Infinity Imagined
Multicellular Organic
Neural Network
Lives in Nitrogen-Oxygen Atmosphere
270 K - 300 K
Eats, Breathes, Thinks, Creates

First Transiting Planets in a Star Cluster Discovered

All stars begin their lives in groups. Most stars, including our Sun, are born in small, benign groups that quickly fall apart. Others form in huge, dense swarms that survive for billions of years as stellar clusters. Within such rich and dense clusters, stars jostle for room with thousands of neighbors while strong radiation and harsh stellar winds scour interstellar space, stripping planet-forming materials from nearby stars.
It would thus seem an unlikely place to find alien worlds. Yet 3,000 light-years from Earth, in the star cluster NGC 6811, astronomers have found two planets smaller than Neptune orbiting Sun-like stars. The discovery, published in the journal Nature, shows that planets can develop even in crowded clusters jam-packed with stars.
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With Saturn’s rings in the foreground, Mimas is held in the centre of the frame, as Pandora moves past it.
There are a few things to like about this sequence.  If you watch Mimas, you’ll see it rotating.  It is in synchronous rotation, so that means we’re actually watching Mimas as it orbits (from this perspective) anti-clockwise; we can think of it moving off to the left, and the camera following it.
Pandora is orbiting in the same direction, but is closer to Saturn and orbits faster, “overtaking” Mimas as the camera follows the latter.  But note that it seems to slow down at the end.  That’s not because the camera’s taking photos more frequently, since Mimas’s rotation doesn’t slow down.  What I think’s happening is that we’re not looking at these two moons when they’re diametrically opposite the camera relative to Saturn.  Rather, Pandora is in a part of its orbit where it’s moving left and coming towards the camera.  Mimas, with its larger orbit, will keep moving left for quite a while, but if the sequence had continued, Pandora would have looked like it was moving back to the right as its direction changes more towards the camera.
Photographed by Cassini, 14 May 2013.
You are not an encapsulated bag of skin dragging around
a dreary little ego. You are an evolutionary wonder, a trillion
cells singing together in a vast chorale, an organism –
environment, a symbiosis of cell and soul.

1. the quality or state of being omniscient; having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
2. infinite knowledge.
3. an omniscient being; God.
[Alex Grey]
The notion of a separate organism is clearly an abstraction, as is also its boundary. Underlying all this is unbroken wholeness even though our civilization has developed in such a way as to strongly emphasize the separation into parts.
» crankydinosaur: Humans are...


Eukaryota (cells with a nucleus)

Animalia (multicellular life that feeds on other organic matter)

Bilatera (bilaterally symmetrical with three cellular layers)

Deuterostomia (anus forms first, then the mouth)

Chordata (possessing a notochord at some point of their development)

Craniata (possessing a distinct skull)

Vertebrata (animals with backbones)

Gnathostomata (animals with jaws)

Sarcopterygii (Lobe finned fish and their terrestrial descendants)

Tetrapoda (terrestrial four legged animals )

Amniota (animals whose eggs contain several membranes)

Synapsida (possessing a single hole behind the eye within their skulls)

Therapsida (animals whose legs are held under the body and possess more advance teeth)

Theriodontia (having more mammalian type teeth)

Cynodontia (reduced number of bones in jaw and possessing a secondary palate)

Mammals (animals that possess hair and produce milk through their mammary glands)

Theria (animals that give birth without the use of a shelled egg)

Eutheria (animals that possess a placenta)

Epitheria (possessing stirrup shaped stapes in the middle ear)

Boreoeutheria (contains the taxa of Laurasiatheria and Euarchontoglires)

Euarchontoglires (contains the clades of Glires and  Euachonta)

Euarchonta (contains the order of Scadentia, and miroder Primatomorpha)

Primatomorpha (contains the orders of Dermoptera and Primata)

Primata (having hands, forward facing eyes and binocular vision)

Haplorhini (tarsiers, monkeys and apes)

Simiiformes (new world monkeys, old world monkeys, and apes)

Catarrhini (old world monkeys and apes)

Hominoidea (the lesser and greater apes)

Hominidae (the great apes: orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans)

Homininae (gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans)

Homo (Modern humans and their ancestors)


(via rhamphotheca)


Cell Division

Category: High-content analysis.Image description: Trisomy 21 derived neural cells stained for neurofilament heavy (red), GAD65 (green) and DNA (blue). Therapeutic focus: Down’s Syndrome.

The ring of proteins being studied, labelled C in blue, are part of a molecular machine (ATP-driven proton pump) that rotates to move protons across a membrane.
Our cells are filled with complexes that can contain dozens of proteins, all with precise interactions that ensure the complex comes together and functions in a consistent manner. These complexes, which can contain dozens of individual proteins, often have activities that mimic those of human-produced equipment, and have earned the nickname “molecular machines” accordingly.
Advances in DNA sequencing have allowed us to calculate what the earlier proteins must have looked like. And scientists have now started to engineer DNA sequences that “resurrect” these long dead proteins, and examine how they function
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