Streaming STEM is a monthly installment that brings you the most recent, important, wild and revolutionary news on all things STEM. From geo-engineering, to the largest number of pi, to marine biology, veterinary science and ancestral ghosts each Streaming STEM update is a birds eye view of what’s been going on in the world of science, technology, engineering and math.
We know Thomas Jefferson best as a founding father but he was also a scientist who managed to explore almost every area of science available to him in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
He was once tasked with procuring and assembling an entire mammoth skeleton at the American Philosophical Society where he served on the “Bone Committee”.
He wrote a detailed book on the geology, hydrology and ecology of his home state, Virginia, and her mountain ranges, The Blue Ridge and Appalachians.
TJ financed geographical and botanical exploration of the Western US.
At his home, Monticello, TJ invented new agricultural tools and became an avid meteorologist.
TJ developed new methods for handling archaeological sites.. and so much more!
Under the sea antics….
Dolphins aren’t the only animals that occasionally dabble in hallucinogenic substances. Horses eat weeds that get them high, elephants eat over-ripened fruit to get drunk, and big horn sheep love narcotic containing lichens.
time to get that puppy….
Ohio State research shows that the pros of pet ownership also include a long list of health benefits. Rustin Moore, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University is conducting research to better understand just how much pet ownership can affect our health.
“There’s more emerging research that’s actually showing that pets have positive effects on people like veterans with PTSD, Alzheimer’s patients and others. Part of the evidence that’s emerged is that pets actually have physiological changes on people.”
This year is the sesquicentennial of the periodic table…..thats the 150th birthday of the table we know and love! Other celebratory milestones and anniversaries happening this year include the 500th year anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death and the 50th anniversary of the moon landing!
FUNKY new cancer treatment…
Researchers at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia are pioneering a different approach to treating cancer cells– and it’s focused on platelets instead of tumors.
Before they began researching cancer therapy, these scientists were trying to bust the blood clots that cause strokes and heart attacks. They developed an antibody that locates these clots by hunting for platelet cells – the cells in the blood that allow it to clot when you cut your finger.
Turns out cancerous tumors also attract tons of platelets. By focusing on the platelets that attach themselves to tumors rather than the tumors themselves these researchers have been able to use their antibody to identify many different kinds of cancers in the body. This antibody therapy has already identified 12 cancer types, and successfully targeted and killed 3 of them!
With the use of machine learning we have the opportunity to learn more about our ancestors than ever before. A clearer picture is emerging of “ghost species” or ancestors who interbred with other species at divergent points in human evolution. By sifting through vast amounts of fossil record genomic data and comparing it to the modern human genome, scientists can better understand where these fragmented groups began and ended thus filling in some of the gaps in the story of how we modern humans have come to be.
Geoengineering is “the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming.”
This relatively new scientific niche is producing some pretty wild yet potentially effective experiments like this one at Harvard….
international women’s day
International Women’s Day was a great day to celebrate women in all spaces and industries. Thank you to all of the women that have and will continue to break into and disrupt the world of STEM. Here are 10 women in science and tech that should be household names! Some highlights…..
Margaret Hamilton led an MIT team to design onboard software for the Apollo space program (while raising a toddler).
Fei Fei Li, AI genius is working to “obliterate bias” in the algorithms that increasingly play a part in our everyday lives.
Elizabeth Smith Friedman worked to break Nazi code during WWII and is considered to be one of the first modern cryptographers. She founded the field of cryptanalysis.
Happy Pi day! Today’s an extra special 3/14 as Emma Haruka Iwao has smashed the Pi calculation world record! Pi is the number you get when you divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter. This can be calculated infinitely but it’s tricky as the numbers follow no set pattern. Iwao’s calculation took 170 TB of data to complete. But just how much data is in 170TB? 200,000 songs take up just 1TB. It’s a big day for Pi and Big Data!
Pi has been used to calculate the exact braking speed needed for spacecraft to enter planetary orbit
This calculation took 25 virtual machines and 121 days to complete
It would take 332,064 years to find the 31.4 trillion digit of Pi