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  • 10 Moments In The Disturbing History Of The Jim Crow Era – Listverse

    via 10 Moments In The Disturbing History Of The Jim Crow Era – Listverse

     

    The roots of American racism run deep. The country’s troubled history of infighting over the ideal that all men are created equal has often clashed with the harsh reality of life for people of color.

    Racial prejudice has always haunted the United States, and it continues in many corners of the country today. Although the conclusion of the US Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment abolished the institution of slavery, individual states remained free to write their own brutally racist laws (aka “Jim Crow laws”).

    Here are 10 disturbing facts about the Jim Crow era in the United States.

    Featured image credit: fastcompany.com

    10History Of Jim Crow

    Photo credit: blackpast.org

    The history of Jim Crow laws dates all the way back to the early 1800s when slavery was still legal in the United States. In Jump, Jim Crow, a bizarre stage show that debuted in 1828, Thomas Rice created what he and his audiences thought of as comedy. Rice painted his face black and performed with the supposed gestures and mannerisms of African Americans.

    Though stage actors had appeared in blackface before Rice, he popularized the genre in the 1830s and had a disgustingly cultish level of success with it. The name of the show came to represent the patently racist laws and practices that developed a century later.

    In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which carried an anti-racist, antislavery message and even featured a character called Jim Crow. In an ironic twist, Rice ended up performing in blackface in stage adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which were unfaithful to the novel and delivered a racist message that mocked African Americans.[1]

    9Slavery Outlawed

    After a long-drawn-out civil war, the federal government made slavery illegal in the United States on December 18, 1865. At that time, Secretary of State William Seward verified the ratification of the Thirteen Amendment to the US Constitution. At least three-quarters of the then 36 states had to vote in favor of ratifying the amendment to abolish slavery across the country.

    Twenty-seven states ratified by December 6, 1865. Five more voted in favor by the end of January 1866, and Texas assented in February 1870. However, three states held out until the 20th century. Delaware ratified the amendment in February 1901, Kentucky in March 1976, and Mississippi in February 2013.

    Mississippi had actually voted in favor of the amendment in March 1995. But they didn’t send the required paperwork to the National Archives to make it official until 2013 due to a clerical oversight.

    Today, many people do not realize that the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, mainly fought for the rights of blacks during and after the Civil War. Despite opposition from the Democrats, the Republicans passed the Thirteenth Amendment (outlawing slavery), the Fourteenth Amendment (giving blacks equal rights under the law), and the Fifteenth Amendment (giving blacks the right to vote).

    After the Thirteenth Amendment was formally ratified in 1865, there was a brief intermission in systemic racism. But it took less than 20 years before many Democrat-dominated state and local governments, primarily in the South, began enacting laws to mandate racial segregation. These came to be called “Jim Crow laws.”

    In this long, painful period of US history, slavery was officially abolished but overt racism at the hands of the law was not. The grim period of Jim Crow had begun.[2]

    8The Civil Rights Act Of 1875

    Believe it or not, a civil rights act existed in the United States way back in 1875. Cosponsored by two Republicans, the bill passed 162–99 in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and 38–26 in the Republican-controlled Senate. An impressive seven African-American representatives had debated in favor of passing the bill. On March 1, 1875, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law.[3]

    The act would have stopped Jim Crow laws by prohibiting racial segregation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the US Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional. Although the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, Congress did not have the authority to regulate private persons or corporations under the Fourteenth Amendment.

    Nevertheless, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 shows that many people in the 19th century wanted to abolish racial discrimination under the law.

    7Tennessee

    Photo credit: tn4me.org

    Tennessee didn’t even have a recovery period before its racist ways became law. As early as 1866, shortly after the end of the US Civil War, Tennessee passed its first Jim Crow law.

    Initially, the state created separate schools for white children and black children. In 1870, Tennessee banned interracial marriage. Then, in 1875, they legalized racial discrimination via private businesses, saying that hotels and other private enterprises could refuse service on the grounds of race.

    Shortly thereafter, the infamous “Whites Only” signs began appearing in front of many public establishments. The tragic fact of segregation had just become a reality for the people of Tennessee.[4]

    6Alabama

    Photo credit: jimcrow1930.weebly.com

    Alabama was another Southern state which almost immediately adopted Jim Crow laws after the end of the Civil War. In 1867, they banned interracial marriage. Fines ranged as high as $1,000, which was an exorbitant price to pay in those days.

    Several years later, the state passed a law that made black and white children attend separate schools. In 1891, with limited exceptions, railroads were required to have separate cars for black and white passengers.[5]

    As more laws were enacted, bus stations soon had separate waiting areas and ticket windows for black and white people. Bathrooms were segregated by skin color, and white female nurses weren’t allowed to tend to black male patients. It was even illegal for people of different races to play a game of pool together.

    51930s

    Photo credit: prezi.com

    The Jim Crow laws that segregated schools, businesses, railways, and more became increasingly oppressive and bizarre as time went on. By the 1930s, it seemed like anything that even implied that blacks and whites were equal was made illegal.

    Black men were not allowed to touch white women in any way without risking a charge of rape, even for common gestures as harmless as a handshake. A black man could not offer to light a cigarette for a white woman without being accused of making a romantic overture. This would also land black men in legal trouble.[6]

    Even after the Civil War and the freeing of the slaves, African Americans were still treated as second-class citizens.

    41940s

    Photo credit: americanhistory.si.edu

    Racial discrimination during the Jim Crow era wasn’t confined to the South in the United States. Many photos exist of signs from Northern states establishing their own segregation laws, disallowing whites and blacks from enjoying the same public accommodations.[7]

    Black people were not the only ones who experienced such discrimination. During World War II, Japanese Americans were segregated especially harshly.

    By the 1940s, it was illegal in Alabama for white and black people to play games together that involved dice, checkers, dominoes, or cards. It was also unlawful in some areas for white people to sell their homes to people of color, and these laws could be quite detailed.

    For instance, in some places, if a person had one-eighth or more of a nonwhite race in his lineage, he was considered to be a person of color. At less than one-eighth, he was considered to be white and was free to use the public accommodations available to white people.

    3The Change Of The 1950s

    Photo via Wikipedia

    In the 1950s, attitudes began to change. Support groups and organizations formed in the 1930s and 1940s openly pushed for an end to the Jim Crow era. The “separate but equal” decision of the US Supreme Court in 1896, which had permeated the Jim Crow laws, was growing stale.

    In 1955, another monumental act in US history would transpire—the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks. She refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, which was against the law at that time.

    Parks was arrested, which set the stage for massive social change. Many claim that the Jim Crow era ended in 1954. That year, in their Brown v. Board of Education decision, the US Supreme Court struck down the 1896 law that had permitted states to segregate public schools. Even so, segregation clearly continued for another decade.[8]

    2Civil Rights Of The 1960s

    The road to racial equality in the US had been paved by the movements of the 1950s. In turn, the 1960s drove political and racial turmoil across those avenues as equality was demanded and the push for a new civil rights act gained traction.

    Still, it was a slow process. Demonstrations and civil disobedience were nothing new. However, the culmination of all these movements occurred when groups like the Black Panthers and individuals such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. gained serious support from both black and white people across America.

    This caused widespread chaos. Race riots, massive protests, and general societal disarray became the dominant theme of the day.[9]

    1A New Civil Rights Act

    On August 28, 1963, approximately 250,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The goal was to achieve economic and civil rights for African Americans. At the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, where he told of his dream of a nation without racism and segregation.

    With the widespread desire for change, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was ripe to become law with massive backing. It called for the end of an era that had stained the fabric of American history. People are still alive who lived through the Jim Crow era. They remember when it was illegal—based on the color of your skin—to drink from certain water fountains or enter certain establishments.

    Finally, after nearly a century of cruel and bizarre laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Initially proposed by Democratic President John F. Kennedy, the first bill failed. Kennedy thought he had lined up enough support from both Democrats and Republicans, but passage was held up by Democrat Howard W. Smith, an ardent segregationist from Virginia.

    After Kennedy was assassinated, Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson used his skill to get the act passed. The main opposition came from the Democrats. Still, Johnson managed to rally enough Democrats and Republicans to vote for a compromise bill, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law on July 2, 1964.[10]

    It prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, as these had all been used to divide people throughout the United States’ tumultuous history. The act still stands as federal law today. Although racism may not be wholly defeated in the United States, it is clear in the eyes of the law that discrimination is an illegal practice that should be forcibly relegated to the dustbin of history.

     

     

  • 10 Moments In The History Of Anesthesia – Listverse

    via 10 Moments In The History Of Anesthesia – Listverse

    Our human ancestors didn’t have the luxury of modern medicine that we enjoy today. They had to deal with the raw pain of surgical procedures using nothing more than natural remedies and “cures” from old wives’ tales.

    No licensed practitioners administered anesthesia to make these patients completely numb or render them unconscious. Thus, plants and various concoctions had to suffice to aid the sick and possibly dying through the surgeries which were meant to save their lives.

    Although we have these medical tools at our disposal today, it took a lot of trial and error to get there. Here are 10 important moments in the history of anesthesia.

    10Ancient Anesthesia

    The tale of anesthesia and its rudimentary versions begins around 4000 BC when medical practices were also in their infancy. It makes absolute sense that the ancients, whose civilizations were appearing in and around what is now the Middle East, would turn to the opium poppy for its painkilling properties.

    Artifacts have shown that the opium poppy was used at least as far back as 4000 BC for dental surgery in an attempt to sedate the patient and reduce the agony of an extremely painful procedure. Thus, if you were fortunate enough to live in an area where these plants were abundant, you could get a good, strong dose of this painkiller before they began drilling your teeth with a bow drill.[1]

    9Beer

    Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

    Opium wasn’t the only substance available to relieve the pain of invasive surgeries. There was also beer.

    Believed to be up to 12,000 years old, beer may have been invented before bread. So it is very likely that beer served as the first way to treat discomfort in general and obviously the pain of surgery.

    In and around Sumeria, an ancient powerhouse of the beer-making world, plenty of people had access to enough of this beverage to get sufficiently drunk before surgery. Concoctions were often made with various plants and flowers. The analgesic properties helped to numb the pain and let people sit still long enough to successfully complete their surgeries.[2]

    8Henbane

    Photo credit: britannica.com

    Although henbane is a highly toxic plant with a light yellow flower, it has been used traditionally as a folk remedy to alleviate pain—from Babylon to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome.

    When smoked or applied directly to a wound, the plant isn’t poisonous. However, when eaten, it can lead to severe sickness and even death. The infamous belladonna was also used in and around the Mediterranean for the same purpose. This shows the desperation of the ancients for pain relief when they had no beer, wine, opium, or other intoxicating substances available.[3]

    7Modern Anesthesia

    Photo credit: Bodley library

    On Christmas Eve 1298, an Italian physician reached back for an old remedy to assist with his pain from surgery. His name was Theodoric of Lucca, and he had published many medical works, even about veterinary science, before finalizing his magnum opus, Surgery, in 1266.

    While his father, Hugh, had used opium to treat pain as well, Theodoric would soak sponges in opium and hold them under the nose of the patient as a means to administer the drug to the brain. That way, the patient could more fully feel the effects.

    Theodoric’s authorship was a turning point in the history of anesthesia that would begin to shape how the medical field dealt with patients’ pain. Although other surgeons had used opium dating back to at least 4000 BC, Theodoric canonized it in the medical literature.[4]

    6Ether

    In 1540, German botanist Valerius Cordus would synthesize ether, a clear liquid that emits a strong vapor. Ether is a highly flammable gas, which proved to be a serious problem for doctors trying to focus intently and carry out operations by candlelight.

    One wrong gust of wind, and the whole operating theater could go up in flames. Ether was a dangerous substance, but it was preferable to nothing in the eyes of many.

    Although Cordus was credited with the synthesis of ether, Paracelsus, a rebellious German-Swiss physician who rejected contemporary medicine and the traditional teachings of medical school, would study it further.[5] He noted that it rendered chickens unconscious.

    While testing ether on animals, Paracelsus also discovered that it had the analgesic properties that physicians and scientists of the day were trying to find. And just like that, both rudimentary medical chemistry and the hunt for the best anesthetic were born.

    5Nitrous Oxide

    Photo credit: Joseph Priestley

    Next time you find yourself in the dentist’s chair having a laugh after the good doctor administers nitrous oxide, feel free to thank a man born in England in 1733. Political theorist and scientist Joseph Priestly first identified the substance in 1772.

    His work, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, was written in a massive six-volume series as Priestly worked tirelessly at his studies. In all, he is said to have discovered 10 new gases. However, there is some controversy over whether he was the first to identify oxygen.

    In 1800, Humphry Davy conducted experiments by inhaling nitrous oxide himself and noting the way it made him laugh hysterically. He further explored its use for painless surgery on animals, though his work didn’t have much of an impact on the medical community of the day.

    About 20 years later, Samuel Cooley of America hurt himself while under the influence of the substance and noticed that he wasn’t in much pain, if any. And thus, nitrous oxide became a staple anesthetic for centuries to come.[6]

    4Chloroform

    Photo credit: Kevin King

    In 1831, an invention rocked the world of anesthesia. Chloroform was independently produced by Samuel Guthrie in the United States and Eugene Soubeiran in France. This chemical compound had a powerful narcotic effect which was capable of knocking people completely unconscious.

    On November 4, 1847, James Young Simpson was the first to put himself into a complete stupor, perhaps even rendering himself unconscious with it. Thus, chloroform as a means to help with major medical practices was born.

    The problem?

    At the time, chloroform killed about 1 in every 3,000 patients, making it medically unsafe. Of course, this didn’t stop anyone. It became a chic medical anesthetic in the Victorian era, with Queen Elizabeth even going so far as to be chloroformed during the birth of her son. From there, its use spread widely in the UK and America.[7]

    3Morphine

    Photo credit: Gaius Cornelius

    Morphine was first isolated in 1804 from opium and took considerable time to get off the ground. This was largely because the first tests of morphine on animals were almost invariably lethal. Later, Friedrich Wilhelm Serturner, the man who discovered morphine, used the substance on himself in smaller doses and found the results quite pleasant.

    After the invention of the hypodermic needle, morphine became a viable option in the treatment of pain and was produced commercially. It wasn’t long before the addictive properties of morphine were revealed, especially in former soldiers.

    Morphine addiction was nicknamed “the soldier’s disease,” and some restrictions were applied over the course of the late 1800s and early 1900s. But morphine was never wholly banned and is still used in medical practices today.[8]

    2Heroin

    Photo credit: Mpv_51

    It wasn’t until 1895 that the Bayer company of Germany finally released heroin to the market as a painkiller, though it was first synthesized from morphine in 1874. However, almost nothing was done with heroin for about 20 years until it was resynthesized by a man in Germany named Felix Hoffman.

    In approximately 25 years, the problems associated with heroin were realized. In the US alone, an estimated 200,000 people were already addicted to the drug. The United States banned it, long before many other drugs like cocaine and LSD became illegal.

    At that point, heroin use went largely underground and had its ebbs and flows in popularity. But it is still used illicitly to numb pain of all sorts, both physical and emotional.[9]

    1And Beyond

    Since the introduction of heroin, many more opioid drugs have been released on the market, creating what some would call an epidemic. We now have anesthetics that don’t stem from opium as a base, such as ketamine and many others.

    Anesthesiology is a complex science and field of study, with the continuing development of new drugs and careful consideration as to how best to alleviate pain. Although there are other options currently and the promise of better drugs in the future, products derived from the opium poppy have long remained the staple when it comes to pain relief and anesthesia for surgical procedures.

    Still, we should feel quite accomplished. Anesthesia mortality rates have dropped dramatically. As previously mentioned, chloroform killed 1 in every 3,000 patients in the 1800s. By the 1980s, the number of patients dying from anesthesia had declined to 1 in every 5,000 patients. By 1999, the death rate was more like 1 in 200,000–300,000.[10]

    The practice of anesthesia and thus surgery has become significantly safer over the centuries. Technological advancements have been made, and procedures are quite different. Still, we find ourselves largely doing what our ancestors did thousands of years ago to relieve surgical pain.

  • Top 10 Fascinating Discoveries Involving Fluorescence – Listverse

    via Top 10 Fascinating Discoveries Involving Fluorescence – Listverse

     

    There is more to luminescence than fireflies and glow-in-the-dark toys. Fluorescence, which is mostly absorbed light being released, is responsible for some of the most awe-inspiring natural spectacles and scientific discoveries.

    In recent years, glowing has shown up in strange places, in unexpected species, and in surprising ways that are invisible to the human eye. Even more intriguing, fluorescence is woven into several unsolved mysteries, can be seen from space, and might even be deadly to humans.

    10Bioluminescent Mushrooms

    Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

    It may be hard to believe that glowing mushrooms exist, but fluorescent fungi pop up all over Brazil and Vietnam. For years, the secret behind their glow could not be explained.

    To get to the bottom of this mystery, scientists collected a few in 2015. In the laboratory, the compound responsible for the bioluminescence was isolated. Called oxyluciferin, the chemical also exists in fireflies and glowing sea creatures.

    For the mushrooms, the glowing compound is used to attract insects. Once the bugs land, they pick up spores and scatter them elsewhere. This helps the mushrooms to spread.[1]

    Another question involved how the fungi produced luciferins. A closer look revealed that the mushrooms manufactured their own special luciferin and paired it with oxygen and an enzyme which resulted in fluorescent colors.

    The nature of the enzyme suggested that it could interact with other kinds of luciferins and trigger more shades that glow. This suggests that there is still a lot more to learn about these surreal-looking mushrooms.

    9Hazards Of Blue Light

    During the day, blue light emanating from electronics and energy-saving bulbs appears to have few drawbacks. On the other hand, researchers have discovered a frightening link between blue glow at night and deteriorating human health.

    Some of its daytime perks include more energy and alertness. When people relax with electronic devices in the evening, blue light radiates from screens and stimulates the brain. This disrupts proper sleep.

    It may sound like nothing. But studies have shown that people can become prediabetic when the sleep rhythm shifts. Links have also been made to obesity, heart disease, and cancer.[2]

    To be fair, scientists do not have solid proof that blue light directly causes these conditions. But it does lower melatonin levels. The lack of this hormone, which regulates the sleep cycle called the circadian rhythm, may be the link associating blue light with cancer, although the research is at an early stage.

    If it can be proven that blue wavelengths are deadly to humans, one environmental success needs to be overhauled. Fluorescent light bulbs and LED lights may be more energy efficient, but they produce more blue light than any other.

    8First Fluorescent Frogs

    Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

    In 2017, Argentinian researchers took a plain-looking frog home. The polka-dot tree frog is mostly green with red spots and, thus far, nothing to take the champagne out of the fridge for. Things changed when the amphibian was being prepared for tests, some of which called for its tissues to be studied under UV light.

    To everybody’s surprise, the instant that UV shined on the creature, the whole frog lit up. The blue-green fluorescence not only makes it the first glowing frog but also the first fluorescent amphibian in the world.

    This is quite an achievement because any glowing in land animals is incredibly rare. The frog’s radiance comes from compounds named hyloins. The benefits that hyloins offer this species are hazy, but they could have something to do with polka-dot frogs needing to see each other at night. The blue-green glow is visible to the frogs and also makes them brighter during twilight and the full Moon.[3]

    7Glowing Tides

    Photo credit: sdnews.com

    Sometimes, strange plants cause coastlines to light up with eerie streaks of light during the night. Most recently, in 2018, ghostly blue lines appeared in a spectacular display off Southern California when miles of coastline lit up.

    The algae responsible are called dinoflagellates, and they are plants capable of swimming. During the day, their dense numbers cloud the water red. Such an unusual bloom in their population is popularly known as a “red tide.”

    In the past, some red tides attracted the wrong kind of attention because they can make seafood toxic for human consumption. However, at night, dinoflagellates cause an otherworldly beauty that now brings tourists to the beach at night.

    At the chemical level, each plant has a protein and an enzyme. Any disturbance, like a wave or passing creature, mixes the two and causes the algae to become bioluminescent.[4]

    This reaction is not entirely understood, but it is likely a defensive measure. It could exist to flash zooplankton, the dinoflagellates’ main predator, into submission or glow to attract fish that prey on the plankton.

    6Flowers Have Blue Halos

    Photo credit: sciencemag.org

    Flower genes struggle to make petals that are blue, which is exactly the color that flowering plants want more than anything. The reason? Bees are attracted to blue, and flowers need the buzzing insects to complete their fertilization cycle.

    In 2017, scientists discovered how plants engineered a novel way to lure bees. Those that could not produce blue flowers evolved petals with nanostructures capable of glowing blue in sunlight.

    These halos are like neon signs to bees. The tiny reflective scales turned out to be a widespread tactic and were found in all major groups of flowering species that depend on insect pollination, including some trees.

    Although the general hue was blue, some plants also produced an ultraviolet scattering effect. It enhances bees’ ability to locate blue. The halos turned out to be a stronger attraction than the real thing. During trials, bumblebees ignored the actual colors of flowers and went straight for those with a blue fluorescence.[5]

    5Glowing Coral Solved

    Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

    Researchers figured out a long time ago why shallow-water corals glow. Their green light acts like a sunscreen against solar radiation. But scientists could not understand why sun-sheltered corals from the deep sea also emit fluorescent light.

    In 2017, the answer dawned. Deep corals don’t glow to avoid light but to get more. At such depths, life-giving light is not abundant. To survive, the corals must absorb as much as possible. However, the blue light at the bottom of the sea is not sufficient to give corals the energy they need.

    Impressively, the corals use red fluorescence to blend the blue into orange-red light. The latter allows better food production through photosynthesis.[6]

    This discovery may be exciting for scientists but not for environmentalists. Global warming causes mass bleaching of shallow corals, and a major hope was that some species might migrate to deeper waters. As shallow corals glow green, they may not adapt to deeper waters where survival requires a red fluorescence.

    4When Seabirds Shimmer

    Photo credit: National Geographic

    In 2018, biologists had a dead Atlantic puffin on their hands. As an afterthought, they decided to view it under UV light. The idea was to test for any glow because crested auklets, a species related to puffins, have fluorescent beaks.

    Under normal light, puffins’ beaks are very recognizable. They are decorated with colors likely meant to woo the opposite gender. Even though puffins have a glowing cousin, it was still unexpected when the cere and the lamella, two ridges on the dead specimen’s beak, fluoresced under the UV lamp.

    Scientists are not sure why puffins light up, but it might have something to do with their ability to see the UV spectrum. Even during the daytime, puffins notice each other’s glowing ridges. More mysteries include what it looks like to them and how they are capable of fluorescence in the first place.[7]

    As only one dead bird was tested, scientists still need to rule out the possibility that the glow was somehow caused by decomposition.

    3Mitochondria’s Strange Heat

    Photo credit: plos.org

    In recent years, scientists have created temperature-sensitive dyes called “fluorescent thermometers.” These dyes cling to specific targets inside cells, which made them perfect for an experiment designed to determine the heat of mitochondria. These tiny structures inside cells convert oxygen and nutrients into energy. This process also generates heat.

    In 2017, scientists used a yellow fluorescent dye that dims when heat intensifies. Once injected into cells, it can help to calculate temperature. Previously, it was assumed that mitochondria operated at normal body temperature, which averages 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 °F). The tests showed that mitochondria operate at a scorching 50 degrees Celsius (122 °F).

    If a person ever developed this kind of full-body temperature, it would be a life-threatening fever. Thankfully, the record for the hottest body temperature does not come close to the mitochondria’s fire. If this strange heat can be better understood, a lot of old notions about cell function—especially those related to temperature—could fall away.[8]

    2Photosynthesis From Space

    Photo credit: phys.org

    In 2017, Australian researchers and NASA developed a novel way to monitor climate change. They took breathtaking images from space showing plant fluorescence. The new technique could detect solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence, which is produced during photosynthesis in leaves.

    To make sugars from photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide. Understanding this cycle on a global scale is crucial for staying on top of the planet’s climate and carbon cycle dynamics.

    To start testing the idea, researchers used satellite monitoring to snap pictures of glowing chlorophyll. The levels were measured and compared for accuracy against ground observations about photosynthesis. The results showed that the space snaps delivered accurate information across different vegetation, regions, and time.

    The innovative technology is not just about following new plant growth and climate change. The fluorescent photos may also help us to better understand Earth’s ecosystem and carbon flows as well as land management and biodiversity conservation.[9]

    1First Photo Of A Memory

    Photo credit: NBC News

    During recent investigations into how memories are made, researchers chose to poke around the brain cells of a slug. The neurons of the ocean-crawling Aplysia californica make a good match for those of humans.

    For a long time, neuroscientists suspected that proteins form at brain synapses when long-term memories are created. Until the sea slug offered its brain, this theory was never proven.

    During the recent experiment, scientists first gave the cells the feel-good hormone serotonin which aids in memory formation. Then, a fluorescent protein was used, originally green but able to turn red under UV light.

    The test was as simple as it was successful. Under ultraviolet light, researchers watched proteins turn red and marked their positions. The neurons were then encouraged to form memories. Incredibly, while that happened, new green proteins grew between the brain cells. This allowed the first image to be taken of a memory being formed.[10]

    Besides proving the theory, it showed that short-term memories did not form new proteins. The exact role that the protein’s presence (or lack thereof) plays in the difference between short-term and long-term memories remains a mystery.