1. bbsrc:

    For the first time flowering plants have been successfully engineered to fix carbon like the blue-green algae do – this can potentially increase photosynthesis and yields in crop plants.

    Plants, algae and some bacteria capture light energy from the sun and transform it into chemical energy by the process named photosynthesis. Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) have a more efficient mechanism in carrying out photosynthesis than plants. For a long time now, it has been suggested that if plants could carry out photosynthesis with a similar mechanism to that of the blue-green algae, plant productivity and hence crop yields could improve.

    Rothamsted Research scientists strategically funded by the BBSRC and in collaboration with colleagues at Cornell University funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation have used genetic engineering of tobacco plants - a tobacco plant can been seen above - to demonstrate for the first time that flowering plants can carry out photosynthesis utilizing a faster bacterial Rubisco enzyme rather than their own slower Rubisco enzyme. These findings represent a milestone toward the goal of improving the photosynthetic rate in crop plants.

    Copyright: Rothamsted Research

    Read more on this story: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2014/140917-pr-big-step-towards-efficient-photosynthesis.aspx

    (via currentsinbiology)

  2. ilikelookingatnakedmen:




    I feel like very few, or at least not many of the people of tumblr are aware of what is going on in my home country Hong Kong right now.

    You guys gave alot of coverage and support when Scotland was voting for its independance, so I’m hoping you’ll all support the people of Hong Kong as well.

    Right now, many of us are in a mass demonstration of pro-democracy against China. But wait a sec, isn’t Hong Kong China? This is a big misconception amongst foreigners, but please, we are far from being similar to China at all.

    A little history class: Hong Kong used to be colonized by the British, and before you white-knights begin going all “them damn white racist ppl taking over another asian country” please don’t. We are thankful Britain took us under its wing and instilled in us values that I feel made us what we are today; that is, a democratic people with respect for free speech, amongst many things.

    On the other hand, China is communist, with government controlled media and news. Google, instagram, facebook and many tv shows are blocked in China. It really is just a few steps from North Korea imo.

    So what’s the problem here? Britain unfortunately had to hand back Hong Kong to China, but one of the requirements is that Hong Kong be allowed to operate as ‘one country two systems’, meaning Hong Kong should be able to have its own democratic government. But China has broken its promise. A while back, China tried to put a mandatory ‘national education’ curriculum in all our primary schools. We all know what that is; a communist brainwashing regime. And now, they have announced that in 2017 Hong Kong will be able to vote for its president; BUT only from 3 candidates hand picked by its PRO-BEIJING legislation.

    As you can see, China is trying to takeover completely and turn us into another communist state.

    Of course, we have taken to the streets. In a mirror if the Tiananmen protests, students have also stepped up to fight for our rights and our future, albeit in a peaceful protest of course. But the police force who have always been a friend of the people, are now responding with force, something that had never been done before in Hong Kong.

    First it was pepperspray, then teargas. Then, armed forces came in qith rubber bullets. They warn they will come out with live ammunition soon if we do not get off the streets but the people continue to sit tight, disrupting businesses China so strive to takeover and make use of. It’s been 2 days now, but the people plan to continue at least till 1st October or even beyond. The significance is that October 1st is China’s National day, not ours, Hong Kong has not been granted it’s own National day.

    Please spread the news. This is a country we’re talking about. These are my people.

    You can join this event to wear yellow in support of my people on October 1st.

    You can also read a more detailed explanation of what’s going down here and watch a live feed here.

    Just to add on- Hong Kong is one of the rare examples where it did kind of end up being better off under colonial rule. And before I get jumped on for being a neo-colonialist- I’m saying that as a person with Chinese ancestry whose great grandparents left China because of the accumulated poor situation caused by the Opium Wars and political strife in the early 1900s. Do not dichotomise conflicts outside the world as “White people oppressing POC”. Yes Chinese people have been victims at the hands of the British, then the Japanese- but today the Chinese government is culpable in corruption and human rights abuses- even against its own citizens in the mainland. There were thousands of disturbances last year in China over various issues like land grabs, corruption and pollution. The government has also been oppressing ethnic minorities like the Tibetans and Muslim Uighurs. What you see happening here in Hong Kong is another pattern in the behaviour of an authoritarian government that really needs to be held more accountable.  

    Yes, the Opium Wars fucked China up, but the Communists really ruined the country during the 1950s onwards with the disastrous Great Leap Forward. There was a horrible famine caused by state mismanagement- and by the end of it all, it’s estimated anywhere from 18 million to 45 million Chinese died. Far more than died in WW2. And then of course, the infamous Cultural Revolution where there were basically witch-hunts which just caused enormous upheaval and strife, where people were “outed” as “bourgeois” or capitalists or whatever and imprisoned, tortured and publicly humiliated. University students and professors were accused of being traitors. Even the Communist Party today acknowledges it was a complete disaster. While all of this was going on, by comparison, Hong Kong flourished under British rule.

    The China you see today that is the world’s second largest economy is a product of Deng Xiaoping’s reform in the 1970s- which involved throwing out huge parts of the Communist economic policies to embrace capitalism- and putting a stop to the blind and rigid adherence to Communist ideology. Economically, China is in many ways very open to capitalism BUT politically, the government is pretty authoritarian still. And quite capable of oppression.

    Do not lionise the Chinese government as this heroic “POC” country standing up to “white supremacy”, give them a free pass, or somehow think whatever they do cannot be as bad as Western imperialism. People with my skin colour are perfectly capable of oppression when they have institutional power. And they darned well better be called out for it. 

    ^^^^ YES

    also see that earlier post I blogged about the Han Chinese vs everyone else’s Chinese. Europeans aren’t the only colonists and for many people around the world they’re not even relevant.

    (via erinnightwalker)

  3. mrflibbers:

    The turtles are done!  :)  

    (via scientificillustration)


  4. getintherobot:


    i want someone who’s never seen b99 to explain this screencap


    is this live action cowboy bebop

    (via gentlebrotherelijah)

  5. iseesigils:


    Detail shots of my “Welcome to Inlé” sculpture, completed early July, 2014.

    I realize I mentioned writing more about the piece when I posted these, but now I can’t for the life of me remember what it was I wanted to say.

    Watership Down was one of the first novels I read as a child, probably at 10 or 12. I saw the animated film soon after, and it’s clear to me that both the book and the movie made an indelible impression on me. I reread the book every two or three years, and it hasn’t lost any of its power or impact. Most of all, I’m enthralled by the rich stories the rabbits share with one another throughout the novel. My love for mythology was certainly encouraged by reading WSD as a child.

    Thanks for the wonderful response to this piece so far, you amazing folks!

    Materials and dimensions and all that other good stuff can be found on the turnaround photoset that’s posted on my Tumblr, right below this post.


    (via erinnightwalker)


  6. "

    After reading about gender-bias and conversation dominance in the classroom, I asked for a peer to observe a physics class I was teaching and keep track of the discussion time I was giving to various students along with their race and gender. In this exercise, I knew I was being observed and I was trying to be extra careful to equally represent all students―but I STILL gave a disproportionate amount of discussion time to the white male students in my classroom (controlling for the overall distribution of genders and races in the class). I was shocked. It felt like I was giving a disproportionate amount of time to my white female and non-white students.

    Even when I was explicitly trying, I still failed to have the discussion participants fairly represent the population of the students in my classroom.

    This is a well-studied phenomena and it’s called listener bias. We are socialized to think women talk more than they actually do. Listener bias results in most people thinking that women are ‘hogging the floor’ even when men are dominating.


    Stop interrupting me: gender, conversation dominance and listener bias, by Jessica Kirkpatrick from Women In Astronomy

    Implicit bias is a thing, just like privilege. Calling it out isn’t meant to shame anyone, but to alert us to step it up and improve ourselves so everyone can have a voice. Be conscious of what you and others are saying, and know when not to speak.

    (via scientific-women)

    (Source: itsawomansworld2, via erinnightwalker)

  7. sixpenceee:

    Diphylleia grayi also known as the skeleton flower. The petals turn transparent with the rain.

    (via erinnightwalker)

  8. dresdencodak:


    Sir Morien, Black Knight of the Round Table

    The tale of Sir Morien, written into Celtic Arthurian canon in the 1200s and contemporaneous with the tales of Sir Galahad, begins thus:

    Herein doth the adventure tell of a knight who was named Morien. And of a Moorish princess was he begotten at that time when Agloval sought far and wide for Lancelot, who was lost, as ye have read here afore.

    I ween that he who made the tale of Lancelot and set it in rhyme forgat, and was heedless of, the fair adventure of Morien. I marvel much that they who were skilled in verse and the making of rhymes did not bring the story to its rightful ending.

    Some quick paraphrasing from ElodieUnderGlass's blog:

    He decides to visit England alone in the hopes of finding his father, via the quirky but unproductive method of beating up every knight he comes across until they told him where his father was/were actually his father all along. As a teenager, he held his own against the disguised Sir Lancelot in hand-to-hand combat for so long that Sir Gawain begged them to stop fighting, as he couldn’t bear to see such good knights kill each other for stupid reasons.


    Meanwhile, characters in these stories aren’t really visually described unless they have superlative characteristics, such as mysterious all-black armor or remarkably long golden hair. Many knights were described as dark in hair and features. Instead of placing a large flashing sign in the middle of a saga going “THIS PERSON IS TOTALLY A PERSON OF COLOR YOU GUYS, WE REALLY HOPE YOU WILL TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT IN FUTURE ADAPTATIONS” the narrative might well have said “Sir Bors, who was dark” and moved on, assuming that readers or listeners would interpret it the way the narrator meant. Sir Morien is described as wearing North African armor, though most images of him are in European gear, possibly because the artists found Moorish armor too hard to draw.


     Interestingly, this narrative makes a large point of describing his skin color, possibly because it was thought to be unusual and dramatic, especially as he seems to match his own shield and armor.

    Here are some quotes from the translated saga of Morien:

    He was all black, even as I tell ye: his head, his body, and his hands were all black, saving only his teeth. His shield and his armour were even those of a Moor, and black as a raven…

    Had they not heard him call upon God no man had dared face him, deeming that he was the devil or one of his fellows out of hell, for that his steed was so great, and he was taller even than Sir Lancelot, and black withal, as I said afore…

    When the Moor heard these words he laughed with heart and mouth (his teeth were white as chalk, otherwise was he altogether black)…

    Related to the topic of Tolkien’s characters being much more than just white, I thought I’d recommend this blog: Medieval People of Color in European Art History.

    It’s a great project dedicated to removing the historical whitewashing and exclusion of the staggering amount of people of color in European history.

    The ubiquity in modern media to display a fictitiously all-white Europe is often thoughtlessly and inaccurately justified by claims of “historical accuracy”; this blog is here to emphasize the modern racism that retroactively erases gigantic swaths of truth and beauty.”

    It’s a great resource for creators dealing with fantasy settings connected with Europe in particular, but really, everyone should give it a look.

    (via erinnightwalker)


  9. xekstrin:


    Dear followers, if you care about Texas Politics at all or you were watching Wendy Davis’ filibuster last year with bated breath, please tune in to the lieutenant governor debate between state Senators Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San…

  11. hoodjab:











    Imma just let this sit here






    They turned RNA into an anti-virus program. That is amazing.

    Let me restate this in case it didn’t sink in the first time

    Researchers physically DELETED ALL TRACES of the HIV virus from a human cell.

    ALL OF IT.


    Okay, now who will have access to this?


    (Source: mannysiege, via talysia)

  12. solar-citrus:

    You would be surprised with how many people in your life could be going through depression at this very moment.  People hide it like a paper bag over their heads out of fear of being judged, made fun of, seen as weak, or just not taken seriously.  Depression should not be taken lightly, it holds us down from our purpose and potential in life.  Those who tell you that it doesn’t exist have never experienced depression in their life, therefore not understanding the symptoms and how it’s something that cannot be fixed in a day!  So if you think you are depressed or if you think you know someone else who is, please talk to a friend, a family member, or anyone else in your life that you trust - never overlook the possibility of seeing a doctor for more professional help!!  Your feelings are real, your feelings are shared upon millions.  Don’t hide it, talk to someone about it.  With the right help, you can rediscover your confidence and begin life anew with our undying love and support!

    We are right here!!

    (via glorytotheglowcloud)


  13. whattheheckideckipadalecki:

    • Stop calling people wo practice palm reading, scrying, and tarot readings g*psies
    • Stop calling women who wear head scarves and flowing skirts and metal jewlery g*psies
    • Stop calling nomadic people g*psies
    • Stop calling free-spirited people g*psies
    • Stop calling…

  14. Ralph Blum is not a reliable source for learning about runes.


    Ralph Blum is not a reliable source for learning about runes.

    Ralph Blum is not a reliable source for learning about runes.

    Ralph Blum is not a reliable source for learning about runes.

    • Ralph Blum is not a reliable source for learning about runes.
    1. Ralph Blum is not a reliable source for learning about runes.


    (via lasombra-y-elalma)


  15. popthirdworld:

    Just so we’re clear, the reason a lot of people protest climate change isn’t because they like trees and hiking. It’s because we’re making the Earth unlivable for all humans, and that humans in the poorest countries are the one’s worst hit.

    Protesting climate change ain’t a white privilege thing. The people protesting climate change the hardest are Indigenous people, Island nation people, and poor people in hot countries. They’re terrified.

    (via talysia)