Sometimes, against a uniform, bright background such as a clear sky or a blank computer screen, you might see things floating across your field of vision. What are these moving objects, and how are you seeing them? Michael Mauser explains the visual phenomenon that is floaters.
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Biology and the gap with medicine is a curve that is leaving medical treatment in the ditch. The advancement of microbiology and cellular genetics has unfolded faster than anticipated but it has not been translated into advancement in medical treatment.
In other words we have a base of knowledge from cutting edge scientist, but no one to take the information and use it to make us healthier
Biology and the gap with medicine will only be narrowed by a commitment to train the next generation in cross over fields to make medicine work on the molecular level.
The art of science is spectacular and beautiful. It is seen in this gamma ray burst from an artist perspective.
There are many other beautiful forms of art in science, from the stalagmites in a cave to the images captured by the Hubble Telescope to the intricacies of a micro virus under a microscope. The art of science is glorious in its diversity.
Tycho Brahe used the concept of a parallax to figure out whether a star that suddenly appeared in the sky in 1572 was close to Earth or much farther away. He thought that if he looked at the star’s position at one time, and checked it again twelve hours later he could find out whether or not the star was close.
This method worked because the planet rotates 180 degrees every twelve hours. Tycho figured that if the star moved among the other background stars, it would mean that it was very close to Earth.
However, the star did not visibly move so he concluded that the star must be very far away from Earth.
TYCHO BRAHE & KEPLER – Art Print – Medium – 28x35cm
Aristarchus believed that the Sun was the very center of the universe. He formed the earliest known Heliocentric Cosmology to explain the retrograde motion of the planets. He proposed that the Earth and all the planets revolve around the Sun, which is then the center of the Universe. His cosmology explained the retrograde motion more simply than geocentric cosmology. In heliocentric cosmology the retrograde motion of the planets happens when Earth overtakes them in its own orbit. Aristarchus’ heliocentric cosmology is not quite right however, because the stars do not orbit the Sun. The Sun, and all of the planets and moons orbiting it actually orbit the center of our galaxy.
Aristarchus of Samos: The Ancient Copernicus (Dover Books on Astronomy)
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Nabta was an ancient structure that was built in the eqyptian desert. It is said to have been built at least
6,000 years ago (different sources say anywhere from 6,000 to 11,000 years) which would mean that
it is even older than Stonehenge. It was built to predict the summer solstice and other astronomical
events. One of the first examples of an astronomical calendar, it was made up of a 4 meter circle of flat
stones with four pairs of tall thin stones set directly across from each other, creating two windows on
the horizon. Some of the stones still remain standing next to a basin, or playa that was once a shallow
The Zhou bi suan jing is a ancient collection of Chinese writings about astronomy and mathematics. It was started during the Zhou dynasty which began in the 11th century B.C., but astronomers continued to add to and change it all the way into the Han dynasty(2nd century B.C. ). It includes their measurements of the night skies, and also calculations for their calendar. During that time it was the job of royal astronomers to find organization and order in the stars, because if anything on earth or in the sky was not in order it was seen as a sign that the Emperor had failed in some way.
ZHOU BI SUAN JING
ZHOU BI SUAN JING
Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China: The ‘Zhou Bi Suan Jing’ (Needham Research Institute Studies)
Some people are very scared of DNA sequencing and the possible ethical problems that could arise. I agree that there are some applications for misuse of DNA sequencing that could lead to an increase in selective births or abortions based on pre-natal sequencing. It is also possible that DNA sequencing could be used to choose to euthanize the elderly or disabled based on cost analysis of the potential risks of disease and the cost of treatment of those diseases. I urge our society to fight hard against those who have a utilitarian view of life and the value of an individual’s life is only computed based on its impact on the group as a whole. However, all of these worst case scenarios are not the basis on which we should choose to support DNA sequencing. In the past people warned that pursuing organ transplant would lead to full blown black market of body parts and mass killing of the poor and under privileged. We have seen cases of that but our society is still outraged and those guilty of such crimes are apprehended and prosecuted for their heinous crimes. The same can be true for almost any advancement in technology or science that it can be used for evil if society as a whole doesn’t prevent it.
DNA Sequencing Benefits
Writing an article on a scientific subject is not supposed to take a personal theme, but I am the father of two special needs children who have both had genetic defects detected by genetic testing made possible by DNA sequencing. The sequencing has resulted in more and more fine tuned testing for abnormalities in the DNA structure. At this point this has not resulted in the detection of a cure for my children’s handicap, but it has allowed scientist and researchers to begin studying and testing for possible cures. Without the human genome project this would have never been possible and now my family has some hope in the future of identifying a treatment or even a cure for something that has been incredibly debilitating.
The same thing is true not just for what we consider birth defects, but also for disease. It is possible that cancer, stroke, and heart disease are linked to genetic structure and this research may someday result in significant headway in the battle against the diseases that are the leading cause of death in the beginning of the twenty first century.
DNA sequencing works to show the order of the nucleotide bases—adenine, , cytosine,guanine, and thymine—in the molecules of DNA. The illustration above shows that as the bases come off the slide the light signs through them and they are identified by how the light is refracted by each base thereby identifying the dna sequencing.
The history or sequencing dna goes back quite a way. In the beginning stages many people feared what the uses of identifying dna sequencing. Some conservatives stirred up the idea that dna sequencing was backed by the nazis and others and would lead to all kinds of horrific experimentation and elimination of certain people. There are possible unethical uses of almost any science and dna sequencing is no exception. However, the history of the search for understanding our dna has led to some enormously helpful information in understanding and treating disease.
Benefits of DNA Sequencing
As the father of special needs children I have already seen the personal benefit of DNA sequencing. Two of my children have had a serious genetic anomaly identified and are currently in a study to determine the connection between the DNA abnormality and their disabilities. This study was only mad possible in 2010 and prior to that they had not identified the chain that would be “normal” in order to determine the abnormality in one of the chromosomes of my children. I also have a severely disabled nephew for whom I am hoping that dna testing made possible by DNA sequencing could reveal the source of his continued disability.
Another benefit of DNA sequencing is not just diagnosis of disease, but also treatment. Currently they are able to work on more and more specific drugs and someday in the near future DNA sequencing may result in custom drugs that are manufactured for each individual which would have a serious impact on the side effects caused by mass produced drugs for a global market.