Amazing Star Time-lapse Video

Check out this amazing video of a star outburst.  Watch as a giant dust ring expands and transforms.    We have discovered so much about the stars and have so much more to learn.  Being able to see and measure an event like this is truly amazing.

The star is called V838 Monocerotis, and more details can be found on it’s Wikipedia page.

Manipulating Mosquito Sex

MosquitoScientists have been able manipulate mosquito sperm such that they produce males 95% of the time.  Females mosquitos are the ones that bite and are the carriers of malaria.

In tests with wild mosquitoes, entire populations of mosquitoes were bred to death within several generations.  This result was achieved in 80% of tests.

Even if this break through is not perfect it would save millions of lives.   It is estimated that over half a million people die from malaria every year.

An important question is what would the down stream impacts of a world without mosquitoes be? Fish eat a lot of larvae and only about 100 of 3500 species of mosquito bite humans.

This is an interesting Nature article about what would happen if we made mosquitoes extinct.

Sources:

http://phys.org/news/2014-06-scientists-malaria-carrying-mosquitoes-lab-male-only.htm

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/

https://flic.kr/p/34mrZ

 

 

New Evidence Support Moon Formation

MoonFormationSimulationThe history of the moon is fascinating.   It used to trail the Earth before it crashed into the earth.  At least the is the predominant theory.   New analysis of rocks from the moon have shown further support for this idea as published in Science.

There will be many more posts about the moon including topics on tides, how life started, how it is slowing the earth down and moving away from us, and how it helped us discover the composition of the sun.

For more on moon formation, this article is great.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis#Theia

 

The Panda Ant isn’t an Ant

PandaAnt

 

Here at Sic Science we love ants.  How cool is this Panda Ant.  Doesn’t it look a little strange? Turns out it is not an ant at all but rather part of species of wingless wasps.  Yes, wingless wasps.  Which is interesting because ants are descendants of wasps.

Their sting is said to be strong enough to kill a cow, which is doubtful.  They apparently also make a squeal when stepped on.

Find out more on Wikipedia, because, you know, it works in practice just not in theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutillidae

 

 

 

Net Neutrality by John Oliver

Net Neutrality is back on the cards after the government was sued to bring it back.  Check out this funny video where John Oliver describes all the issues.

Some facts from the  video: Comcast spent $18 million on lobbying last year.  That is the second highest.  Obama plays golf with the CEO of Comcast.  Obama just appointed  a senior lobbyist as the chairman of the FCC.

John provides a link where you can comment to the FCC at  http://www.fcc.gov/comments and this issue currently has 45645 comments withing the last 30 days.

(Proceeding # 14-28 Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet)