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Forum Science Consensus
Old 03-07-2014, 02:28 AM
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Default Forum Science Consensus

I've considered making some sort of general science thread for quite some time, but I always ended up not posting one because I felt there was a real lack of interest in the sciences whether it be physical, natural, applied, or even social sciences.

But perhaps it's wiser to gain a better understanding of the forum's ability to discuss them. So basically, I'm asking you to provide an input describing your level of knowledge of certain sciences (which I hope you can specify) and your interest in it.

I'd also prefer everyone stick to answering my questions or commenting on someone's post.

With that out of the way I guess I'll start:

I'm currently an undergraduate student majoring in biochemistry, which can be described as the chemistry of the molecules residing within living organisms. As a biochemistry major, I am required to also take courses in biology and general chemistry as prerequisites. As such, I also carry a basic understanding of both subjects.

My level of understanding of physics is quite superficial. My physics course was taught in two semesters with the first semester focusing on classical mechanics and thermodynamics (motion and energy). The second semester focused on electromagnetism and waves. I can somewhat confidently say my knowledge of first semester topics is decent at best.

I also hate math, but I am fairly competent at what I have learned and can apply basic calculus to derive equations for use in other sciences.

In terms of interest, mine is quite high (hence why I'm posting this). I initially gained interest studying chemistry in high school.

Last edited by Lumy; 03-07-2014 at 02:39 AM.
Old 03-07-2014, 02:37 AM
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Currently taking AP Biology and AP Chemistry at my high school so I have a decent general knowledge of both subjects. I understand some aspects of psychology too.

I want to study chemistry in college so that's what I'm most interested in discussing.

This has potential to be a good thread. There's a lot to discuss on science-related news.
Old 03-07-2014, 02:56 AM
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I took AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, and AP Physics in high school. (I earned a 4/5 on the Physics exam but earned the full 5 on the others.)

I took upper level physics and calculus classes in freshman year of college. In my sophomore year, I took statistics and psychology.

I've had an interest in marine biology, zoology, astronomy, and paleontology for all my life if that's worth anything.
Old 03-07-2014, 03:00 AM
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I've had an interest in marine biology, zoology, astronomy, and paleontology for all my life if that's worth anything.
Totally worth the post.

Actually, speaking of astronomy and biology, a fellow colleague of mine recently took an interest in astrobiology and the whole idea of being able to engineer plants that could grow on Mars. It's something I thought sounded cool.
Old 03-07-2014, 03:09 AM
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I don't really actively study any natural sciences aside from one last required chemistry class I'm taking this semester (I had enough credits from high school APs to get out of most required natural science classes). It's not so much that I don't think they're interesting (well, aside from Biology which simply doesn't interest me at all) as much as it is the fact that I'd rather devote my studies to other topics. As such, I have an interest in them as a casual observer, so perhaps I'll find some discussion here interesting.

oh and i'm majoring in cs so maybe i'd be willing to talk about computer science too though i generally don't find discussions on that topic to be something i enjoy much, but maybe someone will be able to change my mind. who knows.
Old 03-07-2014, 03:12 AM
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Actually, speaking of astronomy and biology, a fellow colleague of mine recently took an interest in astrobiology and the whole idea of being able to engineer plants that could grow on Mars. It's something I thought sounded cool.
The idea of terraforming is pretty awesome, although there's some ethical debate over it. Are we obligated to improve the human race's chances of survival by terraforming planets/moons, or would we be interfering too much with nature?
Old 03-07-2014, 03:22 AM
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Are we obligated to improve the human race's chances of survival by terraforming planets/moons, or would we be interfering too much with nature?
Yes, that's certainly an important question to consider if we ever do get to that kind of position. On our own planet, we face way too many environmental problems, many of which carry uncertainty in our ability to reconcile with them. And by environmental, I mean our basic surroundings, which also includes the air and matter in our living spaces.

Being able to terraform other planets could potentially help with issues concerning our viability to live on this planet, serving a very practical purpose.
Old 03-07-2014, 03:29 AM
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Actually, speaking of astronomy and biology, a fellow colleague of mine recently took an interest in astrobiology and the whole idea of being able to engineer plants that could grow on Mars. It's something I thought sounded cool.
That IS interesting.

The thin, dry atmosphere and dust storms would be an issue but maybe at the equator something could survive.

Which reminds me, the llareta (pic below) would probably be the prime candidate for a Martian plant.



Native to the South American Atacama desert, it is capable of growing at high altitudes in one of the driest places on Earth. It grows slowly and some plants are estimated to be 3000 years old.

It also looks cute/cool.
Old 03-07-2014, 04:23 AM
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I love science but i dont like the classes my school offers for the subject. I took an astronomy class expecting to talk about how cool space is but it ended up being primarily learning how to measure very very long distances for 12 weeks.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:28 AM
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I'm a level 10 Scientologist, does that count? 5 more levels and I get to meet the guy who mows the lawn of Tom Cruise's personal car washer.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:12 AM
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It also looks cute

Heh... yup :I

In any case, I am hoping there are people who are interested in learning despite having no real understanding of much of the subjects already brought up.
Old 03-07-2014, 09:46 AM
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I am currently studying computer science. This means learning about programming/software development as well as hardware and telecommunications, all of them requiring maths. In fact, for the first two semesters 4/10 lessons are maths.

Greece has a different education system. For the last two years in high school, we are required to choose one of three directions, theoretical, exact sciences and applied sciences. I chose exact sciences for my second year but switched to applied sciences for my last. This means I learned calculus and integrals, classical physics(Newton, thermodynamics etc.), non organic chemistry as well as basic programming and this sh**** lesson called bussiness management.
Aside from directions, the lessons everyone has to have include all sciences, at a more basic level.

From all these I used to love chemistry and later learned to love physics. I always loved programming, from the first time I tried it in my last year in junior high school.
Old 03-07-2014, 12:17 PM
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I'm interested in Astronomy, AstroBiology, Molecular Biology, AstroPhysics and Quantum Physics. Though don't study at the moment. I'm still exploring different areas to see what I like best.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:47 PM
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I used to be really into meterology a lot, but I still kind of like it. Astronomy is definitely interesting too. Way back in middle I was part of a project building a compact silar panel on the roof of our school.
Old 03-10-2014, 03:38 AM
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Who here is going to watch Cosmos?
Old 03-10-2014, 03:42 AM
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That's apparently today, I'll see if I already missed it or can catch it
Old 03-10-2014, 03:51 AM
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I'm sorry, science. TWD is calling my name.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:14 AM
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youre a disgrace, bar.

Anyway i watched cosmos, cool **** i love space cant wait for next week the sagan part at the end made me crei.

also fun fact i was born later on the exact date that sagan died. i am sagan reborn
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:27 AM
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I'm sorry, science. TWD is calling my name.
Spoiler!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Protoman View Post
youre a disgrace, bar.

Anyway i watched cosmos, cool **** i love space cant wait for next week the sagan part at the end made me crei.

also fun fact i was born later on the exact date that sagan died. i am sagan reborn
Old 03-10-2014, 04:42 AM
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I watched the end of Cosmos. Pretty good, I'll probably keep watching.
Old 03-10-2014, 06:02 AM
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I watched the end of Cosmos. Pretty good, I'll probably keep watching.
Same, though I started from the beginning and saw the whole thing. The ending was the best part for me, if only because of the segment about Sagan.

I'll try to keep up with this program, to hopefully find something I like
Old 03-10-2014, 10:15 PM
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Cosmos will be airing again tonight at 10pm EST.
Old 03-10-2014, 10:47 PM
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Well currently I'm in Chemistry Honors (And I'm taking A.P. Physics and Chemistry next year) but I do do alot of my own research into the sciences (I want to go into the bio chemistry field, not to mention I find it really neat.) particularly astronomy and biology I was a wee lad (I remember in grade 4 trying to sign up for a free trip to one of the space centers. But then it was canceled . )

So I think this thread is a really neat thing Blues ^_^
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:46 AM
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I'm in my last semester of undergrad to get my b.s. in economics. Economics is the mathematical (and statistical) representation of human behavior. It's a social science and there are two encompassing branches: microeconomics which is the study of individuals with unlimited desires reacting to their constraints and macroeconomics which talks about the overarching economy in general terms (inflation, nation's output, currency valuation, etc.). Mainstream economists try to verify their theories through statistical analysis of real world data (i.e. econometrics).

I could talk about things that are relevant to political discussions in the US, like why the CBO's analysis on the minimum wage's affect on employment doesn't fit with the consensus of labor economists, why the Council of Economic Adviser's reasoning in their response to the CBO is flawed and the actual logic behind those labor economists' conclusions which ties into the dual purpose of the minimum wage. But I hate politics.

I could also talk about random stuff like the economics of dating which is more interesting. I wasn't a big fan of economics when I first started studying it because the principles and intermediate courses were completely abstract. It wasn't until I started studying the applied uses, namely Game Theory, that I got into it. I took/am taking a bunch of electives because of that; besides Game Theory there's: Economic US History, Money and Banking, International Trade, International Finance, Economic Demography, Industrial Organization and Labor Economics.

If you want to know more about economic theory, I'd suggest reading academic textbooks first and not random books or news articles written by non-economists... or Austrians. If you want to know more about the US's past, A New Economic View of American History is interesting, cheap and you don't have to know much theory to understand it.
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:20 AM
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Congrats on making it to your last semester of undergrad, nasic.

It seems like it's easy to forget that economics is a science. Maybe because it's so politicized?
Old 03-11-2014, 03:28 AM
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I don't know about politics, but economics is often associated with money (which I suppose can go back to politics) from my experience. What's often undermined or forgotten is that economics, as nasic870 pointed out, is a study of how we decide to make use of available resources.

Last edited by Lumy; 03-11-2014 at 05:24 AM.
Old 03-11-2014, 05:05 AM
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Congrats on making it to your last semester of undergrad, nasic.
Thanks. These past 4 years flew by so fast.

Quote:
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It seems like it's easy to forget that economics is a science. Maybe because it's so politicized?
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I don't know about politics, but economics is often associated with money (which I suppose can go back to money) from my experience. What's often undermined or forgotten is that economics, as nasic870 pointed out, is a study of how we decide to make use of available resources.
I think social sciences get a bad rep in general and that's probably because of misinformation. There's an opinion piece in Harvard's student newspaper about how economics isn't a science. It's written by someone who doesn't understand how social sciences get around the experimentation issue (valid control groups through either random assignment or symmetrical bodies). He also can't differentiate between economics as a science (positive economics; what is true, i.e. rising inequality) and the value judgments made by people which shape things like public policy (normative econ; what should be true, like low rates of income inequality), and he has a very narrow view of what a science is in general - misunderstanding that even researchers in the natural sciences can't verify every theory they have.

But usually I see it associated with politics or business and not as it's own standalone subject just because economic decisions have significant implications in those areas. Some schools reinforce that idea by combining their business schools with their econ department and economics is a specialization in undergrad and grad business degrees. Not to mention the entire financial industry's instrument pricing models like Black-Scholes are based on financial economics.

Generally, economists want to measure welfare of countries and their citizens. On an individual level, they want to measure utility - happiness. They can't observe that though. There's something called a happiness index but, I don't know, it looks like non-sense to me. So money, GDP per capita, etc. are economists' best guesses and most easily measured proxies for utility which is why they use money as a quantifier.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:55 AM
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Generally, economists want to measure welfare of countries and their citizens. On an individual level, they want to measure utility - happiness. They can't observe that though. There's something called a happiness index but, I don't know, it looks like non-sense to me. So money, GDP per capita, etc. are economists' best guesses and most easily measured proxies for utility which is why they use money as a quantifier.
There's an old (controversial) TED talk about how economists prioritize solving the world's problems



How do you feel about the economic element of environmental science? Has this type of question ever come up to you?
Old 03-11-2014, 04:48 PM
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Yeah, it came up when I was studying the environmental Kuznets curve - the idea that environmental degradation increases as an economy first grows (usually in the takeoff/manufacturing stage of development) and then decreases as the economy fully matures with new/better tech available and more emphasis placed on environmental policies in those developed countries (which are service driven economies).

And there's proof of that being true for some mobile (air and water) pollutants, e.g. Krueger and Grossman's Economic Growth and the Environment and that local economies start caring more about their local environment as their per capita incomes increase: my college is taking out parking lots to reforest the area to reduce the chance of flash floods. But not for every pollutant like green house gas emissions. And the environmental Kuznets curve doesn't take into account that some actions have irreversible damage but I wouldn't know what's irreversible and what isn't besides depletion of non-renewable resources.

Economists in the UK made a compilation report that's not technical . I haven't read through most of it. Dasgupta also compiled a book on this, The Economics of Non-convex Ecosystems but it's very technical, meant for Ph.D's to read. There's also some literature on international trade's effect on the environment - iirc, their conclusions were that trade didn't affect degradation anymore so than home production/consumption.

Policy wise, a high tax on carbon emissions and large subsidies on R&D would probably address the issue of climate change for regulated markets. But, like Lomborg pointed out, it might be more costly than it's worth at the moment. It probably wouldn't be an equal money transfer from taxes to subsidies.

Oh, and there are some theories about limits of economic growth because of limits of resources and empirical work on how those limits affect prices. I haven't read into those, though.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:24 PM
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On an economic/environmental note:

IBM has been developing a solar collector that produces energy as well as desalinating water.
Old 03-13-2014, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
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I love science but i dont like the classes my school offers for the subject. I took an astronomy class expecting to talk about how cool space is but it ended up being primarily learning how to measure very very long distances for 12 weeks.
That's how a lot of sciences work. There is a lot of math that goes along with the theory. Many people go in excited because of the theory, but find it hard and boring because of all the math.

All the math and calculations is needed if you want to develop these theories. Or, in general it is. Michael Faraday is a very good example of a very good physicist whose knowledge of math wasn't very much. Trigonometry was about the most advanced math he knew, and most physicists have a strong grasp of calculus.

Faraday is an exception to the rule though, not the actual rule.






I am an astronomy major, who is going to take a lot of physics. I have taken the introductory calculus based physics (my High school had no AP credits so I had to wait until college to do this) and a class on Special Relativity. I will be doing 300 and 400 level physics classes next semester. As for astronomy, there are only 5 required courses, and I am doing one this semester and the next 4 next year.

Last edited by raney150; 03-13-2014 at 05:44 PM.
Old 03-18-2014, 02:24 PM
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If the universe ever reaches maximum entropy, would the distribution of elements be similar to what it was after the Big Bang (mostly hydrogen-1) since anything heavier would have order that could be broken down? I've read that even protons might be able to decay so it seems like the universe wouldn't fully reach maximum entropy until everything had been converted to the most basic elementary particles.
Old 03-19-2014, 01:02 AM
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I don't think even experts on the subject are entirely sure of what happens when the universe reaches that state, Sciz.



Pretty fly.
Old 03-19-2014, 05:47 AM
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You know, I don't think I ever had a huge fascination with subatomic particles aside from electrons. I remember my physics professor would sometimes go on tangents about his research on the neutrino, and half the time I would be thinking to myself: "Okay... cool"
Old 03-19-2014, 10:16 AM
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Yeah, that stuff seems more conceptual than useful, and I liked it more when it was just protons, neutrons, and electrons.
I don't really understand quarks or leptons at all.
Old 03-20-2014, 01:35 AM
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Yeah, that stuff seems more conceptual than useful, and I liked it more when it was just protons, neutrons, and electrons.
I don't really understand quarks or leptons at all.
Well, the practical aspect of these items is always a mystery to most people, but if it helps, the main driving question (I believe) which brings people towards investigating and characterizing these particles is "why is matter so much more prevalent than antimatter?"
Old 03-20-2014, 02:02 AM
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Related: I remember reading somewhere about how quantum mechanics might deal with retrocausality.

It's hard to explain but to put it simply, this current present causes a specific past to exist as well the other way around.

This discussion > invention of the internet > evolution of humans > formation of Earth > matter arises in greater quantities than antimatter > big bang

It crosses over into philosophy at that point but it's just something interesting to think about.
Old 03-24-2014, 02:26 AM
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So creative, educational, and delicious.
Old 03-25-2014, 02:21 AM
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Somewhat science related, this site lets you browse through shortwave radio frequencies. Pretty fun to play around with and I've already found some interesting stuff.
Old 03-25-2014, 04:00 AM
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Somewhat science related, this site lets you browse through shortwave radio frequencies. Pretty fun to play around with and I've already found some interesting stuff.
Cool!

Also that reminded me of something a science teacher a few years ago told me.

We were learning about the ear, and the teacher played this recording of various frequencies of sound. Every time it changed, she would have everyone raise their hand to see if they could still hear it. However, her hand went down two changes before the rest of the class, which she explained was because of her older ears. Apparently some crafty people used frequencies above the range of older people as ringtones to avoid teachers. Found it pretty neat.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:19 AM
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Not sure if I've shared this before...

BLACKFISH


Blackfish is a documentary focusing on Tilikum- a large bull orca that has been involved in 3 deaths so far.

SeaWorld has recently reported a 13% drop in attendance. And senators in New York and California have proposed legislation to ban orcas in captivity.

Orcas will always be one of my favorite animals so I knew since I was a child that orcas didn't do well in captivity but it wasn't until I watched Blackfish that I realized it was THIS BAD.

The film has an agenda (obviously) but the information on orcas is for the most accurate.

If you can't watch the film, here are some facts:
-Orcas in captivity typically only live 25-30 years at the most. In the wild, orcas have a lifespan of 50-60 years (male) and 70-80 years (female).
-Female whales are artificially inseminated as young as 7 in captivity. Wild orcas typically start breeding at around 15. (Many calves end up stillborn or dying shortly after birth.)
-Almost all male (and some female) captive orcas exhibit a physical deformity known as dorsal collapse. This occurs very rarely in the wild (~1%).
-Orcas have complex matriarchal societies and children remain with the mother for all of their lives. Seaworld mixes orcas with different dialects and separates young from their mothers.
-Finally, concrete tanks are simply too small and devoid of stimulation to fit the needs of an intelligent and highly active animal like an orca.

Blackfish covers more on how SeaWorld endangers their trainers and some of their unethical, illegal practices.
Old 04-03-2014, 05:43 AM
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It's such a stark contrast to those videos of the orcas (and other wildlife species) that they present over at SeaWorld.
Old 04-03-2014, 06:05 PM
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Finally, now is my chance to SHINE!!!!

I don't mean to frighten any of you, but I actually have a B.S. in Chemistry (and a minor in Biology if that matters). I am currently in graduate school and am getting my graduate degree (hopefully) in Organic Chemistry.

I honestly love Organic Chemistry (mechanisms, spectroscopy, all that jazz) but I also enjoyed Biochem and most of the other chemistry subjects.

Screw Chirality though, I hate that ****.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:14 AM
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Sort of relevant to the thread
http://www.iflscience.com/environmen...ne-about-erupt
Old 04-05-2014, 10:42 PM
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As a follow-up to my previous post, I did end up watching the film during a Friday night seminar, presented by some of the marine biology department. The film, itself is very powerful, appealing a lot to pathos. Kinvara's post of facts is very much deeply enriched with emotion to a point that it leaves you (or at least myself) in a trance where you believe everything about captive orcas is wrong.

Much to my surprise, however, the professors leading the seminar actually defended the use of captive orcas. One of them was actually a killer whale trainer in her youth and had said that there are benefits to keeping the orcas already in captivity. I think the first question brought up was whether or not the captured orcas were of any benefit to us, and the first reply was that they were easier to study - Which I can pretty much accept.

Only a few students seemed opposed to the idea and had brought up releasing them (something I'm not completely confident in), stating that we've reached a point in time where we can continue imbuing a sense of wonder and desire to learn more about marine life without the use of the parks.

In any case, it was a neat experience
Old 04-05-2014, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
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As a follow-up to my previous post, I did end up watching the film during a Friday night seminar, presented by some of the marine biology department. The film, itself is very powerful, appealing a lot to pathos. Kinvara's post of facts is very much deeply enriched with emotion to a point that it leaves you (or at least myself) in a trance where you believe everything about captive orcas is wrong.

Much to my surprise, however, the professors leading the seminar actually defended the use of captive orcas. One of them was actually a killer whale trainer in her youth and had said that there are benefits to keeping the orcas already in captivity. I think the first question brought up was whether or not the captured orcas were of any benefit to us, and the first reply was that they were easier to study - Which I can pretty much accept.

Only a few students seemed opposed to the idea and had brought up releasing them (something I'm not completely confident in), stating that we've reached a point in time where we can continue imbuing a sense of wonder and desire to learn more about marine life without the use of the parks.

In any case, it was a neat experience

I'm sort of split on the issue, because there's not necessarily a guarantee whether the Orcas will lead a better life in the ocean, or whether they will succumb to such things as whalers, manmade trash/radiation, or natural predators. However, I do feel that if society is to contain them, we should provide better living conditions.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:57 AM
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I'm sort of split on the issue, because there's not necessarily a guarantee whether the Orcas will lead a better life in the ocean, or whether they will succumb to such things as whalers, manmade trash/radiation, or natural predators. However, I do feel that if society is to contain them, we should provide better living conditions.
Orcas have no natural predators.

Pretty much any species will live better in the wild than in captivity. Of course there are exceptions like pandas which are going extinct on their own.
Old 04-06-2014, 01:15 AM
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Orcas have no natural predators.

Pretty much any species will live better in the wild than in captivity.
Eh, I'm not totally convinced of that. That statement claims that we can't provide adequate nutrition and care to any captive species.

One of the questions brought up was whether or not SeaWorld could do better in their care and maintenance of the captive orcas. Is the only real option to release or kill off those already captive?
Old 04-06-2014, 02:04 AM
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Much to my surprise, however, the professors leading the seminar actually defended the use of captive orcas. One of them was actually a killer whale trainer in her youth and had said that there are benefits to keeping the orcas already in captivity. I think the first question brought up was whether or not the captured orcas were of any benefit to us, and the first reply was that they were easier to study - Which I can pretty much accept.
While it is more convenient to study orcas in captivity, these animals are under great physical and mental stress and any studies conducted on these animals would not be reflective of the healthy behavior of orcas.

This would be like studying people in a mental hospital or prison to make conclusions about the psychological behavior of the entire human population. (see Sigmund Freud)

I honestly don't think there is a feasible way to care for captive orcas properly. They are simply far too large and to provide them with an enclosure large enough for them to get appropriate exercise would be ridiculously expensive.

Ideally, the orcas currently in captivity could be placed in sea pens for the remainder of their lives. Many of the captive orcas are far too sickly to survive long in the wild but some of the wild-caught orcas might be able to be reunited with their old pods.
Old 04-06-2014, 02:51 AM
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Yeah, I asked the question because I don't really know much about them to make a statement about it. I kind of treated them like lab rats, in that they're bred for a specific purpose, but for whatever reason I forgot orcas and rats are very different.

Ironically though many of the students present were interested in marine biology because of SeaWorld. Wish some of them could have added more to the conversation
Old 04-06-2014, 05:15 AM
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In other news...

Mazda cars recalled due to spiders.

I had to make sure this was legit. I couldn't believe it.

Yellow Sac Spiders are attracted to hydrocarbons?
Old 04-12-2014, 03:10 AM
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Here's an article, whose topic is periodically discussed in my little circle of pre-scientists:

Nobel Winner Declares Boycott of Top Science Journals

Don't pay too much attention on the boycott part, but instead on the basis behind the boycott - Nature, Cell, and Science act as gateway for scientists wishing to make a career out of their work. Since they are the top tier of journals, getting published by them earns you instant credibility. The problem is that all three journals possess specific limiting guidelines which force authors to compromise their written work. Another problem is the limited amount of space the journals possess for new articles, thus a screening process takes place to filter out what the editors believe to be "less important."

Overall, the publication process almost promotes the publication of flashy articles - Subjects meant to make waves, and as such a lot of science is disregarded.

Anyone here look up articles on databases?
Old 04-12-2014, 11:11 PM
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Helpful infographic

Old 04-12-2014, 11:16 PM
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It's a shame that almost everything produced by the media consists of one of these errors. I wish we as a society chose to learn the truths of the world instead of focusing on whom murdered who today.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:26 AM
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It's a shame that almost everything produced by the media consists of one of these errors. I wish we as a society chose to learn the truths of the world instead of focusing on whom murdered who today.
Well it's certainly a topic we could discuss as a forum, but I think it all really comes down to a lack of real interest.

The media works much like the journals Nature, Cell, and Science I mentioned in my previous post, only the limitations inherent with the television medium are even more restrictive. I recall watching a "debate" between Bill Nye and another individual on evolution on one of the major television news outlets, and due to the nature of the medium, Bill couldn't really say a lot. In the end, I think it's really up to the audience to do the research themselves - The resources are made available
Old 04-13-2014, 01:06 PM
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Well it's certainly a topic we could discuss as a forum, but I think it all really comes down to a lack of real interest.

The media works much like the journals Nature, Cell, and Science I mentioned in my previous post, only the limitations inherent with the television medium are even more restrictive. I recall watching a "debate" between Bill Nye and another individual on evolution on one of the major television news outlets, and due to the nature of the medium, Bill couldn't really say a lot. In the end, I think it's really up to the audience to do the research themselves - The resources are made available
well, it sounded like the Nobel Prize winner involved in the boycott was involved in his own open source journal which is definitely a step in the right direction.

The internet makes transparency and finding info so much easier but people still fail to do their fact checking and it's frustrating to see the same erroneous posts over and over again.
Old 04-13-2014, 07:42 PM
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I actually just checked out eLife just now to make sure there were no cost barriers and found an article that interested me. Turns out it's free to the public, which is also good. Schekman doesn't quite go over the disadvantages of other journals which include pay-walls and unrevised papers.

In regards to the general fact-checking part, it's something we just have to deal with. I'm in a party that believes that scientists who do the research should be the ones to convey what they've learned to the general public. I guess, however, that they are unable to communicate their knowledge well and so some middle-man interpreter is usually the one to do it. In an effort to mitigate this issue, we do have scientific communicators like Neil deGrasse Tyson going out to make sure that this knowledge isn't being completely distorted.
Old 04-26-2014, 07:22 AM
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Kind of a blog post, but I did my first poster presentation at a conference just this night. It was a really neat environment where I could share my knowledge of and experience with some things I studied, and also gain feedback on how to improve upon future research.
Old 04-26-2014, 11:55 AM
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What was your presentation on? I always thought designing those posters looked fun.
Old 04-26-2014, 08:01 PM
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This is our abstract:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abstract
Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for the production of marine shrimp are typically operated with little to no water exchange. As a result, the dense microbial community that forms in the water column of RAS has been well-documented and is dominated by autotrophic microalgae and heterotrophic and nitrifying bacteria. Without external filtration, RAS rely on the microbial community to remove excess nitrogenous wastes by converting them to less toxic forms of nitrogen or to bacterial and algal biomass. The latter has been shown to be a supplemental source of nutrition for shrimp when the shrimp can access it as settled particles. Given that many nitrifying bacteria are known biofilm formers, biofilms within RAS are also likely important sites of nitrification but little is known about their formation in RAS. Previous studies would suggest that the nitrifying capacity of these films is high. We hung microscope slides in the water column of an RAS to assess the presence and abundance of nitrifying bacteria and Archaea in the biofilms that form. We will use microscopy and culture-independent molecular methods to determine the settlement of nitrifying bacteria and will discuss our results in the context of the efficacy of these biofilms to detoxify excess ammonia by its conversion to nitrate
If it's too wordy, basically we developed biofilms within a closed aquatic system consisting of just shrimp over a course of a month. We then isolated any DNA found withing the collected biofilms and probed for specific types of DNA for bacteria we would expect to be catalyzing the nitrification reactions.
Old 04-26-2014, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
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This is our abstract:



If it's too wordy, basically we developed biofilms within a closed aquatic system consisting of just shrimp over a course of a month. We then isolated any DNA found withing the collected biofilms and probed for specific types of DNA for bacteria we would expect to be catalyzing the nitrification reactions.
What species of shrimp did you use?

Can you show us any pictures of your equipment set-up?
Old 04-26-2014, 09:09 PM
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Litopenaeus vannamei

And I do not have any pictures of our equipment.



This is the only picture I have of the slides placed in the column. The mesh was used to provide a separate sample group to prevent the shrimp from interacting with biofilm formation. Any other equipment used in this experiment were just PCR machines and electrophoresis devices. As well as kits for DNA purification and isolation. We also did sequencing, but those were sent to another lab.
Old 04-26-2014, 09:16 PM
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That's cool, we just did a basic DNA extraction lab using cheek swabs. Used the PCR and electrophoresis machines and now we're waiting on getting our samples sequenced.
Old 04-26-2014, 09:23 PM
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Interesting. Whiteleg shrimp are pretty big.

Speaking of DNA... I'm using a mousepad that has Eppendorf Mastercyclers on it that I received at a science camp. heh
Old 04-26-2014, 09:28 PM
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I actually never got to see the shrimp in person, but the genetics lab there primarily works with them. They gave me the above picture to give me an idea of their size
Old 04-26-2014, 09:34 PM
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Wow, why'd they use such large shrimp? How many were there?
Old 04-27-2014, 10:16 PM
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Neil deGrasse Tyson on racism

A short video on Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about race/gender when it comes to scientific community.

While science itself is neutral, the institutions that make up the community don't exist in a bubble and have a long history of white supremacy and other forms of bigotry.

Racists centuries ago (and today even) have attempted to "prove" that other races are inherently inferior. Bigots attempting to "cure" homosexuals by labeling their sexuality as a mental illness. Abuse of the mentally ill using lobotomies and shock therapy.

Bigots should have absolutely no place in our scientific institutions but there hasn't been nearly enough effort into calling them out.
Old 04-27-2014, 11:36 PM
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Wow, why'd they use such large shrimp? How many were there?
They're provided by another organization which helps fund the genetics programs. I'm certain there are lots of them.
Old 05-09-2014, 02:31 AM
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Is this a sea anemone?



No, it's not. DNA testing reveals that it's a completely different organism.
Old 05-09-2014, 02:34 AM
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Is this a sea anemone?

No, it's not. DNA testing reveals that it's a completely different organism.[/URL]
:O
A new order of Cnidaria!
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:08 PM
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Deep Sea stuff featuring world's most bored narrator.
Old 08-17-2015, 08:50 PM
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Bumping this thread.

Let's all watch the corpse flower bloom!

Stream here
Old 08-19-2015, 04:19 AM
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Is that the flower from the live action Denis the Menace movie?
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:12 PM
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Octopus genome sequenced

We will all soon be squid kids now.

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Is that the flower from the live action Denis the Menace movie?
What? It is just really big and smells like rotting flesh. It only blooms once every several years.
Old 09-05-2015, 01:47 AM
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A lot of activity going on in Monterey Bay, CA right now.

Watch Big Blue Live for more info.

Squid eye left behind by orca:


Pelangic crabs on the beach:


Sea lion rehabilitation:
Old 09-05-2015, 02:50 PM
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My High School Physics teacher loved showing these "This Week in Science" images. Here's one from two weeks ago(can't seem to find last week's for some reason).

Spoiler!
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:41 AM
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My High School Physics teacher loved showing these "This Week in Science" images. Here's one from two weeks ago(can't seem to find last week's for some reason).

Spoiler!
I like these but they're always kinda ugly looking.

Does anyone know of any good documentaries?

I watched Saving Luna recently and it was alright. Pretty sad though.
Old 09-24-2015, 04:21 PM
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DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a pretty awesome documentary, it's a real eye opener, if you're into that sort of thing.



The BBC also has a series called South Pacific which is also really cool (apparently it's called Wild Pacific in the United States, so maybe you've already seen an episode or two).
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Last edited by Rich; 09-24-2015 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Youtube embed doesn't want to work, but the full documentary is available there
Old 09-25-2015, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
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DMT: The Spirit Molecule is a pretty awesome documentary, it's a real eye opener, if you're into that sort of thing.

The BBC also has a series called South Pacific which is also really cool (apparently it's called Wild Pacific in the United States, so maybe you've already seen an episode or two).
I actually have a couple box sets of BBC documentaries and one of those is South/Wild Pacific.

I haven't gotten around to watching most of them though.
Old 10-02-2015, 03:43 AM
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So.... how about that water on Mars???
Old 10-02-2015, 04:02 AM
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So.... how about that water on Mars???
Matt Damon has something to drink now...