhynchus, males chirp more than females but their chirp complexity is similar while in A. bonapartii and A. devenanzii chirp complexity and not chirp rate is higher in males than in females (Smith 2013, 2428; Ho et al. 2010, 1059). Another Apteronotid, Sternarchogiton nattereri, shows no sexual dimorphism, as males and females show no discernible difference in EOD frequency, chirp rate, or chirp form (Ho et al. 2013,337). Instead, S. nattereri shows differences in EOD frequency that are dependent on male morphology, as toothed males show higher EOD frequency than toothless males (Fernandes et al. 2010, 660). In the wave-type Gymnotiform Gymnotus omarorum, and unlike in many of the aforementioned wave-type Apteronotids, electric signalling is sexually monomorphic (Batista et al. 2012, 398). Such sexually monomorphic electrocommunicative behaviour has also been observed in other non-Apteronotid genera such Eigenmannia and Sternopygus (Smith 2013, 2422).


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