golden blood

Golden blood: the rarest blood in the world

Rh-null blood is extremely rare, with only about 40 people worldwide known to have it. This rarest of blood types lacks all 61 antigens in the Rh system. The first successful human blood transfusion happened in 1818, but even after that, many transfusion patients suffered sudden unexplained deaths. It wasn’t until 1909 that Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner figures out the basics of blood groups and cataloged the A, B, AB and O blood types, which are caused by proteins called antigens.

Key Takeaways:

  • What makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It’s very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.

“Golden blood sounds like the latest in medical quackery. As in, get a golden blood transfusion to balance your tantric midichlorians and receive a free charcoal ice cream cleanse. Don’t let the New-Agey moniker throw you. Golden blood is actually the nickname for Rh-null, the world’s rarest blood type.”

Read more: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/rarest-blood-type-world

conch shell

Pinhole Photography & Eye Evolution

Insect pins are versatile tools we explored previously in Insect Pins, Not Just for Bugs. In it, we briefly mentioned this blog’s topic on pinhole photography.  This technique provides  an interesting twist on how a simple biology tool helps demonstrate a physics principle which in turn explains an important step in eye evolution.
Continue reading

Science of Coffee

A chemistry teacher’s guide to the perfect cup of coffee

Can chemistry help us make the perfect cup of coffee? You are about to find out how.
Science can help us explain how these ideas and tips might work – and how to make the ultimate cup of coffee. If you are a coffee connoisseur (or even if you are not!) I know you will pick up a few tips.

Key Takeaways:

  • Various aspects of the brewing process are looked at with tips on how to improve it.
  • Types of coffee and grinds are looked at as well.
  • Equipped with the knowledge of the science behind the extraction process, a better morning coffee is within your grasp.

“Sometimes you just want a caffeine hit to wake you up, but if you appreciate the finer points of a cup of coffee, it’s worth going right down to the chemistry of the water, milk, sugar – and salt”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/23/a-chemistry-teachers-guide-to-the-perfect-cup-of-coffee

The outrageous plan to haul icebergs to Africa

A growing issue around the world is the shortage of fresh water. However, experts have come up with a plan that includes towing large icebergs from Antarctica to areas in need of the water. The amount of fresh water that would result from a melting iceberg is more than what the world consumes of freshwater. These proposals have been present for many years but never acted upon. Many places in Africa are considering the possibilities of this idea and how difficult it could be getting an iceberg to where it is needed.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experts are seriously considering harvesting Antarctic icebergs and hauling them to Cape Town.
  • This untapped flow of water has enticed scientists and entrepreneurs for over a century.

“As South Africa faces ever more severe water shortages, some experts are seriously considering a proposal to harvest Antarctic icebergs and haul them to Cape Town.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180918-the-outrageous-plan-to-haul-icebergs-to-africa

Flowers pollen bees

8 Super Fragrant Flowers That Pollinators Love – Birds and Blooms

Flowers are not only visually stunning, but they contribute in many other ways to the environment. There are many animals and birds that require these flowers to live. They produce pollen which is essential for many types of wildlife. These particular flowers are not only beautiful, but they actually do have many different purposes!

Key Takeaways:

  • Some people do not realize the power that plants actually do have in this world.
  • There are some animals out there that rely on the pollen and things that plants produce.
  • Not only do plants simply look pretty as a decoration, but they also have very practical purposes.

“Get more from your fragrant favorites, and create a romantic container garden on a patio or terrace with any one of these eight super sweet perennials.”

Read more: http://www.birdsandblooms.com/gardening/top-10-lists-for-gardeners/8-super-fragrant-flowers-that-pollinators-love/

Cells

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

Research recently published in the journal Cell details the successful isolation of human skeletal stem cells from fat cells removed via liposuction. They did this by taking stromal cells from the liposuctioned fat and then growing them in the presence of a bone growth protein. Although a working course of treatment is still a long ways away, this research has immensely important implications for the treatment of patients with degenerative bone diseases, such as the 44 million Americans with osteoporosis.

Key Takeaways:

  • Better treatment for osteoporosis, fractures and joint damage is on the horizon as scientists have isolated human stem cells that grow into bone.
  • The goal of isolating stem cells from fetal and adult bones has been going on for decades.
  • The breakthrough was first made in a species of mice before it was transmitted to human cells.

“It’s a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.”

Read more: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/skeletal-stem-cells-discovered