Jump to content

Today I Learned


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 604
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Today I learned that skills improved by participating here on scienceforums can, at least in some minor way, be helpful in the current virus situation. I joined a local initiative where students study

I found out you can be superstitious, but not a little bit stitious.

Today I learned that you only need 39 digits of π to calculate the circumference of the observable universe with a precision of one atom.

Posted Images

Today I learned that the surface tension of mercury can overcome the force of Earths gravity and form almost perfect spheres when small enough instead of flattened out blobs when theyre larger:
 

 

Edited by koti
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
46 minutes ago, Ghideon said:

Today I learned the term aphophenia: seeing significance and meaning where there is none. It has interesting examples in for instance finance and statistics that I did not know had this common term.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum today I learned the term callipygous, which will allow me to comment on my wife's friend's figure without her knowing what in the hell I'm talking about.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/callipygous

Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned about Bufflehead Ducks from a friend of mine. It’s a small duck I had never heard of, much less seen. He said they apparently come down to Virginia's eastern shore from the arctic region during the winter. He said he had been watching a small group of about a dozen or so feeding in the water, that most all of them would dive under at the same time to feed except for one who apparently acted as a lookout. 

Edited by Cynic
Link to post
Share on other sites

Today (well, a few days ago) I learned that, in the observable universe, a quarter of the volume in cubic meters corresponds to the amount of particles with mass: 10^80

I assume it would look something like this as an equation:  0.25 * V = P

If this is wrong, blame google 😁

Edited by QuantumT
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cynic said:

I learned about Bufflehead Ducks from a friend of mine. It’s a small duck I had never heard of, much less seen. He said they apparently come down to Virginia's eastern shore from the arctic region during the winter. He said he had been watching a small group of about a dozen or so feeding in the water, that most all of them would dive under at the same time to feed except for one who apparently acted as a lookout. 

I recently learned about Muscovy ducks. We were trying to figure out what to do about the flies that gather around our chicken coop and were told about the Muscovy's, which are excellent at catching and eating flies!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zapatos said:

I recently learned about Muscovy ducks. We were trying to figure out what to do about the flies that gather around our chicken coop and were told about the Muscovy's, which are excellent at catching and eating flies!

They eat mice too apparently but they can also fly. They are slow growers, relatively poor egg layers and arten't the best meat birds.

 

Edited by StringJunky
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Today I learned that skills improved by participating here on scienceforums can, at least in some minor way, be helpful in the current virus situation. I joined a local initiative where students studying from home can ask about math and physics. Debating science here has made me more confident regarding mainstream science and how to respond with useful hints (instead of solutions) to homework questions. 

 

Edited by Ghideon
grammar
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Today I learned that the song Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega was the first song converted to MP3:

Quote

The song "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega was the first song used by Karlheinz Brandenburg to develop the MP3. Brandenburg adopted the song for testing purposes, listening to it again and again each time refining the scheme, making sure it did not adversely affect the subtlety of Vega's voice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

-Today I've learnt about: Einzel lenses and viral load in aerosols.

Indebted to: Swansont

-Today I've learnt about: colour-entangled W states

Indebted to: Studiot

-Today I've learnt more details about: quaternary-structure protein dymers and palindromic character of RNA sequences

Indebted to: Dagl1 and CharonY

-Today I've learnt about: Intricacies related to atmospheric CO_2 absorption by weathering at the Himalayas

Indebted to: Area54 and Studiot

-Today I've learnt about: phenomenological/heuristic aspects of cosmology in general

Indebted to: Mordred

-Today I've learnt about: geons

Indebted to Strange

There's quite a bunch of 'todays' there. And I'm still learning. And counting...

Edited by joigus
mispelled 'Swansont' and forgot Strange
Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I learned that not only do cells incorporate retroviral RNA and pass it on, but they can exploit the retroviral genes for various functions. There is one that is essential for creating long-term memory and has been tamed, to produce virus like particles synapses. This allows one neuron to control protein synthesis in another neuron at the opposite side of its synapses.

But also, some viruses have developed from retrotransposons (DNA sequences that can copy themselves around the genome). And retrotransposons have come from retroviruses. 

Forget that "tree of life" nonsense.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Strange said:

Today I learned that not only do cells incorporate retroviral RNA and pass it on, but they can exploit the retroviral genes for various functions. There is one that is essential for creating long-term memory and has been tamed, to produce virus like particles synapses. This allows one neuron to control protein synthesis in another neuron at the opposite side of its synapses.

But also, some viruses have developed from retrotransposons (DNA sequences that can copy themselves around the genome). And retrotransposons have come from retroviruses. 

Forget that "tree of life" nonsense.

 

that seems interesting but it goes far over my head. Could you expand about your "Forget that "tree of life" nonsense."?

Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

that seems interesting but it goes far over my head. Could you expand about your "Forget that "tree of life" nonsense."?

It was a bit of hyperbole. But it is common to present the evolution of species from as a tree structure with each species branching from common ancestors. This picture is complicated because as well as this "vertical" transfer of genes from generation to generation, there is also "horizontal" transfer between individuals of different species. This is, maybe, more common among bacteria and other single celled organisms (and even viruses) but it happens at all levels. So we have genes we have acquired from viruses. Which they may have got from some other organism they infected in the past.

And, in some cases, those genes have really important functions.

And then there are higher level borrowings, like chloroplasts in plants and mitochondria in animals that probably originated as separate organisms that became symbionts and then fully part of the organism.

So it is not a tree of life, but a complex graph or network.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Strange said:

It was a bit of hyperbole. But it is common to present the evolution of species from as a tree structure with each species branching from common ancestors. This picture is complicated because as well as this "vertical" transfer of genes from generation to generation, there is also "horizontal" transfer between individuals of different species. This is, maybe, more common among bacteria and other single celled organisms (and even viruses) but it happens at all levels. So we have genes we have acquired from viruses. Which they may have got from some other organism they infected in the past.

And, in some cases, those genes have really important functions.

And then there are higher level borrowings, like chloroplasts in plants and mitochondria in animals that probably originated as separate organisms that became symbionts and then fully part of the organism.

So it is not a tree of life, but a complex graph or network.

I think that goes a bit far. Horizontal gene transfer does indeed make certain things complicated, but there are conserved elements that can be used to re-create relationships somewhat reliably, even among prokaryotes. The issue is only there if you want to figure the history of a specific locus, rather than that of the whole organism. I.e. you can still construct neat (i.e. reconstruct relationship) if you want.

The part that is probably the most problematic ones are likely the transition to eukaryotes. The high likelihood of endosymptiotic events makes their history quite messy at that point.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.