Eating a gum, does leave an impression
Scientists at MIT have developed a new simulation that traces 13 billion years of cosmic evolution. They start the simulation shortly after the big bang with a region of space much smaller than the universe (a mere 350 million light years across). Still, it’s big enough to follow the forces that helped create the galaxies we see today, and correctly predict the gas and metal content of those galaxies.
At first, we see dark matter clustering due to the force of gravity (first two GIFs). Then we see visible matter — blue for cool clouds of gas where galaxies form, red for more violent explosive galaxies (second two GIFs).
Super massive blackholes form, superheating the material around them, causing bright white explosions that enrich the space between galaxies with warm but sparse gas (fifth GIF).
Different elements (represented by different colors in the sixth GIF) are spread through the universe.
We arrive at a distribution of dark matter that looks similar to the one we see in our universe today (seventh GIF).
The simulation is so complex it would take two thousand years to render on a single desktop. And it’s kinda beautiful.
Image Credit: MIT and Nature Video
What you need to know about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Ebola virus has been detected in several West African countries. Here’s what you need to know about Ebola and what’s going on (so far):
The back story on this particular outbreak of Ebola in West Africa:
For months, the infected went undiagnosed. It wasn’t until March 23 that the news finally hit the World Health Organization. And by then, Ebola had already claimed 29 lives, the organization reported in a one-paragraph press release.
Since then, the organization has dispatched nine additional updates on a ballooning outbreak that’s received modest notice in the West, but has sent waves of panic across the African continent.
What exactly is Ebola?
Ebola is one of the deadliest virus diseases in humans. Known formally as the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) or Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever (EHF), it is caused by any one of the five known Ebola virus species:
- Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV)
- Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV)
- Reston ebolavirus (RESTV)
- Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV)
- Taï Forest ebolavirus (TAFV).
What’s the history of this virus?
Ebola first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
How does one get Ebola?
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. Consumption of a contaminated animal, close contact with an infected animal or it’s blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids can also lead to infection.
Once a human being is infected and comes in to contact with others, the disease continues to spread.
EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
What happens when you get Ebola?
EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.
People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory.
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days.
Which countries has the outbreak occurred in?
Guinea and Liberia have both confirmed multiple cases of Ebola. Ghannareported tests on a suspected case were negative. The WHO says Sierra Leone has ruled out Ebola in its two suspected cases, and two of Mali’s six suspected cases have been cleared. Nigeria’s Minister of Information confirmed there was no outbreak of Ebola earlier this month.
How many people have died so far in this particular outbreak?
As of April 8th, 2014, 98 people in Guinea and 10 in Liberia have all been confirmed dead as a result of Ebola.
Is there a cure for Ebola?
EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%. So far, there is no specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
What about treatment?
No specific treatment is available. New drug therapies are being evaluated. No vaccine for EVD is available. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use.
Connect with Dynamic Africa on:
All Africa, All the time.
ETA: I’m not a medical doctor or health practitioner so feel free to rectify anything you see here that’s incorrect.
(top image via usatoday)
An attempt to answer one of life’s big questions with today’s graphic - why does bacon smell so good? http://wp.me/p4aPLT-dm
(Also, setting aside some time to respond to asks in the next few days, as I’ve been a bit busy this week. If you’ve sent one through, don’t worry - they’ll all get a response.)
Also also… kudos to freshphotons for the idea for this aroma chemistry series!
Seemed to be a good engineering co-relate for what happens in “Positive Psychology”.
Suppose you had a single hydrogen atom and at a particular instant plotted the position of its electron. Soon afterwards, you do the same thing, and find that it is in a new position. You have no idea how it got from the first place to the second. You keep on doing this over and over again, and gradually build up a sort of 3D map of the places that the electron is likely to be found.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says - loosely - that you can’t know with certainty both where an electron is and where it’s going next. That makes it impossible to plot an orbit for an electron around a nucleus, but we have a mathematical function that describes the wave-like behavior of either one electron or a pair of electrons in an atom. This function can be used to calculate the probability of finding any electron of an atom in any specific region around the atom’s nucleus.
In the hydrogen case, the electron can be found anywhere within a spherical space surrounding the nucleus. Such a region of space is called an orbital. Orbits and orbitals sound similar, but they have quite different meanings. It is essential that you understand the difference between them. You can think of an orbital as being the region of space in which the electron lives. The GIF animation shows the probability densities for the electron of a hydrogen atom in different quantum states. These orbitals form an orthonormal basis for the wave function of the electron. These shapes are intended to describe the angular forms of regions in space where the electrons occupying the orbital are likely to be found.