Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fibonacci Numbers in Biology

Fibonacci numbers are found in the sequence below:
1, 1, 2,  3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144...and so on.

how is this sequence made?
and you get the point.
Fibonacci Spiral

Fibonacci numbers are often seen in nature, in fact they're everywhere. Snails, pinecones, flowers, pineapples, plants, even down to the living cell. These numbers are seen in plants to optimize the use of sunlight. It's not like the plants have this number programmed in them or anything, it's just that over time through natural selection the plants that tend to survive are the plants that have the leaves that capture the most sunlight.

If you look at yourself close enough you begin to see the fibonacci numbers in yourself. One nose, 2 eyes, 3 segments to each limb, and 5 fingers. Even our DNA molecules measure 34 angstroms and 21 angstroms wide (angstroms are a very small unit of measurement).

So what does this all mean. Do fibonacci numbers run the world around us or is it all just a coincidence? Sometimes it is a coincidence.  

talents include: referencing every thing to a disney movie.
But many times we see these ratios and numbers in living things around us because that proved to be the most efficient way to evolve. 

To go more in depth about this concept visit this site.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The World Through A Colorblind Person's Eyes

What is colorblindness?

It's not always black and white, colorblind people can see colors but they just can't differentiate between certain colors. In fact only the most rare type of color blindness is black and white. The most common type of colorblindness is red-green colorblindness, this is where people mix up the red and green colors hence the name. Most people inherit the condition from their mother because colorblindness is an X linked trait.
The retina of the eye has 2 types of light sensitive cells called rods and cones. Rods work in low light conditions (like nighttime) and cones work in daylight specifically to differentiate colors. The cone cell also has three types; Each type of cone cell perceives each primary color. Colorblindness is usually caused by a fault in the cone and/or the pathway from the cone to the brain.

For example, playing "I Spy" with someone might be a little difficult (I discovered this early on with my younger brother). Christmas colors would look like a mixture of yellowish-green and color coordination your outfits in the morning in the morning would be a nightmare, good thing my brother has me.

Cool info graphic I made on colorblindness. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

I Sleep With One Eye Open At Night

On This Edition Of Cool Animals:

For humans and other land mammals sleep involves complete or partial unconsciousness. But what if I told you this wasn't the case for dolphins (and other cetaceans, like orcas and whales). Instead these animals undergo "unihemispheric slow-wave sleep" (ooh fancy words).

When it's time for a dolphin to go to sleep it'll close one eye and shut down the opposite hemisphere of the brain, the left eye being controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain; because we all know that the half the brain controls the opposite side of the body right. During this time the side of the brain that is awake controls the breathing functions and monitors what's going on in the environment. Within a 24-hour period the dolphin switches the eyes every 4 hours.

Many scientists believe dolphins have evolved this way they would drown if they didn't keep half their brain active because they need breath consciously, this type of sleep also allows the dolphins to keep an eye out for danger literally and they also can control muscle movement which helps them maintain a warm body temperature in the chilly ocean.

flying dolphin
Did you know: the dolphin has an partially unfused neck vertebrae which means they can turn their head a 180 degrees. 
Imagine a dolphin in a horror movie oh my. 
horror movie dolphin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tasting The Food Your Twin Eats

Krista and Tatiana are craniopagus twins, basically means they're connected at the head. They share a structure called the thalamus, this organ is responsible for processing our senses and creating consciousness. Since they are connected by the thalamus many scientists believe they see the world different from the rest of us.

Dr. Cochrane believes the two girls can see through each other's eyes. He came to this conclusion after conducting a test and watched Krista's brain respond after shining a light into Tatiana's pupils (pretty neat huh?). Another time one girl could be watching TV while the other is looking somewhere else, and the twin not watching TV will laugh at what is happening onscreen. This also affects their sense of taste. Krista loves ketchup, but Tatiana hates it (she obviously has a bad taste in sauces). Once while Krista was eating ketchup Tatiana tried to wipe off her own tongue even though she wasn't eating any ketchup. 

*brain explosion noises

Although I can't understand why someone wouldn't like ketchup?

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm Made Of The Ashes Of Dead Stars

"the nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made of interior collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff" 
- Carl Sagan 
Every element on the periodic table is made of starstuff actually, expect for hydrogen. hydrogen isn't.

The video doesn't really explain all that much (although it is very well made and gives a sort of nostalgic feeling) the link below explains a lot more.
But the video is cool too or else I would't have embedded it here.


Monday, March 3, 2014

How Octopuses Camouflage And Much More

In the depths of the ocean many animals have evolved to use camouflage as a self defense technique. But how? Because that would be very useful to me. Unfortunately only selected animals can camouflage because you need these cells called chromatophores which are pigment containing and light reflecting organelles. The Octopus (and many other animals that can camouflage) can control these cells with their brain. Imagine changing your skin color by just thinking about it. In addition to changing it's skin color the octopus can shrink and stretch it's skin to make it look like a different texture.

If this animal wasn't cool enough, octopuses also have 3 hearts. 2 pump blood through each of the gills and 1 pumps blood throughout the body. Another self defense technique is that octopuses release black cloud when spotted, this gives the octopus time to swim away. The black ink has a substance to dull the predators sense of smell making it harder to attack the octopus. And if all else fails a octopus can lose an arm to escape the predator's grasp and grow it back later.  How cool.

The most famous octopus of them all.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Sorry I'm Allergic To Bright Light"

Bright lights make 1 in 4 people sneeze.

Everyone sneezes when something enters their noses (or in my case pollen, it's the worst...I genuinely believe it makes me sneeze more then it actually fertilizes flowers). But some people who have a genetic disorder where they sneeze every time they are hit with bright light. Why? Well the human brain has a bit of a mix up. When light hits our eyes the pupils shrink, this reflex is called the pupillary light reflex. When the signal for this reflex is sent to the brain it gets a bit mixed up. The sneeze reflex is confused with the pupillary light reflex; that's why when the pupils shrink because of light, the brain mixes up the message and the sneeze reflex is triggered. This phenomenon also known as autosomal dominant compelling hello-opthalmic outburst or

the ACHOO syndrome. (ha)

This is a completely legitimate gif to use and you can't tell me otherwise.