(Ballerina Mary Helen Bowers. Photo credit: Ballet Beautiful)
I’m now 30 weeks and two days into my pregnancy.
Although I tried my best (I really did), working full-time and being pregnant completely shattered any hope of posting since my last update. So, this blog is officially on hold until I go on maternity leave.
See you on the other side!
I’m about fourteen and a half weeks pregnant.
I’m still visually under the radar, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I’m not showing enough to have anyone offer up a seat on the bus, but even mild smells can make me gag. My stomach muscles seem to have been training for the Olympics while I was busy eating saltine crackers. Everything is different. I have intense moments of zen, and social drama bores me to no end. I vomit every morning, even though I had somehow convinced myself that if I ate healthy and exercised regularly that I would be “above it.” No amount of do-gooding ensures one’s safety from morning sickness. For some women, it just happens when their stomach nears empty. And it’s likely called “morning sickness” because you’re on empty when you wake up from a night’s sleep.
(Art by Dylan Chudzynski)
Alison Lee is 25 years old, with lush brown hair and a sweet smile. It typically takes her a long time to get ready for work. As careful as she is, she is prone to spilling coffee on herself before she leaves the house. On those mornings, she is forced to start all over again. All coffee drinkers are prone to spilling coffee on themselves when they aren’t paying attention. This is not the case for Lee, however. Just the simple act of brewing that requisite cup of coffee requires quite a bit of her concentration.
Even when she’s getting dressed for work in the morning, Lee is never without a companion. Fibromyalgia shadows her every move. Simple tasks, such as applying mascara, are challenging. She sometimes asks her mother for a hand opening the tub of cream cheese for her bagel. Along with an estimated 9 million patients in the United States alone, she experiences chronic widespread pain throughout her body. Although the level of pain may vary throughout the day, it never goes away.
From Laughing Squid, 3D-Printed Paintings of Nanomolecular Structures by Shane Hope.
Waterproof, magnetic, antimicrobial paper? You bet!
Dr. Roberto Cingolani, Scientific Director at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genoa, Italy and his team have created a nanotechnological process that makes paper waterproof, magnetic, antibacterial without modifying any basic properties of the paper. Meaning this isn’t some chemical monstrosity, it’s just still paper you can print and draw on, recycle or make a paper airplane.
(Photos courtesy of NASA)
Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve the images:
“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”
(Photo courtesy of Theron Humphrey)
Yawning is an involuntary act of opening the jaw wide while inhaling deeply, and breathing out gently.
Human physiology teachers typically explain yawning as a mechanism to increase the amount of oxygen in the lungs when the body requires it. However, this is an unjustified explanation. Fetuses have been observed to yawn in the womb. Yawning also appears to be “contagious,” even in animals. Oxygen deprivation may be one reason we yawn, but is unlikely to be the only reason.
Digitally enhanced electron microscope image of nanoscale “Hedgehog” particles. These fuzzy-looking balls were created by growing rigid zinc-oxide nanowires on polymeric microspheres.
Image courtesy of the Materials Research Society Science as Art Competition and Joong Hwan Bahng, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
In a collaborative effort between researchers at NASA and Arizona State University, Google Mars was created. This online tool utilized a map of the so-called “Red Planet” published by Percival Lowell in 1895, and the hard work of many scientists since then.
Lowell observed Mars with his telescope in preparation for a special event that occurred in 1894 — the Mars opposition. As viewed from the Earth, this is the point in time when Mars lies directly opposite the Sun. (In other words, the Earth would be positioned in between Mars and the Sun.) During these times, Mars is most easily observed from Earth, and Lowell took advantage of this, making detailed observations of a system of canals.
Today we know that this was really just an optical illusion, and that the canals don’t actually exist as Lowell thought. But he’s certainly not the only scientist whose work became out of date with the advancement of technology.
"I was looking over the Google Mars map and came across 3 structures. I wanted to record these structures since NASA has deleted some others I reported and so has Google Earth Map," said Waring.
Although YouTubers are overwhelmingly skeptical of his findings, the ability to screen the landscape of Mars in one’s pajamas is fascinating nonetheless.
Jürgen Berger and Mahendra Sonawane at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology took this striking micrograph of two zebrafish larvae sitting pretty.
Although you might have guessed that you were looking at two developing eyes and a mouth, the holes above the mouth are actually developing olfactory cavities (which aid in smell, not sight). These babies are only two days old, and will reach maturity around three months of age.
According to my donor card, I’m eligible to donate blood again. According to my cell phone’s “missed calls” history, the Red Cross badly needs my blood at multiple centers all across the Bay Area.
I like donating my blood, and I will again. But I have some questions.
(Photo courtesy of Banc de Sang i Teixits)
QUESTION: What are you going to do with my blood?
After a person donates their blood to the American Red Cross, the components of the blood that can be used in blood transfusions are separated by centrifugation. This process involves spinning the blood at a very specific speed to separate out the individual components by weight; the heavier components will be pulled towards the bottom of the container.