The giant earthworm-eating terrestrial leech Haemopis ottae. This wasn’t discovered in some remote rainforest, but a garden in southern New Jersey. Presently, all 14 known specimens are from the Garden State, but considering how these leeches managed to be overlooked for so long, their exact distribution is far from certain. So next time you’re in a cedar bog on the East Coast, be on the lookout!
Wirchansky, B. & Shain, D. (2010). A new species of Haemopis (Annelida: Hirudinea): evolution of North American terrestrial leeches. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54 226–234.
All Boundaries Are Conventions - Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, & Reinhold Heil
Cloud Atlas (OST)
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (via animatedtea)
The inside of a sheep’s eyeball looks surprisingly like an oyster. The iridescent and entrancing tapetum lucidum at the back helped the sheep see better in darkness. If you’ve ever taken a picture of an animal and their eyes shone brilliant blue or green, that’s what you’re seeing in the photo. That beautiful “pearl” in the other half is the lense.
Neale Donald Walsch (via dulcetdecember)
President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress to spend $100 million next year on a new project to map the human brain in hopes of eventually finding cures for disorders like Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and traumatic injuries.
Obama said the so-called BRAIN Initiative could create jobs and eventually lead to answers to ailments including Parkinson’s and autism and help reverse the effect of a stroke. The president told scientists gathered in the White House’s East Room that the research has the potential to improve the lives of billions of people worldwide.
‘‘As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away,’’ Obama said. ‘‘We can study particles smaller than an atom, but we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears.’’
BRAIN stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. The idea, which Obama first proposed in his State of the Union address, would require the development of new technology that can record the electrical activity of individual cells and complex neural circuits in the brain ‘‘at the speed of thought,’’ the White House said.
Obama wants the initial $100 million investment to support research at the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation. He also wants private companies, universities and philanthropists to partner with the federal agencies in support of the research. And he wants a study of the ethical, legal and societal implications of the research.
The goals of the work are unclear at this point. A working group at NIH, co-chaired by Cornelia ‘‘Cori’’ Bargmann of The Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University, would work on defining the goals and develop a multi-year plan to achieve them that included cost estimates.
Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! performing “Black Me Out”
What is more important and more difficult is to observe (in this instance mainly a mental process) resemblances or correlations between things that on the surface appeared quite unrelated.
The art of observation and how to master the crucial difference between observation and intuition, illustrated with wonderful vintage photos of women in science.