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 Newton's Lawn: Science & Nature, Quadratic equations to bunny rabbits
Beezzi
 Posted: Jan 25 2016, 10:15 AM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




Finally a place to share theories on quantum particles and your photos of the lesser known purple tree sloth or just anything science or nature related in between.

Because science is served best when debated on the net. Really, if a Beast can do it....how hard can it be?

user posted image


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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Lycaon pictus
 Posted: Jan 25 2016, 09:47 PM
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Such a creative title! I love it.
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Beezzi
 Posted: Jan 26 2016, 03:46 PM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
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Thanks. smile.gif

That's three years worth of college journalism headline writing exercises right there...money well spent.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Lycaon pictus
 Posted: Jan 26 2016, 03:58 PM
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Well it's certainly a better creative effort than I could have put out...

Hey! You wanna come up with a title for my tumblr page? biggrin.gif jk

So, I wanted to talk about something before, but I think current events should take precedent.

Apparently, there's a rapper named B.o. B. who believes the Earth is flat, and there's a conspiracy to hide that fact. Famous science communicator and astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson tried to correct him. And today B.o.B. released a diss track about him.

http://gawker.com/b-o-b-just-started-a-rap...yson-1755122840

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/201...at-earth-theory

The world is wonderful place, filled with fantastic and mysterious things.
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Beezzi
 Posted: Jan 27 2016, 05:34 AM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




Yeah, it seems this is some new kinda trend in Twitter or something...get over by claiming the earth is flat? http://i.imgur.com/NpvpXRP.gif

Somewhere Pythagoras is drowning his sorrows in some seriously deadly Greek moonshine, while Galileo pats him on the back; "Just let it out bro. Let it all out..."


Also, recently scientists discovered why men lack "housekeeping" gene. On hearing this all women on the planet went: "No shit Sherlock."

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Lycaon pictus
 Posted: Jan 28 2016, 04:59 PM
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Another one of those tricksy headlines. Had me going for a second. (also, weird place to make a joke, since they state in the beginning that both men and women only have one functional X copy???)

But yeah, the Y chromosome is a mess. (see what I did there?)

Awful, disorganized, chromosomal biology lesson. Feel free to skip:

So, pretty much everything that makes a person a person is stored on the X chromosome (not really stored there since it's just a sex chromosome, but I mean in regards to fertilization. The bits that tell a blastocyst "make all these differentiated cells!" that's X). Because it's so important, a lot of the Y-linked genes are kinda sequestered over to the Y chromosome, so they don't mess with any of the important bits, or introduced male-linked genes to the X. As a result, over time the Y chromosome has gotten smaller and smaller, because (most of) the stuff left on it is just male things [insert long refresher of that day they talked about meiosis and mitosis in high school biology].

So you have these situations where women have 2 copies of the gene with the important stuff to make you a functional organism. However, that extra X is 'silenced', so you don't have overkill. Otherwise you'd have blueprints to make two organisms instead of just one. [insert long explanation about calico cats, and photos of cool pigmentation patterns that result from silent X's], but we have evidence that silent X's still serves some function, since sometimes a bad gene on one X is compensated for by an intact one on the other. It's also why males are sicklier (genetically speaking) and more prone to mental disturbances, because they only have one copy of Manual To Make A Functional Organism and females have two.

But again, it's really weird because like I said, that extra X is silenced. But it still performs some functions. http://i.imgur.com/NpvpXRP.gif

Life is weird. Sex chromosomes are also weird. They have a high rate of 'weirdness' [read here as having mutations/combinations that are not embryonic-lethal] because they are the only ones not essential for survival.
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Beezzi
 Posted: Jan 28 2016, 06:17 PM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




I think every science sub editor who saw "housekeeping" gene - did a little happy dance and phoned it in as an easy headline day.

After reading all that, I now have a greater appreciation for the X gene - which is why they weren't called Y-men. The whole silenced gene thing is just biologically "odd". We have it, but it just kinda sits there? I never knew that.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Lycaon pictus
 Posted: Jan 28 2016, 07:04 PM
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This NYT article does a much better job of explaining the "disappearing Y chromosome" phenomena than I did.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/science/...nd.html?_r=2&hp

QUOTE
Men, or at least male biologists, have long been alarmed that their tiny Y chromosome, once the same size as its buxom partner, the X, will continue to wither away until it simply vanishes...

The fear is not without serious basis: The Y and X chromosomes once shared some 800 genes in common, but now, after shedding genes furiously, the Y carries just 19 of its ancestral genes, as well as the male-determining gene that is its raison d’être. So much DNA has been lost that the chromosome is a fraction of its original size.

In people, sex is determined by a single gene that resides on the Y chromosome. Chromosomes come in pairs, with one set bequeathed by each parent, and the Y is paired with X such that men have an X-Y pair and women an X-X. When the male-determining gene first arose, some 320 million years ago, the X and Y were both full-length chromosomes, each bearing the same set of 1,000 or so genes.

The Y chromosome began its self-sacrificing downsizing in the gallant cause of protecting women. As is well known, the purpose of sex is to exchange DNA between the mother’s and father’s version of each gene, creating novel combinations that will help children adapt to a new environment better than their parents did. So before generating sperm and eggs, the two members of each pair of chromosomes line up side by side and swap large chunks of DNA.

But the male-determining gene on the Y cannot be allowed to sneak across onto the X because it would insert maleness where it should not be. So a no-swapping zone was created around the male-determining gene. That inhibitory zone was extended in five stages until it covered the whole of Y chromosome except its very tips.

Genes at the tips of the Y exchange DNA with the X in the usual way, but all those in between were condemned to a monklike existence. And being unable to innovate, most of these genes became first antiquated and then dispensable. The X chromosome now has 790 genes in its no-swap zone, according to best current estimates, but the Y retains a mere 19 of these original genes.

As the only part of the human genome that never passes through a woman’s body, the Y is the ideal refuge for male-favoring genes, especially those having to do with sperm production. Eight such genes have leapt onto the Y from other chromosomes, bringing its total score to 27. But these few additions have not allayed concern about the chromosome’s long-term viability.


One of the "big questions" in biology is why the Y chromosome is gettingsmaller and smaller. But new evidence suggests that it won't shrink forever, and that it just lost a lot of genetic info long ago, and will remain stable.

Personally? I hope it goes the way of the dodo. Let's determine sex like crocodiles do! With temperature!
Oh! Or like birds By the number of X chromosomes. Then we can have cool gynandromorphs like these!

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

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Beezzi
 Posted: Apr 14 2016, 09:49 AM
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Happy 10th Anniversary!
Posts: 2101




That bird still mucks with my head....

Since I've nearly exhausted Netflix's UK 's crime documentaries section (and needed a unicorn chaser) - I'm going through their science section - lots of dinosaurs so far.

Bigger than T-Rex was pretty good - not that in-depth, but still interesting. Sorry Spinosaurus, you're cute, but my heart belongs to Lesothosaurus.

Dinosaur 13, is great human story - not so much about dinosaurs really. More about the laws, practices and history that created an industry. No matter who you side with in the end, it does kinda kick you in the heart. I might need a unicorn chaser to recover from my unicorn chaser.

Sea monsters up next and then Brian Cox....

Unrelated, Zooniverse has put up some new projects. I spent an interesting 30 mins cataloguing fungi today. Although, the Science Gossip and Planet Hunter projects are still my preferred pass times.

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"I meditate and do yoga. I sit cross-legged and try not to levitate too much." - Jeremy Brett
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Fod_2K16
 Posted: Apr 14 2016, 02:35 PM
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Advanced Member
Posts: 5781




QUOTE (Lycaon pictus @ Jan 28 2016, 07:04 PM)
This NYT article does a much better job of explaining the "disappearing Y chromosome" phenomena than I did.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/science/...nd.html?_r=2&hp

QUOTE
Men, or at least male biologists, have long been alarmed that their tiny Y chromosome, once the same size as its buxom partner, the X, will continue to wither away until it simply vanishes...

The fear is not without serious basis: The Y and X chromosomes once shared some 800 genes in common, but now, after shedding genes furiously, the Y carries just 19 of its ancestral genes, as well as the male-determining gene that is its raison d’être. So much DNA has been lost that the chromosome is a fraction of its original size.

In people, sex is determined by a single gene that resides on the Y chromosome. Chromosomes come in pairs, with one set bequeathed by each parent, and the Y is paired with X such that men have an X-Y pair and women an X-X. When the male-determining gene first arose, some 320 million years ago, the X and Y were both full-length chromosomes, each bearing the same set of 1,000 or so genes.

The Y chromosome began its self-sacrificing downsizing in the gallant cause of protecting women. As is well known, the purpose of sex is to exchange DNA between the mother’s and father’s version of each gene, creating novel combinations that will help children adapt to a new environment better than their parents did. So before generating sperm and eggs, the two members of each pair of chromosomes line up side by side and swap large chunks of DNA.

But the male-determining gene on the Y cannot be allowed to sneak across onto the X because it would insert maleness where it should not be. So a no-swapping zone was created around the male-determining gene. That inhibitory zone was extended in five stages until it covered the whole of Y chromosome except its very tips.

Genes at the tips of the Y exchange DNA with the X in the usual way, but all those in between were condemned to a monklike existence. And being unable to innovate, most of these genes became first antiquated and then dispensable. The X chromosome now has 790 genes in its no-swap zone, according to best current estimates, but the Y retains a mere 19 of these original genes.

As the only part of the human genome that never passes through a woman’s body, the Y is the ideal refuge for male-favoring genes, especially those having to do with sperm production. Eight such genes have leapt onto the Y from other chromosomes, bringing its total score to 27. But these few additions have not allayed concern about the chromosome’s long-term viability.


One of the "big questions" in biology is why the Y chromosome is gettingsmaller and smaller. But new evidence suggests that it won't shrink forever, and that it just lost a lot of genetic info long ago, and will remain stable.

Personally? I hope it goes the way of the dodo. Let's determine sex like crocodiles do! With temperature!
Oh! Or like birds By the number of X chromosomes. Then we can have cool gynandromorphs like these!

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image


Gladly agree.

The only purpose for the Y-Chromosome is for sexual reproduction. The majority of life forms don't reproduce via sex. They've found other ways.

This is why I loved the ending to Brian K. Vaughan's Y: The Last Man. It ties into your post regarding the disappearing Y-Chromosome perfectly.

No spoilers about the ending here. I recommend reading it.

Very interesting article and posts. Yes, I actually read all of the material posted.

Question @ LP: is there a plural for Bacteria? Like Bacterias?

Because when I said Bacteria evolve I meant over time. A single organism, including a single bacteria, cannot evolve on its own. Evolution takes place in between generations. As far as I am aware, reproduction is evolution.

The offspring is the product, or "mutation," of the genetic material of two organisms.

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