Greetings astute traveller, this website now exists for historical reasons.

Much has been learned since 2006. I urge you to keep exploring the evolution of information through other websites.

TED – Inspired talks by the world’s greatest thinkers and doers

ted I’ve been following the lectures on TED for a couple of years, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in ideas, technology and design.

TED is an organisation that holds lectures by innovative thinkers, where you’ll often see people of notable prestige in the areas of science, health, and education.  TED releases videos (almost daily) to the public, for free.

These videos; usually just 15 minutes in length, are sure to get you thinking about relevant issues and interesting new solutions.

Visit their website and open your world: http://www.ted.com/

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Are you a home scientist?

media_a If you are a home scientist – fascinated with how things works, and curious about fields such as Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy (not astrology!), and the Earth Science… then check out these great websites;

Biology: http://www.biology4kids.com/
Astronomy: http://www.cosmos4kids.com/
Chemistry: http://www.chem4kids.com/
Geography: http://www.geography4kids.com/
Physics: http://www.physics4kids.com/

Don’t be put off by the ‘for kids’ label – these websites are a great place to start or brush up on your science knowledge.  They also make a great starting point for more thorough research, and what I like about these websites the most is; they talk in terms of systems i.e. they explain how things interact in the world – rather than just in a dish, or under a microscope.

If you want to take things a step further, then check out ‘The Teaching Company’ at http://www.teach12.com/, however, they are not free.  So, you could also check out Wikipedia at http://www.wikipedia.org/ for free information.

Wikipedia is great as a starting point for further research on whatever topic you’re pursuing.  I say starting point because Wikipedia offers external links and references which are sometimes far more valuable than the information listed on the page.

Another great resource for learning is ‘Google Scholar’ http://scholar.google.com.au/.  Google Scholar is a search engine that lists scientific documents for whatever search terms you use – which is excellent for sourcing evidence (for and against) your research.

Learning how the world works is a wonderful way to get to know yourself… yes, yourself.  A feeling of being connected with the world usually emerges from scientific study – so I encourage you to become a home scientist, and enjoy the amazing world we live in.

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Genetics – what seperates endurance athletes from sprinters

genetics_what_seperates_endurance_athletes_sprinters According to Professor Kathryn North from the University of Sydney, a gene variation commonly found in endurance athletes most likely evolved as humans moved out of warm, food-rich environments to colder and harsher conditions, new research shows.

The variant form of the gene ACTN3, commonly found in endurance athletes, is also associated with more efficient muscle metabolism. Authors conclude that ACTN3, the original “sprinters” gene, has evolved over millions of years to equip humans to cope with changing and more hostile environments.

“There is a fascinating link between factors that influence survival in ancient humans and the factors that contribute to athletic abilities in modern man,” said Professor North.

Her discovery was that variations of the gene provided an important guide to whether an elite athlete has ability to be a power sprinter or an endurance performer.

In its most common variation, which accounts for about 80% of the Australian population, ACTN3 encodes for a protein called alpha-actinin-3. This is the protein which is found only in fast-twitch muscle fibres and is responsible for the explosive bursts of power necessary for successful sprinters or track cyclists. Among elite power athletes the alpha-actinin-3 protein is nearly always present.

Those with the variant form of the gene, about 20 per cent of the population, do not make the alpha-actinin-3 protein. Among elite endurance athletes – marathon runners and rowers – the variant form of the gene is more common.

Researchers developed a strain of mice that were completely deficient in alpha-actinin-3. They found the muscle metabolism of the mice without the actinin protein was more efficient: the mice were able to run, on average, 33 per cent further before reaching exhaustion than mice with the normal ACTN3 gene.

To answer the question as to why the variation occurred they looked at DNA samples from 96 individuals from around the world.

“Most Africans have alpha-actinin-3, it’s the normal ancestral state. But as you move into European and Asian populations there is a marked increase in the number of people without the protein. In some Asian populations that number reaches 40 per cent, or even higher in some isolated populations,” she said.

She believes the switch to more efficient metabolism is likely to have occurred due to natural selection during the last Ice Age, when humans began moving out of the food-rich areas of Africa into colder, harsher environments.

Source: University of Sydney

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Amazing Medical Animations – Free to Watch

Nucleus Medical Art creates medical illustrations, medical animations, medical images, anatomical charts, anatomical models, and interactive multimedia.

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The link below has some excellent animations of operations, child birth and much more, check it out.

Link: Nucleus Medical Art – Medical Animations

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