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WIKIPOST NUMBER ONE : SOLAR FLARES


ps; watch this VIDEO first.
Have you ever seen the movie knowing? Well, that had a solar flare in it. Of cource, that was a exaggerated solar flare and the chances of one wiping out the entire earth like that isnt going to happen until the sun blows up ... in like a billlion years.
Real solar flares or "solar storms" are something that has always caught my attention, and lately it has been catching the attention of other people too. Why? Quebec had that blackout due to a solar flare in 1989, and since then scientists have been monotoring the patterns of solar flares more closely, and they predict the next major solar flare will happen around 2012. (Which has people panicking about the end of the world and such) However, it is just a prediction because there is no garauntee that there will be a solar flare, just that that's the time that the sun will reach its maximum peak solar flare time, which happens every eleven years so theres no need to worry.
external image 296969main_flare_sxilabeled_HI.jpg
Heres the first paragraph from a article by NASA about Solar Cycle 24, which is the cycle coming up.
May 29, 2009: An international panel of experts led by NOAA and sponsored by NASA has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle. Solar Cycle 24 will peak, they say, in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots.
"If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression.
"Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather," points out Biesecker. "The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013."



Here's something I also found interesting on youtube.


Since I don't want my first wikipost to be like 923740237483274 pages long, i'm posting some extra articles and videos if you want to see them.
THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ABOVE
NASA ARTICLE SOLAR MINMUMS
YOUTUBE VIDEO ON SOLAR STORMS
&& Finially if you actually are really interested, discovery channel did a huge thing about solar storms a couple years ago. It's a documentary, so if you ever have the time... click here.

citation;
Phillips, T (2009). New solar cycle prediction. Retrieved from http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/29may_noaaprediction.htm



WIKI POST NUMBER TWO~~SPIDERMAN

When you were little, did you want to be spiderman? Hey, maybe you still do and if so there's hope for you! In the New Scientist magazine i read there was a little article about how Nicola Pigno at the University of Turin in Italy was trying to design a spiderman suit, capable of letting the wearer climb up walls and spin out "spider silk" so that you can swing like spiderman.
This suit would be made out of adhesive material andcarbon nanotubes. Getting their ideas from the van der Waals force, and inspired by ghekos (who can hang off a branch using only one toe thanks to tiny hairs called setae) the researchers behind making the suit, are confident and are saying how it could be ready in the next ten years. (8 now, this was published in 2007). So look out world, your friendly neighboorhood spiderman could be coming near you!
spiderman.jpg

Citation:
Palmer, Jason. "Gheko power could turn you into a spider." New Scientist. (2007): Print.



WIKIPOST NUMBER THREE~SNOT!


We all have it, and its kinda gross....snot. Its been with us since we were born, and you might of known a nose picker being in your class back in elemenatry school. Anyways, you might be wondering, or might not be, what is mucus?
The dictionary deffinition:

Definition of Mucus

Mucus: A thick slippery fluid produced by the membranes lining certain organs such as the nose, mouth, throat, and vagina. Mucus is the Latin word for "a semifluid, slimy discharge from the nose."

Major_Mucus_by_Hitlersbrain.jpg


And then, I read an interesting article about how come when you have a bacterial respiratory infection your mucus turns yellow. I found this interesting because just last month i had a respiratory infection and yeah, it's gross, but it's true. It really is yellow.

Normally, your mucus is clear colored and kinda see through like water. But have you ever had gross colored snot? Yeah, turns out it turns colors because what is trapped inside your mucus. Simple enough, the bacteria are yellow and they are all throughout your mucus. Sometimes your snot will look more white because of the white blood cells trying to fight the bacteria in the mucus. Most of the time when you have yellow or green mucus it means you have a infection, and when you cough up brown phelgm, (when you cough up mucus its then called phelgm) it means your a heavy smoker. (Because the cigarette tar sticks to it.)

Getting deeper into the subject, when your body first gets the infection it tells your immune system to hurry up and start working. Therefore, the immune system sends in white blood cells and immune components to fight it off. (This process is called chemotaxis) Neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cell) arrive and then engulf the pathogen while giving off a chemical that kills all the pathogens nearby. Unfortately, that also means that chemical kills them too, so these cells pretty much commit suiside to protect you from infection. Anyways, your probably thinking...what has this to do with your snot being yellow and green? Well, enzymes are responsible for the production of the antiseptic chemicals that kill the pathogens and it is these that give mucus the green colour.


Questions? Here read these articles and learn all about the wonders of snot!
ARTICLE #1
ARTICLE#2

Citation:
Port, Tami. "Why bacterial respiratory infections produce yellow mucus ." n. pag. Web. 28 Nov 2009. <http://www.helium.com/items/1644775-why-do-boogers-come-in-different-colors>.
Poole, Becky. "What does snot and wasabi have in common?." Naked Scientists: Science Radio & Science Podcasts (2008): n. pag. Web. 28 Nov 2009. <http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/science-of-snot/>.


WIKIPOST NUMBER FOUR ~ IMMORTAL JELLYFISH.

There is a type of jellyfish called the Turritopsis nutricula that is basically immortal. After the Turritopsis nutricula sexually repoduces, it can turn itself back into a polyp! Since it can do this a number of times... the jellyfish is immortal. The jellyfish is able to do this through a process called transdifferentiation. As put in the article I read: "What this means is that it can alter the differentiated state of the cell and transform it into a new cell. In this process of transdifferentiation, the medusa of the immortal jellyfish is transformed into the polyps of a new polyp colony"
Scientists are now studying the jellyfish to see how they reverse the aging process... but for now, this type of jellyfish is the only known immortal thing on this planet. It's kind of like the curious case of benjamin button! The jellyfish can grow backwards, from old to young instead of growing from young to old!
013%20Life%20cycle%20of%20a%20jellyfish.jpgjellyfish_12.jpg

READ THE FULL ARTICLES HERE:
number one
number two

CITATTIONS
Pattern Media n. pag. Web. 6 Dec 2009. <http://www.jellyfishfacts.net/turritopsis-nutricula-immortal-jellyfish.html>.
Mintowt-Czyz , Lech. "Turritopsis nutricula: the world's only 'immortal' creature." Times Online n. pag. Web. 6 Dec 2009. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article5594539.ece>.


WIKIPOST #5 ~ THE RISK GENE
So a little while ago, I watched a film in IMAX called "adrenaline rush". It was all about how certain people take more risks and ahve more adrenaline than others. (you can watch the trailer for it here ) Sciences are looking at whats called the "adventure gene" or DRD4, a chemical in our bodies linked to our brains. They have found that this DNA is more common, or present in big risk takers such as cliff jumpers, skydiviers and other extreme sports. They also found this was close to drug users, as they were finding their risks through drugs like cocaine, while others were finding it through extreme sports. However, there is another gene called neurod2, that if you lack if you tend to take bigger risks also. So like DRD4 is the risk taking gene, neurod2 is the chicken gene.

This is why, naturally, some people would rather just stay at home curled up by a warm fire rather than shredding up the snow outside on a pair of skiis. Stated in the article it said that "while environment helps shape our appetite for danger, the line between whether we ski the bunny hill or the double-black diamond run is more than 50% programmed into our genes -- a greater genetic link than most other psychological traits." I believe this because as much as I love taking risks and snowboarding, if you took me near heights, or asked me skydive, I don't think I possess enough DRD4 if any because if I am near heights my bodys natural instinct of survival kicks in and my knees get weak and I get really dizzy and shaky. However, perhaps if I had more of this DRD4 I wouldn't get like that, or maybe its all mental and in my head. All I know is that scientists are still doing research on this mysterious gene, and until then im going to at least try and keep taking risks, because lifes no fun without them!


HERES A VIDEO :)



CITATIONS:
SCIENCE CENTRALhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7eIYYpEB4g
Leach, David. "He was pushed." Financial Post Business (2008): n. pag. Web. 10 Dec 2009. http://www.financialpost.com/m/story.html?id=610815.

WIKIPOST #6 THE PHILIPPINE TARSIER.
So I remmeber seeing these little guys everywheres,
but not remembering their names. tarsier1.jpg
Turns out, they are called the Philipine Tarsier
and are only as big as a man's fist.
You can find these little guys along the
islands of Samar, Bohol, Leyte and Mindanao
in the Philippines.




The eyes on a philippine tarsier are so big that they cannot rotate in their sockets.
However, the animal makes up for it by being able to turn its head 180 degrees just like an owl.
Here's a little non-scientific at all funny video just to show how big the primates eyes are compared to the rest of its body.

citations:
n. pag. Web. 1 Jan 2010. http://www.bohol.ph/article15.html.


WIKIPOST # 7 IN A PICKLE


So the other day I was watching, of cource, the magic school bus! This episode was about how Keesha's prize cucumber mysteriously disappeared and a pickle was in it's place. I know like 90% of you already knew that pickles came from cucumbers, but honestly I didn't know how. Special bacteria take the cucumbers sugars and create latic acid changing the cucumbers flavor and texture making it a pickle! :)
Anyways, I know you guys all want to relive the magic school bus years....so heres the middle of the episode explaining how this occurs!
Unfortunately, the embedded widget thing isn't working for me...and after spending a long period of time trying to get it to work, I've decided that instead of putting it on my wiki, you should just go to it on youtube yourself by clicking HERE


Citations:
my mind, the magic school bus -youtube

WIKIPOST # 8 SUPER BACTERIA.
I'm sure we all remember how we talked about how hand sanatizer kills most of the bacteria,
but we also create a strong type of bacteria that mutate to survive all our chemicals that are assposed to kill them.
Those bacteria, that we call "super bacteria" are growing to resist our antibiotics because
they have grown immune. We all know how fast bacteria multiply,
and if theres too much of this super bacteria it could cause a big problem.
What will we do when we cannot create the new stronger antibiotics fast enough
to stop the mutuating bacteria?
So if you think antibacterial soaps and cleaners are the greatest thing,
see the other side of it and WATCH THIS VIDEO:)


Citations:
youtube
Madison, N. "What are Super Bacteria?." WIseGeek n. pag. Web. 5 Jan 2010. <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-super-bacteria.htm>.


WIKIPOST #9 THE GREAT SPERM RACEyaratilis191.jpg

This had to be one of the most amazing documentary I've ever saw. Now it's finally on youtube. I watched it on the discovery channel about half a year ago with my guy friend (which I do not reccomend cause thats awkward) and it makes you feel so grateful to be alive. We all know that the reason your here today is because your parents did it back in the day. When they did, an insane ammount of sperm (because a guy produces 1000 sperm per heart beat!) went into the uterus. All the them, except one, did not make it. The reason you are genetically made up how you are, is because that specific sperm, out of all that sperm, made it to the egg first. This documentary explains the amazing journey that a sperm has to take, and I believe you will not think about sperm the same way ever again.
By the way, its a little PG13

PART ONE
PART TWO
PART THREE
PART FOUR
PART FIVE
PART SIX
I know it's alot..but its good

Citations :
Discovery the great amazing sperm race, my mind



WIKIPOST #10 OUR FRIENDS THE KIDNEYS

We always hear about how great your lungs, heart and muscles are, but I haven't forgotten about our friends the kidneys! Even though we only need one to survive, kidneys are vital organs to our bodies. They are located more towards the lower backside of your body, are fist sized, and bean shaped. Helping us to get rid of our harmful toxins and our body, the kidneys function is to keep our blood clean and to regulate the ammount of water in our body by producing urine. Without the help of our kidneys, many unwanted dangerous chemicals that if we kept in our body would lead to serious diseases.
Of cource, it wouldnt be a wikipost without a video! Here's a video if you want to know more about the urinary system

citations:
Comprehensive-kidney-facts. Retrieved (2010, January 7) from http://www.comprehensive-kidney-facts.com/index.html
BBC SCIENCE AND NATURE, Initials. (n.d.). Organs-kidneys. Retrieved from
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/body/factfiles/kidneys/kidneys.shtml