воскресенье, 14 апреля 2019 г.

Schwann’s Way Scientists have shown that proteins which help…


Schwann’s Way


Scientists have shown that proteins which help our blood to clot can also degrade our nerve cells and may play an important role in neurodegenerative disease. Protection against this damage was shown to come from Schwann cells, which create a protective insulation around the threadlike projections of nerves. In a mouse with nerves surrounded by Schwann cells (light green, left), the healthy nerves can be seen arranged in an orderly pattern. Without Schwann cells (right), the nerves are clearly degraded. The team showed that this damage is due to a blood clotting factor, called thrombin, which is produced by muscles to which the nerves connect. Mice that had Schwann cells but no thrombin experienced less degeneration than those with typical levels of thrombin. The next step is to explore the role that thrombin play in neurodegenerative disease.


Written by Deborah Oakley



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Researchers prove Leonardo Da Vinci was ambidextrous

Researchers at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence have proved what was suspected for a long time: that Renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci was able to write, draw and paint with both hands.











Researchers prove Leonardo Da Vinci was ambidextrous
Portrait of Leonardo after 1510, by Francesco Melzi (1491–1568)
[Credit: WikiCommons]

The museum’s research and restoration institute confirmed Da Vinci’s ambidexterity by analysing a drawing known simply as Landscape (8P), believed to be his earliest work, dated 1473, when the artist was 21.
The drawing of the Arno river which flows through Florence and the castle of Montelupo in the background also features two handwritten text inscriptions, one on the front written backwards and another on the back written left to right.


Researchers showed that both inscriptions were done by the artist who «used his left hand to write the inscription in ‘mirror writing’ on the front, while he used his right hand to pen the inscription on the back in ordinary writing,» the Uffizi said in a statement.



«Leonardo was born left-handed but he was ‘re-educated’ at a very early age to use the right hand,» said art historian Cecilia Frosinini.


«From an observation of his handwriting, including the inscriptions on this drawing, it is clear that his writing as a right-hander was both cultivated and well formed,» she said.


«Leonardo was eminently capable of using his right hand… Our hypothesis is that the idea came to him from his observation of the writing in reverse on the tracing paper that he used for his drawings after turning them over.»


The research was completed ahead of the drawing’s return to Leonardo’s birthplace, Vinci, as part of an exhibition to mark 500 years since his death.


Source: AFP [April 09, 2019]



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US returns ancient artefacts taken from Mexico

The United States returned two ancient figurines to Mexico Tuesday, seized from the home of an amateur archaeologist who died in 2015 with a collection of 42,000 artefacts, many of them taken illegally.











US returns ancient artefacts taken from Mexico
Anthropomorphic clay figures belonging to the Teotihuacan culture are displayed at the US Embassy in Mexico City
on April 9, 2019, as they are returned to Mexico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), through the
 United States Embassy in Mexico City, returned Tuesday two archaeological pieces to the
National Institute of Anthropology and History of the Mexican Ministry of Culture
[Credit: Alfredo Estrella/AFP]

The small clay sculptures date from the Mesoamerican classical period, around 1,300 to 1,800 years ago, archaeologists said at a ceremony at the US Embassy in Mexico City, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) handed back the figurines.


The long, strange story of their return «started with a police investigation, and concludes today with this ceremony, in which Mexico is recovering two artefacts that are part of its cultural heritage,» said Mexican foreign ministry lawyer Sergio Estrada.


The artefacts were found in the US state of Indiana in the home of a collector named Don Miller, officials told journalists.


Miller, who died four years ago at age 91, spent his life traveling the world, participating in archaeological digs and collecting rare artefacts, which he displayed in his basement.


But near the end of his life, the FBI — acting on a tip — raided his home and seized more than 7,000 of those artefacts, which appear to have been removed illegally from their countries of origin, said special agent Edward Gallant.


«In the 1960s and 1970s, Mr Miller participated in archaeological digs in Mexico and Central America,» and that is when he apparently took the two figurines, Gallant said — though exactly where and when he found them is unclear.


Miller, whose collection also included items from China, Canada, Peru, Iraq and other countries, was cooperating with the FBI before he died, and was never prosecuted, said Gallant.


The FBI has established a database of the suspect items in his collection, and is slowly working through the painstaking process of trying to identify and return them.


Officials said it would take time and research to establish more about the origins and significance of the figurines, which both depict seated men clad only in jewelry.


«When artefacts are illicitly removed from their places of origin, we lose meaningful information about the study of the past. And once that context is destroyed, there is no recovering it,» said Estrada.


Source: AFP [April 10, 2019]



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Chinese archaeologists resume excavation of ancient horse and chariot pit

Archaeologists in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province Wednesday resumed excavation of a pit containing horses and chariots beside a tomb, which belongs to a lord of Qin state during the pre-Qin period (pre-221 BC).











Chinese archaeologists resume excavation of ancient horse and chariot pit
Sacrificial horses discovered in the tomb of Duke Jing of Qin
[Credit: WikiCommons]

Located in the city of Baoji, the pit measures 86.3 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 14.6 metres in height. How many chariots and horses it contains are yet to be known.


The pit was discovered in 1977. In 2003, archaeologists started excavation but had to stop their work due to inadequate preparations.


The pit was found near a tomb on the ruins of Yongcheng, an ancient Qin state capital. The tomb was believed to be the largest tomb of the pre-Qin period, which refers to the period before Qin Dynasty was established, ever excavated in China, and its owner was Duke Jing of Qin (576-537 BC). More than 3,000 cultural relics have been unearthed.


Yang Wuzhan, a researcher from Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology, said the horse and chariot pit can provide important materials for the study of the burial system, the army scale, history and culture of the pre-Qin period.


The excavation will last more than eight months.


Source: Xinhua News Agency [April 10, 2019]



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Ritually sacrificed guinea pigs adorned with colourful earrings and necklaces discovered...

One hundred ritually sacrificed guinea pigs dressed up in jewellery have been discovered at an Inca archaeological site in Peru. The rodents were found to have been adorned with earrings and necklaces, and some of them wrapped up in tiny rugs—the first time such a find has been made.











Ritually sacrificed guinea pigs adorned with colourful earrings and necklaces discovered in Peru
One of the guinea pigs found at the Inca site [Credit: Lidio Valdez, 2019]

The Inca civilization is known to have sacrificed animals, and Early Spaniards arriving in South America reported the mass killing of different species, including guinea pigs. Indeed, reports suggest hundreds of guinea pigs would be killed in a single ceremony. However, archaeological evidence of this specific practice has been lacking.


Gold artifacts, precious shells and evidence of animal sacrifice in Lake Titicaca point to a belief system that helped organize the ancient Tiwanaku state, researchers claim.


In a study that has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Lidio Valdez, from the Institute of Andean Studies and Acari Valley Archaeological Project, has announced the discovery of two guinea pig burial sites at the Tambo Viejo site in southern Peru. Dating revealed the guinea pigs were killed about 400 years ago.


In total, Valdez found 72 guinea pig remains in one Inca structure and 28 in another. These buildings would have been located next to a plaza—an open space where public activities probably took place, he said. After the arrival of the Spanish, these buildings were taken over. The guinea pigs, however, had been buried beneath the floors of the buildings and during excavations, they were uncovered.











Ritually sacrificed guinea pigs adorned with colourful earrings and necklaces discovered in Peru
The guinea pigs had been adorned with colourful string [Credit: Lidio Valdez, 2019]

The find itself, Valdez said, was not a huge surprise—after all, the early reports from the Spanish indicate it happened regularly. “However, I was surprised after seeing that a good number of the guinea pigs were adorned with colorful strings that were placed as earrings and necklaces,” he said. “The Spanish never mentioned anything about that.”


The guinea pigs were found to have been dressed up with colourful strings. The strings had been positioned to make them into earrings and necklaces. Others, he wrote, had been “carefully enveloped in a small piece of rug made of cotton fibre.” Valdez said it is difficult to say why some were wrapped in rugs, but it “could be something to do with the desire of particular individuals who perhaps wanted to make the gifts extra special.”


He added: “Adorned guinea pigs similar to the ones found at Tambo Viejo were never found anywhere, making the findings unprecedented.”


Analysis revealed most of the guinea pigs were juvenile: “Humans prefer the meat of young animals because of its tenderness. Humans believed that deities also deserved tender meat,” he said. “We must remember ‘young’ may also mean other things, such as pure, uncontaminated and so on.”











Ritually sacrificed guinea pigs adorned with colourful earrings and necklaces discovered in Peru
The remains were found buried beneath the floors of two Inca structures within the Tambo Viejo site
[Credit: Lidio Valdez, 2019]

The guinea pigs showed no sign of external injury, suggested they were asphyxiated. This could have been from being buried alive—something Valdez says is probably the case, but that it is difficult to prove. “A good number of the guinea pigs were found in an excellent state of preservation—naturally mummified. These animals were also found with their heads up. The well-preserved guinea pigs do not exhibit any sign of trauma or cuts, suggesting again that they may have been alive when buried.”


Concluding, Valdez said more research will be needed to understand how the animals were killed and why they were adorned in colourful strings. But regardless, this discovery provides the first physical evidence of guinea pig sacrifice from this period. “Although the Spanish mentioned the sacrifice of guinea pigs, never before archaeological [has] research resulted in the finding of large number of sacrificed guinea pigs, thus making the findings from Tambo Viejo unparalleled,” he said.


Source: Press From [April 12, 2019]



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Neolithic dog’s head recreated using Orkney skull

The head of a Neolithic dog has been recreated using a skull discovered in a cairn tomb in Orkney. A forensic artist used 3D images of the 4,000-year-old animal to build the model — complete with realistic muscle, skin and hair.











Neolithic dog's head recreated using Orkney skull
The model was created by a forensic artist who normally recreates human heads
[Credit: Santiago Arribas/Historic Environment Scotland]

The animal is believed to have been the size of a large collie with features similar to a European grey wolf. The skull was one of 24 discovered when the chamber at Cuween Hill was excavated in 1901. It is believed the dogs were placed there more than 500 years after the passage tomb was built.
The model was built by forensic artist Amy Thornton using 3D images produced by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Edinburgh University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Ms Thornton used identical techniques to those she would normally use to recreate a human head. She said: «The reconstruction was originally created in clay using traditional methods, with a 3D print of the Cuween Hill skull as the base to build the anatomy on to. The completed sculpture was then cast in silicone and finished with the fur coat resembling a European grey wolf, as advised by experts. The resulting model gives us a fascinating glimpse at this ancient animal.»
Steve Farrar, interpretation manager at HES, said the model would help «to better relate to the people who cared for and venerated these animals». He said: «Just as they are treasured pets today, dogs clearly had an important place in Neolithic Orkney, as they were kept and trained as pets and guards and perhaps used by farmers to help tend sheep. But the remains discovered at Cuween Hill suggest that dogs had a particularly special significance for the farmers who lived around and used the tomb about 4,500 years ago. Maybe dogs were their symbol or totem, perhaps they thought of themselves as the ‘dog people’. While reconstructions have previously been made of people from the Neolithic era, we do not know of any previous attempt to forensically reconstruct an animal from this time.»


Source: BBC News Website [April 13, 2019]



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Egypt unveils colourful Fifth Dynasty tomb

In a major archaeological discovery, Egypt on Saturday unveiled the tomb of a Fifth Dynasty official adorned with colourful reliefs and well preserved inscriptions.











Egypt unveils colourful Fifth Dynasty tomb
Credit: Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP

The tomb, near Saqqara, a vast necropolis south of Cairo, belongs to a senior official named Khuwy who is believed to have been a nobleman during the Fifth Dynasty, which ruled over Egypt about 4300 years ago.
«The L-shaped Khuwy tomb starts with a small corridor heading downwards into an antechamber and from there a larger chamber with painted reliefs depicting the tomb owner seated at an offerings table,» said Mohamed Megahed, the excavation team’s head, in an antiquities ministry statement.











Egypt unveils colourful Fifth Dynasty tomb
Credit: Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP

Flanked by dozens of ambassadors, Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enani said the tomb was discovered last month.
It is mostly made of white limestone bricks. Ornate paintings boast a special green resin throughout and oils used in the burial process, the ministry said.











Egypt unveils colourful Fifth Dynasty tomb
Credit: Mohamed el-Shahed/AFP

The tomb’s north wall indicates that its design was inspired by the architectural blueprint of the dynasty’s royal pyramids, the statement added.
The excavation team has unearthed several tombs related to the Fifth Dynasty.


Archaeologists recently found an inscription on a granite column dedicated to Queen Setibhor, who is believed to have been the wife of King Djedkare Isesis, the eighth and penultimate king of the dynasty.


Source: AFP [April 14, 2019]



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theancientwayoflife: ~ Hieroglyphic Panel. Date: A.D….


theancientwayoflife:



~ Hieroglyphic Panel.

Date: A.D. 650-800

Period: Late Classic Maya

Place of origin: Usumacinta River area, Mexico or Guatemala

Medium: Limestone



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mostly-history: Stela N (Copán, Honduras). This stela is…


mostly-history:





Stela N (Copán, Honduras).




This stela is dedicated to K’ak’ Yipyaj Chan K’awiil, who reigned

from 749 – 763 as the 15th ruler of Copán.  His name

means “Smoke Shell” or “Smoke Squirrel”.



Smoke Shell began a program of renewal to recover from the slump that

Copán had fallen into after the execution of Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah

K’awiil, two rulers earlier, and the loss of Quiriguá.  A new version of Temple 26 was built,

and the Hieroglyphic Stairway (originally built under Uaxaclajuun)

was reinstalled here and doubled in length.



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mildlyinteresting-blog: http://bit.ly/2KDsoIG “Although it’s…


mildlyinteresting-blog:



http://bit.ly/2KDsoIG “Although it’s alarming that glaciers are melting archeologists are finding all sorts of interesting things where the ice is receding. This 1000 year old barbed antler arrow was found in Canada.”



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2019 April 14 Simulation: Two Black Holes Merge Simulation…


2019 April 14


Simulation: Two Black Holes Merge
Simulation Credit: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes Project


Explanation: Sit back and watch two black holes merge. Inspired by the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, this simulation video plays in slow motion but would take about one third of a second if run in real time. Set on a cosmic stage the black holes are posed in front of stars, gas, and dust. Their extreme gravity lenses the light from behind them into Einstein rings as they spiral closer and finally merge into one. The otherwise invisible gravitational waves generated as the massive objects rapidly coalesce cause the visible image to ripple and slosh both inside and outside the Einstein rings even after the black holes have merged. Dubbed GW150914, the gravitational waves detected by LIGO are consistent with the merger of 36 and 31 solar mass black holes at a distance of 1.3 billion light-years. The final, single black hole has 63 times the mass of the Sun, with the remaining 3 solar masses converted into energy in gravitational waves. Since then the LIGO and VIRGO gravitational wave observatories have reported several more detections of merging massive systems, while last week the Event Horizon Telescope reported the first horizon-scale image of a black hole.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190414.html


First successful flight for the world’s largest aircraft


Stratolaunch logo.


April 14, 2019



Stratolaunch first flight

The Stratolaunch made its first flight this weekend over the Mojave Desert in the United States.


The American company Stratolaunch announced Saturday that it had carried over a California desert the first test flight of the largest aircraft in the world, whose wingspan is almost half that of an Airbus A380.


The strange aircraft, built by the legendary aeronautical engineering company Scaled Composites in the Mojave Desert, has two fuselages and is powered by six Boeing 747 engines.



Stratolaunch First Flight

It must theoretically be used to carry and drop at altitude a small rocket that will then light its engine, and will propel to space to place satellites in orbit. This is a more flexible method of accessing the space than vertical rocket takeoffs, as a large take-off runway would suffice.


«What a fantastic first flight»


The Stratolaunch aircraft took off from the airport and «spaceport» in Mojave, California at 06:58 local time (13:58 GMT), and remained in the air for two and a half hours, the company said in a statement Sunday. . Until now, the aircraft had only ground taxi tests. The maximum speed during the flight was 304 km / h (189 miles per hour, according to Stratolaunch), and the aircraft climbed to 17,000 feet, or 5182 meters.



Stratolaunch first flight

«What a fantastic first flight,» said Stratolaunch general manager Jean Floyd. «Today’s flight advances our mission to provide a flexible alternative solution to ground launch systems.» The size of the craft, 117 meters, is larger than a football field. An Airbus A380 is 79.75 meters wide.



Image above: An illustration of the «family» of launch vehicles Stratolaunch had planned to offer. The company is ending work on its own launch systems, leaving it with the existing Pegasus XL from Northrop Grumman. Image Credit: Stratolaunch.


Stratolaunch was funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to become a new player in the small satellite launch market. But the death of Mr. Allen in October 2018 makes the future of the Stratolaunch uncertain.


For more information about Stratolaunch, visit: https://www.stratolaunch.com/


Images, Video, Text, Credits: AFP/Stratolaunch/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


Image of the Week — April 15, 2018CIL:39063 -…


Image of the Week — April 15, 2018


CIL:39063http://www.cellimagelibrary.org/images/39063


Description: Light micrograph of a ‘semithin’ section (1.5 µm thick) of the dermis layer of skin from a monkey. The upper left side shows an area of (empty) fat cells surrounded by collagen fibers. The lower right side contains six sections of a coiled sweat gland and three excretory ducts. The columnar cells forming the wall of the sweat gland secrete the solutes, these are interdispersed with myosecretory cells (triangular red shapes particularly visible in gland at far right) that can contract to squeeze the secretion out of the lumen of the gland into the excretory duct. The section was stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H+E), which is a common histological stain added to tissue sections to distinguish cells.


Author: Spike Walker


Licensing: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 UK)


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gemsofgreece: Roman aqueduct in Nicopolis, Greece



gemsofgreece:



Roman aqueduct in Nicopolis, Greece



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gemsofgreece: The Stadium of the ancient city Messini, c. 370…


gemsofgreece:



The Stadium of the ancient city Messini, c. 370 BC. 



Source


Textile roundel with pastoral scene. Coptic Egypt, 4th century AD Wool embroidery on...


Textile roundel with pastoral scene.


Coptic Egypt, 4th century AD


Wool embroidery on linen


Source


Coetan Arthur Prehistoric Burial Chamber, St. David’s Head, Pembrokeshire,...











Coetan Arthur Prehistoric Burial Chamber, St. David’s Head, Pembrokeshire, 13.4.19.


Stood out on the windy and beautiful headland, you could have been forgiven for thinking that time had stood still for two thousand years.


Source link


Pentre Ifan Prehistoric Burial Chamber Photoset 2, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 10.4.19.










Pentre Ifan Prehistoric Burial Chamber Photoset 2, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 10.4.19.



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How Big is Our Galaxy, the Milky Way?

When we talk about the enormity of the cosmos, it’s easy to

toss out big numbers – but far harder to wrap our minds around just how large,

how far and how numerous celestial bodies like exoplanets – planets beyond our

solar system – really are.


So. How big is our Milky Way Galaxy?



We use light-time to measure the vast distances of space.


It’s the distance that light travels in a specific period of

time. Also: LIGHT IS FAST, nothing travels faster than light.


image

How far can light travel in one second? 186,000 miles. It

might look even faster in metric: 300,000 kilometers in one second. See? FAST.


image

How far can light travel in one minute? 11,160,000 miles.

We’re moving now! Light could go around the Earth a bit more than 448 times in

one minute.


image

Speaking of Earth, how long does it take light

from the Sun to reach our planet? 8.3 minutes. (It takes 43.2 minutes for

sunlight to reach Jupiter, about 484 million miles away.) Light is fast, but

the distances are VAST.


image

In an hour, light can travel 671 million miles. We’re still

light-years from the nearest

exoplanet, by the way. Proxima Centauri b is 4.2 light-years away. So… how far

is a light-year? 5.8 TRILLION MILES.


image

A trip at light speed to the very edge of our solar system –

the farthest reaches of the Oort Cloud, a collection of dormant comets way, WAY

out there – would take about 1.87 years.


Our galaxy contains 100 to 400 billion stars and is about

100,000 light-years across!


One of the most distant exoplanets known to us in the Milky

Way is Kepler-443b. Traveling at light speed, it would take 3,000 years to get

there. Or 28 billion years, going 60 mph. So, you know, far.


SPACE IS BIG.


image

Read more here: go.nasa.gov/2FTyhgH



Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.


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