Response to student’s “I just don’t get this research thing… :/”

Imagine that you’re a farmer planting seeds by hand down long rows of soil. Of thousands of seeds (over your career), only a few will sprout. Of those sprouts, some will require enormous care and will never grow any larger; they will not produce seeds of their own, and will do nothing but be small and interesting to look at. However, the ones that grow even a little larger require lots and lots of work. You don’t know what will help this totally unique plant grow, but it’s up to you to make it survive. So you manage not to kill it, and a flower grows off one side-giving you some beauty to appreciate and some new ideas to work on. Oh - but don’t forget that you are out there planting new seeds down your rows hoping for a new, different sprout someday. Back to your little flowering plant. Can it be the one that you will be able to feed yourself with? Can the interest that you generate in this plant bring in some resources to figure out how to make the plant grow until it bears fruit? The tall thriving plant with fruit is the goal-it will literally provide sustenance for you, the people that work with you to tend the field (planting and cultivating), and just maybe, the rest of the world. The fruit could cure a disease, or just add a tiny new clue to help us better understand *how to farm.*

Now, there are many jobs that allow you to work with only mature, bountiful fruit trees. You don’t even have to stop and think about how they grow; you just need to collect fruit. Collecting fruit is an entirely noble and satisfying thing to do for many people. Basic research takes you out of the fruit grove into what looks like endless rows of barren earth. There are lots of people out there in those rows planting, looking for sprouts, and hoping.

Every Godzilla film in chronological order, 1954 - 2014.

(Source: bomblast, via kadrey)


Protein Data Bank code 

  1. From the side
  2. From the top of the structure, showing its wonderful symmetry.
  3. Space-filling model from the top, revealing  the symmetry of seven sub-units that unite to form the complete structure.
  4. Space filling model from below, showing how the sub-units create the barrel-like structure seen in the first image.

Hemolysin’s name provides a vital clue to its function. Staphylococcus aureus inserts hemolysin into the membranes of red blood cells, resulting in their rupture, leading to potentially fatal episodes of meningitis, pneumonia, and toxic shock.


(via scientificillustration)


The Periodic Table of the Muppets


In April of 2001 Tom Brevoort gave an interview to CBR - here is an excerpt:

an idea that never got as far as an official title, but it was essentially “Black Avengers.” It was “Let’s put all the African or African-American heroes together on a team for an adventure,” and in those cases…

terms and conditions:

(via adidasfootball)

I designed a new logo for Hamden United Soccer Club. Stylized Mountain Laurel shape and colors, with a gear at the center for Eli Whitney. Will look sharp on our black jerseys. 

I designed a new logo for Hamden United Soccer Club. Stylized Mountain Laurel shape and colors, with a gear at the center for Eli Whitney. Will look sharp on our black jerseys. 


Wonderful Darwin Day art by Kapil Bhaghat (Tumblr)

(via scientificillustration)


Supercomputer Simulated Heart

Alya Red, a project of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center that tries to understand the wondrous organ that is the heart and when the mechanism fails. The simulator generates electrical signals to try and exactly mimic the speed at which the signals propagate across the heart. An attempt to create an accurate electro-mechanical model of a heartbeat all with the help of 10,000 processors.


(via scientificillustration)


Thanks to medical illustrator Emily Evans I can now integrate two of my most favorite passions: hist-ology and pie-ology.

See more of Emily’s beautiful work here

Oh and while you are at it check out her other site Anatomy UK

Anatomy UK is a site run by Emily to reflect anatomical creativity both in the UK and worldwide. The new exciting creative ideas emerging that have been inspired by anatomy are continually pushing the boundaries of how we perceive it…. it’s no longer just for the academics.

I emphasized that last part. Spread the word. Histology is growing. Heart it.

(via scientificillustration)