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Today I Learned

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Today I learned about Ching Shih Yi, the most successful female pirate in maritime history. She was a brilliant strategist who managed to retire at age 35 as royalty and whose pirate ships remained undefeated by imperial fleets from China, Portugal, and Great Britain. What a remarkable lady for her era.

 

 

Also, today I learned about May Annning, a 19th century fossil hunter responsible from several significant finds and how we understand fossils as evidence of extinct species of animals who lived several million years ago. She was another remarkable lady whom I'm now discovering.

Edited by DrmDoc

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Today I learned that the avocado, with its mildly toxic pit, may have coevolved with Pleistocene megafauna to be swallowed whole and excreted in their dung, ready to sprout. No extant native animal is large enough to effectively disperse avocado seeds in this fashion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocado#Coevolution

http://io9.gizmodo.com/this-ancient-giant-armadillo-is-responsible-for-giving-1677550637

Today I also learned that one of the animals that ate the avocado were the four-tusked elephants.

Those were elephant-like animals with four tusks!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gomphothere#Description

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Today I learned that the four-tusked elephant was an elephant-like animal with ...... damn I've forgotten. :)

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Today I learned that the four-tusked elephant was an elephant-like animal with ...... damn I've forgotten. :)

:) I know, I know!

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Today I learned that the four-tusked elephant was an elephant-like animal with ...... damn I've forgotten. :)

 

Horny hairs ;).

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Today I learned that the four-tusked elephant was an elephant-like animal with ...... damn I've forgotten. :)

 

Proper LOL

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Today I learned that the four-tusked elephant was an elephant-like animal with ...... damn I've forgotten. :)

Gompothere

 

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

 

surprise surprise a 4 tusked elephant like mammal did exist 😀

Edited by Mordred

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Today I learned there is a company that can supply DNA pieces( e.g., a gene) to your specification of a base pair sequence for about $50 US.

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Today I learned there is a company that can supply DNA pieces( e.g., a gene) to your specification of a base pair sequence for about $50 US.

 

Actually there are many, many companies who do that. Primers (short fragments of about 20 bps) have been around forever (now at the cost of few bucks) with all kinds of modifications that you might need. Longer fragments (up to ca. 3000 bp without additional cost for stitching) are also available, but I think the cost is closer to 0.2 cents per base, meaning that an average gene may cost more than ~100 bucks a piece.

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Today I learned about the various colors of urine and their potential medical implications. further, I learned about a condition called alkaptonuria, which is a disease that can render urine black when urine is exposed to air.

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Today I learned that a bottle nose dolphin's brain is 1.5 to 1.7 kg and is heavier than human's brain 1.3 to 1.5 kg.

But we all know which one is the more advanced species:

"Dolphins sometimes shows curiosity towards humans in or near water. Occasionally, they rescue injured divers by raising them to the surface. They also do this to help injured members of their own species."
"In November 2004, a dramatic report of dolphin intervention came from New Zealand. Four lifeguards, swimming 100 m (330 ft) off the coast near Whangarei, were approached by a shark (reportedly a great white shark). Bottle nose dolphins herded the swimmers together and surrounded them for 40 minutes, preventing the shark from attacking, as they slowly swam to shore."

 

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Today I learned that a bottle nose dolphin's brain is 1.5 to 1.7 kg and is heavier than human's brain 1.3 to 1.5 kg.

But we all know which one is the more advanced species:

 

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

 

Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

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“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

 

Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

The definitive reference. :)

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“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

 

Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

 

I've enjoyed that odd bit of British humor from the moment it first aired on PBS here in the states.

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Today I learned about the "read disturb" phenomenon associated with NAND flash storage devices.

 

https://www.flashmemorysummit.com/English/Collaterals/Proceedings/2015/20150812_FE22_Tressler.pdf

 

It was interesting to see Tressler's name pop up - he's a colleague of mine. I haven't worked "strongly" with him, but I've been in meetings with him from time to time.

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Our microbiome isn't restricted to our gut.

 

Perhaps; however, the video discusses the microbiome relationship between our gut and brain, which may have significant cognitive implications as observed through mice study. I invite your posts here regarding the significance of those human microbiome relationships elsewhere in the body.

Edited by DrmDoc

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Perhaps; however, the video discusses the microbiome relationship between our gut and brain, which may have significant cognitive implications as observed through mice study. I invite your posts here regarding the significance of those human microbiome relationships elsewhere in the body.

 

http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/blog/wash/

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Yeah, I think it's very well known that we are becoming a sterilized society where our lack of exposure to healthful microbes as children could adversely affect our immune system later on. I joyful played in the good ole Alabama dirt, worked in the fields, and tended a host of farm animals in my youth. Although I'm far removed from the Alabama clay and microbial exposure, I think the health benefits I derived were immense.

Edited by DrmDoc

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Today I learned about how our microbiome could potentially influence our brain health. It seems that the microbes in our gut can influence our brain chemistry thus affecting our mood and cognition. Much of the research has involved mice, which doesn't necessarily translate to human potentials but is interesting all the same.

Yes, it interests me. It's called the Gut-Brain Axis.

 

 

The relationship between gut flora and humans is not merely commensal (a non-harmful coexistence), but rather a mutualistic relationship.[7]:700 Human gut microorganisms benefit the host by collecting the energy from the fermentation of undigested carbohydrates and the subsequent absorption of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), acetate, butyrate, and propionate.[8][11] Intestinal bacteria also play a role in synthesizing vitamin B and vitamin K as well as metabolizing bile acids, sterols, and xenobiotics.[7][11] The systemic importance of the SCFAs and other compounds they produce are like hormones and the gut flora itself appears to function like an endocrine organ,[11] and dysregulation of the gut flora has been correlated with a host of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.[8][12]...

 

...In vertebrates, the enteric nervous system includes efferent neurons, afferent neurons, and interneurons, all of which make the enteric nervous system capable of carrying reflexes in the absence of CNS input. The sensory neurons report on mechanical and chemical conditions. Through intestinal muscles, the motor neurons control peristalsis and churning of intestinal contents. Other neurons control the secretion of enzymes. The enteric nervous system also makes use of more than 30 neurotransmitters, most of which are identical to the ones found in CNS, such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. More than 90% of the body's serotonin lies in the gut, as well as about 50% of the body's dopamine and the dual function of these neurotransmitters is an active part of gut-brain research.[14][15][16]

Edited by StringJunky

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Yes, it interests me. It's called the Gut-Brain Axis.

 

 

Although I was very well versed on the nature of our enteric nervous system, I wasn't as much on the contribution of microbes to that system and their potential mental health effects. Indeed, it's quite interesting.

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Although I was very well versed on the nature of our enteric nervous system, I wasn't as much on the contribution of microbes to that system and their potential mental health effects. Indeed, it's quite interesting.

The more you look into it the more you realise that 'we' are as much the bacteria we host as our bodies. When you think of the Earth, you think of everything in it and on it, as well as its geology; that's what people are: mini-Earths. That's how I see it.

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