Four women have had new vaginas grown in the laboratory and implanted by doctors in the US.
"A tissue sample and a biodegradable scaffold were used to grow vaginas in the right size and shape for each woman as well as being a tissue match.
They all reported normal levels of "desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction" and painless intercourse.
Experts said the study, published in the Lancet, was the latest example of the power of regenerative medicine. "
The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009)
- A 25-minute documentary about composer and pioneering electronic musician Delia Derbyshire
, perhaps most familiar to Mefites for writing the theme song for "Doctor Who".
Create a high-powered microscope from a cheap webcam by following Mark's simple step-by-step instructions. Because your microscope is connected to your computer, you can save and share your images easily.
British comedian Josie Long
explores All the Planet's Wonders in a very short series on BBC radio: Collecting
Celebrate the 60th anniversary
of the discovery of DNA's structure with a pictorial story behind DNA's double helix
and the Rosalind Franklin
papers, including correspondences and lab notes
that detail some of her crystallography research, findings that laid the groundwork for Watson and Crick's later publication.
The Hidden Life Of the Cell (57:24)
There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection - the battle for the cell. This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself - from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations.
You may be familiar with molecular movies from my two previous megaposts collecting them, but this extended documentary uses original animation that is collected into a coherent educational narrative and is just so fucking gorgeous. Enjoy. [more inside]
'Caught in the act: the first record of copulating fossil vertebrates.' [BBC.co.uk]
"The remains of the 47-million-year old animals were unearthed in the famous Messel Pit near Darmstadt, Germany. They were found as male-female pairs. In two cases, the males even had their tails tucked under their partners' as would be expected from the coital position. Details are carried in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters
Limbless amphibian species found. [bbc.co.uk]
A UK-Indian team of scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of limbless amphibian. The creature - about 168mm in length and pink in colour [image]
- belongs to an enigmatic, limbless group of amphibians known as the caecilians [wiki]
The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World
(titles on piano
) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future
and the future of home gardening
and crushing ennui
). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors
, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers
, New Banking
, Nellie The School Computer
, The Elliot Light Pen
, Mobile Phones
, and Moog Synthesizers.
Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth
. The culmination of five years of field work
, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques
in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups
-- including many sights
rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular
, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries
, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta
, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score
from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes
for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough
. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
Horizon asks "What is reality?"
-- youtube for links for those outside the UK: 1
. It's a hard question. To help you answer it, Stanford has a set of free courses available on line by Leonard Susskind:
, New Revolutions in Particle Physics
, Quantum Entanglement
, Special Relativity
, Classical Mechanics
, Statistical Mechanics
, The Standard Model
. (Each link is to lecture 1 of a full college course of a dozen or so lectures.) If you need help with the math, the Khan Academy
should help get you up to speed.
Watch a language evolve in a single afternoon in part 6
of BBC Horizon's
fascinating documentary, "Why Do We Talk." (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
Vanessa Mae Nicholson is one of Britain’s most successful
young musicians. A classical violinist
and former child prodigy
who self-describes her crossover style as "violin techno-acoustic fusion
," her fans praise her modern creativity and frenetic
. But is her talent learned or genetic? Documentary from BBC1 in 2008: Vanessa Mae - The Making of Me
. [more inside]
"Papers that are scientifically flawed or comprise only modest technical increments often attract undue profile. At the same time publication of truly original findings may be delayed or rejected."
In an open letter
addressed to Senior Editors of peer-review journals, Professor Austin Smith
) and another 13 stem cell researchers from around the world have expressed their concerns
over the current peer review process employed by the journals publishing in the field of stem cell biology. [more inside]
"Fun To Imagine"
is a BBC series from 1983 featuring theoretical physicist Richard Feynman thinking aloud. What is fire? How do rubber bands work? Why do mirrors flip left-right but not up-down? All is explained in his lovely meanderingly lucid manner. [more inside]
As many as 40 new species may have been discovered near the crater of a volcano in New Guinea. Not to alarm anyone but Fearless Giant Rats
, Caterpillars that look like Snakes
and Fanged Frogs
have been spotted and are said to be at large. [more inside]
Vortex Cannon : SLYT
"Jem Stansfield builds a vortex cannon to pick up where the big bad wolf failed to blow over a house of brick."
More details at the BBC
Flow of Time is a BBC documentary that "tries to explain time and covers the different ways we have used to understand Time, religion, mathematics, relativity, and quantum mechanics." Part 1
Birds that rap
and cows with accents
. The big picture is urban adaptation
, which is pretty cool. (...and the egg
Japanese professor Kenji Sugimoto has a long-standing fascination with the brain of Albert Einstein. In the early nineties he travelled to the United States in search of it. This bizarre 1994 documentary
(YouTube, multiple parts
) by Kevin Hull (UK) chronicles his quest. Fake or real? [more inside]
Fill in the blanks, connect the dots.
We've had Star Trek special effects possibly redone
, we've had Battlestar Galactica "reimagined". Now the BBC is replacing a couple of lost episodes in a live series Doctor Who DVD with animated versions, to match the soundtracks, which weren't lost. Of course, we've seen some Flash based episodes
Ground-based astronomy could be impossible in 40 years because of pollution from aircraft exhaust trails and climate change, an expert says.
Take One Museum
on BBC Four is the Russian Ark
of documentaries as expert Paul Rose
looks around a museum, with the help of some tour guides in one take over a thirty minute period. I caught the tail end of the Royal Navy Submarine Museum episode
and he seemed like a man of great enthusiasm. Much like New York's Museum of Modern Art
's podcast official
, an audio podcast version of the show is available so that a visitor to the actual museum can cover the same ground with the aid of their mp3 player. Excellently, it's the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
next week so I'll definitely be going there again soon to see what this is like.
The Sky At Night
Every episode of the BBC science series made since the end of 2001 viewable online. Anything I know about the universe I learnt from Patrick Moore.
Reith Lecture 2005: The Triumph of Technology
Lord Broers -In the five lectures, he sets out his belief that technology can and should hold the key to the future. He says: "It is time to wake up to this fact. Applied science is rivalling pure science both in importance and in intellectual interest. We cannot leave technology to the technologists; we must all embrace it. We have lived through a revolution in which technology has affected all our lives and altered our societies for ever."
SexID Some researchers say that men can have 'women's brains' and that women can think more like men.
Find out more about 'brain sex' differences by taking the Sex ID test, a groundbreaking experiment designed by a team of top psychologists:
'A colossal squid
has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first example of Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean. ' Related (old news from January) :-
giant squid attacks boat
More squid sites :- Search for Giant Squid
a Smithsonian exhibit about a 1999 expedition. 'Whether living or extinct, on land or at sea, in literature or in life, large animals have long fascinated people. The largest animals have been known and hunted since prehistory: whales, walruses, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and large fishes... However, one large animal has gone almost unnoticed or certainly unobserved in its habitat. That animal is the giant squid. Although these animals have been found in the nets of commercial fishermen, in the stomachs of sperm whales, and washed ashore on different continents, no scientific information has been gathered by direct observations of live giant squid ... '
The UnMuseum's article on the giant squid
Synthetic Trees could purify the air
- "It looks like a goal post with Venetian blinds," said the Columbia University physicist...synthetic trees could help clean up an atmosphere grown heavy with carbon dioxide..."You can be a thousand times better than a living tree...There are a number of engineering issues which need to be worked out," he said. (BBC) Hurry up, then
- "Ice dams are blocking Latvian ports, winds and storms are battering Europe, Portugal is freezing, Vietnam has lost one-third its rice crop, and the cold has caused close to 2,000 deaths in usually temperate South Asia."
NASA Challenges Moon Hoax Conspiracy
After decades of almost ignoring claims that the Apollo missions were hoaxed, NASA commissioned aerospace writer James Olberg
to write an official rebuttle. Perhaps a bit more reasonable than the NASA Stooge
, the book is aimed at the general public.
BBC presents: The Science of Superheroes!
Ever wonder how Spider-Man climbs on walls
? How do lie detectors such as Wonder Woman's lasso
work? What was gravity like on planet Krypton
? The BBC takes a scientific look at our favorite superheroes to teach the physics behind the fantasy.
"Australian scientists say they have created a "thinking cap" that will stimulate creative powers. It is based on the idea that we all have the sorts of extraordinary abilities usually associated with savants."
The device is said to improve drawing skills within 15 minutes.
This interesting mini-series
about the human face on TLC (via BBC
), claims that technology and the Internet are replacing face-to-face contact
, but without much needed facial expressions that play a crucial role in communication. No doubt, this is why we THINK OF CAPITAL LETTERS as "yelling" and use :) and :P in online communication. Where do you see online communication in 10 years?
In favour of the death penalty?
Don't worry, it's in the genes
Patient confidentiality vs. cancer research.
New rules on patient confidentiality prevent "research that recognises dangerous side effects of treatments and it would prevent research that would recognise avoidable causes of diseases and death. "
What is more important: 'medical progress' or 'your medical file'?
aren't exactly what you'd call urgent breaking news. (Respectively they're about the Ring of Fire and historical earthquakes.) So why couldn't the BBC take enough time on them to get their facts right? [More inside]
Looking for a real renewable energy source?
Feces powered cars: the future of transport?